Techmeme
September 20, 2018, 7:15 PM

Top News

Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
Amazon unveils Echo Auto, a $49.99 dash mounted in-car accessory that puts Alexa in any car with an aux jack and gives directions using Waze  —  As Amazon noted at today's event, the company has already been working with a number of car companies bring Alexa to vehicles.
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Amazon announces an update to the $49.99 Echo Dot speaker with improved sound quality  —  A new, fabric design and better sound comes to the other members of the Echo lineup  —  Amazon has just announced an update to its most popular Echo speaker, the Echo Dot, along with its larger Echo Plus model that it had introduced last year.
Ashlee Clark Thompson / CNET:
Amazon launches a $59.99 AmazonBasics-branded microwave that works with Alexa-enabled speakers, has built-in WiFi, and an Amazon Dash Replenishment  —  Amazon will begin to sell its own brand of Wi-Fi-connected microwaves that will respond to voice commands, the company announced Thursday at its headquarters in Seattle.
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
A look at Facebook Dating, which launches today in Colombia as a test and limits users to expressing their interest in a maximum of 100 people per day  —  Does deeper data produce perfect matches?  Facebook is finally ready to find out, starting today with a country-wide test in Colombia of its Dating feature.
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Instagram app code shows new potential features like adding hashtags without including them in captions, geofenced posts, quiz stickers, and video tagging  —  Geofenced sharing, Quiz stickers, Stories Highlight stickers, and a separate interface for adding hashtags to posts are amongst a slew …
Dani Deahl / The Verge:
Spotify says it will now allow indie artists to directly upload their music to the service; the upload feature is debuting in beta on an invite-only basis in US  —  The beta program is still invite-only  —  Spotify has announced a new beta feature that will allow independent artists to upload …
Noam Cohen / New Yorker:
Reporter says Linus Torvalds' decision to temporarily step away from Linux maintenance came after he was asked a series of questions about his conduct  —  The e-mails of the celebrated programmer Linus Torvalds land like thunderbolts from on high onto public lists, full of invective, insults, and demeaning language.
Sean O'Kane / The Verge:
GoPro launches Hero 7 Black with live-streaming, super slow motion, smooth stabilization, and 4K video at 60 fps for $399, going on sale September 27  —  With new cheaper options at $199 and $299  —  Just a few hours after a last-minute leak, GoPro has officially announced the new Hero 7 line of cameras …
John Falcone / CNET:
Amazon announces a DVR called Fire TV Recast, shipping Nov. 14 in two versions: a 2-tuner 500GB model for $229.99 and a 4-tuner 1TB model for $279.99  —  That Amazon DVR that was rumored a few weeks back?  It's real, and it's here.  The Fire TV Recast is a DVR, but it doesn't have its own video outputs.
Wall Street Journal:
A look at how Google decides on Gmail's Smart Reply suggestions, which make up 10% of all Gmail responses, as the feature gets rolled out to all 1.4B accounts  —  Google's automated email replies, which are being rolled to its 1.4 billion accounts, have baffled users with some peculiar suggestions
Mallory Locklear / Engadget:
Amazon updates the $179.99 Ring Stick Up camera and adds a wired version with an ethernet cable, available for preorder now and shipping Oct. 18  —  Amazon is rolling out a bunch of new gadgets today, a few of which are focused on home security.  Among those is a new Ring Stick Up Cam …
Josh Ye / Abacus:
Twitch website is currently not accessible in China and its app has disappeared from the App Store, indicating that Twitch may have been blocked in the country  —  Gaming service's site is inaccessible and its app is no longer on China's iOS App Store  —  Last month, Twitch downloads surged …
Shannon Vavra / Axios:
John Bolton says Trump signed off on a new national cyber strategy to guide how the administration handles cyberthreats, offensive and defensive cybersecurity  —  President Trump has signed off on a long-awaited national cyber strategy that aims to guide how the administration handles offensive …
More: Gizmodo
Hayley Peterson / INSIDER:
Sources: Amazon plants empty packages with fake labels in delivery trucks to catch drivers who are stealing  —  - Amazon plants empty packages with fake labels in the trucks of delivery drivers, sources told Business Insider.  — If a driver fails to return the package to Amazon …

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