Techmeme
October 23, 2018, 12:30 PM

Top News

Nilay Patel / The Verge:
iPhone XR review: competitive price for Apple's latest processor and cameras with a great battery life, but comes in only one size and the display is not great  —  Big screen, small compromise  —  Video by Phil Esposito & Becca Farsace  —  Here's a question: how much do you care about the display on a phone?
Makena Kelly / The Verge:
AWS CEO Andy Jassy and Supermicro CEO Charles Liang join Apple CEO Tim Cook in calling for a retraction of Bloomberg's spy chip story  —  ‘[Tim Cook] is right.  Bloomberg story is wrong about Amazon, too.’  —  Today, executives from both Amazon and the server manufacturer, Super Micro …
Nitasha Tiku / Wired:
Three recent books argue that big tech became powerful not because of “software disruption” but by ducking regulation, squeezing workers, strangling competitors  —  A FEW YEARS after the Great Recession, you couldn't scroll through Google Reader without seeing the word “disrupt.”
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
Apple says iOS 12.1 will fix a bug that resulted in smoother-looking photos taken by the iPhone XS and XR's front camera, thus improving selfie quality  —  Beautygate no longer  —  Ever since the iPhone XS came out, there's been criticism of its front camera — specifically, that it overly smooths skin.
Shannon Liao / The Verge:
HTC begins taking preorders, only in cryptocurrency, for its blockchain phone Exodus 1 for 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH, about ~$960, and expects to ship in December  —  You have to buy it in bitcoin or Ether  —  HTC just announced actual specs for its much-hyped blockchain phone, the Exodus 1, and is letting people sign up for preorders.
Andrei Frumusanu / AnandTech:
Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 675, an 11nm mid-range ARM Cortex A76-based SOC with support for triple camera setups, promises better gaming performance  —  Today we're seeing a very interesting announcement from Qualcomm: The new Snapdragon 675 chipset is a direct successor …
Wall Street Journal:
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son cancels speaking engagement at Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative, but may still attend the event  —  Mr. Son becomes latest executive to cancel plans after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi  —  RIYADH—SoftBank Group Corp.'s Chief Executive Masayoshi Son …
Julian E. Barnes / New York Times:
Sources: US Cyber Command targets Russian operatives to deter them from spreading disinformation, in first known overseas cyberoperation to protect elections  —  WASHINGTON — The United States Cyber Command is targeting individual Russian operatives to try to deter them from spreading disinformation …
The Verge:
Android: a visual history of Google's OS on its 10th anniversary  —  Google's Android operating system has undergone a pretty incredible metamorphosis since it debuted on the T-Mobile G1 on October 22nd, 2008.  A decade might seem like a long time, but on the scale of the PC's growth, it's a blink of an eye.
Scott Scrivens / Android Police:
Chrome enables Picture-in-Picture support on desktop by default on macOS, Windows, and Linux  —  It's a popular feature on Android, especially useful if you want to watch YouTube videos while you do other things, and now Picture-in-picture (PiP) is officially coming to the desktop.
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
Microsoft's former Windows chief Terry Myerson says he's joining Madrona Venture Group as a venture partner and the Carlyle Group as an operating executive  —  The former head of Microsoft's Windows unit has resurfaced after leaving the company earlier this summer and will be involved with two different investment firms.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Lyft acquires UK-based AR startup Blue Vision Labs and unveils its first Ford test vehicle for its Level 5 self-driving initiative  —  The company has acquired the AR startup Blue Vision Labs and unveiled its first Ford test vehicle  —  Ingrid Lunden , Jonathan Shieber 7 hours
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
Mozilla announces ProtonVPN partnership; from Oct. 25, some Firefox users will see an ad to buy a $10/month VPN subscription when connected to unsecured WiFi  —  Selected Firefox users will be able to purchase a ProtonVPN version for $10.  Some of the money will go to support Mozilla and Firefox.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols / ZDNet:
Linus Torvalds back in charge of Linux, according to the Linux 4.19 announcement, over a month after temporarily stepping away to get help to fix his behavior  —  After a few weeks off to reconsider his role in the Linux community, Linus Torvalds is back in the saddle.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Afiniti, which uses AI and behavioral science to better match customers with customer service agents, quietly raises $130M Series D at a $1.6B valuation  —  Ingrid Lunden @ingridlunden / 7 hours  —  Artificial intelligence touches just about every aspect of the tech world these days …
Saritha Rai / Bloomberg:
India's latest generation of unicorn startups have targeted fundamental and local issues like insurance, education, logistics, and lodging  —  The country's latest generation of $1 billion apps have focused on local issues in education, logistics, and lodging.
Thanks:@pelstrom
Michael Laris / Washington Post:
Ford says it will start testing self-driving cars in Washington, DC early next year and expects to launch commercial taxi and delivery services in 2021  —  The black Ford Fusion hybrid with a tiara of laser sensors looped twice through a four-mile stretch of a changing Washington …

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Greg Bensinger / Wall Street Journal:
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Sarah Perez / TechCrunch: