Techmeme
October 23, 2018, 6:55 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?
Joanna Stern / Wall Street Journal:
iPhone XR review: despite some drawbacks, the XR has a better price, battery, and more colorful design than the XS, making it hard to recommend the XS over XR  —  The iPhone XR has a few price-cutting compromises, but great battery life, Face ID and a colorful design make it the best iPhone to buy
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
Apple says iOS 12.1 will fix a bug in its smart HDR camera system that resulted in overly smoothed skin in selfies taken by the iPhone XS and XR's front camera  —  Beautygate no longer  —  Ever since the iPhone XS came out, there's been criticism of its front camera — specifically, that it overly smooths skin.
Craig Silverman / BuzzFeed News:
Investigation: a network of 125+ Android apps, installed 115M+ times, and websites, some targeted at kids, are part of a multi-million dollar ad fraud scheme  —  Last April, Steven Schoen received an email from someone named Natalie Andrea who said she worked for a company called We Purchase Apps.
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Facebook rolls out a redesigned Messenger app with a focus on simplicity, using more white space and fewer tabs, and plans to add a dark mode in coming months  —  A powerful utility goes back to basics  —  Facebook is releasing a redesigned version of Messenger today that attempts to put the focus back on your chats.
Nikhilesh De / CoinDesk:
Coinbase adds its first stablecoin, a Circle-issued coin called USDC tied to the US dollar, which US customers outside NY state can buy and sell  —  Crypto exchange Coinbase announced support for the Circle-issued stablecoin Tuesday.  —  In a blog post, the exchange said U.S. customers outside …
Jessica Toonkel / The Information:
Sources: Apple plans to offer TV subscription service in 100+ countries, debuting in US in first half of next year, will offer free shows to Apple device owners  —  Apple is planning to launch its upcoming TV subscription service in more than 100 countries, three people familiar with the company's plans told The Information.
Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
Pixel 3 phones, which can fast charge wirelessly, can only do so with certified chargers, but Qi is an open standard, so this amounts to a DRM-like restriction  —  Qi wireless charging is a standard.  This isn't supposed to happen.  —  Google's Pixel 3 smartphone is shipping out to the masses …
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 …
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
A look at Thalmic Labs' new normal-looking smart glasses, called Focals, that display info in the right lens and will ship next year for $1,000  —  Although few people seem to really want to wear smart glasses or goggles — think Google Glass or Snapchat Spectacles — a startup thinks it's figured …
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.”
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.
Alex Konrad / Forbes:
Envoy, which sells an iPad-based visitor management product, raises $43M Series B led by Menlo Ventures and plans new smart office products by end of year  —  Larry Gadea says he knew his startup Envoy was truly taking off when he found out WD-40 was using its software in multiple offices.
Reuters:
Sources: Cloudflare is looking to go public in the first half of 2019 at a $3.5B+ valuation with Goldman Sachs working as the lead investment bank  —  (Reuters) - Cloudflare Inc, a U.S. startup whose software makes websites load faster and with greater security, is preparing for an initial public offering …
More: GeekWire
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 …

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