Techmeme
January 7, 2019, 6:30 PM

Top News

Roger Cheng / CNET:
HTC unveils Vive Pro Eye, a new VR headset with eye-tracking capabilities, coming in April, and teases the Vive Cosmos, a new consumer-friendly headset  —  HTC wants to make it easier for everyone to get into virtual reality.  And it hopes to do it through the Vive Cosmos.
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
Kroger partners with Microsoft, rolls out a pilot project in two stores with digital shelves, guided shopping, personalized ads, and “pick-to-light” shelf tech  —  Microsoft and Kroger are taking a leaf out of Amazon's book by building futuristic “connected” grocery stores.
CoinDesk:
Coinbase says it's halted Ethereum Classic transactions, withdrawals, and deposits, after a 51% attack on the cryptocurrency led to coin double-spending  —  Crypto exchange Coinbase has halted all ethereum classic transactions, withdrawals and deposits due to a series of blockchain history reorganizations on the network.
Matthew Hughes / The Next Web:
GitHub now gives users of its free plan access to unlimited private repositories, but those repos are limited to three collaborators apiece  —  Due to a scheduling error, we published this story one day before the embargo lifted.  This feature isn't live yet, but Github will formally unveil it tomorrow.
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Google expects Assistant to be on 1B devices by end of Jan., up from 500M last May, says global active users up 4x YoY, and feature phones will get Assistant  —  Active users have quadrupled since last year, but Google won't disclose a concrete number  —  As CES kicks off …
Devindra Hardawar / Engadget:
Samsung announces Notebook Odyssey gaming laptop with Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics and a 15.6-inch 1080p display at 144Hz with G-Sync support  —  Almost every PC maker has tried their hands at gaming laptops, but what's surprising about Samsung is that it's never quite gotten it right.
Financial Times:
Sources: SoftBank has radically scaled back plans for fresh investment in WeWork, is now planning a $2B investment, down from $16B considered late last year  —  Japan's SoftBank has radically scaled back plans for fresh investment in WeWork, the lossmaking shared-office provider …
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Vizio says it is adding support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to its SmartCast-enabled TVs, which can now be controlled using Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant  —  Apple is reportedly gearing up for a new streaming TV service to rival Netflix, Amazon and Google this year, but in the meantime …
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Jonathan Stempel / Reuters:
A federal appeals court said, in a 3-0 decision, that a Virginia politician violated the Constitution by temporarily blocking a critic from her Facebook page  —  (Reuters) - A federal appeals court said on Monday a Virginia politician violated the Constitution by temporarily blocking a critic …
Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
Key By Amazon, formerly Amazon Key, adds garage and business delivery, new locks, and Ring compatibility  —  Alexa may be front and center for Amazon's play this CES, but the just unloaded a whole bunch of news about Amazon Key.  The list includes a name change to the more passive Key By Amazon …
Maria Deutscher / SiliconANGLE:
Akamai acquires Portland-based identity management provider Janrain to boost its security portfolio and complement its Bot Manager service  —  A week into 2019, Akamai Technologies Inc. has already made its first acquisition of the year.  —  The cybersecurity and content delivery heavyweight today announced …
Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
Samsung says Google is bringing some of its services to Bixby, including Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Play, but does not share a timeline  —  Bixby took centerstage at today's big Samsung CES presser.  The company has been pushing to make its smart assistant a kind …
More: CNET
Henry T. Casey / Laptop Mag:
HP announces Chromebook 14, its first AMD-based Chromebook with a 14" screen, AMD A4/A6 CPU, integrated Radeon R4/R5 GPU, and 4GB of RAM, starting at $269  —  HP's new Chromebooks for CES 2019 include the first-ever AMD processor powered model, the HP Chromebook 14 (db0020nr).

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Amy Nordrum / IEEE Spectrum:
Valentina Palladino / Ars Technica: