Techmeme
January 8, 2019, 8:40 PM

Top News

Joseph Cox / Motherboard:
Investigation shows how easy and affordable it is to obtain cellphone customers' real-time location data, as T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T peddle it to middlemen  —  T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers' location data, and that data is ending up in the hands …
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Google makes over a dozen announcements for Google Assistant at CES, including Google Assistant Connect for third-party developers and flight check-ins  —  Today, Google is showing off auto-translation on smart display speakers, letting you naturally talk to each other with the speaker acting as the translator automatically.
Greg Kumparak / TechCrunch:
Google Assistant is coming to Google Maps on iOS and Android today, will help users with navigation, music, and replying to texts, now with auto-punctuation  —  We've known for a while now that Google Assistant (the company's voice powered AI, a la Siri or Alexa) would eventually be built right into Google Maps.
Lauren Goode / Wired:
Google debuts Interpreter Mode in Google Assistant for smart displays and speakers to translate languages in real time for people in the same physical space  —  OVER THE PAST year Google has been making its virtual assistant, the eponymous Google Assistant, more capable of handling …
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Mark Zuckerberg:
Mark Zuckerberg says his challenge for 2019 is to host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society  —  Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn something new.  I've built an AI for my home, run 365 miles, visited every US state, read 25 books, and learned Mandarin.
Axios:
Amazon is quietly piloting a program for brands like Folgers to pay to send free samples to Amazon users, who are likely to enjoy them based on order history  —  Amazon is quietly piloting a program to let brands like Maybelline and Folgers pay to send free samples to consumers …
Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC:
Over a dozen ex-Facebook employees detail how the company's leaders and stacked ranking performance reviews foster a culture where any dissent is discouraged  —  - More than a dozen former Facebook employees detailed how the company's leadership and its performance review system has created a culture where any dissent is discouraged.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Theodore Schleifer / Recode:
Sources: self-driving startup Aurora is raising $500M+ at a $2B+ valuation in a round led by Sequoia  —  Aurora's appeal is predicated on three well-credentialed founders from Google, Tesla, and Uber.  —  The startup Aurora — which is not yet two years old but has made waves …
Melissa Eddy / New York Times:
Twenty-year-old German man admits to stealing and publishing data on hundreds of lawmakers, journalists, and other figures from every party except far-right AfD  —  BERLIN — A 20-year-old German student took advantage of passwords as weak as “Iloveyou” and “1234” to hack into online accounts …
Russell Brandom / The Verge:
Yubico unveils the first Lightning security key for iPhones, which has received Apple's approval and is slated to launch this year  —  The Apple-approved device is currently in private preview, aiming to launch sometime this year  —  Yubico has announced a new version of its popular Security Key …
Taylor Lorenz / The Atlantic:
Instagram accounts were allegedly coordinating sharing of child porn using hashtags, then a viral campaign spotlighted it, and finally Instagram banned the tags  —  A hashtag war has been brewing on Instagram between users who appear to be trading child pornography and the memers intent on stopping them.
Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times:
Lambda School, which trains students online to be software engineers in exchange for a share of future income, raises $30M Series B from Bedrock, GV, YC, others  —  Income Sharing Agreements are gaining the attention of higher education and Wall Street.  One early success story is getting a boost from venture capital.
Washington Post:

Sponsor Posts

Smartsheet:
Roche Transforms Processes That Help Millions of Patients  —  “We're actually managing 30% more projects with the same number of project managers as we were before.”  Watch the video here.
TWiT.tv:
Tech Podcasts from Every Angle  —  TWiT.tv covers the latest in news, privacy, hacking, security, plus reviews of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and wearables.  If it has a chip, Leo Laporte and friends have a podcast on it.
Zoho:
3 things to know before hosting a Twitter chat  —  We are in a world of infinite scrolling and relentless trolling, putting brands under constant pressure to try something novel in order to succeed.
Google Cloud:
What does the future of cloud computing hold  —  and what does this mean for businesses?  We looked at the data, talked to luminaries, and listened to customers across the world.  Here's what they said.
Techmeme Leaderboards:
Find out who the top reporters are in 40 different tech categories  —  Who are the most influential writers on topics like AI, VR, IoT, or e-commerce?  We've analyzed Techmeme's news crawl data to find out.

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Earlier Picks

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