Techmeme
January 9, 2019, 12:55 AM

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:
Vlad Savov / The Verge:
Royole unveils FlexPai, a hybrid device that measures 7.8 inches in tablet form and becomes two Android phones when closed; available now in China for ~$1,320  —  You asked for this  —  The Royole FlexPai is the sort of device that companies rush out when they feel the absolute imperative to be first with some new technology.
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.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Hulu says it passed 25M subscribers at the end of 2018, a ~47% YoY increase, with avg. daily watch time up 20% for the year; ad revenue rose 45%+ YoY to ~$1.5B  —  Hulu is keeping its pedal to metal in the streaming TV race: The company said it ended 2018 with more than 25 million total subscribers …

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Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:

Earlier Picks

Melissa Eddy / New York Times:
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