Techmeme
January 9, 2019, 7:55 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.
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Lauren Goode / Wired:
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.
Sarah Frier / Bloomberg:
Customers have been annoyed by Samsung's deal to pre-install Facebook on devices, including Galaxy phones, because the app can only be disabled, not deleted  —  - Galaxy owners take to Twitter to complain about permanent app  — Pre-install deals are common, but privacy concerns are rising
Sam Kim / Bloomberg:
Edgar Alvarez / Engadget:
Twitter says it is launching a program to let a limited set of users try out new conversational features with their followers in the coming weeks  —  Twitter is launching a new program to let users reshape how conversations on its site look and feel, the company announced today in an interview with Engadget at CES 2019.
Elizabeth Gurdus / CNBC:
Tim Cook says revenue for Apple's wearables is 50% more than iPod at its peak, with the Watch and AirPods generating 4-6x more in sales than iPod over same time  —  - Apple CEO Tim Cook says that the revenue from his company's wearable products, namely the Apple Watch and the AirPods, has already topped that of the iPod at its peak.
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.
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.
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:
Report: VC funding in US startups reached $99.5B in 2018, the highest since 2000, in a total of 5,536 deals, the lowest since 2013  —  U.S. startups are raising investment dollars at levels unseen since the dot-com era.  —  Venture capital funding in U.S. companies reached $99.5 billion in 2018 …
More: PYMNTS.com
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
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 …

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Ingram Micro:
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Intel:
The field of opportunity for AI is immense—does your CPU have AI Inside?  —  Here are three questions every technology buyer should be asking of their AI tech supplier.

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