Techmeme
February 7, 2019, 7:40 PM

Top News

Jeff Bezos:
Jeff Bezos publishes letters from AMI that he says show threats to publish his nude photos unless he backs off from criticizing AMI's coverage  —  Something unusual happened to me yesterday.  Actually, for me it wasn't just unusual—it was a first.  I was made an offer I couldn't refuse.
BBC:
Germany orders Facebook to stop combining data from WhatsApp, Instagram, and third-party sites with data in a user's main Facebook account without their consent  —  Germany's competition authority has told Facebook it can only continue gathering so much data about users from beyond its app and website if it gets individuals' consent.
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Apple says it has notified app developers to remove code that lets them record how a user interacts with their apps without explicit user consent  —  Apple is telling app developers to remove code that allows them to effectively record how a user interacts with their iPhone apps …
Jason Hiner / CNET:
Google Fiber to shut down in Louisville on April 15 after an experimental “nanotrenching” technique to deploy fiber in trenches only two inches deep, failed  —  Google's trick to more rapidly and cheaply deploy its super-speedy Google Fiber project has hit a wall …
Johana Bhuiyan / Los Angeles Times:
Investigation finds that Amazon at times uses tips earned by contracted drivers of its Flex program to cover their promised base pay  —  Amazon at times dips into the tips earned by contracted delivery drivers to cover their promised pay, a Times review of emails and receipts reveals.
Zac Hall / 9to5Mac:
Apple releases iOS 12.1.4 with a fix for the Group FaceTime bug, says a security audit of FaceTime revealed a bug in Live Photos on FaceTime, which it has fixed  —  Apple has turned its Group FaceTime feature back on following the release of iOS 12.1.4 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Twitter reports Q4 revenue of $909M, up 24% YoY, ad revenue of $791M, up 23% YoY, net income of $244M, and MAUs of 321M, down by 9M YoY; stock closes down 9%+  —  After strong results from Facebook and Snap this quarter, all eyes were on Twitter to see if the other big …
Manish Singh / VentureBeat:
News aggregator Nuzzel sold to Scroll, which is building a news subscription service; Nuzzel founder Jonathan Abrams and COO Kent Lindstrom to leave the company  —  News aggregator Nuzzel has found a new home and leadership and is undergoing some product changes.
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Amazon joins Microsoft in expressing support for regulating facial recognition tech, offers guidelines for the “responsible use” of the technology  —  Amazon supports the creation of a “legislative framework” covering facial recognition technology.
Stephen Nellis / Reuters:
Sources: Apple has moved its modem engineering unit to its in-house hardware technology group led by Johny Srouji, Apple's SVP of hardware technologies  —  Apple Inc has moved its modem chip engineering effort into its in-house hardware technology group from its supply chain unit …
Dami Lee / The Verge:
Spotify's new Terms of Service, which go into effect on March 1, will give Spotify the authority to immediately terminate accounts that use ad blockers  —  Cracking down on ad blockers  —  Spotify is now explicitly banning ad blockers, as stated in an updated Terms of Service policy sent out today.
Sean Gallagher / Ars Technica:
Jack'd, a gay dating app with 1M+ downloads from the Play store, stored users' images, posted and marked as private in chat sessions, on an unsecured AWS server  —  Online-Buddies was exposing its Jack'd users' private images and location; disclosing posed a risk.
More: BBC
Victoria Song / Gizmodo:
Microsoft introduces background blur feature to Skype, which uses AI to detect the user's hair, hands, and arms, and blur distracting objects in the background  —  Slobs of the world, don't work too hard KonMari-ing your apartment or office ahead of your next important Skype call.
Ryan Whitwam / Android Police:
Opera says it has started testing a free, unlimited VPN feature in its Android browser, available now for beta users worldwide  —  ISPs are generally not trustworthy, so many internet users have turned to VPNs.  Opera used to offer a popular free VPN on Android, but it retired the service last year.

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Mike Wheatley / SiliconANGLE: