Techmeme
February 13, 2019, 12:45 PM

Top News

John Paczkowski / BuzzFeed:
Sources: Apple plans to hold a special subscription services-focused event on March 25 at its Apple Park campus to announce a subscription news service  —  The company is expected to show off a long-rumored news subscription service.  —  Reporting From San Francisco, CA
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Apple's upcoming paid news service runs into resistance from major publishers as Apple seeks about a 50% cut and likely won't share subscriber data  —  Apple plans to keep about 50% of subscription revenue from ‘Netflix for news’ service, likely won't share customer data with publishers
Sara Salinas / CNBC:
SEC charges Gene Levoff, Apple's ex-VP of Corporate Law, with insider trading, alleging he traded on earnings info in 2015 and 2016; Levoff was fired in Sept.  —  The SEC Wednesday charged a former Apple executive with insider trading.  —  Gene Levoff, senior director of corporate law …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Amazon now lets users create and submit custom Alexa skills for certification and publication in the US Skills Store  —  Anyone can create a trivia game and share it on the Alexa store  —  Amazon is now letting anyone create and publish Alexa skills into the Alexa skills store.
Michael Futter / Variety:
Activision Blizzard announces record $1.8B net income in 2018, but says it is laying off 8%, or ~800 of its staff, amid internal changes and unmet expectations  —  UPDATED: Activision Blizzard is laying off approximately 775 people — 8% of its 9,600-person staff — as it refocuses its efforts …
The Guardian:
Facebook criticized by health experts for allowing the rise of closed groups rife with anti-vaccination misinformation, some with 150,000+ members  —  Experts are calling on company to counter closed groups where members can post misinformation without challenge
Cecilia Kang / New York Times:
Democratic lawmakers step up scrutiny of T-Mobile-Sprint merger, which they say reduces competition, as two days of Congressional hearings begin  —  WASHINGTON — When T-Mobile announced its intention to buy Sprint last April, the prospects for the $26 billion deal winning regulatory approval appeared strong.
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
US DOJ charges former Air Force counter-intel officer Monica Witt with aiding Iranian cyber operations against the US and sanctions two Iranian companies  —  Prosecutors have brought charges against a former Air Force officer for allegedly spying for Iran, the Justice Department confirmed Wednesday.
Kurt Wagner / Recode:
Jack Dorsey and Kara Swisher's live Twitter interview could have been a great conversation, but Twitter's live chat limitations made it hard to follow  —  Kara Swisher's live-tweeted interview with Jack Dorsey highlighted some of Twitter's product issues.  —  Twitter wants to be the place …
Peter Bright / Ars Technica:
Researchers find a way to run malicious code on Intel-based systems using the SGX feature, preventing antivirus software from identifying or analyzing malware  —  Processor protects malware from attempts to inspect and analyze it.  —  Researchers have found a way to run malicious code …
More: arXiv.org
Mark Suster / Both Sides of the Table:
Seed investing cooled after 2015 as Series A and B investing failed to match its growth, but is here to stay given its necessary delineation from traditional VC  —  Seed investments are down by any measure (funds, deals, dollars) over the past 3 years in deals < $1 million AND in deals between $1-5 million.
More: AVCTweets: @msuster, @msuster, @jeremyshure, and @semil
Sean Captain / Fast Company:
DoorDash says 15% of customers leave no tip, the next 45% contribute less than half of “guaranteed amount”, and 80% of contractors are happy with the pay system  —  In its ideal world, food-delivery service DoorDash would pay its contractors almost nothing-relying on customer tips to cover most of the fee quoted for a job.
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Q&A with the president and COO of mobile gaming company Scopely on its business model; Scopely says it has a $400M run rate and increased revenues 80% in 2018  —  Scopely isn't the most well-known mobile game company.  But it scored a couple of hits with Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem and Star Trek …
NPD Group:
NPD: US smartwatch unit sales rose 61% YoY for the 12 months ending November 2018, as 16% of US adults now own a smartwatch, up 12% from December 2017  —  U.S. smartwatch sales experienced strong growth in the 12 months ending November 2018 compared to the same timeframe a year prior …

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