Techmeme
February 13, 2019, 10:40 AM

Top News

John Paczkowski / BuzzFeed:
Sources say Apple plans to hold a special “services focused” event on March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater on its Apple Park campus  —  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
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
Freelance services marketplace Fiverr is acquiring ClearVoice, a company that helps customers find professionals to write promotional content  —  Fiverr is acquiring ClearVoice, a company that helps customers like Intuit and Carfax find professionals to write promotional content.
Chris Williams / The Register:
Hacker claims to have posted ~617M online account details stolen from 16 hacked companies for sale on the dark web; MyHeritage and 500px confirm stolen data  —  Dubsmash, Armor Games, 500px, Whitepages, ShareThis, and more said to be up for grabs for $$$s in BTC
Max Willens / Digiday:
TechCrunch launches a $15/month membership tier, Extra Crunch, offering exclusive content and perks like access to a community of founders and vertical experts  —  TechCrunch has spent nearly 15 years covering the technology and startup worlds.  This week it will try to forge a new kind of relationship with those communities.
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 …

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