Techmeme
February 15, 2019, 11:20 PM

Top News

Axios:
Sources: Apple buys Pullstring, an SF-based enterprise voice app developer, for up to $40M; Pullstring has raised around $44M in venture capital  —  Apple has agreed to buy Pullstring, a San Francisco-based startup that enables the design and publishing of voice apps, Axios has learned.
Matthew Gardner / ITEP:
Amazon has made $11.2B in profits in 2018 but will pay no federal income tax and will receive a rebate of $129M due to unspecified tax credits  —  Amazon, the ubiquitous purveyor of two-day delivery of just about everything, nearly doubled its profits to $11.2 billion in 2018 from $5.6 billion …
Jason Del Rey / Recode:
Amazon launched its HQ2 contest before some politicians made it a corporate villain and it overreached in NYC by extracting huge tax breaks behind closed doors  —  The HQ2 contest was very Amazonian.  So was its refusal to back down.  —  No one looks good in the wake of Amazon's decision …
J. David Goodman / New York Times:
Amazon says it has canceled plans to build HQ2 in New York City, focusing instead on Northern Virginia and Nashville, following backlash  —  Amazon on Thursday canceled its plans to build an expansive corporate campus in New York City after facing an unexpectedly fierce backlash from lawmakers …
Brad Stone / Bloomberg:
After Amazon misread New York's politics, pulling out was a typical Bezos power play of belligerently confronting opposition he views as unfair or unjust  —  In retrospect, the helipad was probably a bad idea.  —  The proposed transportation hub for senior Amazon executives was supposed …
Kia Kokalitcheva / Axios:
Uber reports Q4 revenue of $3B, up 24% YoY, gross bookings of $14.2B, up 37% YoY, and adjusted EBITDA losses of $842M, up 88% YoY and 60% QoQ  —  Uber on Friday released its latest quarterly financials, likely its last before formally filing to go public. showing continued growth and investment in areas like UberEats.
Ryan Mac / BuzzFeed:
Twitter hides a tweet, reportedly from Iran's head of state, for pointing out that a previous leader's verdict to murder novelist Salman Rushdie is still valid  —  Twitter has previously used a newsworthiness standard to defend its refusal to apply abuse and harassment rules to President Donald Trump's account.
Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter:
Pokémon Go creator Niantic agrees to settle class action with property owners for unsanctioned PokéStop and Gym placements; monetary damages up for mediation  —  After fighting over the meaning of “trespass” in the digital age, Niantic agrees to a system for resolving nuisance complaints …
Stefan Etienne / The Verge:
Samsung unveils 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S5e, its lightest and thinnest tablet and the first with Bixby built-in, starting at $399, launching in the second quarter  —  It's $399 and comes in three “millennial friendly” colors  —  There isn't a single Android tablet we can currently wholeheartedly recommend …
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google rolls out ARCore 1.7 with a new Augmented Faces API for the front-facing camera that can overlay effects on a user's face even without a depth sensor  —  ARCore is Google's platform for mobile augmented reality which does not require specialized hardware.
Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter:
US Copyright Office has refused a copyright claim for the “Carlton Dance”, a potential blow to performers seeking rights to dance emotes in games like Fortnite  —  A government examiner also questioned the submission of the actor's performance on ABC's “Dancing With the Stars,” …

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Sam Byford / The Verge:
Shara Tibken / CNET:
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Hugh Son / CNBC: