Techmeme
March 5, 2019, 5:15 PM

Top News

Brian Barrett / Wired:
How Corning is working to create truly bendable, ultra-thin glass, as Samsung and others announce folding phones with plastic polymer screens  —  Foldable phones like Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Huwaei's Mate X are coming, whether you're ready or not.  In fact, they're coming whether they're ready or not.
Whitson Gordon / iFixit:
2018 MacBook Pros include a longer screen cable, a part prone to fail on earlier models, requiring screen replacements, an issue Apple never acknowledged  —  In 2018, a number of MacBook Pro users—with models from 2016 onwards—discovered a serious design flaw that causes the screen to fail …
Washington Post:
T-Mobile acknowledges that its executives' patronage of Trump's Washington hotel, spending ~$195K, increased sharply after announcement of merger with Sprint  —  T-Mobile's patronage of President Trump's Washington hotel increased sharply after the announcement of its merger with its Sprint last April …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Echo owners can now ask Alexa to control their Roku devices via a new skill, months after a similar capability came to Google Assistant-powered devices  —  Roku this morning announced its devices will now be compatible with Amazon's Alexa.  Through a new Roku skill for Alexa …
Aliya Ram / Financial Times:
Report: 40% of 2,830 AI startups in Europe do not use AI programs in their products; ~8% of EU startups were AI companies in 2018, up from ~3% in 2015  —  Two-fifths of Europe's artificial intelligence start-ups do not use any AI programs in their products, according to a report that highlights the hype around the technology.
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
A look at how Spotify plans to crack the podcast market: making it easier to find podcasts, investing in creation tools, exclusive original content, and more  —  Spotify has been on a media blitz to hype up its plans.  Most everyone involved in the deals, including Spotify CEO Daniel Ek …
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Apple acquired the patent portfolio of failed smart home security startup Lighthouse AI, including those related to visual authentication, late last year  —  Apple has recently acquired a handful of patents from Lighthouse AI, a defunct home security camera company.
Megan Wollerton / CNET:
August View wireless video doorbell unveiled with 1440p recording, 24/7 live video streaming, and rechargeable battery, available for $230 from March 28  —  August just introduced a new device to its lineup — the $230 August View.  Available in the United States beginning March 28 …
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Comedian Miel Bredouw's fight with Barstool Sports after they posted her video without credit shows how Twitter's copyright system can hurt creators  —  “It's insane to me that the platform is allowing them to do this.”  —  Earlier today, Los Angeles-based writer and comedian Miel Bredouw claims …
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
The servers running social robot Jibo, which had raised ~$76M in total and shipped to the public in 2017 for $899, are being shut down forever  —  RIP, Jibo  —  The servers running Jibo, a connected home robot, are about to be shut down, and the robot has started informing its owners with a bittersweet message.
Jessica Davies / Digiday:
The Financial Times has acquired a majority stake in Amsterdam-based tech blog and events company The Next Web  —  The Financial Times has bought a controlling stake in consumer publisher The Next Web, marking its first acquisition in continental Europe.  —  The FT didn't disclose the terms …
Tom Cardoso / Globe and Mail:
Google to ban political ads in Canada ahead of federal election, says complying with new ad transparency rules required by Bill C-76 would be too challenging  —  Google is banning political advertising on its platforms ahead of the Canadian federal election because of new ad transparency rules …
Kate Clark / TechCrunch:
Eargo, a direct-to-consumer smart hearing aid manufacturer, raises $52M Series D, bringing total raised to $135M, and says it has 20,000 users  —  Eargo wants to become the ultimate consumer hearing brand.  —  The company's small and virtually invisible direct-to-consumer hearing aids …
Stefanie Eschenbacher / Reuters:
Exclusive: Mexican central bank in talks with Amazon about new mobile payments  —  MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's central bank is in talks with Amazon.com Inc to launch a new government-backed mobile payment system that would allow consumers to pay for online purchases using QR codes, the bank's head of payments said.
More: PYMNTS.com
Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
SurveyMonkey acquires Amsterdam-based website and app survey company Usabilla for $80M in cash and stock  —  SurveyMonkey announced today that it has acquired Usabilla, an Amsterdam-based website and app survey company, for $80 million in cash and stock.  —  Zander Lurie, CEO at SurveyMonkey …
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
San Jose-based Functionize raises $16M Series A from Canvas Ventures to automate software testing with AI  —  Functionize, a San Jose, California-based startup developing a cloud-based platform that autonomously susses out software bugs, today announced that it has raised $16 million in series …
More: FinSMEs and PE Hub Blog
Josh Horwitz / Reuters:
Chinese e-commerce company JD.com launches Joybuy, a store offering simple consumer electronics, on Alphabet's Google Express shopping site  —  SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce company JD.Com Inc has launched a store on Google Express, the online shopping site owned by the search engine of Alphabet Inc.

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