Techmeme
July 17, 2019, 3:40 PM

Top News

European Commission:
The European Commission launches a formal antitrust investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct by Amazon in its dual role as marketplace and retailer  —  The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Amazon's use of sensitive data …
Davey Alba / BuzzFeed News:
Google's vice president of public policy, Karan Bhatia, tells US Senate that the company has “terminated” Project Dragonfly, its Chinese search engine project  —  At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Google's vice president of public policy, Karan Bhatia …
CNBC:
Microsoft says AT&T will use its Azure and Office 365 suite for its 250,000 staff in a non-exclusive deal; source says multi-year deal is worth $2B+  —  KEY POINTS  — All AT&T Communications employees will use Microsoft 365, which includes Windows 10 and Office 365.
Greg Kumparak / TechCrunch:
As part of World Emoji Day, Apple and Google share designs for around 60 new emoji, many focused on representation around disability  —  Tomorrow is World Emoji Day.  Why is there a World Emoji Day?  No idea!  But it's tomorrow!  —  To recognize the day, Apple and Google have both shed …
Michael McWhertor / Polygon:
Nintendo announces an updated Switch console which, it says, will last up to nine hours on a single charge; FCC filing suggests it has a new SoC and storage  —  It's the same old Switch, just longer lasting  —  Nintendo is updating the original version of the Switch to offer better battery life …
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
As FaceApp goes viral again, many are wary of the image-altering app's weak privacy policy, the fact it's based in Russia, and that photos are sent to the cloud  —  App was launched by Russian developer in 2017 and uses AI to change people's features  —  The developer of a popular app …
Hayley Peterson / Business Insider:
Amazon says Prime Day surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined, with users buying 175M items, up from 100M in 2018  —  - Amazon says Prime Day sales this year surpassed the combined sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year.  — Amazon said it sold with more than 175 million items …
Kevin Roose / New York Times:
Reflecting on VidCon, it's clear that influencers' command of social media foreshadows future power in politics and elsewhere  —  As social media expands its cultural dominance, the people who can steer the online conversation will have an upper hand.  —  ANAHEIM, Calif. …
John Markoff / New York Times:
Neuralink, which has received $158M in funding including $100M from Elon Musk, hopes to begin testing its brain-computer interface on humans by Q2 of 2020  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk aspires to make inserting a computer connection into your brain as safe and painless as Lasik eye surgery.
Nathaniel Popper / New York Times:
A look at privacy-focused DuckDuckGo, which has ~1% share of the search engine market but says it handles ~40M searches a day, up 3x over the past two years  —  PAOLI, Pa. — Gabriel Weinberg is taking aim at Google from a small building 20 miles west of Philadelphia that looks like a fake castle.
Reuters:
Review of 33 high-profile blockchain projects within the financial sector and interviews with execs shows the limitations of blockchain and its weak adoption  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two years ago Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) announced a new blockchain system they said would make payments …
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace Turo raises $250M Series E from IAC at a $1B+ valuation, bringing its total raised to nearly $450M  —  Car-sharing startup Turo has raised $250 million in a Series E round of funding from IAC, the internet media company that owned and spun out Match.com and OkCupid.
Brian Merchant / Columbia Journalism Review:
To duck accountability, “on background” has become the default method by which Silicon Valley disseminates information, often abetted by tech journalists  —  One of the most pernicious tools that Silicon Valley uses to control the flow of information to the public is decidedly low-tech: briefing reporters “on background.”
Craig Silverman / BuzzFeed News:
Google has banned Chinese app developer CooTek from its ad platforms and Play Store, removing 60+ CooTek Android apps for bombarding users with disruptive ads  —  Google is banning CooTek, a publicly traded Chinese app developer, from its Play store and ad platforms after BuzzFeed News …

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BBC:
Nitasha Tiku / Wired:
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Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Tony Romm / Washington Post: