Techmeme
August 2, 2019, 6:30 PM

Top News

Thomas Ricker / The Verge:
Google will let Android users in Europe choose their default search engine starting in 2020; inclusion on the choice screen will be determined via auction  —  Only the top-three bidders will appear alongside Google on the choice screen  —  Starting in early 2020, Google will present …
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Apple suspends Siri response grading, where contractors reviewed Siri queries without explicit user consent, promises update where users can chose to take part  —  In response to concerns raised by a Guardian story last week over how recordings of Siri queries are used for quality control, Apple is suspending the program world wide.
Alex Heath / The Information:
Sources: Facebook plans to rebrand Instagram and WhatsApp to “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook”, causing surprise and confusion internally  —  In a big shift, Facebook plans to signal its control of Instagram and WhatsApp by adding its name to both apps …
Mark Harris / The Guardian:
FCC filing: Pentagon tests high-altitude balloons in Midwest for a “surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats”  —  Exclusive: the high-altitude balloons promise a cheap monitoring platform that could follow multiple cars and boats for extended periods
Nick Statt / The Verge:
FTC is looking into the Amazon/Apple deal that kicked many small resellers off Marketplace, has interviewed at least one reseller of refurbished MacBooks  —  Experts say the deal raises serious antitrust concerns  —  Last year, Amazon cut a deal with Apple to bring direct iPhone sales to its platform for the first time.
Zen Soo / South China Morning Post:
Hong Kong startup Tink Labs, which has raised $160M to provide free-to-use smartphones in hotel rooms, is shutting down in many markets, undergoing mass layoffs  —  Handy is a smartphone service operated by Tink Labs that equipped hotels globally with in-room handsets for guests Tink Labs informed employees …
Karl Bode / VICE:
FTC asks that the 147M people affected by the Equifax breach take free credit monitoring as only $31M of the $575M+ Equifax settlement is allocated to consumers  —  After “overwhelming” public interest, the FTC now urges users to settle for free credit monitoring instead.
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Google to add an automated text-to-speech feature for emergency calls made via the Pixel Phone app to help relay location information to first responders  —  The new feature will automatically describe the kind of emergency and exact address to first responders
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Babylon Health raises $550M Series C at $2B+ valuation from Saudi Arabia's PIF, Kinnevik, and others to expand its AI-based health services to the US and Asia  —  Babylon Health, the UK-based startup that has developed a number of AI-based health services, including a chatbot used …

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This is a Techmeme archive page. It shows how the site appeared at 6:30 PM ET, August 2, 2019.

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Earlier Picks

Dell Cameron / Gizmodo:
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Ben Fox Rubin / CNET:
Jacqueline Feldscher / Politico:
Andrew Webster / The Verge:
Donie O'Sullivan / CNN: