Techmeme
August 23, 2019, 8:40 PM

Top News

Wall Street Journal:
Investigation finds 4,152 items on Amazon that were declared unsafe by federal agencies, are deceptively labeled, or are banned by regulators  —  Just like tech companies that have struggled to tackle misinformation on their platforms, Amazon has proven unable or unwilling to effectively police third-party sellers on its site
Financial Times:
Sources: at least three of Facebook's Libra backers are discussing how to distance themselves from the project amid increasing regulatory scrutiny  —  Intensifying regulatory scrutiny of Facebook's Libra digital currency has spooked some of the project's early backers, with at least three privately discussing …
Marlize van Romburgh / Silicon Valley Business Journal:
Trump's tweets “ordering” US companies to start looking for an alternative to China rattle tech stocks, with Apple closing down 4.6%, Amazon 3.1%, and AMD 7.4%  —  Shares of Apple and Silicon Valley's semiconductor companies were pummeled on Friday as President Trump responded …
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google Photos can now search for text that appears in user images with its optical character recognition filter  —  Google Lens has a powerful optical character recognition (OCR) filter that can pull text from any image.  Available in Google Photos, the backup service this month is adding the ability to search for text in images.
Ayanti Bera / Reuters:
Seven top US publishers sue Audible, aiming to block the planned rollout of Captions, a new feature that shows text on screen as a book is narrated  —  (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O) Audible was sued by some of the top U.S. publishers for copyright infringement on Friday …
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Strategy Analytics: US users upgrade smartphones after 33 months, 7% plan to spend over $1K on their next purchase, biggest barrier to 5G phones will be price  —  Several reports in the past have linked the increasing prices of smartphones to lengthening iPhone upgrade cycles.
Tony Wan / EdSurge:
Educational robotic toymaker Sphero acquires littleBits, a maker of electronics building kits and instructional resources for kids  —  When Sphero laid off 45 employees in early 2018, the Boulder, Co.-based company explained the difficult decision as an effort to return its focus …
Louise Matsakis / Wired:
In a leaked letter from members of Twitter's Trust and Safety Council, formed in 2016 to provide outside advice on policy, some say they're being ignored  —  AT THE BEGINNING of 2016, Twitter announced some good news: the formation of the Trust and Safety Council, comprised of more than 40 outside groups …
Mike Isaac / New York Times:
Sources: Uber's $1 Safe Rides Fee, introduced in 2014, was devised primarily to add $1 of pure margin to each trip; court documents: the fee brought in ~$500M  —  The once-swaggering company is losing more money and growing more slowly than ever.  What happened?
Jennifer Elias / CNBC:
Google says it has shut down 210 YouTube channels after it found they had been tied to misinformation about Hong Kong protesters  —  KEY POINTS  — In a blog post Thursday, Google said it axed more than 200 YouTube channels due to misinformation around Hong Kong protests.
Annie Palmer / CNBC:
Google releases new community guidelines for employees, placing new restrictions on talking about politics on internal mailing lists and forums  —  KEY POINTS  — Google on Friday released a new set of community guidelines that are meant to crack down on what employees can say inside the company.
James Loke Hale / Tubefilter:
Report: Facebook has pushed Instagram into doubling the number of ads since last year; Instagram is testing two back-to-back ads in Stories  —  Instagram is about to get even more ads.  —  Beginning this week, the platform is running a test with what it told AdWeek is a “small percentage” of users.

Sponsor Posts

Smartsheet:
Strategies for shutting down SaaS sprawl  —  Managing a chaos of apps steals focus away from IT leaders who are increasingly helping to drive business.  Read the report.
TWiT.tv:
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Zoho:
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AWS Startups:
Shaping Your Startup Culture to Thrive  —  Our panel of experts at our AWS Loft in New York, including folks from Buzzfeed, Enigma, and Value Culture, discuss why culture is vital to any startup that wants to survive past its early days.
Google Fi:
Google Fi - a phone plan, by Google  —  We felt that most phone plans just weren't made with you in mind.  So that's why we built Google Fi with features that real people actually want.  Click to learn more.
TechCrunch Disrupt SF:
Clearbanc co-founder and president Michele Romanow is coming to Disrupt SF  —  Raising venture capital isn't easy; for some, it's impossible.  Clearbanc offers startups a fundraising alternative …
Intel:
Here's how Intel is powering breakthrough research in astronomy, medicine, AI and beyond  —  Fastest supercomputer in academia - Frontera, is based on 2nd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors.

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