Techmeme
September 18, 2019, 10:20 AM

Top News

Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook debuts Portal TV, a TV accessory for video calling, streaming, AR gaming, and co-viewing Facebook Watch shows, shipping November 5 for $149  —  Facebook wants to take over your television with a clip-on camera for video calling, AR gaming, and content co-watching.
Bloomberg:
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Apple Watch Series 5 review: the best smartwatch with an always-on screen, a beautiful display, and new apps, but its battery life hasn't improved  —  There's basically no competition  —  The highest praise I can give the new Apple Watch Series 5 is simply this: it's an Apple Watch.
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max review: its camera system outperforms the Pixel 3 and Note10 in bright light and, with Night mode, usually beats Pixel 3 in low light  —  And the best camera you can get on a phone  —  The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max did not arrive at the splashiest Apple event ever.
Brian X. Chen / New York Times:
Chris Velazco / Engadget:
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google will start surfacing key moments from videos in search results, highlighting them with direct links to timestamps provided by creators  —  Google today announced an update to how it handles videos in search results.  Instead of just listing relevant videos on the search results page …
Makena Kelly / The Verge:
Facebook shares more on its upcoming Oversight Board for content decisions and how members are picked, says decisions will be binding even if Facebook disagrees  —  'The board's decision will be binding, even if I or anyone at Facebook disagrees with it,' says Zuckerberg
Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC:
Sources: after setbacks, Facebook partners with Luxottica to help make “Orion” AR smart glasses designed to replace smartphones, with 2023-2025 launch timeframe  —  KEY POINTS  — Facebook has partnered with Luxottica to develop augmented-reality Ray-Ban glasses, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC.
Ryan Tracy / Wall Street Journal:
Report: ~75 countries are using AI for surveillance and Huawei is providing surveillance tech in 50 countries, far more than its nearest competitor Hikvision  —  China leads world in facial-recognition and other new surveillance technologies, report says  —  WASHINGTON—China leads the world …
Tavi Gevinson / The Cut:
Founder of the Rookie mag reflects on being an early influencer and the effect that Instagram had on her life and career as Instagram's aesthetic keeps evolving  —  My senior year of high school, I had three Instagram accounts: a public one, a private one for friends and internet friends, and a private one that was just for me.
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Google Fi debuts a more traditional unlimited plan for $70/mo. for a single line, but “may optimize” video to 480p and will throttle data past 22GB per month  —  Including some limits on video streaming and 100GB of cloud storage  —  Google is announcing a new plan for its MVNO Fi cell service: Unlimited.
Will Oremus / OneZero:
Studies that try to place a monetary value on consumer privacy have such varying results that researchers are beginning to conclude that it's the wrong approach  —  No one knows.  And it might be time to stop asking.  —  For big tech platforms, this was the year when violating users' privacy got expensive.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Descript, which offers tools for creating podcasts, raises $15M Series A from a16z and Redpoint, and acquires Lyrebird, which built audio transcription tools  —  The boom in popularity for podcasting has given a new voice to the world of spoken word content that had been largely left for dead with the decline of broadcast radio.
More: Fast Company and VoicebotThanks:@ingridlunden
Mark Sullivan / Fast Company:
A look at how Facebook's AI researchers are trying to build smart chatbots using unsupervised training of neural networks for natural language processing  —  Bots still can't converse like humans.  But Facebook's AI researchers are making major inroads—with implications for the company's messaging apps and beyond.
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Facebook says it has updated its definition of “terrorist organizations” and changed its counterterrorism team's structure to curb white supremacist violence  —  In a blog post this afternoon, Facebook detailed the progress it's made in combatting terrorists, violent extremist groups …
Kaitlyn Tiffany / The Atlantic:
Instagram's Close Friends feature proves controversial as both an influencer revenue stream and superficial gateway to intimacy  —  Influencer culture has normalized charging money for all kinds of intimacy.  —  Gabi Abrao, better known as @sighswoon on Instagram, is “developing a language with the invisible.”
Steve Dent / Engadget:
HTC names former Orange exec Yves Maitre as its new CEO; HTC had $770M in revenue in 2018, the first time its annual revenue fell below $1B as a public company  —  HTC announced that it has appointed a former executive from telecom giant Orange, Yves Maitre, as its new CEO.

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Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
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