Techmeme
September 18, 2019, 9:25 PM

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.
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Bloomberg:
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Apple Watch Series 5 review: it's a minor update and battery life hasn't improved, but an always-on, beautiful screen and new apps make it the best smartwatch  —  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.
Kara Swisher / Vox:
Apple's VP of communications Steve Dowling is leaving the company after five years in the role; Dowling joined the company 16 years ago  —  Steve Dowling, who has headed Apple's communications for the last five years, is leaving after 16 years at the company.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
GitHub buys code analysis tool Semmle, which helps identify security vulnerabilities and has Microsoft, Google among clients; Semmle raised $31M in VC funding  —  Microsoft's GitHub today announced that it has acquired Semmle, a code analysis tool that helps developers and security researchers …
Gabriel Debenedetti / New York Magazine:
Inside the growing split between Silicon Valley and the Democratic Party, once allies, as leading presidential candidates express extreme worries about Big Tech  —  Three summers ago, a worker stood up at “Q&A,” Facebook's weekly all-hands, town-hall-style meeting, which is usually held …
Madhumita Murgia / Financial Times:
Researchers: many smart TVs and streaming dongles from Roku, Samsung, Amazon and others are sending user data to companies like Netflix, Microsoft, and Facebook  —  The smart TVs in our homes are leaking sensitive user data to companies including Netflix, Google and Facebook even when some devices are idle …
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Amazon will begin rolling out Alexa Political Contributions, which lets users donate $5-$200 to participating US presidential candidates, starting next month  —  The 2020 U.S. presidential election is just over a year away, and ahead of it, Amazon's rolling out a new feature …
Jason D. Rowley / Crunchbase News:
DCVC, which focuses on early-stage “deep” technology startups, closes a $725M fifth fund; the fourth DCVC fund, raised in 2016, topped out at $212M  —  Back in April, Crunchbase News spotted a filing by DCVC (formerly known as Data Collective) indicating that the Palo Alto-based …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: AT&T is considering parting ways with its DirecTV unit, including spinning it off into a separate public company or combining assets with Dish  —  Telecom giant considers fate of DirecTV satellite unit  —  AT&T Inc. is exploring parting with its DirecTV satellite unit …
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Documents found on an unprotected backup drive of a Nokia Networks employee shed light on Russia's secret network surveillance system, known as SORM  —  A data leak exposes SORM surveillance at Russia's top telco  —  In cities across Russia, large boxes in locked rooms are directly connected …
Eliot Brown / Wall Street Journal:
Profile of WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and his sometimes chaotic lifestyle, as sources detail worrying stories, like his wife firing multiple employees she just met  —  The skills that helped fuel We Co.'s breakneck growth are piling up as potential liabilities as the company prepares to go public
Lauren Smiley / Wired:
How data from the victim's Fitbit and a neighbor's Ring surveillance camera played a crucial role in the arrest of a 90-year-old suspect in a murder trial in CA  —  Karen Navarra was a quiet woman in her sixties who lived alone.  She was found beaten to death.  The neighbors didn't see anything.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
IBM unveils a 53-qubit quantum computer, scheduled to arrive next month, making it the largest universal quantum computer available for external use  —  IBM continues to push its quantum computing efforts forward and today announced that it will soon make a 53-qubit quantum computer available to clients of its IBM Q Network.
Kaitlyn Tiffany / The Atlantic:
Instagram's Close Friends feature proves controversial as both an influencer revenue stream and superficial gateway to intimacy  —  Gabi Abrao, better known as @sighswoon on Instagram, is “developing a language with the invisible.”  Her page is half memes, half photos of her—eating fresh fruit …

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What is your “Readiness Score?”  —  How does the Oura ring take your body's vital signs and generate personalized, daily health recommendations?

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