Techmeme
September 18, 2019, 3:43 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:
Facebook unveils second-gen 10-inch Portal for $179, and 8-inch Portal Mini for $129, with WhatsApp call support, picture-in-picture viewing, and Prime Video  —  The $179 Portal and $129 Portal Mini are Facebook's latest hardware products  —  Facebook today announced three new products …
Bloomberg:
Facebook confirms it was collecting Portal audio clips, some of which were transcribed by contractors, says 2nd-gen Portal devices will offer an opt-out option  —  - Company previously criticized for transcribing Messenger calls  — New and old Portal devices will now offer an opt-out option
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.
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 …
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.
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
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.
Chris Velazco / Engadget:
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 …
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.
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.
Financial Times:
Facebook to give body cameras to UK Met for firearms training exercises and will use the footage to train algorithms on real-life first person shooter incidents  —  Facebook will use footage from police body cameras to train its computers to recognise gun attack videos …

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Earlier Picks

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Steve Dent / Engadget:
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Dieter Bohn / The Verge: