Techmeme
September 23, 2019, 11:00 PM

Top News

Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Google Play Pass unveiled as a $4.99/mo. subscription for access to 350+ unlocked Android apps and games that are free of ads and IAPs; first year to be $2/mo.  —  No ads, no in-app purchases.  $1.99 introductory price  —  Today, Google is launching a new service called “Google Play Pass …
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Facebook to acquire CTRL-Labs, which develops non-invasive neural interfaces for computing, like a bracelet; sources: size of deal is between $500M and $1B  —  - CTRL-Labs is said to fetch $500 million to $1 billion  — Facebook may one day pair the technology with AR or VR glasses
Eugene Kim / CNBC:
Sources: Amazon is developing Alexa-enabled wireless earbuds with an accelerometer that monitors things like calories burned and the pace and distance of runs  —  - Amazon is working on wireless earbuds that can track things like the distance run, calories burned, and pace of running, CNBC has learned.
Popular Information:
Facebook page with 1.1M followers called “I Love America” is one of many Ukrainian-run pages now pushing pro-Trump propaganda and recycling 2016-era IRA memes  —  The “I Love America” Facebook page boasts 1.1 million fans, with viral content that reaches more Facebook users …
Joseph Cox / VICE:
Code deployment toolmaker Chef says it will not renew an ICE contract, after an ex-employee deleted his open-source code in protest leading to customer downtime  —  Last week, a former employee deleted open-source code he wrote for a tool called Chef in protest over an ICE contract.
Meagan Simpson / BetaKit:
Kik says it is officially shutting down its messaging app and will reduce its headcount to 19 people, amid its heated legal battle with the SEC  —  The Kik app is officially shutting down.  The company will reduce its headcount to 19 people, and will focus solely on converting Kin users into Kin buyers …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Twitter says it is expanding its policies to explicitly prohibit financial scams on the platform and details the kind of scams it's banning  —  Twitter today says it's expanding its policies to prohibit financial scams on its platform — something you'd think would have already been banned …
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Amazon debuts a feature called Show and Tell, which helps blind and low vision customers with an Echo Show smart display identify common household pantry goods  —  As part of a continued mission to make its Alexa intelligent assistant more accessible for everyone, Amazon today introduced …
Ben Schoon / 9to5Google:
Samsung says Galaxy Fold will go on sale in the US on September 27 for $1,980 and will be available at AT&T, Best Buy, and Samsung stores  —  Months after it failed to launch, the Galaxy Fold is finally arriving in the United States later this week.  Unfortunately, the Galaxy Fold US launch …
Cade Metz / New York Times:
Viral selfie app ImageNet Roulette demos biases in AI by surfacing labels applied by anonymous workers to a database of 14M photos, used to train AI for 9 years  —  ImageNet Roulette, a digital art project and viral selfie app, exposes how biases have crept into the artificial-intelligence technologies changing our lives.
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Disney's Bob Iger says he pulled the plug on Disney buying Twitter at the last minute because the nastiness on the platform is “extraordinary”  —  Hollywood's nicest C.E.O. on the great family dramas of Hollywood — and why he, too, is disturbed by Twitter.
New York Times:
China's social credit system extends to businesses, with 33M recently rated; some US firms were warned ratings may be affected by their stances, like on Taiwan  —  Beijing hopes its social credit system will use vast troves of data to quickly punish companies accused of wrongdoing.
Joe Fedewa / XDA Developers:
Samsung Galaxy S10 gets the Galaxy Note 10's camera features like AR Doodle and DeX for PC support with an update  —  Some companies can be stingy with what new features they bring to older devices.  Samsung is generally good about this, launching devices with features that eventually trickle down to the rest of the lineup.
CNBC:
Apple says it will assemble the new Mac Pro in Austin, TX, after it received federal product exclusions enabling it to import some parts without paying tariffs  —  - Apple will manufacture the new version of its Mac Pro desktop computer in Austin, Texas, the company announced on Monday.
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Facebook's competitors are talking to FTC about the company's hardball tactics, some of which Snap compiled in a dossier called Project Voldemort  —  Antitrust investigation gives competitors chance to air complaints about Facebook's hardball tactics

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