Techmeme
December 4, 2019, 2:30 PM

Top News

The Keyword:
Larry Page steps down as Alphabet CEO; Sundar Pichai to lead both Alphabet and Google  —  Our very first founders' letter in our 2004 S-1 began: … We believe those central tenets are still true today.  The company is not conventional and continues to make ambitious bets on new technology, especially with our Alphabet structure.
Peter Kafka / Vox:
Paresh Dave / Reuters:
Instagram says it will now require birthdates from new users, in order to improve safety features for minors and better target ads for age-restricted products  —  SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's Instagram said it will require birthdates from all new users starting on Wednesday …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Plex launches a free, ad-supported streaming service featuring thousands of movies and shows from studios like MGM, available in ~220 countries  —  Plex today is launching its own ad-supported streaming service, a rival to The Roku Channel, Tubi, Crackle, Vudu's Movies on Us …
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google says Focus mode, a Digital Wellbeing feature for Android that mutes notifications, is rolling out to Android 9 and 10 users  —  At I/O 2019 in May, Google announced the latest Digital Wellbeing features to build on last year's initial launch.  In testing for the past several months …
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Amazon launches a battery-powered portable Echo speaker in India with an enclosed 4,800mAh battery, claims up to 10 hours of continuous music playback  —  After launching nearly a dozen Echo speaker models in India in two years, Amazon said on Wednesday it is adding a new variant to the mix …
Caroline Haskins / VICE:
Internal and public documents portray efforts by Amazon's Ring to entice police with parties and batches of 40+ free Ring doorbells for promoting the service  —  This is the second of a three-part series exploring how Ring transformed from start-up pitch to the technology powering Amazon's …
Newley Purnell / Wall Street Journal:
India, which is increasingly trying to shelter local companies, has erected regulatory hurdles over the past year for how US tech firms operate in the country  —  New barriers make world's biggest untapped digital market a slog for Walmart, Facebook; taking cues from China's protectionism
Jason Schreier / Kotaku:
Sources: Microsoft is planning a cheaper, disc-free Xbox, codenamed Lockhart, to go alongside its high-end Project Scarlett console  —  In June, Microsoft announced Project Scarlett, a new iteration of the Xbox that the company said would “set a new bar for console power, speed and performance.”
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
Mozilla removes four Firefox extensions made by Avast and AVG after reports that they were harvesting user data and browsing histories  —  The four extensions, two from Avast and two from AVG, are still available on the Chrome Web Store.  —  Mozilla removed today four Firefox extensions …
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Kustomer, an omnichannel CRM platform for enterprise customer service, raises $60M Series E led by Coatue, bringing its total raised to ~$173M  —  Kustomer, a CRM startup that's taking on the likes of Zendesk, Salesforce, and many other bigger and older providers, has closed yet another round of funding …
More: FinSMEs and VentureBeat
TechCrunch:
SEC filing: Sequoia Capital has raised nearly $1B for later-stage US investments and ~$2.4B for venture and growth deals in China  —  Noted Silicon Valley venture capital fund Sequoia Capital has raised nearly $1 billion for later-stage U.S. investments and roughly $2.4 billion for venture …
Tom Krazit / Mostly Cloudy:
Amazon unveils Local Zones, small data centers far from main AWS regions, general availability of Outposts, and a Verizon partnership for low latency 5G gear  —  THE AWS TAKE ON EDGE COMPUTING  —  AWS CEO Andy Jassy (left) and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg (right) introduce AWS Wavelength Tuesday at re:Invent 2019.
Anna Wiener / New Yorker:
A profile of Hipcamp, a platform for campsite booking where listings include off-grid plots, RV hookups, ski huts, farmhouses, tepees, tree houses, and cabins  —  Can a startup save the wilderness by disrupting it?  —  In Northern California, booking a public campsite is a blood sport.
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Firefox 71 arrives with Picture-in-Picture support on Windows for all video sites, Enhanced Tracking Protection and Lockwise password manager improvements, more  —  Mozilla today launched Firefox 71 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.  Firefox 71 includes Lockwise password manager improvements …

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