Techmeme
December 17, 2019, 12:50 PM

Top News

Bret Kinsella / Voicebot.ai:
Report: Amazon had revenue of $1.4M from Alexa's in-skill purchases in the first ten months of 2019, which was well short of its target of $5.5M  —  The Information published (N.B. paywall) an article this morning saying that Amazon earned $1.4 million Alexa skill revenue through the first 10 months …
Colin Lecher / The Verge:
Security engineer at Google says she was fired from the company last week after two years for sending internal browser pop-ups about labor rights  —  The latest termination at the company  —  Google has fired another employee following a showing of internal activism, marking the latest …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources describe Peter Thiel's expanding influence at Facebook, where he advises Zuckerberg on White House dynamics and holding firm on the political ads policy  —  Billionaire investor thinks political-ad policy shouldn't change; some directors and executives disagree
Paul Ziobro / Wall Street Journal:
Amazon blocks marketplace sellers from using FedEx Ground for Prime shipments indefinitely over FedEx's “delivery performance”  —  Amazon cites a decline in FedEx performance heading into the final holiday push  —  Amazon.com Inc. AMZN .47% is blocking its third-party sellers …
Luke Jones / WinBuzzer:
Microsoft opens up the Microsoft Edge Addons store for submissions ahead of Chromium Edge's launch; existing Chromium extensions to be migrated automatically  —  Developers can now submit to the Microsoft Edge Addons Store, with existing Chromium extensions migrated automatically.
Danny Palmer / ZDNet:
WhatsApp fixes bug that allowed a rogue group member to render the app unusable, forcing a reinstall and loss of group chat content  —  Researchers detail security flaw that allowed hackers to crash WhatsApp and permanently delete contents of group chats - and urge users to update the app to protect against attacks.
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Instagram expands its fact checking efforts by hiding false content behind warnings, except for politicians, and removing it from Explore and hashtag pages  —  Instagram is giving politicians the same free reign to spread misinformation as its parent company Facebook.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Lime launches a weekly subscription service for frequent riders that waives the unlock fee on renting the company's e-scooters and bicycles  —  LimePass waves the unlock fee on your rentals  —  Lime just announced LimePass, a weekly subscription service that waves the unlock fee on renting …
More: li.me and Engadget
Adithya Venkatraman / App Annie:
Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, all belonging to Facebook, were the most downloaded apps worldwide of this decade  —  Mobile Has Been at the Heart of Major Changes in Consumer Behaviour This Decade Throughout the 2010s we have seen our world transform.
iFixit News:
Mac Pro needs little to no tooling for basic fixes and upgrades, scores a 9/10 on repairability; components are modular but some are proprietary, like SSD cards  —  Teardown of the reinvented 2019 Mac Pro, which returns to a properly repairable design that happens to not grate cheese very well.
The Information:
Sources: early last year, Alphabet and Google's leadership set a timeline for its cloud group to best its rivals by 2023, and considered leaving the market  —  Google's cloud unit, which sells computing services to big companies, is under pressure from top management to pass Microsoft or Amazon …

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Joe Flint / Wall Street Journal:
Davey Alba / New York Times:
Karl Freund / Forbes: