Techmeme
February 20, 2020, 3:40 PM

Top News

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is weighing an option to set third-party browser and email apps as defaults on iPhones and iPads and third-party music services on the HomePod  —  - Company considers letting users change web browser, email app  — Spotify, Pandora may be allowed to stream directly on HomePod
Jordan Novet / CNBC:
Microsoft says it will offer its Defender antivirus software for Android and iOS devices later this year  —  - Microsoft's Defender software will become available for Android and iOS devices later this year.  — It's meant to prevent malware and phishing attacks.
Ben Collins / NBC News:
Twitter confirms it is testing bright labels beneath lies and misinfo posted by politicians and public figures, and points-based “community badges” for users  —  A leaked demo features bright red and orange badges for tweets that have been deemed “harmfully misleading.”
New York Times:
Morgan Stanley says it will buy online discount brokerage E-Trade for about $13B, in the biggest takeover by an American lender since the 2008 financial crisis  —  The $13 billion deal will give a powerful Wall Street firm control of a major presence in the world of online brokerages.
Craig Silverman / BuzzFeed News:
Google removed ~600 Android apps, which were installed 4.5B+ times, and banned their developers from the Play store for ad fraud and pushing “disruptive” ads  —  Google has removed close to 600 Android apps and banned their developers from the Play store and its ad networks as part …
Sam Byford / The Verge:
HTC announces new Cosmos VR headset variants: $899 Elite, lower-end Play, and XR with “high-quality XR passthrough cameras”, giving it AR capabilities  —  One for gamers, one for AR, one for Angry Birds  —  HTC is expanding its range of virtual reality headsets today with multiple new variants of the Vive Cosmos.
Jezebel:
A look at the data sharing practices of therapy apps like Better Help, which notify third parties when an app is opened and if a patient has suicidal thoughts  —  Starting treatment with Better Help, one of the most prominent “therapy-on-demand” apps to launch over the last few years, is easy, which is more or less the point.
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Twitter announces a “continue thread” option, a new feature that links tweets together while they are being composed  —  Twitter is rolling out a new feature that makes it easier to thread multiple tweets together.  With this change, you can now link tweets together while you compose them.
Shona Ghosh / Business Insider:
Google tells Cloud Vision API customers it will no longer label pictures with “woman” or “man” as a person's gender cannot be inferred by appearance alone  —  - A Google AI tool that can recognize objects in pictures will no longer attach gender labels like “woman” or “man” to images of people.
Tony Romm / Washington Post:
Streaming platforms like Roku and Hulu aren't subject to the same political ad transparency rules as broadcasters even as campaigns and PACs buy ads on them  —  With more Americans cutting the cord, watchdogs worry that voters lack a full understanding of who's trying to influence them
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google launches Android 11 Developer Preview earlier than expected, with new display types, improved messaging, biometrics, and more; final release expected Q3  —  Following an inadvertent tease last week, Google today officially launched the Android 11 Developer Preview.
Craig Timberg / Washington Post:
Sources detail the rising clout of Joel Kaplan and other conservatives at Facebook during the Trump administration  —  Facebook created “Project P” — for propaganda — in the hectic weeks after the 2016 presidential election and quickly found dozens of pages that had peddled false news reports ahead of Donald Trump's surprise victory.

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Earlier Picks

Joseph Menn / Reuters:
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