Techmeme
January 22, 2021, 6:50 PM

Top News

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: thinner and lighter, higher-end 13" MacBook Air with MagSafe charging to launch as soon as this year; redesigned MacBook Pros to get SD card slot back  —  Apple Inc. is working on a thinner and lighter version of the MacBook Air, the company's mass-market laptop, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft is increasing the prices of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, up $1 to $10.99 per month and up $5 to $29.99 for a three-month membership  —  Xbox Live Gold prices are going up for monthly subscribers  —  Microsoft is increasing the prices of its Xbox Live Gold subscription soon.
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Unclassified memo: Defense Intelligence Agency analysts have used commercial databases of location data from smartphone apps to track Americans without warrants  —  The disclosure comes amid growing legislative scrutiny of how the government uses commercially available location records.
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:
Ex-ADT technician pled guilty to computer fraud and invasive visual recording for viewing home security camera feeds he installed in ~200 homes over 9,000 times  —  Employee for ADT accessed ~200 customer cams on more than 9,600 occasions.  —  A home security technician has admitted …
Josh Taylor / The Guardian:
In an Australian Senate hearing, a Google executive said that a law forcing Google to pay news outlets for links could prompt it to stop offering Search  —  As Google and Facebook face Senate committee, poll finds three in five Australians agree social media companies should prioritise news in feeds
Dara Kerr / CNET:
Bloomberg:
Sources: Samsung is considering building a $10B chipmaking plant in Texas, a major investment it hopes will help it catch up with industry leader TSMC  —  - It's looking to build a cutting-edge wafer fab in the U.S.  — It would follow TSMC's decision to build a new site in Arizona
Steven Levy / Wired:
Alphabet says that it is shutting down Loon, its internet balloon project, calling it “a successful experiment” but not a viable one  —  Plus: The moonshot's launch, health care for the mask-less, and a new era's inaugural meme.  —  DO you detect something missing?
Eric Newcomer / Newcomer:
Sources: data analytics service Databricks is in talks to raise a private funding round, potentially valuing it at ~$27B; Databricks was valued at $6.2B in 2019  —  The Andreessen Horowitz and NEA-backed company is raising a private round.  —  Databricks — a data and AI platform …
Nick Clegg / About Facebook:
Matt Day / Bloomberg:
Despite the pandemic, Amazon wants Alabama warehouse workers to vote in person on a proposal to form a union, objecting to NLRB's decision to allow vote by mail  —  - Company says labor regulator erred in ordering mail vote  — Yes vote would be first union win at a U.S. Amazon facility

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