Techmeme
January 23, 2021, 7:10 AM

Top News

Sam Byford / The Verge:
Microsoft backtracks on price hike for Xbox Live Gold subscriptions announced Friday and says free-to-play games will also no longer require a Gold subscription  —  Free-to-play games will also no longer require a Gold subscription  —  Microsoft has reversed its controversial Xbox Live price increase.
Jordan Novet / CNBC:
Microsoft president Brad Smith defended the company's political contributions in a meeting with employees after some questioned donations from its PAC  —  - Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, said the company needs the Microsoft Political Action Committee.  — The company is looking …
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 …
USA Today:
Facebook says a configuration change has caused some users to be logged out of their apps and is working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible  —  “Why am I logged out of Facebook?”  The question ricocheted around the internet as an untold number of people across …
William Boston / Wall Street Journal:
Todd Spangler / Variety:
MoffettNathanson survey: 62% of Apple TV+ subscribers were on free offers in Q4 2020, only 30% said they plan to renew at the regular $4.99/month price  —  Apple has said it wants to bulk up revenue from services — including Apple TV Plus, which is just over one year old.
Dara Kerr / CNET:
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 …
Will Knight / Wired:
A look at the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence, a government-sponsored research lab, and its work on a new language model similar to GPT-3  —  China produces as many artificial intelligence researchers as the US, but it lags in key fields like machine learning.  The government hopes to make up ground.
Nick Clegg / About Facebook:
Facebook is referring its decision to indefinitely suspend Trump's accounts to the Oversight Board and says the accounts will remain suspended in the meantime  —  Today, Facebook is referring its decision to indefinitely suspend former US President Donald Trump's access to his Facebook …

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