Techmeme
January 23, 2021, 12:30 AM

Top News

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.
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.
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 …
Dara Kerr / CNET:
Brendan Sinclair / GamesIndustry.biz:
Activision Blizzard says that it is merging its Vicarious Visions studio, which Activision acquired in 2005, and its ~200 staff into Blizzard Entertainment  —  Long-time Activision Publishing studio will be “fully dedicated” to Blizzard titles going forward; former studio head Jen Oneal promoted to Blizzard leadership's team
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 …
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?
Nick Clegg / About Facebook:

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Todd Spangler / Variety:

Earlier Picks

Bloomberg:
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
Josh Taylor / The Guardian:
Alex Kantrowitz / OneZero :
April Glaser / NBC News: