Techmeme
September 28, 2021, 7:45 PM

Top News

Dan Seifert / The Verge:
Amazon debuts Astro, a $1K short robot with an Echo Show-like 10" display on top, meant to roam around the home; invite-only program is open for applications  —  In the fall of 1962, TV-watching audiences were invited to meet the Jetsons, a space-dwelling, flying-car-driving family from the future and their dog, Astro.
Matthew Gault / VICE:
Internal docs show how Amazon's Astro robot decision-making works; sources who worked on versions of Astro describe it as a “privacy nightmare” and “dangerous”  —  Leaked meetings show the robot will heavily rely on facial recognition and user behavior, but sources who worked on Astro say the robot is flawed.
Wall Street Journal:
Internal docs: Facebook was “exploring playdates as a growth lever”, including engaging tweens as they hung out together  —  It has investigated how to engage young users in response to competition from Snapchat, TikTok; ‘Exploring playdates as a growth lever’
Karissa Bell / Engadget:
Casey Newton / Platformer:
Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge:
Amazon opens an invite-only program for its previously-announced $250 home surveillance drone, the Always Home Cam  —  Ring's $250 Always Home Cam is real and ready to fly into your living room  —  First announced at last year's Amazon hardware event, the Ring Always Home Cam is now ready for take-off.
Richard Lawler / The Verge:
Amazon announces the $60 Smart Thermostat in partnership with Honeywell, with preorders starting today  —  It can detect when you're home and adjust the temp accordingly  —  Amazon revealed its excitement over the “promise of ambient computing” with a new smart thermostat.
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft opens the Windows app store to third-party app stores; Amazon and Epic Games will add the first storefront apps in the coming months  —  Amazon and Epic Games Store will be the first to integrate into the Microsoft Store  —  Microsoft is opening up its own app store in Windows even further today …
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Netflix acquires its first game studio, Night School Studio, which was founded by Sean Krankel and Adam Hines in 2014 and is best known for the game Oxenfree  —  A new GamesBeat event is around the corner!  Learn more about what comes next.  —  Netflix has acquired its first game studio …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Amazon details Amazon Glow, a family-oriented $300 device with an 8" display and projector that creates a 19" touch-sensitive area on a surface in front of it  —  Amazon today introduced Amazon Glow, a new, interactive device aimed at families that allows kids to interact with family members …
Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
Amazon unveils a $250 Echo Show 15, with a 15.6-inch 1080p display, wall mount, Visual ID for tailored content, picture frame mode, and more  —  Amazon just took the wraps off the latest — and largest — addition to the Echo Show family.  The Echo Show 15 takes the company's smart screen technology …
Issie Lapowsky / Protocol:
Facebook asks Oversight Board for guidance on what content should get a second review via its cross-check program, which reportedly shields VIPs from its rules  —  Facebook is calling on its Oversight Board to issue policy recommendations about its cross-check system, a controversial program …
Igor Bonifacic / Engadget:
1Password partners with email host Fastmail to introduce Masked Email, which creates unique emails for logins  —  Sign in with Apple has allowed iPhone and Mac users to protect their privacy by allowing them to generate random email addresses when they need to access a new website, service or app.
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Amazon debuts $80 Halo View fitness band, the first device from its Halo health and wellness initiative with a screen, alongside a Halo Fitness service and more  —  Amazon unveiled a new health band called Halo View, the second device from its Halo health-and-wellness initiative, and the first with a display.
Mary Ann Azevedo / TechCrunch:
Sisu Data, which offers an ML-powered “decision intelligence engine” for businesses, raises $62M Series C led by Green Bay Ventures  —  Sisu Data, which aims to help businesses make better decisions, announced today it has raised $62 million in a Series C round of funding led by Green Bay Ventures.
More: FinSMEs
Tom Krazit / Protocol:
Cloudflare announces object storage service R2, running across its global network, and takes aim at AWS by forgoing data egress fees  —  Cloudflare is ready to launch a new cloud object storage service that promises to be cheaper than the established alternatives, a step the company believes …
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Six creators from Clubhouse's 25-person creator program say it did not deliver sponsorships for their shows, leading them to look elsewhere  —  Dozens of Clubhouse creators had been anticipating their first sponsorship meeting for months.  As the inaugural class of Clubhouse's “Creator First” …
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
In an interview, Satya Nadella described Microsoft's failed TikTok deal as the “strangest thing” he has ever worked on and says TikTok came to Microsoft  —  Remember when wild policy swings like this happened all the time?  —  It's difficult to remember now …

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Earlier Picks

Mitchell Clark / The Verge: