January 17, 2018, 6:10 AM

January 17, 2018

5:10 AM  •
Liz Hamren / Windows Blog:  Microsoft brings 15-inch Surface Book 2 to 17 more countries starting today; both 15-inch and 13-inch variants will come to more countries over next two months
4:20 AM  •
Steven Johnson / New York Times:  An in-depth look at the potential of decentralized blockchain tech that aims to fix some of the internet's fundamental structural problems
2:25 AM  •
Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch:  Curve, a UK fintech startup that consolidates all cards into one card and app, gets full consumer launch; free to join with premium version available for £50
1:50 AM  •
Brian Boucher / artnet News:  Google's Arts & Culture app becomes the number one free app on the iOS App Store after its face-matching feature that was added in December goes viral
1:05 AM  •
Megan Rose Dickey / TechCrunch:  Podcast network TWiT is suing Twitter, alleging breach of contract and trademark infringement in connection with the distribution of audio and video content
12:20 AM  •
Alastair Sharp / Reuters:  Canadian man charged with running and collecting $200K from LeakedSource, a site that sold access to a database of ~3B compromised account passwords

January 16, 2018

11:35 PM  •
Jon Russell / TechCrunch:  Internal email shows Google has opened an office in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, the global hardware hub that is home to Tencent, Huawei, and ZTE
9:20 PM  •
Zeynep Tufekci / Wired:  Free speech online has grown even as Facebook, Google, Twitter control more attention; most effective censorship now is meddling with trust, not muzzling speech
8:35 PM  •
Ari Levy / CNBC:  Ripple and its investors hold many billions of dollars worth of XRP cryptocurrency, which is not meaningfully tied to Ripple's core tool used by banks, xCurrent
7:35 PM  •
Arit John / Bloomberg:  Senate votes 60-38 to end debate on bill extending Section 702 FISA warrantless surveillance program through 2023, setting up a vote for final passage this week
6:35 PM  •
Todd Spangler / Variety:  YouTube says new creators will need 4K hours of watch time and 1K subs to join Partner Program for ad revenue; Google Preferred videos to be reviewed by humans
6:00 PM  •
Evelyn Cheng / CNBC:  Cryptocurrency values decline sharply, with Ethereum dropping as much as 30%, Bitcoin down 25%+, and Ripple down 40%+ at one point on Tuesday
4:50 PM  •
Reuters:  US Treasury Department warns that Venezuela's proposed “petro” cryptocurrency, which the country's president says would be backed by oil, may violate sanctions
4:00 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Lyft says its Concierge service, which lets businesses schedule rides for people and launched in 2016, is now open to organizations of all sizes
3:50 PM  •
Cecilia Kang / New York Times:  22 attorneys general file lawsuit to stop FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules; Mozilla, other net neutrality advocates also filed suits against FCC
2:30 PM  •
Connie Loizos / TechCrunch:  Interview with Sequoia partner Bryan Schreier, on the firm's new $180M fund called Sequoia Scout III that's focused exclusively on seed-stage opportunities
2:05 PM  •
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:  Kaspersky Lab says it's found an Android spying app, likely by Italian vendors, that relies on five exploits to gain root access and can steal WhatsApp messages
1:10 PM  •
Bloomberg:  China Labor Watch report finds some workers at Catcher iPhone plant worked around noxious chemicals when safety equipment was not present; Apple, Catcher deny
12:55 PM  •
Costas Pitas / Reuters:  Uber says UK drivers will be compelled to take a six hour break after 10 hours of driving, following criticism over excessive working hours
11:45 AM  •
Olivia Zaleski / Bloomberg:  Instacart acquires Toronto-based coupon and voice-shopping startup Unata; sources say the deal totals ~$65M
10:35 AM  •
Diane Bartz / Reuters:  Sources: US lawmakers, citing national security concerns, urge AT&T to cut commercial ties with Huawei and oppose China Mobile's plans to enter the US
10:00 AM  •
Steven Sinofsky / Learning By Shipping:  CES 2018 notes: massive investment in voice control across all platforms and gadgets, steady progress in “home of the future” tech, evolution of wireless, more
9:45 AM  •
Mike Wheatley / SiliconANGLE:  Collaboration software provider Smartsheet acquires UK-based AI startup Converse.AI that lets its customers build chatbots to automate business processes
9:35 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Google and Coursera launch program to train more IT support professionals, written by Googlers and subsidized by Google, available globally for $49/month
9:20 AM  •
James Yan / Counterpoint Research:  Apple's iPhone 7 Plus was the second-best selling phone in China last year, behind the OPPO R9s, with iPhone 7 in fifth place, according to market data report
8:55 AM  •
Saqib Shah / Engadget:  Contraceptive app Natural Cycles, used by over 500K women, reported to regulator by Swedish hospital after reportedly causing 37 unwanted pregnancies
8:40 AM  •
Cade Metz / New York Times:  VCs invested $1.5B+ in chip startups last year, nearly doubling investments made two years ago, on rising demands of AI computing and acquisitions in the space
8:15 AM  •
Ben Treynor Sloss / The Keyword:  Google plans to build three new undersea fiber optic cables and add five new cloud regions in Montreal, Netherlands, Los Angeles, Finland, and Hong Kong
7:45 AM  •
Larry Dignan / ZDNet:  IBM and Maersk form joint venture to launch a blockchain-based platform for the global supply chain and will create a new company to commercialize it
4:05 AM  •
Rose Eveleth / Topic:  Psychological research suggests the effectiveness of VR as an empathy machine is debatable and in some cases may even cause harm

January 15, 2018

11:25 PM  •
Abner Li / 9to5Google:  Google denies Nikkei report about the relaunch of its China-specific map service and iOS app, says a web version has been available in the country “for years”
9:45 PM  •
Charlie Warzel / BuzzFeed:  Twitter again disputes claims from a Project Veritas undercover video aimed at the company, saying “We do not proactively review DMs. Period.”
8:35 PM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Indian payment startup Razorpay raises $20M Series B led by Tiger Global at what sources say is a valuation of $100M
7:15 PM  •
Richard Chirgwin / The Register:  Google Cast protocol bug causing temporary Wi-Fi outages on many routers; some router vendors are releasing firmware fixes; Google says fix is coming
6:35 PM  •
Reuters:  BlackBerry announces Jarvis, a tool for automakers that scans connected car software for security flaws; may be used later in healthcare, industrial automation
5:15 PM  •
Sherisse Pham / CNNMoney:  Alibaba and Microsoft's AI programs beat humans for the first time on a Stanford University reading comprehension test
4:50 PM  •
Frederic Filloux / Monday Note:  Facebook exits from news after killing notions of the brand, authorship, business model; publishers should focus on products that directly impact their company
4:02 PM  •
Jon Russell / TechCrunch:  Telegram plans to raise $1.2B in its ICO, starting with a $600M pre-sale, and to rival Ethereum with its Telegram Open Network platform, company documents show
3:40 PM  •
Danny Crichton / TechCrunch:  Autonomous vehicle startup, founded in late 2016, raises $112M Series A led by China-focused VC funds Morningside Venture Capital and Legend Capital
3:05 PM  •
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:  Apple's CarPlay is finally coming to select new Toyota and Lexus vehicles, as the automaker eases its stance on exclusively using its own infotainment systems
3:00 PM  •
Todd Spangler / Variety:  TiVo's Rovi subsidiary files lawsuit alleging Comcast's X1 platform infringes eight patents; Comcast says its own engineers created the X1 products and services
2:40 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Apple and Tencent reach deal to let WeChat users tip content creators after 2017 dispute over Apple's claim to 30% of tips; details of new deal not released
2:06 PM  •
Nikkei:  Google relaunches its map service in China after an eight year absence, with a China-specific version of the Google Maps website and an iOS app
12:20 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: China is escalating clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, targeting platforms that offer exchange-like services, following last year's ban on exchanges
11:00 AM  •
Yonhap News Agency:  Authorities say cryptocurrency investors in South Korea have until the end of the month to convert their virtual accounts into real-name ones or face fines
9:30 AM  •
Fred Vogelstein / Wired:  Facebook's head of News Feed Adam Mosseri says the recently announced overhaul, designed to help people better connect, will result in less video appearing
8:15 AM  •
Elvis Chidera / CNN:  How a teenage developer from Nigeria learned to code on a Nokia feature phone and ended up at an MIT-backed startup that makes online education more accessible
7:20 AM  •
Frances Schwartzkopff / Bloomberg:  Danish police charge 1,004 young people with distributing sexually explicit material of two 15-year-olds following a tip-off from Facebook
6:55 AM  •
Felicity Hannah / The Independent:  Open Banking rules go into effect in UK, making it mandatory for banks to share account info with third parties like fintech startups upon customer request
4:20 AM  •
Li Tao / South China Morning Post:  Profile of Transsion, a Chinese vendor that is now among the top phone brands in Africa and is making inroads in India with cheap smartphones and feature phones
1:15 AM  •
Karl Bode / Motherboard:  Harvard study: community-owned broadband prices are up to 50% cheaper than lowest-cost services offered by private ISPs, are more transparent and less confusing

January 14, 2018

9:20 PM  •
Horace Dediu / Asymco:  Analysis: iOS users will be spending about $100M/day in 2018 on apps in the App Store, which has been growing at about $5B/year since mid-2011
6:15 PM  •
Nikkei:  Source: SoftBank is planning an $18B IPO of its Japanese mobile telecom unit, filing this spring with start of trading this autumn in Tokyo and possibly London
3:50 PM  •
Nellie Bowles / New York Times:  Inside the community of early cryptocurrency investors, now multimillionaires, and how they manage newfound riches and the explosion of interest in the industry
12:45 PM  •
Tobias Buck / Financial Times:  SoftBank agrees to invest €460M in German online car dealer Auto1 at €2.9B valuation; half of the investment will be made through the issue of new shares
11:15 AM  •
Bloomberg:  More Chinese-born tech workers now return home from the US for faster salary growth, no “bamboo ceiling”, and chance to work with high volumes of intimate data
8:10 AM  •
Chris Welch / The Verge:  Despite growing support for Alexa and Prime Video from TV makers, TVs running Amazon Fire TV OS were absent at CES amid TVs with OSes from Roku and Google
5:05 AM  •
Billy Tallis / AnandTech:  Intel and Micron to end NAND flash partnership after the introduction of 3rd gen 3D NAND in late 2018/early 2019, will continue 3D XPoint memory collaboration
2:00 AM  •
Ryan Knutson / Wall Street Journal:  Phones can accurately pinpoint user's location via Wi-Fi hotspots, but carriers are slow to adopt the tech for 911 calls due to lack of pressure from regulators

January 13, 2018

11:55 PM  •
Tom Simonite / Wired:  After mislabeling some black people as “gorillas” in 2015, Google Photos says it still blocks similar search terms due to limitations of computer vision tech
9:50 PM  •
Ben Bajarin / Tech.pinions:  The stature of Apple's ecosystem at CES fades as Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant emerge as platforms of choice for third-party hardware makers
7:15 PM  •
E. Tammy Kim / New Yorker:  How Scripto, the collaborative writing app for TV production that Stephen Colbert helped build, has become a hit with news-comedy shows
4:40 PM  •
Charlie Warzel / BuzzFeed:  Some Facebook ex-staffers think Twitter-inspired 2013 shift to display more news was a failed experiment, as time spent on FB has declined the past two years
3:40 PM  •
Molly Jane Zuckerman / News:  Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is back online after 2+ days of downtime during a scheduled infrastructure upgrade, which was supposed to last 2 hours
2:15 PM  •
Electronic Frontier Foundation:  House passes Cyber Vulnerability Disclosure Reporting Act, which would require DHS to tell Congress about how the government deals with vulnerability disclosure
10:10 AM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  NPR and Edison Research survey: 16% of Americans own a smart speaker today, up 128% YoY; 30% of owners say smart speakers are replacing time spent with TV
6:05 AM  •
New York Times:  Paytm, Google, others see India's low rate of digital payments as an opportunity after the value of digital wallet transactions rose 64% from Dec. '16-Dec. '17
2:00 AM  •
Russell Brandom / The Verge:  How the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities stayed secret for 7 months but were eventually revealed after rumors and suspicious Linux kernel patches surfaced
12:35 AM  •
Nat Levy / GeekWire:  Microsoft's Andrew Shuman says firm is playing the long game with Cortana after Amazon and Google overshadowed Cortana smart home and SDK announcements at CES

January 12, 2018

10:30 PM  •
Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:  Apple says email to users with Apple IDs outside of China informing them that their iCloud data would be moved to a Chinese company's servers was sent in error
10:20 PM  •
Brittany A. Roston / SlashGear:  Shenzen judge rules Samsung infringed on one of Huawei's wireless communications patents and must stop selling products using infringing technology in China
10:05 PM  •
New York Times:  How Jeff Bezos and Amazon's participation in the public sphere grew alongside the company, Bezos' other investments, and his personal wealth
9:50 PM  •
Christopher Palmeri / Bloomberg:  Disney cites conflicts of interest with Facebook, Twitter as reason for Sandberg, Dorsey not seeking board re-election; Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz joining Feb. 1
8:30 PM  •
New York Times:  The fallout from Uber's disclosure of its $100K payment to a hacker who stole consumer data exposes legal ambiguity with tech companies' bug bounty programs
7:30 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  In an email to users, Google says it is deprecating Chrome Supervised Users, its parental controls feature for Chrome, starting this week
6:35 PM  •
Lulu Yilun Chen / Bloomberg:  Sources: Chinese e-commerce startup Meicai, which helps farmers sell vegetables to restaurants, has raised $450M Series E at $2.8B valuation
5:10 PM  •
David Cohen / Adweek:  Facebook signs licensing deals with Global Music Rights, HFA/Rumblefish, and Kobalt, allowing users post music and music videos on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus
4:00 PM  •
Jon Southurst / Bitsonline:  Kraken, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, said it would shut down for several hours of scheduled maintenance on Wednesday; 50+ hours later, it is still down
3:25 PM  •
Greg Stohr / Bloomberg:  SCOTUS to review 1992 Quill decision that states can collect sales tax only if retailer has physical presence in the state; Quill is used in taxing online sales
2:40 PM  •
Alex Konrad / Forbes:  Sources: online bulk-order wholesaler Boxed has received acquisition interest of up to $500M from Kroger and some other major retailers
1:55 PM  •
Molly Hensley-Clancy / BuzzFeed:  Jeff Bezos says he and his wife will give $33M in scholarship money to DACA students
1:00 PM  •
TechCrunch:  Source: Verizon is working on a new OTT video content service based on Oath content and a connected home product to manage smart devices
12:35 PM  •
Sujha Sundararajan / CoinDesk:  Baidu launches Baidu Trust blockchain-as-a-service, says tech has contributed to China's first asset-backed securities exchange products using blockchain
12:05 PM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  Sensor Tower data shows 83% of App Store reviews are critical of Snapchat's redesign in countries where the redesign is widely available
11:35 AM  •
Dan Primack / Axios:  First Alert, maker of safety products like fire and smoke alarms, buys WiFi system maker Luma; Luma has raised $22M in VC funding from Accel, Amazon, others
11:10 AM  •
Janko Roettgers / Variety:  Profile of Roku and its founder Anthony Wood, looking at the company's early days, how Roku plans to compete with its rivals, and more
9:35 AM  •
Jason Koebler / Motherboard:  Facebook's News Feed changes are good for media industry in the long term; journalism engineered to be picked by an algorithm is not journalism, it's marketing
9:15 AM  •
Kate Conger / Gizmodo:  Ex-Google engineer claims senior Google execs pressured him to stop discussing pro-diversity initiatives on company forums, which motivated him to quit
9:00 AM  •
Arjun Kharpal / CNBC:  Facebook shares fall 4% after it announces big changes to the News Feed
6:35 AM  •
Jake Smith / ZDNet:  IDC: PC shipments in Q4 2017 grew by 0.7% YoY to 70.6M units but declined by 0.2% to 259.5M units in full year 2017; HP and Apple saw 8.3% and 7.3% growth in Q4

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