Netflix launches Top 10 lists, Firefox rolls out DNS over HTTPS, Amazon Go Grocery means no cashiers or checkout lines, consolidation or super app in the Southeast Asian on demand transport space, and why this might be Signal’s moment to go mainstream.
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Links:New Netflix feature reveals the top 10 most popular programs on its service (TechCrunch)Netflix added a top 10 list of its most-watched content — here’s how to find it (The Next Web)Firefox turns encrypted DNS on by default to thwart snooping ISPs (Ars Technica)Intuit confirms that it is buying Credit Karma for $7.1B in cash and stock (TechCrunch)Inside ‘Amazon Go Grocery’: Tech giant opens first full-sized store without cashiers or checkout lines (GeekWire)Grab raises up to $856M to boost payments business as rumors swirl of a merger with rival Gojek (TechCrunch)EU Commission to staff: Switch to Signal messaging app (Politico.eu)SourceCode Newsletter
The phantom announcements from MWC start trickling in. Safari might be getting strict with HTTPS certificates. Apple might release an ARM-based Mac as soon as early 2021. TONS of specs revealed concerning the Xbox Series X. And Fintech continues to be on a roll.
Links:Huawei unveils the Mate Xs and MatePad Pro 5G w/ no Play Store access (9to5Google)Intel debuts 5G server and base station chips, plus a PC network card (VentureBeat)Apple drops a bomb on long-life HTTPS certificates: Safari to snub new security certs valid for more than 13 months (The Register)Microsoft reveals more Xbox Series X specs (Polygon)Apple to release first ARM Mac without Intel processor in next 18 months, predicts Kuo (9to5Mac)Intuit Near Deal to Buy Credit Karma for $7 Billion (WSJ)Fintech startups raised $34B in 2019 (TechCrunch)Enveil raises $10 million for enterprise-scale homomorphic encryption (VentureBeat)
I am honored to be speaking today to Lloyd Minor, the Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has a new book out called Discovering Precision Health, and if you are interested in health tech at all, ESPECIALLY if you are interested in trying your hand at a health tech startup? This is required reading. And for the rest of us, it’s also a great primer on how tech is about to transform health, and what we can (hopefully) look forward to as tech finally (again, hopefully) disrupts the health care space… in a positive sense!
Well, we mentioned it a couple weeks ago, but Tesla has had quite the month. Maybe one of the banner months of its entire life as a company. No better time to check in on the world of Elon Musk with Rob Mauer of the always excellent Tesla Daily podcast. Why did Tesla’s stock shoot to the moon, come back down a bit, and then inch back up toward the moon this month? What are the fundamentals behind that excellent earnings report? Is this it? Have the Tesla bulls won? Such a fascinating company…
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Shopify joins the Libra Association, Facebook will pay you for your data in one specific instance, Google is cutting down on apps using background location, more Coronavirus cancellations and the Weekend Longreads Suggestions.
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Links:Shopify joins Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra Association (TechCrunch)Google Resists Demands From States in Digital-Ad Probe (WSJ)Facebook will now pay you for your voice recordings (The Verge)Google is cracking down on Android apps that track your location in the background (The Verge)PlayStation and Facebook cancel GDC appearances citing coronavirus concerns (GamesIndustry.biz)
Weekend Longreads:Did the Early Internet Activists Blow It? (Slate)Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet (Wired)How the BBC’s Netflix-killing plan was snuffed by myopic regulation (WiredUK)Could micro-credentials compete with traditional degrees? (BBC)Debt is Coming (AlexDanco.com)The New Business of AI (and How It’s Different From Traditional Software) (A16Z)Aircraft, Big and Small, Are Changing Our Relationship With Flight (NYTimes)
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Apple might let users choose third-party default apps, Twitter further embraces tweet storms, Morgan Stanley buys E*Trade, a rundown of all the stuff in the new Android developer preview, and if anything, it looks like cord cutting is just accelerating.
Links:Apple Weighs Letting Users Switch Default iPhone Apps to Rivals (Bloomberg)Microsoft plans antivirus software for Android and iOS devices (CNBC)Twitter rolling out new ‘Continue thread’ option for connecting multiple tweets together (9to5Mac)Blue Chip Morgan Stanley to Buy Discount Broker E-Trade (NYTimes)Google launches Android 11 Developer Preview ahead of schedule for Pixel phones (9to5Google)Cord-Cutting Accelerated in 2019, Raising Pressure on Cable Providers (WSJ)
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The ways in which Twitter might be taking a page out of Facebook’s book, and Facebook might be trying some Twitter-like feed experiments. Spotify finally starts showing lyrics. Ring finally requires two factor authentication. And be sure to listen to the end of today’s episode to hear about our new Gaming Ride Home podcast.
Links:Twitter acquires Stories template maker Chroma Labs (TechCrunch)Facebook prototypes tabbed News Feed with Most Recent & Seen (TechCrunch)Firefox releases Android app for its VPN service (Android Police)Spotify finally starts showing proper, complete song lyrics synced with music (Android Police)Google Docs autocorrect widely rolling out as Smart Compose exits G Suite beta (9to5Google)Adobe brings more desktop-quality Photoshop tools to the iPad (Engadget)Microsoft’s new Office app arrives on iOS and Android with mobile-friendly features (The Verge)Ring now requires two-factor sign-ins for its home security devices (Engadget)Record labels rush to IPO amid music streaming boom (Axios)Larry Tesler, the Apple employee who invented cut, copy and paste, dies at 74 (Cult of Mac)
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The Coronavirus crisis forces Apple to miss their already cautious revenue guidance. Wait. Is the Galaxy Z Flip using real glass or not? Qualcomm claps back at Apple with its next gen 5G modem. And Jeff Bezos plans to donate $10 billion dollars to combat climate change.
Links:Investor update on quarterly guidance (Apple Newsroom)APPLE WARNS THAT CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN CHINA WILL AFFECT REVENUE THIS QUARTER (Daring Fireball)Forget foldable: These leaked images show a phone concept with a slide-out screen (CNET)Galaxy Z Flip durability test calls Samsung’s Ultra Thin ‘Glass’ into question (The Verge)Qualcomm's New 3rd Generation 5G Modem (AnAndTech)Microsoft's new all-in-one Office app is now available for all, but tablets aren't supported (Android Police)Pay Up, Or We’ll Make Google Ban Your Ads (Krebs on Security)Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to fight climate change (The Verge)
The world’s most powerful climate supercomputer, HQ Trivia joins the Deadpool, Apple isn’t happy with Qualcomm’s chips again, foldable phones are having crease issues again, and a bit of an explainer about the Indian e-commerce gold rush.
Links:UK to spend $1.6 billion on the world's fastest weather supercomputer (Engadget)Game over for HQ Trivia (CNN Business)Exclusive: Apple is designing its own antenna for this year’s 5G iPhone (Fast Company)Our Motorola Razr's display is already breaking and peeling at the fold (Input)US Army testing all terrain electric scooter for tactical use (Electrek)In India, mom-and-pop stores are proving to be the holy grail for tech startups (KrASIA)
When a company does one of their big product events late in the day, it’s always a mad rush for me to get it out. Apple events are hard, but at least they start a bit earlier. The Samsung event this week just felt like me making a mad list of everything announced and hoping I wasn’t missing anything. So I really felt it was worth sitting back, taking a breath, and looking at everything that was announced in depth. We’re speaking to Gizmodo’s Sam Rutherford today who has actually be hands on with the S20s, so we’ll lay out in a more granular way, the differences between them all, and also, speculate on whether or not the Z Flip is actually the foldable phone we’ve all been waiting for. A foldable phone that might not suck.
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The DOJ charges a bitcoin mixing service. A judge has blocked Microsoft’s JEDI contract. What happens if the PlayStation 5 is $500? Google takes down some malicious browser extensions. And, of course, the Weekend Longreads Suggestions.
Links:Ohio man arrested for running Bitcoin mixing service that laundered $300 million (ZDNet)Judge temporarily blocks Microsoft Pentagon cloud contract after Amazon suit (CNBC)Sony Is Struggling With PlayStation 5 Price Due to Costly Parts (Bloomberg)Google removes 500+ malicious Chrome extensions from the Web Store (ZDNet)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:Inside Mark Zuckerberg's Lost Notebook (Wired)THE HIGH COST OF A FREE CODING BOOTCAMP (The Verge)Cost Cutting Algorithms Are Making Your Job Search a Living Hell (Vice)Are Algorithmically-Generated Term Papers the Next Big Challenge to Academic Integrity? (EdSurge)SoftBank’s $375 Million Bet on Pizza Went Really Bad Really Fast (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)How a Space Engineer Made Her Own Rotary Cell Phone (Wired)
The US charges Huawei with racketeering. Could the future of the Apple Watch be modular? Uber trials ordering an Uber via 800 number. Interesting raises in robotics and in space. And why quantum entanglement could lead to a truly secure internet.
Links:The US is charging Huawei with racketeering (TechCrunch)Andy Rubin’s Start-Up, Essential Products, Shuts Down (NYTimes)Apple Watch of the future could have a modular back for upgrades & new sensors (Apple Insider)Broadcom launches Wi-Fi 6 extended combo processor, aims to hit 2 Gbps speeds (ZDNet)Uber's latest test books rides with a phone call, not the app (Engadget)Intuition Robotics raises $36 million to bring AI companions to everyone (VentureBeat)Astranis raises $90 million for its next-gen satellite broadband internet service (TechCrunch)Dieter Bohn's Processor newsletter (The Verge)Quantum entanglement over 30 miles of fiber has brought super secure internet closer (MIT Technology Review)
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Does Uncle Sam have a smoking gun when it comes to Huawei? Could Airbnb’s recent financials imperil its IPO plans? Is Apple Pay eating the payments market? Is the CISO job actually a miserable one? And might the Z Flip actually be the first good foldable phone?
Links:U.S. Officials Say Huawei Can Covertly Access Telecom Networks (WSJ)Facebook accuses telecoms groups of disinformation tactics (Financial Times)FTC Expands Antitrust Investigation Into Big Tech (WSJ)Airbnb Swings to a Loss as Costs Climb Ahead of IPO (WSJ)Apple Pay is on pace to account for 10% of all global card transactions (QZ)State of Software Engineers (Hired.com)Average tenure of a CISO is just 26 months due to high stress and burnout (ZDNet)Samsung Galaxy Z Flip hands-on: This is more like it (TechCrunch)Samsung Galaxy Z Flip hands-on: Razr who? (Engadget)Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip beats the Motorola Razr in nearly every way (The Verge)The world’s biggest phone show has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns (The Verge)
All of the headlines from the big Samsung Unpacked event, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger is officially a go… mostly, Brandless is the first Softbank company to shut down entirely, a Sirius lifeline for Soundcloud, and has the CIA quietly been the real owner of the leading encryption company for decades now?
Links:SAMSUNG’S GALAXY S20, PLUS, AND ULTRA FIRST LOOK: CAMERAS, 5G, AND 120HZ SCREENS (The Verge)Samsung’s new foldable Galaxy Z Flip will arrive on February 14th for $1,380 (The Verge)Samsung Galaxy Z Flip debuts w/ less expensive ‘flip phone’ design (9to5Google)Judge approves $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint (CNBC)Brandless shuts down operations, becoming SoftBank Vision Fund's first failure (Protocol)SiriusXM Acquires Minority Stake in SoundCloud for $75 Million (The Hollywood Reporter)Netflix dominates viewing on TVs over all other streaming services (CNET)‘The intelligence coup of the century’ (Washington Post)
The DOJ says the Chinese were behind the Equifax hack, MWC is becoming a ghost conference, the Razr reviews are in, the Corp.com domain name is a weird story, and why ARM’s new edge chips could revolutionize the Internet of Things.
Links:U.S. charges Chinese military hackers with massive Equifax breach (Politico)As top exhibitors pull out of MWC, organizers implement stringent safeguards (TechCrunch)Coronavirus: Sony and Amazon pull out of major tech show (BBC News)Motorola Razr review: It's the most personal phone I've used, but I have concerns (CNET)Motorola Razr review: A tragedy unfolds (Input Magazine)Netflix Spends Big for Oscars—Will Hollywood Give In? (WSJ)Dangerous Domain Corp.com Goes Up for Sale (KrebsonSecurity)ARM’s new edge AI chips promise IoT devices that won’t need the cloud (The Verge)
Uber says it will be profitable quicker than it had expected to, yet another entrant into the lists at the Streaming Wars, what’s it like to use a 64-core processor, and of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Links:Uber stock is on pace for its best day ever (CNBC)ViacomCBS to launch new streaming service blending CBS All Access with Paramount films, Viacom channels (CNBC)NYSE Owner Abandons Potential eBay Deal (WSJ)The 64 Core Threadripper 3990X CPU Review (AnandTech)Big Tech opponent Bernie Sanders raises more money from Big Tech employees than anyone else (Recode)Netflix will now let you disable its awful autoplaying feature (The Verge)
The Weekend Longreads Suggestions:MICROSOFT’S WINDOWS FUTURE IS NOW TIED TO HARDWARE (The Verge)Steven Levy's PlaintextAn Algorithm That Grants Freedom, or Takes It Away (NYTimes)‘ClassPass Is Squeezing Studios to the Point of Death’ (Vice)Elon Musk Can’t Lose (BuzzFeed News)A SMALL ROCKET MAKER IS RUNNING A DIFFERENT KIND OF SPACE RACE (Bloomberg)
Google Maps turns 15 and puts on a fresh coat of paint, it turns out you WILL be able to unlock your car via iPhone and really soon, Huawei is suing Verizon, Twitter impresses investors, Casper has a rollercoaster IPO, and does the fact that Google has stopped reporting a key metric basically guarantee that they have crossed the ad-load Rubicon?
Links:Google Maps gets a new icon and more tabs to celebrate 15th anniversary (The Verge)New ‘CarKey’ feature in iOS 13.4 beta brings built-in support for unlocking, driving, and sharing NFC car keys (9to5Mac)Apple now sells more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry (The Verge)Huawei sues Verizon for alleged patent violations (The Verge)Twitter reports $1.01B in Q4 revenue with 152M monetizable daily active users (TechCrunch)Casper surges nearly 30% in market debut (CNBC)The mysterious disappearance of Google's click metric (ZDNet)Ancestry to lay off 6% of workforce because of a slowdown in the consumer DNA-testing market (CNBC)U.S. allows SoftBank-backed Nuro to deploy driverless delivery vehicles (Reuters)
Spotify officially buys The Ringer, we have the official Disney+ subscriber numbers, Jeff Weiner is officially stepping down as LinkedIn CEO, a Rockstar Games co-founder is apparently leaving the company, and what languages do most developers say they want to learn next?
Links:Spotify is buying Bill Simmons’s The Ringer to boost its podcast business (Recode)Disney earnings beat expectations, fueled by strong Disney+ subscriptions (Yahoo! Finance)LG Electronics is withdrawing from Mobile World Congress due to coronavirus (The Verge)NYSE Owner Intercontinental Exchange Makes Takeover Offer for eBay (WSJ)Instagram Brings In More Than a Quarter of Facebook Sales (Bloomberg)Jeff Weiner Updates His LinkedIn Profile (Wired)Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser is leaving the company (The Verge)Programming languages: Go and Python are what developers most want to learn (ZDNet)Why the N.Y.P.D. Dropped One of Its Oldest Crime-Fighting Tools (NYTimes)Steve Jobs' personality changed after Apple's success, Wozniak says (CNET)
We finally know how big a business YouTube is, the tech angle on that Iowa Caucuses mess IS the only angle, Mastercard explains why it pulled out of Libra, and why has the US Government decided to break up Big Razor, before it gets around to Big Tech.
Links:YouTube is a $15 billion-a-year business, Google reveals for the first time (The Verge)This Is The Buzzy Democratic Firm That Botched The Iowa Caucuses (HuffPost)Some Google Photos videos in ‘Takeout’ backups were sent to strangers last November (9to5Google)Mastercard chief speaks out against nationalism and Facebook (Financial Times)Asana Says It’s Filed to Go Public Through a Direct Listing (Bloomberg)Chip Industry Had Worst Sales Year Since Dot-Com Bubble Burst (Bloomberg)Top Antitrust Official Is Said to Recuse Himself From Google Inquiry (NYTimes)The US government is breaking up Big Razor before it gets to Big Tech (Recode)
The end might truly be nigh for Blackberry this time. Will the Corona Virus mean we won’t have an Apple event next month after all? Leaked video of the Galaxy Z Flip. Did Jeff Bezos succumb to Elon Musk envy? And why one of the most popular music streaming services in the world is one you’ve probably never heard of.
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Links:BlackBerry’s Android smartphones will stop being sold in August 2020 (9to5Google)Ming-Chi Kuo Says Coronavirus Outbreak Impacting iPhone Supply, Lowers Shipment Forecast (MacRumors)Uber Suspends 240 Mexican Accounts to Prevent Coronavirus Spread (Bloomberg)Microsoft Teams goes down after Microsoft forgot to renew a certificate (The Verge)Alleged leaked video shows off Samsung’s folding Galaxy Z Flip (The Verge)Disney Takes Tighter Control of Hulu After Disney+ Bundle Revs Up Growth (Bloomberg)Behind Amazon’s HQ2 Fiasco: Jeff Bezos Was Jealous of Elon Musk (Bloomberg)Spotify, Apple Music Trail Little-Known Rival in Music-Obsessed India (WSJ)A guy carted 99 phones around to create traffic jams on Google Maps (Updated) (Android Authority)
This is the promised interview with Angela Strange from Andreessen Horowitz. I told you about it on the weekend longreads segment yesterday, so no more need to explain it: let’s talk about why soon, every company could be a Fintech company.
Amazon earnings, the new Apple Maps is rolling out in the US, Uber and DoorDash held merger talks at Softbank’s behest, who’s number two to TikTok in short form videos, and of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Links:Amazon Revenue Jumps on Holiday Sales as Profit Rises (WSJ)Apple's redesigned Maps app is available across the US (TechCrunch)Uber and DoorDash held merger talks after SoftBank push (Financial Times)SoftBank Is Funding Every Side of a Bruising Startup Battle (WSJ)EU lawmakers snub Apple's pleas, overwhelmingly vote to push for charging cable standard (Apple Insider)How Dubsmash revived itself as #2 to TikTok (TechCrunch)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:Every Company Will Be a Fintech Company (Angela Strange/A16Z)Don't Brush Off Mouth Tech As a Passing Fad (Wired)The iPad's original software designer and program lead look back on the device's first 10 years (InPut)Super Bowl 2020: The madness and magic behind the game’s first 4K HDR broadcast (Digital Trends)Researchers Are Racing to Make a Coronavirus Vaccine. Will It Help? (NYTimes)How Do Bats Live With So Many Viruses? (NYTimes)Facial Recognition- The controversial and nearly ever-present technology that could replace the fingerprint (California Sunday Magazine)CollegeHumor Helped Shape Online Comedy. What Went Wrong? (Wired)
Its Earnings Bonanza Day! Tesla, Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung… Facebook pays a record fine to Illinois, the Switch has outsold the SNES, three interesting Apple stories, Avast changes its business model and the new Fantastical app.
Links:Tesla’s record 2019 has bought it some breathing room (The Verge)We’re about to enter a world where Tesla is the cheaper electric car (Quartz)Facebook plunges, wiping out more than $50 billion in market value (CNBC)Xbox revenue falls 21% as Microsoft gears up for Xbox Series X debut (GeekWire)Samsung Posts Lower Profit, Anticipates End of Chip Slump (WSJ)Facebook to Pay $550 Million to Settle Facial Recognition Suit (NYTimes)Avast winds down Jumpshot, cites user data sale privacy concerns (ZDNet)Nintendo upgrades fiscal-year forecast as Switch hits 52.5 million consoles sold (VentureBeat)Apple Hires Key Netflix Engineer in Bid to Boost Subscription Services (WSJ)Apple Ends AI Startup’s Work on ‘Project Maven’ After Acquisition (The Information)Kuo: Apple to Launch AirTags, Small Charging Mat, New iPads and Macs, High-End Headphones, and More in First Half of 2020 (MacRumors)Say hello to the new Fantastical: one robust calendar for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac (9to5Mac)
Apple earnings, Google is testing another chat app, we know Uncle Sam is wary of Huawei but did you know he doesn’t trust DJI either, Lime is testing AI scooters and the new app that will let you skip the ads without screwing over publishers.
Links:Apple shares rise after company reports better-than-expected revenue of $91.8B (TechCrunch)Apple could see some impact from coronavirus in China, Cook says (CNET)Google Developing New ‘Unified’ Communications App for Businesses (The Information)Interior Department Adopts Restrictions Aimed at Chinese Drones (WSJ)Facebook's 'Clear History' Tool Doesn't Clear Shit (Gizmodo)Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers (EFF)Lime knows when you're riding on a sidewalk, and will warn you if you do (CNET)Here’s how to stop seeing ads on the internet without screwing over publishers (recode)
The UK government will allow Huawei to build SOME 5G components, the coronavirus is testing the Great Firewall of China, Product Hunt has a social network, Gruber is critical of the iPad at 10, and would you stay at an Atari Hotel?
Links:UK Huawei decision appears to avert row with US (The Guardian)As Virus Spreads, Anger Floods Chinese Social Media (NYTimes)iPhone 11's new multicam app lets you shoot video with two cameras at once (CNET)Product Hunt Has Released YourStack, A Social Network Where People Talk About Products (BuzzFeed News)The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10 (Daring Fireball)Facebook will now show you exactly how it stalks you — even when you’re not using Facebook (The Washington Post)Google will shut down App Maker on January 19, 2021 (Venture Beat)Atari is opening eight video game hotels across the U.S. (Input Magazine)
Vine has a spiritual successor in Byte, the new razr might have “bumps and lumps,” your anti-virus program might be selling all your clicks, Seamless might be inventing restaurants from whole cloth, and the AI algorithm that spotted the Wuhan virus early.
Links:Vine reboot Byte officially launches (TechCrunch)Motorola on the Razr’s folding screen: ‘bumps and lumps are normal’ (The Verge)An AI Epidemiologist Sent the First Warnings of the Wuhan Virus (Wired)YouTube signs exclusive streaming deal for Activision e-sports like Call of Duty and Overwatch (The Verge)Online mattress retailer Casper IPO to raise $182.4 million (CNBC)Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data (Motherboard)Seamless, Grubhub deliver confusion with mistaken restaurant listings (The San Francisco Chronicle)Alex Danco Tweet Thread
One of my favorite newsletters—I’ve really gotta give you all a list of all the newsletters I subscribe to if you’re interested at some point—one of my favorite newsletters is The New Consumer (subscribe here) by Dan Frommer. Dan published his own analysis of the Casper IPO, and I couldn’t help myself. I needed to delve into the Casper financials in greater detail. But also: scandal marketing! Can brands be “cancelled”? And analysis of this week’s Netflix earnings.
Quick Share is coming to challenge AirDrop, how iOS 13 has blown up location marketing, Google takes the wrapping of Dataset Search, an interesting eSports raise and, of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Links:Clayton Christensen, guru of disruptive innovation and Latter-day Saint leader, dies at 67 (DesertNews)Exclusive: Quick Share is Samsung’s alternative to AirDrop for Galaxy phones (XDADevelopers)Apple, Broadcom Strike $15 Billion Worth of Chip-Supply Deals (Bloomberg)Apple and Google’s tough new location privacy controls are working (Fast Company)Shlayer, No. 1 Threat for Mac, Targets YouTube, Wikipedia (ThreatPost)Google’s search engine for scientists upgraded for better data scouring (The Verge)Esports Training Site ProGuides Raises $5 Million In Seed Funding (Forbes)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:Inside the World's Highest-Stakes Industrial Hacking Contest (Wired)We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point. (NYTimes)The Secret History of Facial Recognition (Wired)Behind the Scenes at Rotten Tomatoes (Wired)Jobs, Cook, Ive—Blevins? The Rise of Apple’s Cost Cutter (WSJ)The Tesla Skeptics Who Bet Against Elon Musk (Bloomberg Businessweek)The Internet of Beefs (Ribbonfarm.com)The Hacker News Thread on The Internet of Beefs
More Samsung phone rumors, Match Group invests in safety features as a feature, the Bezos phone hack story gets a lot murkier, and everyone seems to have noticed that Google search has gotten crufty.
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Links:Samsung's new foldable phone already sounds way better than the Galaxy Fold (Mashable)New leak says the Galaxy S20's display will run at 60Hz by default (Android Central)Microsoft starts rolling out developer tools for its dual-screen Surface Duo Android phone (ZDNet)Match Group invests in Noonlight to power new safety features in Tinder and other dating apps (TechCrunch)Here Is the Technical Report Suggesting Saudi Arabia’s Prince Hacked Jeff Bezos’ Phone (Motherboard)Alex Stamos Tweet StormGoogle’s ads just look like search results now (The Verge)
The whole Jeff Bezos phone-got-hacked thing blows up into something crazy. That rumored “cheap” iPhone might be mere weeks away. Is Amazon Music almost as big as Apple Music? Cruise unveils the Origin self-driving car. And the first test of voting via smartphone in the US.
Links:Jeff Bezos hack: Amazon boss's phone 'hacked by Saudi crown prince' (The Guardian)Saudi’s MBS implicated in hacking of Jeff Bezos’s phone (Financial Times)UN calls for investigation into alleged Saudi crown prince involvement in Bezos phone hack (CNBC)New Low-Cost iPhone to Enter Mass Production in February (Bloomberg)Amazon Music subscriber numbers close in on Apple (Financial Times)Exclusive: Seattle-Area Voters To Vote By Smartphone In 1st For U.S. Elections (NPR)EXCLUSIVE LOOK AT CRUISE’S FIRST DRIVERLESS CAR WITHOUT A STEERING WHEEL OR PEDALS (The Verge)Netflix says Disney and Baby Yoda may have cut into the streaming service’s growth (Recode)
Apple could have encrypted iCloud backups… but didn’t… ostensibly to play nice with the government? Getting an Uber from the airport is about to get more expensive. Digital media is actually making money??!! Is IGTV on the way out? Some interesting raises and (potentially) the most consequential lawsuit in Silicon Valley history.
Links:Exclusive: Apple dropped plan for encrypting backups after FBI complained - sources (Reuters)Uber Tests Feature Allowing Some California Drivers to Set Fares (WSJ)A true digital media publishing breakthrough (Axios)Spotify in Early Talks to Buy Sports and Pop-Culture Outlet the Ringer (WSJ)Instagram drops IGTV button, but only 1% downloaded the app (TechCrunch)DARPA-backed Soft Robotics raises $23 million for autonomous grippers and sorters (VentureBeat)Berlin proptech Home raises €11 million to be tech-enabled middleman between owners and tenants (Tech.eu)Snyk raises $150 million at $1 billion valuation for AI that protects open source code (VentureBeat)Apple lawsuit tests if an employee can plan rival startup while on payroll (Reuters)
As I said on Friday, we’re going to delve into Sports Tech in a meaningful way for the first time. This will cover the streaming wars from a new angle because, where is sports in all that? This will be esports, the streaming wars surrounding game streaming, the new betting economy, this will be wearables and actual sports tech products. My guest is Will Martin, who’s Sports Tech Newsletter is something you should subscribe to immediately if you like this space.
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No ads in WhatsApp… for now. We have all the details on the Peacock streaming service. The other streaming wars are taking their toll on Twitch. Jack Dorsey asked Elon Musk how to fix Twitter. And, of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Links:Facebook Backs Off Controversial Plan to Sell Ads in WhatsApp (WSJ)NBC’s Peacock streaming service will launch on July 15th with three different price tiers (The Verge)Twitch's loss of top streamers impacts hours watched and streamed in Q4 2019, report says (TechCrunch)Huawei P40 Pro leak shows off five-camera bump and ceramic body (The Verge)Jack Dorsey Asks Elon Musk How to Fix Twitter (Bloomberg)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:How Mormons Built the Next Silicon Valley While No One Was Looking (Marker)All the money in the world couldn’t make Kinect happen (Polygon)The Promise of Cloud-Native Games (A16Z/Jonathan Lai)The Metaverse: What It Is, Where to Find it, Who Will Build It, and Fortnite (MatthewBall.vc)Islamic fintechs are on the rise — but how viable is this tailored offering? (Sifted)The Big Question Now Facing Apple (Above Avalon)
Apple has acquired a pretty interesting AI startup, the Chromium-based Edge browser is here, but there is trouble in Mozilla land, Fitbit is first to market with blood oxygen monitoring, the state of the app economy and ‘instant’ weather forecasts from Google.
Links:Exclusive: Apple acquires Xnor.ai, edge AI spin-out from Paul Allen’s AI2, for price in $200M range (GeekWire)XNOR.ai frees AI from the prison of the supercomputer (TechCrunch)Microsoft launches Chromium Edge for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and macOS (VentureBeat)Mozilla lays off 70 as it waits for new products to generate revenue (TechCrunch)Fitbit quietly enables blood oxygen tracking on its wearables (Engadget)Venture capital slowly seeps outside of Silicon Valley (Axios)App stores saw record 204 billion app downloads in 2013, consumer spend of $120 billion (TechCrunch)Google says new AI models allow for ‘nearly instantaneous’ weather forecasts (The Verge)
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More juicy details about the Galaxy S20 lineup, Google Smart Lock lets you do 2FA on your iPhone, proof that no-code development is the new hotness, why do the Feds even need Apple to unlock those iPhones, and Jack Dorsey says we are never, ever, ever going to get… a Edit Tweet button. Probably.
Links:Exclusive: Leaked Samsung Galaxy S20+ Hands-on confirms 120Hz display, ultrasonic under-display fingerprint scanner, and no headphone jack (XDAdevelopers)You can now use iPhones as Google security keys for 2FA (9to5Google)Google acquires no-code app development platform AppSheet (VentureBeat)Four years after being acquired, Hipmunk is shutting down (TechCrunch)Apple Takes a (Cautious) Stand Against Opening a Killer’s iPhones (NYTimes)European Venture Report: VC Dollars Rise In 2019 (Crunchbase News)Disney+ was the most downloaded app in the US in Q4 2019 (TechCrunch)Twitter’s Jack Dorsey on edit button: ‘We’ll probably never do it’ (The Verge)
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Apple once again refuses to unlock an iPhone for the Feds, Visa buys Plaid, a macOS beta hints at future ‘Pro Mode’, super crucial Windows update you should download right away and why today is also the end of the Windows 7 Era.
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Links:Apple Said It Is Helping In The Pensacola Shooting Investigation, But It Won't Unlock The Shooter's iPhones (Buzzfeed News)Visa to acquire Plaid, the fintech powering Venmo and other banking apps, in $5.3 billion deal (CNBC)Epic says its PC game store now has more than 100 million users (The Verge)macOS beta hints at future ‘Pro Mode’ to boost performance on portable Macs (9to5Mac)PC shipments grew in 2019 ahead of bet on 5G and dual-screen devices (VentureBeat)Cryptic Rumblings Ahead of First 2020 Patch Tuesday (KrebsOnSecurity)MICROSOFT BIDS FAREWELL TO WINDOWS 7 AND THE MILLIONS OF PCS THAT STILL RUN IT (The Verge)Free Windows 10 upgrade still works for many Windows 7 users. Here's how to get it (CNET)(Potentially??) Free Windows 10 Upgrade Link
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Are you ready to get hyped for the Galaxy S20 cause yes, that’s the name. We’re skipping some numbers. TikTok might be cloning Snapchat’s Discover feed. Is GDPR actually doing anything and/or is it enforceable? And could Casper be a make or break test for the Unicorn ecosystem?
Links:Exclusive: This is the Samsung Galaxy S20+ (XDAdevelopers)TikTok explores curated content feed to lure advertisers (FT)Cookie consent tools are being used to undermine EU privacy rules, study suggests (TechCrunch)A billion medical images are exposed online, as doctors ignore warnings (TechCrunch)Casper's IPO could be a bellwether for unprofitable startups in the post-We-Work era (TechCrunch)Casper files to go public, shows you can lose money selling mattresses (TechCrunch)
Checkin on the health-tech space with the only reporter I follow religiously around this space: Christina Farr. Why are hospitals suddenly in the middle of a health data gold rush? Why are you more likely to have your health records hacked then every be able to get them in your own hands?
More trouble for Softbank startups, more layoffs at scooter startups, VC deals plateaued last year but music streaming continues to skyrocket, how much money does Netflix lose to password sharers and of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Links:SoftBank-Backed Oyo Firing Thousands Across China and India (Bloomberg)E-scooter startup Lime shuts in 12 markets, lays off around 100 (Axios)The Q4/EOY 2019 Global VC Report: A Strong End To A Good, But Not Fantastic, Year (Crunchbase News)U.S. Music Streams Topped a Trillion in 2019 (WSJ)Streaming Services Reckon With Password-Sharing "Havoc" (The Hollywood Reporter)I’m a Millennial, and I Don’t Understand What Quibi Is Trying to Do (Fortune)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:QUIBI VERSUS THE WORLD (The Verge)The hidden world and overlooked problems of acting in video games (Washington Post)Why your favorite celebs are ditching Twitter for an app you’ve never heard of (Fast Company)AN ORAL HISTORY OF RICKROLLING (Mel)Admit It: You Have a Box of Cords You’ll Never, Ever Use Again (WSJ)
Twitter will allow you to limit who can reply to your tweets, iPhone sales in China seem to have rebounded, the Chinese version of TikTok is why TikTok can distance itself from China, AI is going to pick which movies get made, and why sex tech finally has a home at CES.
Links:Twitter will put options to limit replies directly on the compose screen (The Verge)Firefox gets patch for critical 0-day that’s being actively exploited (Ars Technica)iPhone Hits Double-Digit Growth in China, Official Data Show (Bloomberg)Douyin, TikTok app in China, hits 400 million daily active users (TechCrunch)Warner Bros. Signs Deal for AI-Driven Film Management System (Exclusive) (The Hollywood Reporter)At CES 2020, the AirPods Pro competitors arrived in droves (The Verge)Sex-Tech Companies Are Having More Fun Than the Rest of Us at CES (Wired)
Another interesting Facebook memo from Boz, Intel previews its next generation of mobile GPUs, more troubles in Softbank startup land, Quibi had a bit of a launch event today, and I saw Charmin’s toilet paper delivery robot.
Links:Don’t Tilt Scales Against Trump, Facebook Executive Warns (NYTimes)CES 2020: Intel previews Tiger Lake mobile processors and discrete GPU (CNET)Getaround to Lay Off About One-Fourth of Staff (The Information)ClassPass, finally a unicorn, raises $285M in new funding (TechCrunch)Quibi unveils "Turnstyle," its flagship mobile video format (Axios)Quibi's secret weapon: Videos that work in portrait and landscape mode (Engadget)Mind-blowing Delta board shows 100 passengers personalized flight details at the same time (Mashable)I tried Nreal’s mixed reality glasses at CES and now I want a pair (Android Authority)
Sonos goes nuclear on Google, though it really has Amazon in mind also; Facebook bans deep fakes… in a way; a whole bunch of really interesting laptop stuff, Sony makes a car, and you make a fashion statement and protect yourself from air pollution at the same time… all the stuff from Day 2 at CES.
Links:Sonos, Squeezed by the Tech Giants, Sues Google (NYTimes)Enforcing Against Manipulated Media (Facebook Newsroom)Facebook bans deepfakes, but new policy may not cover controversial Pelosi video (Washington Post)Sony surprises with an electric concept car called the Vision-S (The Verge)Mercedes-Benz unveils an Avatar-themed concept car with scales (The Verge)Lenovo's ThinkBook Plus Laptop Has a Second Screen on the Lid (TomsHardware)Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold is a $2,499 PC with a folding OLED screen (The Verge)Lenovo's Yoga 5G laptop packs nine antennas and Snapdragon power (Engadget)Ring adds privacy dashboard to app in response to security concerns (The Verge)Atmos Faceware makes clean air an expensive accessory (The Verge)
Samsung tries to scoop CES, Amazon’s Fire TV Edition wants to leapfrog Roku TV, Samsung wants the Galaxy Chromebook to change the way you think about Chromebooks, is Softbank ghosting startups even after delivering term sheets, and a roundup of day one of CES.
Links:Fire TV Edition expands to more soundbars, plus cars, cables boxes and more (TechCrunch)Roku TV adds 15 more brand partners plus a new 'Roku TV Ready' program (TechCrunch)THE SAMSUNG GALAXY CHROMEBOOK IS BEAUTIFUL, FAST, AND EXPENSIVE (The Verge)Scoop: SoftBank shafts startups (Axios)News coverage gets geo-fragmented (NiemanLab)Samsung details its stunning bezel-less 8K TV (The Verge)The 10 Neatest Things We've Seen at CES So Far (Wired)Intel just confirmed it’s building this tiny modular desktop gaming PC (The Verge)Processor With Dieter Bohn Newsletter Signup
Google’s AI has a medical breakthrough, Apple raids HBO for maybe it’s biggest name, Instagram seems to be plateauing by one metric—going gangbusters in another, what to expect from CES and, of course, the Weekend Longreads Suggestions.
Links:A.I. Is Learning to Read Mammograms (NYTimes)Apple Deal Returns Former HBO Boss Richard Plepler to Spotlight (NYTimes)HERE’S WHAT’S NEXT FOR GADGETS IN 2020 (The Verge)Snapchat quietly acquired AI Factory, the company behind its new Cameos feature, for $166M (TechCrunch)Instagram User Growth in the US Will Drop to Single Digits For the First Time (eMarketer)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:How to lose a monopoly: Microsoft, IBM and anti-trust (Benedict Evans)Windows: Facing the New Decade (2010–2020) (Steven Sinofsky)Ghosts in the Clouds: Inside China’s Major Corporate Hack (WSJ)'Shattered': Inside the secret battle to save America's undercover spies in the digital age (Yahoo News)This time, for sure! Ars Technica’s 2020 Deathwatch (Ars Technica)
Dell kicks off CES season with two new laptops, Imagination Technologies is back in Apple’s good graces, the IRS is finally sticking it to tax prep software firms, and a grand unified theory of the Google Civil War.
Links:Dell’s latest XPS 13 has a new design with a bigger display and Ice Lake chips (The Verge)Dell debuts 5G-ready Latitude 9510 laptop, adds iOS mirroring to PCs (VentureBeat)Apple restores Imagination GPU chip agreement after public dispute and employee poaching (9to5Mac)IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax (ProPublica)I Was Google’s Head of International Relations. Here’s Why I Left. (Ross LaJeunesse/Medium)Google veterans: The company has become ‘unrecognizable’ (CNBC)
A major internet of things data leak, China is about to turn on its GPS competitor, would you like to star in a bitmoji TV show, a look back at the year in unicorns and is the VC gravy train over for us consumers, at least?
Links:IoT vendor Wyze confirms server leak (ZDNet)China decouples from US in space with 2020 'GPS' completion (Nikkei Asian Review)SPOTIFY TO SUSPEND POLITICAL ADS IN 2020 (AdAge)Snapchat will launch Bitmoji TV, a personalized cartoon show (TechCrunch)The New Unicorns Of 2019 (Crunchbase News)Israel doubles number of unicorns in 2019 (Globes)Tech Startups Face New Investor Mandate: Profits Over Discounts (WSJ)
A late holiday gift for YouTube creators, an important new rule for drone operators, to what degree has the Chinese government enabled Huawei’s success, and of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Links:YouTube gives creators more control over copyright claim disputes with new update (The Verge)New rule would make it possible to track and identify nearly all drones flying in the U.S. (CNBC)State Support Helped Fuel Huawei’s Global Rise (WSJ)Inside Documents Show How Amazon Chose Speed Over Safety in Building Its Delivery Network (Pro Publica)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:Where Are the Tech Zillionaires? San Francisco Faces the I.P.O. Fizzle (NYTimes)Netflix was the best-performing stock of the decade, delivering a more than 4,000% return (CNBC)11 Lessons from the Success of Disney+ (MatthewBall.vc)Tuvalu is a tiny island nation of 11,000 people. It’s cashing in thanks to Twitch. (WSJ)How Atari took on Apple in the 1980s home PC wars (Fast Company)THE 84 BIGGEST FLOPS, FAILS, AND DEAD DREAMS OF THE DECADE IN TECH (The Verge)
Travis Kalanick has cut all ties with Uber, Sling does indeed have streaming pricing power, livestreams are the new telethons, YouTube considered doing the right thing but passed, and is Catalyst fundamentally flawed?
Links:Travis Kalanick severs all ties with Uber, departing board and selling all his shares (CNBC)Sling TV gets more expensive, raises cheapest subscription price to $30 (The Verge)Pyka and its autonomous, electric crop-spraying drone land $11M seed round (TechCrunch)Pentagon tells military personnel not to use at-home DNA kits (NBC News)Livestreams are the new telethons, and they’re raising millions for charities (Washington Post)Inside YouTube’s Year of Responsibility (Bloomberg)Catalyst and Cohesion (WormsandViruses.com)Catalyst, Two Months In (Daring Fireball)
The Government says ToTok is a full on spying app, TikTok wants to distance itself from allegations that it might be a spying app, out of nowhere, could Rivian be Tesla’s biggest competitor, and what does it mean if Travis Kalanick sells all of his Uber stock?
Links:It Seemed Like a Popular Chat App. It’s Secretly a Spy Tool. (NYTimes)U.S. Navy bans TikTok from government-issued mobile devices (Reuters)DraftKings going public via reverse merger (Axios)Rivian adds $1.3 billion in funding for its electric utility and adventure vehicles (TechCrunch)Uber Co-Founder Travis Kalanick Cuts Stake in Company by More Than 90% (WSJ)Boeing Starliner Lands in New Mexico After Clock Error Prompts Early Return (NYTimes)Starliner makes a safe landing—now NASA faces some big decisions (Ars Technica)
Does Apple have a secret team to do an end run around telecom carriers, Google buys a game studio, IAC buys Care.com, Ripple is an interesting raise, and of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Sponsors:Tiny CapitalGetQuip.com/rideBooknotesapp.com (or on iPhone and Android)
Links:Apple Has Secret Team Working on Satellites to Beam Data to Devices (Bloomberg)Google buys triple-A game dev Typhoon Studio to beef up Stadia (VentureBeat)Care.com shares surge after Barry Diller’s IAC agrees to buy online caregiver marketplace (CNBC)Ripple Raises $200 Million as Part of Bid for XRP Adoption (Fortune)Robocall fines rise to $10,000 per call under newly passed law (The Verge)Labels & Publishers Win $1 Billion Piracy Lawsuit Against Cox Communications (Billboard)
The Booknotesapp.com Weekend Longreads Suggestions:SoftBank Vision Fund Employees Depict a Culture of Recklessness (Bloomberg Businessweek)Shopify: A StarCraft Inspired Business Strategy (Non-GAAP Thoughts)IKEA 2.0 (The Verge)State of the Stream 2019: Platform Wars, the New King of Streaming, Most Watched Game and More! (Stream Elements)Meet the Mad Scientist Who Wrote the Book on How to Hunt Hackers (Wired)I created my own deepfake—it took two weeks and cost $552 (Ars Technica)The 100 Memes That Defined The 2010s (Buzzfeed News)
That big NYTimes piece about location data, is Facebook taking another run at creating its own OS, is Apple considering buying James Bond, is Spotify building a social graph, and do e-athletes need gaming socks?
Links:Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy (NYTimes)Facebook will bar posts, ads that spread disinformation about the U.S. Census (Washington Post)To Control Its Destiny, Facebook Bets Big on Hardware (The Information)Apple Held Preliminary Talks With Pac-12 Conference, MGM (WSJ)Spotify prototypes Tastebuds to revive social music discovery (TechCrunch)A milestone: Earthquake early warning system sends first public alert to smartphones in California (Los Angeles Times)TiVo to Merge With Entertainment-Tech Firm Xperi in $3 Billion Deal (Variety)Puma’s first ‘active gaming footwear’ is a sock (Engadget)
Everyone comes together to create a smart-home standard, did Google consider walking away from its cloud business, the last holdout comes to streaming, Gary Larson stops holding out on the web and the math behind that gift-wrapping video.
Links:Apple, Google and Amazon are cooperating to make your home gadgets talk to each other (CNBC)We Tested Ring’s Security. It’s Awful (Motherboard)Google Brass Set 2023 as Deadline to Beat Amazon, Microsoft in Cloud (The Information)Cord cutters, you can finally stream your PBS stations online – on YouTube TV (USA Today)Virtual product placement is coming for TV and movies and Ryff has raised cash to put it there (TechCrunch)Far Side creator Gary Larson launches website with promise of new work (The Guardian)A Letter From Gary Larson (TheFarSide.com)The Internet Is Losing Its Mind Over This Gift-Wrapping Trick. Here's the Secret. (Popular Mechanics)The Gift Wrapping Video
More reported casualties in the Google Civil War, more strife between Amazon and FedEx, can Amazon turn Alexa into a healthy ecosystem, developers: get busy on Edge extensions, and the top apps of the decade have one big thing in common.
Links:Google accused of firing another worker in union-busting drive (Engadget)Amazon Blocks Sellers From Using FedEx Ground for Prime Shipments (WSJ)Amazon Learns a New Skill: Making Money From Alexa (The Information)Amazon Brings in $1.4 Million in 2019 of Alexa Skill Revenue So Far — Well Short of the $5.5 Million Target According to The Information (Voicebot.ai)Microsoft Opens Edge Addons Store for Submissions (Winbuzzer)A Look Back At the Top Apps & Games of the Decade (App Annie)Controversial sale of .org domain manager faces review at ICANN (Ars Technica)Chess champion Magnus Carlsen moves to top of world fantasy football rankings (The Guardian)
Chrome 79 is wiping data from some apps, Amazon is about to deliver more than FedEx or UPS all by its lonesome, Argo plans to charge by the mile, smart TV’s make margin by watching you, does music lack pricing power and help me find a name for $100 million-dollar annual recurring revenue startups.
Links:Google pauses Chrome 79 rollout on Android after bug wipes data in some apps (Android Police)Watch out, UPS. Morgan Stanley estimates Amazon is already delivering half of its packages (CNBC)Self-Driving Mercedes Will Be Programmed To Sacrifice Pedestrians To Save The Driver (Fast Company)Argo takes different road to skirt self-driving challenges (Reuters)The falling price of a TV set is the story of the American economy (The Outline)The newest members of the $100M ARR club (TechCrunch)Zero-to-100 Million in 3 Years (Lemonade Blog)Why Do We Still Pay Only $10 a Month for Music? (Rolling Stone)
For the final weekend bonus episode of the year, I wanted to check in with Crypto. What a year for the space! Seemingly dead at the beginning of the year. But then the Crypto Spring™ happened. And then Libra happened. And so… where are we? No one better than CoinDesk’s Brady Dale to catch us up…
Details about the next-gen Xbox, Apple makes an interesting acquisition around photography, Lyft will rent you a car, why I find Roku so interesting, and, of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Sponsors:Today In Digital Marketing PodcastPixelUnion.netaircall.io/ride
Links:Microsoft’s next Xbox is Xbox Series X, coming holiday 2020 (The Verge)Apple Buys U.K. Startup to Improve iPhone Picture Taking (Bloomberg)Lyft launches a car rental service with no mileage limit (The Verge)Google Maps has now photographed 10 million miles in Street View (CNET)Roku Built the Dominant Streaming Box. Now It’s Under Siege (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:THE AGE OF INSTAGRAM FACE (New Yorker)The Influencer and the Hit Man (OneZero)Silicon Valley’s psychedelic wonder drug is almost here (Fast Company)How Zoom Became the Best Web-Conferencing Product in the World in Less Than 10 Years (FYI)“Link In Bio” is a slow knife (Anil Dash)THE VERGE’S GADGETS OF THE DECADE (The Verge)
Google releases all the things at once, everyone is mulling over Jack’s decentralized Twitter idea, one last tech IPO of the year, should seed investors just say yes to every deal, why you should know the Canva story, and why Cousin Greg playing Adam Neumann is my Christmas dream come true.
Links:FTC Weighs Seeking Injunction Against Facebook Over How Its Apps Interact (WSJ)Google is bringing spam detection and verified business messaging to Messages (The Verge)Interpreter, Google's real-time translator, comes to mobile (TechCrunch)Bill.com’s Stock Takes Off On IPO Day (Forbes)AI R&D is booming, but general intelligence is still out of reach (The Verge)Startup Growth and Venture Returns: What We Found When We Analyzed Thousands of VC Deals (AngelList Blog)Bluesky early thoughts (Sriramk.com)Hey @Jack Dorsey, decentralizing Twitter won’t solve hate speech problems (Digital Trends)Inside the Podcast that Hacks Ring Camera Owners Live on Air (Motherboard)Canva Uncovered: How A Young Australian Kitesurfer Built A $3.2 Billion (Profitable!) Startup Phenom (Forbes)
A bold new proposal to decentralize social media from Jack Dorsey, YouTube bans “malicious insults,” you can only clean your Pro Display XDR with a special cloth, Silicon Valley is no longer everyone’s favorite place to work and the big tech companies whistled past their troubles this year.
Sponsors:aircall.io/rideToday In Digital Marketing Podcast
Links:The Bluesky Thread (@jack)YouTube Will Ban Videos That “Maliciously Insult” People Based On Race, Gender, Or Sexual Orientation (Buzzfeed News)Apple's Pro Display XDR With Nano-Texture Can Only Be Cleaned With Special Apple-Provided Cloth (MacRumors)Intel's Manufacturing Roadmap from 2019 to 2029 (AnandTech)Chrome 79 released with tab freezing, back-forward caching, and loads of security features (ZDNet)Facebook, Google Drop Out of Top 10 ‘Best Places to Work’ List (Bloomberg)Big Tech Is Under Attack, and Investors Couldn’t Care Less (NYTimes)
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Apple is suing its former chip architect, the Apple Card finally makes sense to me, wheels on the Mac Pro will run you $400, Softbank abandons Wag, Microsoft brings Office to Linux and I want the new tech bubble to be about exoskeletons.
Sponsors:PixelUnion.netToday In Digital Marketing Podcast
Links:Apple sues iPhone CPU design ace after he quits to run data-center chip upstart Nuvia (The Register)Apple’s Ad-Targeting Crackdown Shakes Up Ad Market (The Information)Apple Cards' interest-free iPhone installment plan goes live, now with 6% back on Apple holiday purchases (TechCrunch)SoftBank Is Selling Wag Stake Back to Company (WSJ)Microsoft Teams is the first Office app for Linux (VentureBeat)Mac Pro Build to Order Options (MacRumors)VSCO acquires video editing startup Rylo (TechCrunch)Robotic exoskeletons: Coming to a factory, warehouse or army near you, soon (ZDNet)
China orders its own crackdown on foreign tech, Google is bringing “feature drops” to Pixel Phones, the Mac Pro is here but Wunderlist is exiting stage left, Magic Leap seems to be having issues, and an interesting raise from, well… us.
Links:Beijing orders state offices to replace foreign PCs and software (Asian Financial Review)Making Pixel more helpful with the first Pixel feature drop (The Keyword)New Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR orders start on December 10, Apple announces (9to5Mac)Amazon blames Trump for losing $10 billion JEDI cloud contract to Microsoft (CNBC)Microsoft to finally shut down to do list app Wunderlist on May 6, 2020 (TechCrunch)Dented Reality: Magic Leap Sees Slow Sales, Steep Losses (The Information)Amazon leases Hudson Yards office space less than year after HQ2 debacle (Curbed NY)This podcaster wants to catch you up on the news on your ride home, no matter what you’re into (Fast Company)Ride Home Media Raises $1M To Build “Summary-As-A-Service” Podcast Network (CrunchBase News)The Daily Podcast Revolution (Medium)
I’ve been trying to read books about AI lately to get a firmer grasp on this important topic, and the best book I’ve read for both a basic grounding of the history and the state of play of AI, but also looking at potential frameworks for the technology, both ethically and socially is A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence is Redefining Who We Are by Flynn Coleman.
I had already reached out to Bloomberg’s Mark Bergen this week to talk about the Google Civil War, but then, of course, there was other big Google news this week. So, come for the assessment of Google’s culture at the moment but stay for an assessment of regime change and a lot more.
The Uber safety report, more Galaxy S11 rumors, could Apple be about to kill the charging port on iPhones entirely and what would that mean, Samsung’s new chips to make AR mainstream and of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Sponsors:MetalabPaintYourLife. Text TECH to 64-000
Links:Uber Says 3,045 Sexual Assaults Were Reported in U.S. Rides Last Year (NYTimes)Samsung to Take on iPhone’s Popularity With Big Camera Overhaul (Bloomberg)Kuo: Apple to Launch 'Completely Wireless' iPhone Without Lightning Connector and 'iPhone SE 2 Plus' With Touch ID Power Button in 2021 (MacRumors)5G and face tracking: The weird future of VR headsets like Oculus Quest and HoloLens (CNET)Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8c and 7c processors will power cheaper ARM laptops (The Verge)Spotify Year In Review Thread (@baekdal)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:How Ring Went From ‘Shark Tank’ Reject to America’s Scariest Surveillance Company (Motherboard)Inside VSCO, a Gen Z-approved photo-sharing app, with CEO Joel Flory (TechCrunch)Commentary: Andy Jassy aims to reinvent Amazon Web Services for the cloud’s next generation (Silicon Angle)Why Silicon Valley Investors Are Bonkers For European Startups (Forbes)A decade of hacking: The most notable cyber-security events of the 2010s (ZDNet)HOW SONY BOUGHT, AND SQUANDERED, THE FUTURE OF GAMING (The Verge)The difference between Windows Notepad and WordPad, and when to use each (Windows Central)Why ‘The Mandalorian’ cites Fortnite dev Epic Games in its credits (VentureBeat)Unintended Perk of the Online Mattress Boom: Never-Ending Free (WSJ)
The FTC might be broadening its look into Amazon, the new flagship Snapdragon Chips, a disc-free Xbox, checkins with Slack, Imgur and Robinhood, and craigslist enters the 21st century.
Sponsors:Metalab.coVistaprint.com Promo Code: Ride50 (for up to 50% off)
Links:Amazon Faces Widening U.S. Antitrust Scrutiny in Cloud Business (Bloomberg)Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 865 and 765(G): 5G For All in 2020, All The Details (AnandTech)Sources: Microsoft Is Still Planning A Cheaper, Disc-Less Next-Gen Xbox (Kotaku)Slack Raises Outlook After Winning New Corporate Customers (WSJ)300M-user Imgur launches Melee, a gaming meme app (TechCrunch)Red Flags for Robinhood (Fortune)Craigslist Finally Gets an Official App (Gizmodo)
Larry and Sergey ride their Segway’s off into the sunset, a new entrant in the streaming wars, more news from the re:Invent conference, YouTube says it’s algorithm change is working and the year that was, in the world of Reddit.
Links:A letter from Larry and Sergey (The Keyword)GOOGLE’S THIRD ERA (The Verge)Plex launches a free, ad-supported streaming service in over 200 countries (TechCrunch)With Outposts, Local Zones, and Verizon, AWS looks beyond the cloud (Mostly Cloudy)YouTube says viewers are spending less time watching conspiracy videos. But many still do. (The Washington Post)Instagram to collect ages in leap for youth safety, alcohol ads (Reuters)Reddit's monthly active user base grew 30% to reach 430M in 2019 (TechCrunch)Subreddit That Hates on ‘Game of Thrones’ Is the Most Popular TV Subreddit of 2019 (The Wrap)
Headlines from re:Invent, how tech is caught up in a tariff war with France, Facebook created a chatbot to help employees explain themselves during the holidays, and let me tell you about the new foldable phone from Pablo Escobar’s brother.
Links:AWS Graviton2: What it means for Arm in the data center, cloud, enterprise, AWS (ZDNet)AWS launches its custom Inferentia inferencing chips (TechCrunch)Trump Administration Proposes Tariffs Against $2.4 Billion of French Goods (WSJ)Former Google employees who say they were fired for organizing are filing labor charges against the company (Vox)Google fired us for organizing. We’re fighting back. (Google Walkout For Real Change)TikTok curbed reach for people with disabilities (NetzPolitik.org)TikTok prevented disabled users’ videos from showing up in feeds (The Verge)DHS wants to expand airport face recognition scans to include US citizens (TechCrunch)Facebook Gives Workers a Chatbot to Appease That Prying Uncle (NYTimes)Pablo Escobar's Brother Has Apple In His Crosshairs With... an 'Unbreakable' Foldable Phone? (Gizmodo)
Interesting Galaxy S11 leaks, T-Mobile flips the switch on its 5G network, might different models of next year’s iPhone have different versions of 5G, the rundown of Black Friday/Cyber Monday and why an e-sports team is IPO-ing.
Links:Samsung Suddenly Exposes Radical New Galaxy Smartphone [Updated] (Forbes)T-Mobile launches 600MHz 5G across the US, but no one can use it until December 6th (The Verge)4 new iPhones could have 5G in 2020, but not the same kind of 5G (Mashable)Google and Facebook run into more trouble over data in Europe (CNN Business)Driving Innovation in Data Portability with a New Photo Transfer Tool (Facebook Newsroom)Black Friday sees record $7.4B in online sales, $2.9B spent using smartphones (TechCrunch)Now even the FBI is warning about your smart TV's security (TechCrunch)Amazon debuts automatic speech recognition service, Amazon Transcribe Medical (TechCrunch)Amazon’s kooky new keyboard lets humans and AI write music together (Fast Company)Counter-Strike World Champions Aim for First Esport Team IPO (Bloomberg)
Since it’s a holiday week in the US, I’m going to do what I’ve done once before on Holiday weeks and give you an episode from the Internet History Podcast archives. This is a story about tech history that, if you’ve never heard it, will blow your mind. What if I told you there was a crazy entrepreneur who was the true founder of what would become America Online? He was the guy who hired Steve Case back before AOL was AOL. What if I told you that same entrepreneur invented true, networked, online gaming—not in the era of the Xbox 360, or Stadia, but back in the days of the Atari 2600? What if I then told you that same entrepreneur invented a Napster/Pandora/Spotify/Sirius-like music service, all the way back in 1981, before the compact disc was even widely available? That Man Is William von Meister And he is the subject of this episode. This is a crazy story, about a hard drinking, heavy-smoking, women-chasing entrepreneur, seemingly from the Mad Men cloth, who was “a pathological entrepreneur” with a “reality-distortion-field” that would give Steve Jobs a run for his money. It’s a story of about a dozen harebrained businesses, none of which were really successful (excepting of course that some or all of them lent their DNA to the company that would become AOL) but all of which were way ahead of their time, and in many ways, presaged technologies we take for granted today.
Google fires four workers associated with labor organizing, Amazon's ruthless quotas lead to high rates of warehouse injuries, grass-roots opponents to Amazon's power form a coalition, a report cites the public cost of Amazon warehouses on Southern California, the California DMV is selling driver information, the Rev transcription service exposes contractors to horrific recordings, Facebook pays people to take surveys, Zuckerberg mostly listens to old white men, a TikTok teen spreads the news about Chinese mistreatment of Muslim Uyghurs, and Texas Instruments keeps toting up new profits from an old calculator style.
SponsorsSilicon Valley BankMealime
Links:Google fires four workers, including one tied to protests (Bloomberg)Ruthless Quotas at Amazon Are Maiming Employees (the Atlantic)Amazon's Own Numbers Reveal Staggering Injury Rates at Staten Island Warehouse (Gizmodo)Grass-roots activists on Amazon's power coalesce (New York Times)Amazon costs Southern California big time in public assistance for its workers, environmental and transportation impact (Economic Roundtable)California DMV makes $50 million a year selling personal information (Vice)Rev Transcribers Hate the Low Pay, But the Disturbing Recordings Are Even Worse (The Verge)Facebook pays people to take surveys (Engadget)Zuck talks to old white men (Bloomberg)TikTok suspended a teen who posted a viral takedown of China disguised as a makeup tutorial (Business Insider)The Texas Instruments Chained-Calculation Massacre (Medium's GEN)
Uber loses its license in London, the web’s founder launches a “contract” to save it, eBay sells StubHub, the Threadrippers seem to be the real deal, Deadpool is buying a mobile carrier and Elon Musk knows why those windows cracked.
Links:Uber loses London licence after TfL finds drivers faked identity (The Guardian)Tim Berners-Lee unveils global plan to save the web (The Guardian)EBay to sell StubHub to Viagogo for about $4 billion in cash (CNBC)India's financial services firm Paytm raises $1B (TechCrunch)The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X and 3970X Review: 24 and 32 Cores on 7nm (AnandTech)AMD confirms 64-core Threadripper 3990X for 2020 (The Verge)Ryan Reynolds now owns a stake in budget carrier Mint Mobile (Engadget)Elon Musk explains why Tesla’s Cybertruck windows smashed during presentation (The Verge)Tesla's polarizing Cybertruck was preordered 200,000 times within 3 days (USA Today)
We gotta talk about Cybertruck, Twitter continues its shipping products hot streak, AirPods are hotter than even Apple anticipated, some trouble in Russia for gadget makers and, of course, the Weekend Longreads Suggestions.
Links:Behold, the Tesla Cybertruck is here (TechCrunch)Tesla accidentally busted two windows on the Cybertruck while demonstrating how tough they are (TechCrunch)Wall Street analysts say Tesla’s pickup is ‘really weird’ and Ford can ‘breathe a sigh of relief’ (CNBC)Tesla all-electric ATV makes a surprise debut at Cybertruck event (TechCrunch)Russia bans sale of gadgets without Russian-made software (BBC News)Twitter will finally let users disable SMS as default 2FA method (ZDNet)Twitter rolls out its 'Hide Replies' feature to all users worldwide (TechCrunch)Apple AirPods Shipments Expected to Double to 60 Million in 2019 (Bloomberg)Microsoft pushes Surface Earbuds release back to spring 2020 (Windows Central)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:How our home delivery habit reshaped the world (The Guardian)The Architect of Modern Algorithms (Quanta Magazine)Spotify’s Daniel Ek Has a Plan to Harness Hollywood for Podcasts and Create "the World’s No. 1 Audio Platform" (The Hollywood Reporter)Inside the Most Watched YouTube Channel in the World (Bloomberg Businessweek)Global Protests Reveal Bitcoin’s Limitations (CoinDesk)Robert De Niro and Al Pacino: A Big, Beautiful 50-Year Friendship (GQ)
Google is changing its rules around political ads, PayPal is acquiring Honey for a ton of money, why have a Dash Button when you can have a Dash Shelf? Route puts all your orders in one place and I’m afraid Google’s original culture is definitively dead.
Links:An update on our political ads policy (The Keyword/Google)Google to Limit Targeting of Political Ads (NYTimes)Facebook Weighs Steps to Curb Narrowly Targeted Political Ads (WSJ)PayPal to acquire shopping and rewards platform Honey for $4B (TechCrunch)Amazon unveils new Dash Smart Shelf that automatically reorders items when supplies run low (GeekWire)Route's app auto-tracks all your packages, raises $12M (TechCrunch)Inside Apple’s iPhone Software Shakeup After Buggy iOS 13 Debut (Bloomberg)Google Hires Firm Known for Anti-Union Efforts (NYTimes)
Hackers could take over your Android cameras, the police can do whatever they want with your Ring videos, if your Disney+ account is hacked, is it probably your fault? An amazing breakthrough in solar technology and why fishing by drone has become a thing.
Links:Android Camera App Bug Lets Apps Record Video Without Permission (BleepingComputer)Police can keep Ring camera video forever and share with whomever they’d like, Amazon tells senator (Washington Post)Amazon says it’s considered face scanning in Ring doorbells (Associated Press)Hacked Disney+ accounts are reportedly being sold for as little as $3 (CNBC)Apple expands in Austin (Apple Newsroom)Secretive energy startup backed by Bill Gates achieves solar breakthrough (CNN)A new solar heat technology could help solve one of the trickiest climate problems (Vox)Tackle Box for the Modern Fisherman: Rod, Reel, Drone (WSJ)
Apple’s planning an awards ceremony? Amazon has a new fire TV accessory, Spotify launches Your Daily Podcast, Google announces Your News Update, Ransomware comes for the vets, and the hidden cost hurdle for electric cars.
Links:Apple announces press event on Dec. 2 (CNBC)Amazon’s latest Fire TV accessory is an IR blaster that lets your Echo control your TV (The Verge)AMAZON EXPANDS FREE MUSIC STREAMING SERVICE TO APPLE, ANDROID DEVICES (MusicBusinessWorldwide)Google is putting an algorithmic audio news feed on its Assistant (The Verge)Ransomware Bites 400 Veterinary Hospitals (Krebs on Security)Why the electric-car revolution may take a lot longer than expected (MIT Technology Review)
The Mustang Mach-E wants to out Tesla Tesla, John Legere is stepping down from T-Mobile, .org domain names might be getting a lot more expensive, and the reviews on Google Stadia are decidedly mixed, but at least it works.
Links:FORD’S MUSTANG MACH-E IS AN ELECTRIC SUV WITH UP TO 300 MILES OF RANGE (The Verge)UP CLOSE WITH FORD’S ELECTRIC MUSTANG SUV, THE MACH-E (The Verge)Wayve raises $20 million to give autonomous cars better AI brains (VentureBeat)John Legere to step down as T-Mobile CEO next year (CNBC)The org that doles out .org websites just sold itself to a for-profit company (The Verge)ByteDance to take on rivals with music streaming launch (Financial Times)HP board unanimously rejects Xerox’s bid to acquire the company (CNBC)GOOGLE STADIA REVIEW: THE BEST OF CLOUD GAMING IS STILL JUST A BETA (The Verge)Stadia the Technology? Awesome. Stadia the Service? Not So Much (Vice)Stadia tech review: the best game streaming yet, but far from ready (EuroGamer)
So, that Razr event, out in LA... obviously I didn’t get to cover it live… and if there was ever a recent hardware event crying out for “hands-on” reporting, this was one. So, I reached out to someone who was there: QZ.com’s Mike Murphy, and actually, his take was pretty different than some of the others I read to you on Thursday. Come for that, and stay for the reality check about what will really make the 5G revolution happen.
Apple takes down vaping apps from the App Store, why is Google going ahead with the Stadia launch this month? Amazon protests the JEDI decision, the TikTok juggernaut rolls on—especially in India—and, of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
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Links:Exclusive: Apple to remove vaping apps from store (Axios)November 2019 Xbox One Update Brings Xbox Action for the Google Assistant, Gamertag Updates, Text Filters and More (XBox Wire)Microsoft to launch xCloud in 2020, with PS4 controllers and PC streaming on the way (The Verge)Google demos Stadia UI and lists several missing launch features (Engadget)Amazon cites ‘unmistakable bias’ in Microsoft’s military cloud contract win (CNBC)TikTok surpasses 1.5 billion downloads — with almost 500M in India (TNW)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:WeFail: How the doomed Masa Son-Adam Neumann relationship set WeWork on the road to disaster (Fast Company)How VCs Make Money (VCStarterKit)Superhero or Supervillain? Technology’s Role Changes Comic Books (NYTimes)AN ORAL HISTORY OF LIMEWIRE: THE LITTLE APP THAT CHANGED THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FOREVER (MelMagazine)As L.A. ports automate, some workers are cheering on the robots (LATimes)Managing Your Friendships, With Software (The Atlantic)From Instagram to Candy Crush: These are the most important apps of the decade (CNET)
There’s a new Razr phone with a foldable screen that might actually work? That Apple Prime bundle might be coming sooner rather than later. That Apple Research app is here right now. Why did 1Password raise a bunch of money for the first time ever? And can Netflix use Nickelodeon to fend off Disney?
Links:Motorola's foldable Razr: Inside the remaking of a flip phone icon (CNET)MOTOROLA RESURRECTS THE RAZR AS A FOLDABLE ANDROID SMARTPHONE (The Verge)Apple Plans Mega Bundle of Music, News, TV as Early as 2020 (Bloomberg)Apple launches Research app, US users can enroll in three health studies (9to5Mac)In Its First Funding In 14 Years, Toronto’s 1Password Raises $200M Series A Led By Accel (Crunchbase)Netflix and Nickelodeon partner on original programming, following Disney+ launch (TechCrunch)First ‘Tuned by THX’ home theater speakers need no A/V receivers — or wires (Digital Trends)
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The new 16-inch MacBook pro might actually have a keyboard that works! Google wants you to bank with them. The Brave browser comes out of beta. And there’s an AI that can predict if you’ll die in the next year… but doctors don’t know how it does it.
Links:APPLE’S 16-INCH MACBOOK PRO IS HERE AND IT HAS A GOOD KEYBOARD (The Verge)16-Inch MacBook Pro First Impressions: Great Keyboard, Outstanding Speakers (Daring Fireball)Next in Google’s Quest for Consumer Dominance: Banking (WSJ)Brave 1.0 launches, bringing the privacy-first browser out of beta (The Verge)DoorDash Picks Up Another $100 Million at Nearly $13 Billion Valuation (Bloomberg)Border officials can’t have ‘boundless’ access to search devices, court rules (The Verge)AI can predict if you'll die soon - but we've no idea how it works (New Scientist)
Google has hoovered up the health records of millions of folks without telling anyone, Instagram debuts a TikTok competitor, Facebook debuts Facebook Pay, WordPress.com debuts recurring payments and Disney+ literally just debuts.
Links:Google’s ‘Project Nightingale’ Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans (The Wall Street Journal)Instagram Stories launches TikTok clone Reels in Brazil (TechCrunch)Facebook Pay is a new payment system for WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook (The Verge)Facebook finally lets you banish nav bar tabs & red dots (TechCrunch)Whoop, the sports tech and analytics company that makes discreet wearables, raises $55M (TechCrunch)WordPress.com sites can now accept subscriptions with new 'Recurring Payments' feature (TechCrunch)Disney+ experiencing ‘unable to connect’ errors on launch day (The Verge)Here’s what time every episode of The Mandalorian and other Disney+ shows go live (The Verge)
New York State is investigating the Apple Card for alleged gender bias, sources say Apple thinks AR glasses could someday replace the smartphone, Dara Khosrowshahi said some things he regrets, and Amazon is gonna launch a grocery store not called Whole Foods.
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Links:Viral Tweet About Apple Card Leads to Goldman Sachs Probe (Bloomberg)@dhh ThreadAbout the Apple Card (dhh.dk)Uber CEO backtracks after calling Saudi murder of Khashoggi "a mistake" (Axios)Apple Eyes 2022 Release for AR Headset, 2023 for Glasses (The Information)Amazon will launch new grocery store as alternative to Whole Foods (CNET)DoorDash Won Food Delivery by Seizing the Suburbs and $2 Billion (Bloomberg)
Disney Plus will be on Amazon’s Fire TV when it launches next week, Andreessen Horowitz launches a completely free crypto school, Twitter seems to have woken up all of the sudden, T-Mobile really wants that merger with Sprint to happen, and, of course, the Weekend Longreads Suggestions.
Links:Disney stock rises after beating on top and bottom lines (CNBC)Andreessen Horowitz launches free crypto startup school (TechCrunch)Twitter Is Trying To Fix The Dunk And Ratio (BuzzFeed)T-Mobile dangles $15 plan, 5G gains, big freebies to get Sprint deal done (CNET)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:Pessimists Archive PodcastThe new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising (The Correspondent)THE BIG BITCOIN HEIST (Vanity Fair)We are living in Hideo Kojima’s dystopian nightmare. Can he save us? (Washington Post)A critical analysis of scroll bars throughout history (The Verge)The Making of the World’s Greatest Investor (WSJ)How Cheap Robots Are Transforming Ocean Exploration (Outside)
Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia, those weird text messages a whole bunch of people received overnight, the most powerful desktop CPUs in the world, Ghost Locomotion wants to turn existing cars into autonomous vehicles, Wrench will repair your car on demand, and what smart speaker seems to be unhackable?
Links:Former Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia by digging into the accounts of kingdom critics (Washington Post)Alphabet’s board of directors is investigating executives over inappropriate relationships (CNBC)A ton of people received text messages overnight that were originally sent on Valentine’s Day (The Verge)AMD unveils world's most powerful desktop CPUs (ZDNet)Uber faces costly choices after expert finds it uses Waymo self-driving tech (Reuters)Ghost raises $63.7 million to develop an aftermarket kit that gives cars self-driving capabilities (VentureBeat)Wrench's on-demand vehicle repair and maintenance service picks up $20 million (TechCrunch)Facebook Portal survives Pwn2Own hacking contest, Amazon Echo got hacked (ZDNet)
Twitter announces Topics, Xerox might take a run at HP, Uber’s getting into the ads business, Ford’s electric Mustang makes Tech Crunch angry, and the best blockchain startup idea I’ve heard of in a long time.
Links:Twitter is rolling out Topics, a way to follow subjects automatically in the timeline (The Verge)Xerox Considers Takeover Offer for HP (WSJ)California Says Facebook Failed to Comply With Subpoenas (NYTimes)California asks for court order forcing Facebook to hand over Cambridge Analytica documents (The Verge)Self-Driving Uber in Crash Wasn’t Designed to See Jaywalkers (Bloomberg)Uber is entering the ads business (TechCrunch)Neural Magic raises $15 million to boost AI inferencing speed on off-the-shelf processors (VentureBeat)How Arweave's Permaweb cheaply hosts sites & apps forever (TechCrunch)Ford built an electric Mustand with a manual transmission. And we're mad. (TechCrunch)
How are things in Masa Son’s world post-WeWork? How long until Uber will be profitable? How is the new Surface Pro X to use? Why is iOS aggressively quitting background apps? And why data scoring companies are maybe worse than credit score companies.
Links:SoftBank imposes new standards to rein in start-up founders (Financial Times)WeWork Isn’t the Only Stumble for SoftBank’s Vision Fund (WSJ)Uber Books Another Quarterly Loss as Revenue Climbs (WSJ)MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO X REVIEW: HEARTBREAKER (The Verge)Xiaomi unveils its 108-megapixel smartphone (Engadget)Actively exploited bug in fully updated Firefox is sending users into a tizzy (ArsTechnica)IOS 13.2 IS OVERZEALOUSLY KILLING APPS IN THE BACKGROUND (Daring Fireball)I Got Access to My Secret Consumer Score. Now You Can Get Yours, Too. (NYTimes)
Your smart speakers aren’t secure in a wild new way, crazy product announcement day from Microsoft and Adobe, crazy new logo design day from everyone but especially Facebook, and Wikipedia makes a big change to citations.
Links:Hackers Can Use Lasers to ‘Speak’ to Your Amazon Echo or Google Home (Wired)Microsoft’s new Office app for iOS and Android combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (The Verge)Microsoft's Chromium Edge browser arrives January 15th (Engadget)Microsoft Teams is getting Outlook integration, tasks support, and more (The Verge)Microsoft Ignite 2019: Meet Project Cortex, Office 365 knowledge-management service (ZDNet)Microsoft is bringing Cortana to Outlook for iOS and Android with a new ‘masculine’ voice (The Verge)Introducing Our New Company Brand (Facebook Newsroom)Photoshop for iPad is now available in the App Store (WCCFTech)The Internet Archive Is Making Wikipedia More Reliable (Wired)
Steve Case is obviously an internet and technology legend, as the founder of America Online. But as I said when I did a segment about it this week, I’ve always been fascinated with his Rise of the Rest Tour and Fund because, look, the whole basic principle of the project is to try new things, try to find new ideas and new people in new places. So after doing the segment on the new Rise of the Rest Fund II, I reached out to Steve to learn more about what he’s been learning as he’s been barnstorming the country to try to find exciting new companies outside of the major tech hubs.
Google acquires Fitbit, Apple TV+ officially launches, might the US Government be about to bring the hammer down on TikTok, and of course, the Weekend Longreads suggestions.
Links:Google to acquire Fitbit, valuing the smartwatch maker at about $2.1 billion (CNBC)Maps Incognito is launching for Google Maps Android Users (Google Maps Help)Apple TV+ is now live in the TV app: Start watching Apple’s original TV shows and movies (9to5Mac)Exclusive: U.S. opens national security investigation into TikTok - sources (Reuters)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:50 years ago today, the internet was born in Room 3420 (Fast Company)Talking with former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos (CJR)Everything is Amazing, But Nothing is Ours (AlexDanco.com)The Gross Margin Problem: Lessons for Tech-Enabled Startups (Craft)The Ransomware Superhero of Normal, Illinois (ProPublica)
Twitter says it will ban ALL political advertising, Cognizant says it is getting out of the content moderation business, Facebook earnings are good, Apple earnings are good… and evolving, and can the Chinese monitor SMS messages at the provider level, at scale?
Links:Jack Dorsey's Twitter ThreadZuckerberg defends politician ads that will be 0.5% of 2020 revenue (TechCrunch)Aaron Sorkin: An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg (NYTimes)Facebook shares rise on strong Q3, users up 2% to 2.45B (TechCrunch)A Facebook content moderation vendor is quitting the business after two Verge investigations (The Verge)Apple is laying the groundwork for an iPhone subscription (CNBC)Researchers unearth malware that siphoned SMS texts out of telco’s network (ArsTechnica)Unraveling the Secret Origins of an AmazonBasics Battery (OneZero)
WhatsApp sues the NSO Group about that crazy exploit, Uber is threating to sue Los Angeles about a crazy tracking program that I’m not sure about, we’ve got the full details surrounding HBO Max, an activist is taking Facebook’s political advertising policy to its logical conclusion, and how come none of you told me about Mario Kart Tour?
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Links:Why WhatsApp is pushing back on NSO Group hacking (Washington Post)WhatsApp Says Israeli Firm Used Its App in Spy Program (NYTimes)The New HBO Max is competing with Netflix by giving you Friends and Game of Thrones for $15 a month (Recode)Report: Apple to Use Qualcomm's X55 5G Modem in All Three 2020 iPhones (MacRumors)Uber in talks with Los Angeles as scooter location data lawsuit looms (CNET)Privacy groups actually side with Uber in scooter data fight (Mashable)This man is running for governor of California so he can run false Facebook ads (CNN Business)Mario Kart Tour Has a Rocket Start With 123.9 Million Downloads in Its First Month (SensorTower)
Earnings from Alphabet and Shopify, hacking the Olympics, the Rise of the Rest rides again, Amazon is making grocery delivery free and letting you pay your electric bill via Alexa, and don’t update your HomePod, or you might brick it.
Links:Alphabet Earnings Dented by Spending on Cloud Business (Bloomberg)Shopify Shares Tumble After Surprise Loss on Spending Boost (Bloomberg)Microsoft: Russian hackers are targeting sporting organizations ahead of Tokyo Olympics (ZDNet)AOL Founder Steve Case Launches Second $150 Million ‘Rise Of The Rest’ Fund To Back Entrepreneurs Across U.S. (Forbes)China to Funnel $29 Billion Towards its Chip Ambitions (Bloomberg)Amazon axes $14.99 Amazon Fresh fee, making grocery delivery free for Prime members to boost use (TechCrunch)Amazon will let you pay bills with Alexa (VentureBeat)New 13.2 Update Bricking Some HomePods [Update Pulled by Apple] (MacRumors)PlayStation Vue is Shutting Down Live TV Streaming Service in January (The Streamable)
AirPods Pro are here, new Nvidia streaming gadgets are here, Alphabet might be about to acquire Fitbit, the fallout from the Pentagon JEDI contract and what happens when your entire city orders from Amazon every single day.
Links:Apple reveals new AirPods Pro, available October 30 (Apple NewsRoom)Apple unveils new in-ear AirPods Pro coming October 30 for $249 (9to5Mac)Google parent Alphabet makes offer to buy Fitbit, sending stock soaring (CNBC)Nvidia’s new Shield TV wins the Android TV market with amazing 4K upscaling (TechCrunch)Microsoft snags hotly contested $10 billion defense contract, beating out Amazon (CNBC)Spotify grows users 30% in Q3 2019, premium subscribers reach 113 million (VentureBeat)Microsoft’s Xbox bundles are back and ready for the new Project Scarlett Xbox (The Verge)1.5 Million Packages a Day: The Internet Brings Chaos to N.Y. Streets (NYTimes)
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The news that Yahoo was shutting down Yahoo Groups, as I said, was another gut punch when you realize how much of the web’s history is so ephemeral. It also got me thinking that Yahoo as a company might be about to go down the memory hole, and that got me thinking about Yahoo’s legacy as perhaps the first great Internet company, and that got me talking to one of the deans of tech journalism, Harry McCracken. What IS Yahoo’s legacy? Why has it ended up the way it has? And also, why do we feel nostalgic for the sort of web Yahoo Groups represents? What has changed on the Internet from the Yahoo Groups glory days until now?
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Introducing Facebook News. Did the major US Carriers do an end-run around Google out of spite? Amazon is back to making as little profit as it possibly can, HBO Max makes its aggressive pricing move, and, of course, the Weekend Longreads Suggestions.
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Links:Rupert Murdoch wanted Mark Zuckerberg to pay him for news stories — and now Facebook is going to do just that (Recode)[Update: Google responds] Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile join forces to bring RCS to Android in 2020 (9to5Google)AMAZON.COM ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER SALES UP 24% TO $70.0 BILLION (Amazon)Behind AT&T's plan to take on Netflix, Apple and Disney with HBO Max (Reuters)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:The 2010s Broke Our Sense Of Time (Buzzfeed)Inside R/Relationships, the Unbearably Human Corner of Reddit (The Atlantic)He revolutionized how millions of people spend money in India. His next target: America (CNN Business)Now the Machines Are Learning How to Smell (Wired)Pentagon, With an Eye on China, Pushes for Help From American Tech (NYTimes)Google CEO Sundar Pichai on achieving quantum supremacy (MIT Technology Review)How Do You Like We Now (Bloomberg Opinion)
Is TikTok a national security risk? Inquiring Senators want to know. Earnings running the gamut from bad to surprisingly good from Twitter, Amazon and Tesla. And to paraphrase an old saw: if a voicemail system goes down how would anyone even notice?
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Links:TikTok raises national security concerns in Congress as Schumer, Cotton ask for federal review (The Washington Post)Music Video Upstart ‘Triller’ Says It’s Taking On TikTok Amid $28 Million Series B (TubeFilter)Twitter Q3 misses bi on revenues of $824M and EPS of $0.05 on the back of adtech glitches (TechCrunch)Twitter’s Growth Sags, But That Wasn’t the Worst Part (Bloomberg)Microsoft Sales, Profit Top Estimates on Cloud; Azure Slows (Bloomberg)Tesla Shares Soar as Elon Musk Packs Profit Report With Positives (Bloomberg)AT&T claims a weeks-long voicemail outage will be fixed with a single device update (The Verge)Apple TV app launches on Amazon Fire TV devices (9to5Mac)40 Major Music Festivals Have Pledged Not to Use Facial Recognition Technology (Vice)BBC News launches 'dark web' Tor mirror (BBC News)Behold the massive social media explosion from Fortnite’s Season 10 finale (The Washington Post)Last week's Fortnite update helped Akamai set a new CDN traffic record (ZDNet)
Mr. Zuckerberg went back to Washington, Google claims “Quantum Supremacy,” Apple overtakes Starbucks, HireVue is a controversial AI hiring tool and is the influencer bubble on the wane?
Links:Zuckerberg, in Washington to Talk Cryptocurrency, Gets Grilled on Everything (NYTimes) Snapchat beats in Q3, adding 7M users & revenue up 50% (TechCrunch)Apple Pay Overtakes Starbucks as Top Mobile Payment App in the US (eMarketer)Google Claims a Quantum Breakthrough That Could Change Computing (NYTimes)On “Quantum Supremacy” (IBM Research Blog)A face-scanning algorithm increasingly decides whether you deserve the job (The Washington Post)Online Influencers Tell You What to Buy, Advertisers Wonder Who’s Listening (WSJ)
SoftBank is taking over WeWork in order to save it, Verizon will give you Disney+ for free, Surprise! Comcast’s “free” streaming box really isn’t, and how much does Dark Mode save in battery life? Quite a bit, it turns out…
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Links:Neumann to Get Up to $1.7 Billion to Exit WeWork as SoftBank Takes Control (WSJ)Verizon Will Give One Year of Disney Plus for Free to All Unlimited Wireless Customers (Variety)Roku is buying ad tech company Dataxu in $150 million deal (CNBC)Comcast’s ‘free’ streaming box actually requires an additional $13 / month fee (The Verge)Forty-six attorneys general have joined a New York-led antitrust investigation of Facebook (The Washington Post)The Pixel 4 supports fast wireless charging on any Qi charger [Updated] (AndroidCentral)Dark Mode in iOS 13 significantly helps iPhone battery life, robotic test shows [Video] (9to5Mac)
It’s review-a-palooza day with Surface reviews and Pixel 4 reviews. Also, Facebook announces new disinformation initiatives, and Microsoft announces a Secured-core PC initiative and Twitch wants in on the Watch Party action.
Links:Facebook disables Russian, Iranian networks, illustrating continued 2020 election threat (Washington Post)Helping to Protect the 2020 US Elections (Facebook Newsroom)Microsoft announces Secured-core PCs to counter firmware attacks (VentureBeat)Twitch’s new Watch Parties test taps Prime Video for movie night (SlashGear)MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 7 REVIEW: I WISH THIS LOOKED LIKE A SURFACE PRO X (The Verge)MICROSOFT SURFACE LAPTOP 3 15-INCH REVIEW: IT’S A BIGGER SURFACE LAPTOP (The Verge)Google Pixel 4 XL review: A night vision camera that's dead by sunset (Android Central)GOOGLE PIXEL 4 AND 4 XL REVIEW: MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS SENSORS (The Verge)
Zuckerberg defends Facebook as a champion of free speech, will iPhone users have unlimited photo uploads to Google Photos while Pixel 4 owners will not, dial back your expectations for the Photoshop iPad app, the Vatican has a wearable prayer gadget, and, of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
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Links:Samsung says fingerprint security fix is coming as early as next week (The Verge)Defiant Zuckerberg Says Facebook Won’t Police Political Speech (NYTimes)On Facebook’s live stream, Zuckerberg’s free-speech lecture got a big thumbs up (Washington Post)Google Photos format loophole seems to give iPhone free unlimited storage for orig. quality photos, Pixel 4 left behind (9to5Mac)Photoshop for iPad Nearing Launch With Some Key Features Missing (Bloomberg)Vatican launches $110 'click to pray' wearable rosary (CNN)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:The Apple, iPhone 11, 11 Pro & 11 Pro Max Review (AnAndTech)The Creators Of Pokémon Go Mapped The World. Now They're Mapping You (Kotaku)The Young Firms Rethinking Social Media (The Information)Inside Apple's Long, Bumpy Road to Hollywood (The Hollywood Reporter)How Pinterest Built One of Silicon Valley’s Most Successful Algorithms (OneZero)Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free (ProPublica)