Tech News and Analysis from around the web
Kanishka Singh / Reuters:
Judge dismisses Sidecar's lawsuit against Uber; Sidecar, a ride-hailing company that closed in 2015, had accused Uber of using anti-competitive practices — (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) on Tuesday prevailed in a lawsuit accusing it of driving a smaller rival …
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:
GM's Cruise unveils Origin, its first driverless vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals, says it will share more info about its production plans in the future — The Origin is the GM subsidiary's first attempt to build an fully autonomous car from the ground up
Sources: Quibi's CEO Meg Whitman, in an internal meeting, compared reporters' friendly rapport with their sources to how sexual predators groom their targets — Quibi CEO Meg Whitman lashed out against the media at an “all-hands” staff meeting last Thursday, drawing an analogy between reporters …
Mike Minotti / VentureBeat:
Stillfront Group, a Sweden-based group of gaming studios, is acquiring mobile gaming studio Storm8 for $300M, of which $75M will be in Stillfront shares — Stillfront Group announced today that it is acquiring 100% of Califonia mobile gaming studio Storm8.
Source: the new low-cost iPhone, which looks like iPhone 8 and has a 4.7" screen, will enter production in February and may be announced as early as March — - New model will look similar to 2017's iPhone 8 with Touch ID — Apple expected to launch the 4.7-inch phone as early as March
Megan Cassidy / San Francisco Chronicle:
How social networks cite the Stored Communications Act, a privacy law from the '80s, to withhold information that might exonerate defendants in criminal cases — By the time the FBI raided Omar Ameen's Sacramento apartment in August 2018, his extradition back to Iraq seemed all but inevitable.
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
Corporate moving services startup Shyft, which claims its tech is 95% accurate at identifying volume and weight of the move via video call, raises $15M Series A — Shyft is announcing that it has raised $15 million in Series A funding to make the moving process less painful …
Joshua Fruhlinger / Thinknum:
Analysis: Netflix now boasts 1,211 originals and has been adding one show a day on average over the past eight months — While some analysts were expecting ho-hum results from Netflix ($NASDAQ:NFLX) in light of the launches of Disney+ and Apple TV+, the streaming service announced today …
Jordan Novet / CNBC:
IBM's Q4 revenue grew slightly, to $21.77B, beating expectations after five quarters of declines, with Red Hat revenue up 24% YoY; stock up 4%+ after hours — - IBM's revenue grew slightly in the quarter following five quarters of declines. — Morgan Stanley cut its rating on IBM stock last week.
Stephanie Kirchgaessner / The Guardian:
Sources: analysis shows a message from Saudi Crown Prince MbS' WhatsApp account to Jeff Bezos in 2018 included file “highly” likely to have hacked Bezos' phone — Exclusive: investigation suggests Washington Post owner was targeted five months before murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Netflix Q4 revenue grew 31% YoY to $5.467B and net income rose to $587M, surpassing 100M paid memberships outside the US; global paid net additions totaled 8.8M — Fellow shareholders, We had a strong finish to 2019, with Q4 revenue growing 31% year over year, bringing full year 2019 revenue …
Facebook says it plans to hire 1,000 workers in the UK this year, with over half in technology, bringing its total in the UK to over 4,000 — LONDON (Reuters) - Facebook (FB.O) will hire 1,000 people in London this year in roles such as product development and safety as it continues to grow …
Garrett Bridges / Android Police:
Google debuts experimental wellbeing apps including Activity Bubbles, which slowly fill the screen after unlocking, and wallpaper showing phone usage time — Google has been on a roll recently with its digital wellbeing initiatives, releasing Family Link for parental controls …
Emily Birnbaum / The Hill:
SCOTUS declines to review Facebook facial recognition case, meaning FB will likely face a class-action suit alleging its photo-tagging feature violated IL law — The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a high-profile court battle over whether users can sue Facebook …
Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
Massachusetts-based startup Berkshire Grey, which develops AI-powered pick-and-place retail and warehouse robots, raises $263M Series B led by SoftBank — In recent years, the retail category has become one of the biggest and best-funded robotics categories — particularly when coupled …
I like that the NYT endorsed Amy Klobuchar. I think she is the right choice for president, as I've written here before. "She's young, but not too young. A liberal who presents as a moderate. Thoughtful. Doesn't shoot from the hip."
They also endorsed Elizabeth Warren, who imho can't get in touch with most of America, for a lot of reasons. A video convinced me, she would not be a good president. A good senator, a good Secretary of the Treasury, a Harvard professor? Yes, but she writes off 1/2 the electorate in a snipe that lucky for her didn't get a lot of coverage. Also there's this incident, that proved that she's a Democrat as much as Biden, Clinton or Obama, and in not a good way.
A president must be of all the people, not just women or men. We've seen what happens with a president who doesn't get that. Warren, while smart, and determined, is not a leader. Klobuchar still has a way to go before she's confident enough to lead. But she has a lot of things right, and she's tough and from the center of the country, and that's symbolic and important.
And this is the year we need a woman president, to balance four years of having a very anti-woman president. But not someone who will undo the past by re-doing it in the inverse. We need all hands on deck to recover from the various crises that confront us.
The NYT had a line about Sanders that I knew but had forgotten. His plan for change is this: Magic! He has such a personality that everyone, once he's elected, will get behind him. It's what teenage boys dream of when they grow up to hit a walk-off home run to win the World Series. The acclaim, the wonder, such a good boy! Well it would never be like that for Bernie. He's got a character only a few people like, and many can't tolerate. I have always disliked him, think he's shallow and just plain wrong. What an awful president he'd make, something we'll never see because a cranky old Jewish socialist could not get elected president of the United States. He would be the McGovern of 2020, but at least McGovern was a nice guy.
When I speak of the limits of RSS, I'm including the limits of reader apps. For many years I've been reluctant to do that. They mostly have conformed to rules set by the now-defunct Google Reader, and by norms set by previous readers, including my own. Unfortunately there's no way to change the behavior of readers. I've tried, in small ways, they just won't budge (or even listen). It's not just mishandling of untitled posts, posts can't be updated and there's more I don't want to go into now.
The net-net is this: even if I could influence what the reader apps do, they would still be the wrong way to read my blog!
If you are just reading my blog through RSS, it would be really hard for you to understand this. Subscribe to the nightly email. Read it from top to bottom once a day, instead of in fragments published through the day. This is the way my blog was always meant to be read. I think I was a bit too willing to compromise, in hindsight.
Some correspondents have said RSS isn't wrong. Of course not. I love RSS. I played a big role in its creation. But it's 20-plus years later now, and the limits shouldn't be permanently insurmountable. A re-think is way past overdue.
Keep using RSS. Bless you. I use it too. Look at my rivers. I check them many times a day. But my blog is fresh and new and works the way I like, and I get to change anything about it I want, and if you read my blog through RSS you aren't getting it. That really bothers me.
No more limits imposed by others or history. That was the epiphany of 2017, and it continues.