The day's tech news, every day at 5pm. From Techmeme.com, Silicon Valley's most-read news source. 15 minutes and you're up to date.
Fri. 01/22 – Alphabet Sends Loon To The Deadpool
What does it mean for Alphabet if it’s starting to cut bait on its “moonshots?” Is Google going to cut bait entirely, on the entire country of Australia? More signs that Apple is atoning for their laptop design sins. Looks like we were right, Plaid is very much, no Visa, no cry. And of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
Links: Alphabet Pops Loon’s Balloons—but Won't Call It a Failure (Wired) Google threatens to shut down search in Australia if digital news code goes ahead (The Guardian) Apple Plans Thinner MacBook Air With Magnetic Charger in Mac Lineup Reboot (Bloomberg) Plaid Shareholders Field Offers at $15 Billion After Merger Collapse (The Information)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions: Biden picks Jessica Rosenworcel as acting FCC chief (NBC News) The Inside Story of How the Lowly PDF Played the Longest Game in Tech (Marker) The Moderation War Is Coming to Spotify, Substack, and Clubhouse (OneZero) SAMSUNG GALAXY S21 ULTRA REVIEW: THE REAL DEAL (The Verge) Samsung Galaxy S21 review: The best Android phone for the money (Engadget)
Thu. 01/21 – Mark Gurman Dishes On The Apple VR Headset
Apple’s first foray into VR is coming next year, says Mark Gurman, but the real game is in AR and that’s a ways down the road. Amazon wants to help roll out the vaccines. Are laptops getting taller? One chat app to unify them all? And everybody wants a dark mode, even the White House.
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Links: Apple’s First Headset to Be Niche Precursor to Eventual AR Glasses (Bloomberg) LG considers exiting smartphones in 2021 (The Verge) Amazon sends letter to President Biden, says it is ‘ready to assist’ with U.S. vaccination efforts (GeekWire) Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review (Axios) Goodbye and good riddance to the 16:9 aspect ratio (The Verge) Pebble founder promises iMessage on Android and Windows with universal chat app (The Verge) WhiteHouse.gov now has dark mode (The Verge)
Wed. 01/20 – A16Z To Get Into The Media Business?
Is Andreessen Horowitz about to spin up its own media platform? Anthony Levandowski gets a pardon and Jack Ma resurfaces. Netflix is about to start printing money, and they’re about to give you a “shuffle play” button. And why Ben Thompson thinks Intel is in even more trouble than everybody thinks.
Links: Andreessen Horowitz Looks to Launch Opinion Publication as Its Media Ambition Grows (The Information)The Unauthorized Story of Andreessen Horowitz (Newcomer) Donald Trump pardons ex-Waymo, Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski (Engadget) Jack Ma Emerges for First Time Since Ant, Alibaba Crackdown (Bloomberg) Brave becomes first browser to add native support for the IPFS protocol (ZDNet) Netflix shares rise on strong subscriber growth, considers share buybacks (CNBC) Netflix’s ‘Shuffle Play’ feature will roll out to all users worldwide this year (TechCrunch)Intel Problems (Stratechery)Twitter Thread on the Intel stuff
Tue. 01/19 – Qualcomm’s New Snapdragon 870
Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon 870. Cruise, Microsoft and GM all get together in a beautiful marriage that is just as much about cloud computing as it is self-driving. Has the policy controversy endangered WhatsApp in India? And why the whole Smart Home and Internet of Things industry might be taking a breather.
(Bonus) Interesting Raise Episode 1!
The first ever interesting raise omnibus episode!
Links:Hipcamp, ‘Airbnb of the Outdoors,’ Raises $57 Million (The Information)Local news app News Break raises $115M (TechCrunch)Perfect Corp., developer of virtual beauty app YouCam Makeup, closes $50 million Series C led by Goldman Sachs (TechCrunch)Veo raises $25M for AI-based cameras that record and analyze football and other team sports (TechCrunch)Graphcore raises $222M for its ultrafast AI chips (SiliconAngle)AI chipmaker Graphcore raises $22M at a $2.77B valuation and puts an IPO in its sights (TechCrunch)Fintech startup Oxygen raises $17M in Series A round (SiliconAngle)AMP Robotics raises $55 million for AI that picks and sorts recyclables (VentureBeat)WeLink raises $185M to deliver high-bandwidth wireless internet to the home using 5G (TechCrunch)
Fri. 01/15 – Are We Really Getting the MacBook of My Dreams?
Is Apple finally throwing in the towel and giving us the sort of laptops we actually want? With these IPO first-day pops, forget banks screwing startups, are VC’s also undervaluing companies right now in a way that is unfair? Amazon wants to do in cars what it’s done successfully in homes. And, of course, the weekend longreads suggestions.
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Links: Kuo details 2021 MacBook Pro: new design with squared-off sides, MagSafe connector and IO return, Touch Bar removed (9to5Mac) Apple Plans Upgraded MacBook Pros With Return of Magnetic Charging (Bloomberg) Online clothing reseller Poshmark closes up more than 140% on first day of trading (CNBC) Amazon opens Alexa AI tech for the first time so car makers can build custom assistants (The Verge) Galaxy Book Flex2: Samsung’s first 5G laptop has an 11th-gen Intel Processor (Digital Trends)Shares in China’s Xiaomi tumble after US investment ban (Financial Times)
Weekend Longreads Suggestions:Is Letterboxd Becoming a Blockbuster? (NYTimes) Why the Canadian Tech Scene Doesn’t Work (AlexDanco.com) An Oral History of Wikipedia, the Web’s Encyclopedia (OneZero) CRISPR and the Splice to Survive (The New Yorker) Spotify Bets Big on Podcasts as a Path to Profitability (Bloomberg Businessweek)
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