Instagram launches walkie-talkie voice messaging

From Tech Crunch: You’d think Facebook would be faster at copying itself. Five years after Facebook Messenger took a cue from WhatsApp and Voxer to launch voice messaging, and four months after TechCrunch reported Instagram was testing its own walkie-talkie feature, voice messaging is rolling out globally on Instagram Direct today.

Super Micro says no evidence of spy chips found in its hardware

From CNET: Super Micro on Tuesday said an investigations firm found "absolutely no evidence" of malicious hardware on its motherboards.

In a letter sent to customers, the California hardware maker said a third-party investigations firm tested its current and older-model motherboards for evidence malicious chips or other hardware had been inserted into its products. Super Micro said it wasn't surprised by the results.

Sundar Pichai had to explain to Congress why Googling ‘idiot’ turns up pictures of Trump

From The Verge: In a House Judiciary Committee hearing today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was asked to explain why a Google image search for “idiot” turned up pictures of Donald Trump — and whether that was a case of intentional bias.

The question came from Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who was trying to refute the idea that Google is politically manipulating search results. “Right now, if you google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that,” she said. “How would that happen?”

Google+ Shutting Down Earlier Than Planned Amidst Another Data Leak

From PC Mag: Google is speeding up its plans to shut down the consumer version of Google+ following the discovery of a second user data leak.

Big screens and high-end features could boost phone shipments in 2019

From CNET: After declining in 2018, smartphone shipments could see some modest growth in 2019, according to a report from IDC out Tuesday.

In 2019, smartphone shipments could rise 2.6 percent and eventually hit about 1.57 billion units by 2022.

That growth could be attributed to a shift toward bigger screens, as well as higher-end phones, the report said.

Apple faces ban on sale of older iPhones in China, Qualcomm says

From CNET: The iPhone may have hit a roadblock in China as Apple continues its legal fight with Qualcomm.

A Chinese court has ordered that four of Apple's Chinese subsidiaries must immediately stop the "importation, sale and offers for sale in China of the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X," Qualcomm said Monday in a statement. The court granted Qualcomm's request for preliminary injunctions against the Apple subsidiaries related to two of the chipmaker's patents, according to the statement.

Corsair Is Selling Fake RAM With RGB Lights

From Tom's Hardware: Look at that dual-channel RAM set-up of yours. Are there two extra DIMM slots waiting to be filled? How sad. With RAM prices as they are, those slots might not be filled anytime soon—unless you go with Corsair's alternative: the Vengeance RGB Pro Light Enhancement Kit, a $40 package with two fake RAM sticks that use 10 addressable RGB LEDs each.

Samsung’s A8s is its first phone with an Infinity-O hole-punch display

From The Verge: Following hot on the heels of today’s Honor View 20 tease, Samsung has announced a phone of its own that’ll make use of its new Infinity-O display. The Samsung A8s features a distinctive “hole-punch” design for the phone’s selfie camera located at the top left of the display.

Samsung has said it intends to debut new features on mid-range phones first after ceding so much ground to its Chinese rivals. The A8s is a good example of this strategy.

Verizon announces 10,400 employees will voluntarily leave the company

From Tech Crunch: Verizon today announced 10,400 employees are taking buyouts to leave the company. That’s about 7 percent of the company’s worldwide workforce. This is part of an effort to trim the telecom giant’s workforce ahead of its push toward 5G.

I still have a job. Everyone at TechCrunch, which is part of the Verizon Media Group, is sticking around. None of us were offered buyouts.

Billionaire Twitter Cofounder Evan Williams Unloaded Nearly Half Of His Twitter Stake Since April

From Forbes: Evan Williams, who helped invent Twitter more than a decade ago and briefly served as its CEO, has unloaded nearly half of his Twitter stake since April, documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commision show. Because he is required to pay taxes on his capital gains every time he sells shares, Forbes now pegs his net worth at just under $1.7 billion, down from $1.8 billion, according to Forbes Real-Time ranking.

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