Facebook transparency report, Amazon Echo Spot review, Twitter’s new hate and violence policies, and more

Facebook transparency report, Amazon Echo Spot review, Twitter’s new hate and violence policies, and more
Anna Bazyma
22.12.2017

We keep on exploring the most resonant tech news. Here are Top 10 selected that might interest you.

1) Facebook transparency report for H1 2017: account data requests up 21% globally YoY to ~79K; 57% of US requests included order banning FB from notifying users

Today we are releasing our Transparency Report, previously called the Government Requests Report, for the first half of 2017. For the first time, we are expanding the report beyond government requests to provide data regarding reports from rights holders related to intellectual property (IP) — covering copyright, trademark, and counterfeit. The report also includes the same categories of information we’ve disclosed in the past, with updates on government requests for account data, content restrictions, and internet disruptions.

We believe that sharing information about IP reports we receive from rights holders is an important step toward being more open and clear about how we protect the people and businesses that use our services.

Read more on Newsroom

2) Snapchat is still the network of choice for U.S. teens — and Instagram is Facebook’s best shot at catching up

Some good news for Snap: Despite its sluggish business and slumping stock price, Snapchat still dominates among teenagers, a core demographic that represents the future wave of internet consumers and what they care about.

RBC Capital published the latest update to its regular social media survey this week, and a few things stood out — especially in the battle over teenagers, where Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are all fighting for the next generation’s attention.

Read more on Recode 

 

3) Comment: Slowing down older iPhones may be the right thing to do, but it opens a can of worms

Apple caused a furore yesterday when it admitted that it deliberately slows down older iPhones.

The issue first came to the fore with a Reddit thread, which showed a significant difference in performance on the same device when fitted with old and new batteries. Geekbench founder, John Poole, confirmed the phenomenon, and developer Guilherme Rambo subsequently identified the code that controlled it.

Apple then confirmed the facts, and explained its reasons.

Read more on 9to5mac.

4) YouTube TV will launch Roku and Apple TV apps in early 2018

Cable TV cord-cutters expecting YouTube TV’s full app for Roku and Apple TV devices this year will have to wait a little longer.

YouTube TV finally has a full app, but the rollout to various TV devices is taking longer than originally planned.

The apps for Roku and Apple TV, originally slated to launch before the end of 2017, are now scheduled for the first quarter of 2018. Also planned for the Q1 timeframe, a YouTube representative told me, are apps for older smart TVs, namely Samsung sets from 2014 and 2015, and Sony TVs that use the older Linux-based operating system, as opposed to Android TV.

Read more on CNET

 

5) Apple Plans Combined iPhone, iPad & Mac Apps to Create One User Experience

Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad introduced a novel way of interacting with computers: via easy-to-use applications, accessible in the highly curated App Store.

The same approach hasn’t worked nearly as well on Apple’s desktops and laptops. The Mac App Store is a ghost town of limited selection and rarely updated programs. Now Apple plans to change that by giving people a way to use a single set of apps that work equally well across its family of devices: iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Starting as early as next year, software developers will be able to design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it’s running on the iPhone and iPad operating system or on Mac hardware, according to people familiar with the matter.

Read more on Bloomberg

 

6) Sources: Xiaomi’s 2017 profit could exceed $1B based on company’s $17B-$18B revenue estimate; $2B profit expected in 2018, making a $100B IPO value “reasonable”

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc has told bankers it would top its annual revenue target by as much as 18 percent, sources with knowledge of the matter said, marking a comeback from a sales slump in recent years that triggered a business overhaul.

Xiaomi, which has been hearing bank pitches for what could be the world’s biggest tech float next year, will rake in a net profit of at least $1 billion in 2017, banker projections based on the company’s revenue estimate of $17 billion to $18 billion show. Profits are estimated to reach about $2 billion in 2018.

Read more on Reuters

7) Adidas shifts away from making its own wearable tech

Wearables are hard. Some of the biggest names in technology have tried and failed to find success in the space, and even those that have become synonymous with the category have struggled to keep up. Adidas is only the latest company to learn this lesson the hard way.

As first reported late last week, the shoe maker is shuttering its digital sports organization and reshuffling the remainder of its digital efforts. We’ve since confirmed the restructuring with a spokesperson for the company, who offered up a fairly corporate-speak heavy take on the news.

Read more on Techcrunch

8) China’s Huawei to Expand in US Smartphone Market Next Year

An executive of Huawei says the Chinese smartphone brand plans to start sales in the U.S. market through carriers next year in a move that would dramatically increase its American market presence.

In this May 26, 2016 file photo, people walk past an illuminated logo for Huawei at a launch event for the Huawei MateBook in Beijing. An executive of Huawei says the Chinese smartphone brand will start sales in the United States through phone carriers next year 2018, in a move that would dramatically increase the American presence of the No. 3 global handset seller. The president of Huawei Technologies Ltd.’s consumer business, Richard Yu, said Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, he would announce details at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Huawei sells some models in U.S. electronics stores but has a minimal share of a marke.

Read more on Usnews

9) Twitter starts enforcing new policies on violence, abuse, and hateful conduct

Twitter says it will now begin enforcing the new rules it announced last month to combat abuse and hateful conduct, including threats of violence and physical harm. The new rules expand policies to abusive or threatening content in usernames and profiles, and to accounts affiliated with hate groups both on and off platform.

Twitter has struggled with violent, offensive, or hateful content, even granting verification badges before removing them from prominent white nationalists as hate speech and abuse have proliferated on the platform. Twitter has also been criticized for the seemingly arbitrary way it enforces its rules and has previously said it plans to do a better job of responding to users’ reports of abuse.

Read more on The Verge

10) Amazon Echo Spot review: As smart as it is cute

When Amazon unveiled the Echo Show earlier this year, we questioned if we really needed an Echo with a touchscreen. Surprisingly, the display turned out to be quite useful — it was good for video, making calls or just displaying bite-sized information. But its peculiar mall-kiosk design left a lot to be desired, especially for people thinking of putting it in a central location in their home.

A few months later, however, Amazon unveiled the Echo Show’s smaller, more adorable sibling: the Echo Spot. It has all the same functionality as the Show, except it’s wrapped in a much cuter package. Yet, its small size is also something of a downside, as it’s not ideal for watching video. That makes its $130 asking price a little harder to swallow.

Read more on Engadget