Daily Tech Headlines – February 14, 2018

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Daily Tech Headlines – February 14, 2018
Number 438
Broadcast Date FEBRUARY 14, 2018
Episode Length 5:07
Hosts Sarah Lane

Snapchat offers new analytics to creators, Qualcomm’s X24 LTE modem claims 2gbps, SETI blames crypto mining for GPU shortage.

Headlines

Chrome's built-in ad blocker goes live Thursday, though ad blocker may imply it does things it doesn't. Chrome will only block ads on sites that violate the Coalition for Better Ads Guidelines. That's a group with folks like The Washington Post, Facebook, Proctor and Gamble and the World Federation of Advertisers on board. It's not just a Google thing. If a site that gets most of its visitors from North America or Europe (to start) shows pop-up ads, prestitial ads, autoplay video ads (and a few other kinds), then Chrome will block all its ads including those from Google's own AdSense. Otherwise it doesn't block ads.
A source tells Reuters that Uber narrowed its 2017 fourth-quarter loss to $1.1 billion from a loss of $1.46 billion in Q3, and that Uber's quarterly revenue rose 11.8 percent to $2.2 billion from the previous quarter. Uber's quarterly gross bookings rose 14 percent to $11.1 billion from the third quarter, the source told Reuters. Bloomberg also reports that figure is up 61% compared to 2016. Last month, Uber closed a deal with SoftBank to dole out 17.5 percent stake in the company and give Uber $14 billion in new funding. Last week, Uber agreed to pay $245 million-worth of its own shares to Waymo to settle a legal dispute over trade secrets.
Tens of thousands of Snapchat's creators who make official Stories or have large followings will start seeing view counts and demographic analytics on their Snapchat profile as the company tries to embrace its most active users and increase their discovery options. The new analytics could help creators prove their reach for sponsored content and product placement deals. Snapchat creators previously had very little data on their community and followers, and had to use unofficial third-party analytics providers to get more.
Qualcomm's latest gigabit LTE modem, the X24, reaches speeds of 2 Gbps (when carrier supported) -- a nice boost from the 1.2 Gbps X20. which was embedded into the Snapdragon 845 chipset announced in December. The X24 is the first commercial Category 20 LTE modern to be announced, according to Qualcomm. It may be integrated in Qualcomm's next premium mobile chip, which Qualcomm says will show up in commercial devices in the first half of 2019. The X24 is built on a 7 nanometer process, which would translate to potential power savings.
Facebook’s app for kids, called Messenger Kids, which lets parents control who kids can talk to, is rolling out to Android devices in the U.S. Android is the last major platform the app needed to address, after launching on iOS and hitting Amazon Fire tablets last month. Wired reports that while Facebook claimed it worked closely with leading experts in order to safeguard younger users, it didn't disclose that many of those experts had received funding from Facebook. An example - In 2017, Facebook donated at least $50,000 to MediaSmarts, which has two members on the advisory board for Messenger Kids.
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) researchers claim they can't expand operations at two observatories because the demand for GPUs is so high, due to cryptocurrency mining. Astronomers are just the latest to complain about the shortage...gamers are also struggling to find and afford GPUs to build gaming rigs. NVIDIA, the leading graphics card maker, recently limited online sales in response to the demand.
CNBC reports that the heads of six major US intelligence agencies made the recommendation during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday that American citizens shouldn’t use products and services made by Chinese companies Huawei or ZTE. The group included the heads of the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the director of national intelligence. FBI Director Chris Wray said the government was “deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.”
Google is working on an AI-based auto-reply system to text for you. The company's experimental product lab called Area 120 is currently testing a new system called Reply that will work with Google’s Hangouts and Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter direct messages and Slack. The system will apparently parse your messages and suggest one-tap answers, and Google says it could take your location, your calendar and other bits of information to help you reply correctly.

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Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – February 13, 2018"
Daily Tech Headlines – February 14, 2018
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – February 15, 2018"