Daily Tech Headlines – January 30, 2018

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Daily Tech Headlines – January 30, 2018
Number 427
Broadcast Date JANUARY 30, 2018
Episode Length 3:35
Hosts Tom Merritt

Protest against Messenger for Kids, Google closes acquisition of HTC hardware engineering, Snapchat has new Bitmoji options.


Google has finalized its acquisition of a large portion of HTC's hardware development team for $1.1 billion. The acquisition gives Google 2,000 engineers, a non-exclusive license to HTC intellectual property and an office in Taipei, Taiwan. HTC will keep its HTC Vive team and continue to make phones.
Bloomberg reports sources tell it Verizon is dropping plans to carry Huawei phones. The US government is also pressuring Verizon to end collaboration with Huawei on 5G standards.
Snapchat has added 40 skin tones, 50 hair colors, 50 hair treatment options and more to its Bitmoji avatars. Bitmoji Deluxe launched in Snapchat Tuesday and gives users more customization options.
100 child experts from multiple child welfare organizations in the US and UK signed an open letter to Facebook asking it to end its Messenger Kids app. The Kids app was meant as a safe way for children to message friends and family with parental approval and supervision while younger than 13. The experts are concerned that Messenger exposes children to social networking too early which has been shown to cause harm. They argue existing phone and text messaging services are enough and a Facebook messaging app for children is not necessary. Facebook says its app was designed in cooperation with online safety experts.
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase are forming a healthcare company to cut the cost of providing health care to employees. The company will not aim to make a profit focusing on providing “simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare” for their more than 500,000 U.S. employees.
Fiat Chrysler will provide Waymo with thousands of Pacifica hybrid minivans in 2018 for its autonomous car service. Waymo began testing autonomous cars in Atlanta last week bringing the total number of cities where it runs tests to 25. Waymo intends to offer its self-driving car service to the public in Phoenix sometime this year.
The UK’s Court of Appeal has ruled that the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) does not adequately restrict police officers access to personal information, including phone records and browsing history. The Act was passed in 2014 as emergency legislation and paved the way for the wider Investigatory Powers Act passed in 2016. That act may now need to be scaled back.
Indian ride-hailing company Ola began recruiting drivers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth indicating it plans to expand to Australia. Taxify recently launched in Australia and Uber has operated there for some time.
Strava says it will review its privacy settings after it was found its public heat map inadvertently exposed military locations. The company plans to simplify privacy features to make sure users are fully aware of what's shared and how to control their data.
Microsoft has acquired PlayFab, a gaming back-end service that helps developers launch games online faster. The Seattle based startup previously raised about $13M in funding and will be integrated into Microsoft’s Azure gaming group.


Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – January 29, 2018"
Daily Tech Headlines – January 30, 2018
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – January 31, 2018"