Daily Tech Headlines – May 2, 2018

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Daily Tech Headlines – May 2, 2018
Number 493
Broadcast Date MAY 2, 2018
Episode Length 4:55
Hosts Tom Merritt

Facebook launches standalone VR headset, Apple earnings look good for phone sales and service revenue, MoviePass brings back unlimited subscription.


At Facebook's developer conference F8 Tuesday, Facebook announced users can opt-in to create a dating profile only visible to non-friends, which Facebook will use to match you with others. Facebook introduced Clear History, which lets Facebook account holders clear browsing data from Facebook's database as well as ask Facebook not to tie browser data to your profile. Instagram got video chat and more content filters. Messenger got a redesign and the first limited ability to translate languages. WhatsApp got group video chat. New Augmented Reality tools were made for easy development. 3D photos support is coming to the news feed. And Facebook re-opened its app review process.
Facebook announced Oculus Go is shipping now for $199 at 32GB and $249 for 64 GB. The Go doesn't need to be connected to a computer or a phone. It has speakers in the strap so you don't even need to cover your ears to use it.
Apple reported sales of 52.2 million phones up 3% from 50.7 million the same time last year. Average selling price rose 10% to $728. iPad sales rose 2%, Mac sales fell 3% and services revenue rose 31%. The App Store, Apple Music, iCloud and Apple Pay all generated record revenue. Revenue overall rose from $52.9 billion last year to $61.1 billion and earnings per share rose from $2.10 last year to $2.73. Sales in China also rose 21%, Apple's best growth rate yet there, despite slipping in marketshare. CEO Tim Cook said “It’s one of those things like when a team wins the Super Bowl, maybe you want them to win by a few more points. But it’s a Super Bowl winner and that’s how we feel about it.” Apple announced it will raise its dividends 16%.
LG announced its G7 ThinQ phone in New York with a dedicated button for Google Assistant, and a notch that you can turn off if you prefer a full bezel.. The cameras use AI to identify objects and optimize contrast, saturation and color. The headphone jack can supply virtual 7.1 surround. sound. The internal speaker is 39% louder. LG did not announce price or availability.
Amazon warned Open Whisper Systems that the anti-censorship system used for messaging service Signal violates Amazon Web Services terms of service by hiding the true origin of traffic using domain fronting. Signal faces immediate suspension. Signal uses Amazon's Souq.com to obfuscate traffic from outside observers but it does not hide the origin to users and it uses its own web security certificate.
MoviePass resumed its $10 a month unlimited movie theater ticket service and CEO Mitch Lowe says the company is "absolutely committed" to keeping it around. The restriction on seeing certain movies only once remains but Lowe said it will introduce plans including 3D and IMAX screenings by the end of May.
In 2016 Nokia acquired Withings. It transformed the company into Nokia Digital Health. Now Nokia announced it is negotiating to sell its Digital Health division, made up mostly of the former Withings company, to Withings founder Eric Carreel. Nokia Digital Health made up €52 million of Nokia's €23.2 billion last year.
Snapchat reached 191 million daily active users, up from 187 million, with its growth rate sinking to 2.13 percent, it’s lowest ever and lost 17 cents a share, a cent more than expected. Revenue rose more than 50% to $230.7 million but missed analyst's expectations. Snap blamed its redesign for "disrupting user behaviour" and creating some "apprehension" among its advertisers, but believes it will drive growth in the long run.
Sphero spin-off Misty Robotics has opened preorder for Misty II, a personal robot development platform. Misty uses a visual block-based programming environment for easy creation of new skills. It can also use javascript and integrate with Amazon Voice Services, Cortana, Google Assistant and Cloud APIs. A discounted version at $1600 is available until the end of May and start shipping in December.
Ireland's High Court refused a request by Facebook to delay a privacy case that challenges the Privacy Shield agreement for transferring data between the US and EU. The case now goes to the European Court of Justice. The case claims that the US law lacks an effective remedy compatible with EU requirements. Facebook will seek to appeal the referral of the case but the appeal will not delay any hearings.
Hulu announced it has 20 million subscribers up from 17 million it reported in January. Hulu also said subscribers will now be able to download some shows for offline viewing later this year.
The Outline notes that Amazon's Free Basics, free Internet service has shut down in Myanamar and Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch it ended in September 2017 as a result of a government regulatory effort. Facebook also told TechCrunch that commercial reasons led to Free Basics shutting down in other markets noted by The Outline including in Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Republic of Congo, Anguilla, El Salvador, and Saint Lucia. Facebook launched Free Basics recently in Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroon.


Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – May 1, 2018"
Daily Tech Headlines – May 2, 2018
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – May 3, 2018"