Daily Tech Headlines – May 3, 2018

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Daily Tech Headlines – May 3, 2018
Number 494
Broadcast Date MAY 3, 2018
Episode Length 3:49
Hosts Sarah Lane

Spotify announces 75M paying subscribers in first public earnings report, Google Assistant now compatible with 5000 smart devices, Amazon launches its own pet food brand.

Headlines

Data Analytics firm SCL Group and its affiliate Cambridge Analytica has shut down. SCL Group received data from professor Aleksandr Kogan's personality survey in violation of Facebook's terms of service. It told Facebook it deleted the data had not in fact done so. Business Insider reports that SCL Group chairman Julian Wheatland and chief data officer, Alexander Tayler set up a company called Emerdata last August which lists former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix as a director. Emerdata's address is the same as SCL Group's.
Xiaomi filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong., Xiaomi is the world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker ranked by shipments. Bankers familiar with the plan said the Beijing-based company is seeking to raise US$10 billion, in a sale that would value Xaiomi at US$100 billion and make Xiaomi China's third-biggest technology company after Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group.
After launching on Android back in February, Google Pay is now rolling out on the web for shopping transactions via desktop and iOS browsers. Users can check out via a new "buy with Google Pay" button on shopping sites, as well as send and receive money using a credit or debit card or PayPal account. Google Pay now operates in 20 countries.
Google says its Assistant can now control more than 5,000 smart devices, up from 1,500 compatible devices in January, and closing the gap between Google and Amazon, which still works with more smart home gadgets Voice controlled functionality for brands like Dish's set top box, the Hopper, and Logitech Harmony remotes will start rolling out this month.
Amazon has a new brand of pet products, called Wag, available only to Prime subscribers and only dry dog food for now, although the company says it plans to expand to other pet supplies. Wag.com now redirects to Amazon's pet supplies page. Amazon’s other recent private-label forays include bedroom, dining-room and office furniture under the Rivet and Stone & Beam lines. Amazon also reintroduced its own diapers under the Mama Bear brand last year after killing another of private label diaper brand three years prior.
Amazon is also reportedly inviting people to participate in a 3D body-scanning survey, according to the Wall Street Journal, to get data on the size and shape of various bodies monitored over a 20-week period. Amazon's new 3D body-scanning unit was developed after Amazon bought the startup Body Labs in October.
Zynga founder and chairman Mark Pincus has given up voting control of his company, reducing his voting power from 70% to 10%, and moving to a role as non-executive chairman, although he'll remain on the board. In a blog post, Pincus said he felt “it’s time” to remove himself from active management in the company. You might recall Pincus stepped down once already back in 2013, but then returned in 2015.
Spotify announced its first earning report as a public company after going public last month. Along with the previously announced 170 million monthly users, Spotify also says it has 75 million paid subscribers. Apple Music, which has no free tier, recently hit the 40-million mark. In other Spotify Q1 2018 news, operating loss was down from 87M euros in Q4 2017 to €41 million euros, but the company is still spending more than it's making.

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Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – May 2, 2018"
Daily Tech Headlines – May 3, 2018
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – May 4, 2018"