Samsung Launches Access Program in the US

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Samsung Launches Access Program in the US
Number 1141
Broadcast Date JUNE 1, 2020
Episode Length 5:08
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

Samsung launches the Access phone subscription service in the US, the US will join the Global Partnership on AI, and Zynga buys the mobile game maker Peak for $1.8 billion.


Samsung launched the Access phone subscription program in the US. The program bundles in a new Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, or Galaxy S20 Ultra device with Samsung Premium Care, 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and Microsoft 365 Personal services. Users can upgrade devices after nine months for free, or earlier for a one-time $100 fee, with a $100 fee for cancelling Access within the first three months. Access pricing varies by device, $37 per month for the Galaxy S20, $42 per month for the Galaxy S20+, or $48 per month for the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Michael Kratsios, announced the US will join the rest of the G7 in the Global Partnership on AI, which studies and provides recommendation on responsible AI development to companies and governments. The US will outline its involvement with the organization at a meeting of G7 science ministers on June 4th. According to Kratsios, the group will establish shared democratic principles as a counter to China’s attempt "to shape international standards on facial recognition and surveillance."
Zynga announced it agreed to buy the Turkish mobile-game maker Peak in a deal worth $1.8 billion. The deal will provide Zynga with the popular puzzle games Toon Blast and Toy Blast, and estimated to grow Zynga's daily active users by 60%, largely through its expanded international audience. Zynga previous bought Peak's mobile card game studio in 2017 for $100 million.
India's Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade rejected Flipkart's proposed plan to enter the country's food retail business, citing failure to meet regulatory guidelines. According to sources speaking to TechCrunch, the department did not provide specific regulatory failings. Flipkart said it intends to reapply, and previously announced plans to invest $258 million in its food retail business.
Business Insider obtained a memo from Magic Leap co-founder and CEO Tony Abovits to employees saying he will step down and the company is actively recruiting candidates to replace him as CEO. The memo also mentions a new round of funding previously reported.
The Financial Times reports that tracking-app maker Tile has sent a letter to Europe's competition commissioner asking for an investigation into Apple. Tile complains that Apple made tracking default off for tracking apps but leaves it on for Apple's own Find My app. Tile also complained about app store placement and Apple stopping selling Tile tags in Apple stores. Apple denies allegations of uncompetitive behavior. Tile has filed similar complaints in the US.
According to an email seen by The Verge, Alphabet's Waymo plans to resume some autonomous vehicle service in the Bay Area as of June 8th. Waymo paused on-road service in mid-March when “shelter-in-place” orders banned all nonessential travel. Service will resume by providing deliveries for two non-profits Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired and DrawTogether.
Uber has added "hourly booking" in 12 US cities that lets you hire a driver for $50 an hour for up to seven hours. Hourly bookings can not be used for airport trips or outside the city service area. Hourly booking was already available from Uber in Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Microsoft confirmed its laying off journalists and editorial workers at its Microsoft News and MSN organizations across the US and UK, many of whom were contracted to work on story selection for the outlets. Microsoft says the layoffs were not a result of business pressures from the pandemic, and The Guardian reports that UK layoffs were a result of Microsoft's shift to stop employing humans to curate articles on its homepages, relying instead on AI.
Apple paid a $100,000 bug bounty to security researcher Bhavuk Jain after disclosing a serious bug with Sign in with Apple. The service allows users to hide their email from third-parties, which creates a JSON web token that includes the user-specific Apple email ID for that service. Jain found that he could request these web tokens for any Apple email ID, which would allow an attacker to forge a web token by linking any email ID to it and gaining access to the victim’s account. Jain says Apple patched the vulnerability and found no evidence that the bug was exploited in the wild.
In a statement to 9to5Mac, Apple acknowledged that it closed a number of Apple stores across the US on May 31st and June 1st as a result of ongoing protests across the US. In a memo to employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook committed to donating to the Equal Justice Initiative and other non-profits and will match all employee non-profit donations on a 2 to 1 basis for the month of June.
Google announced it was delaying the launch of the Android 11 Beta 1 release, saying “now is not the time to celebrate” in light of ongoing nationwide protests in the US. No word on when the launch will be rescheduled, but Google says the final release is still scheduled for Q3 2020.


Preceded by:
"Week in Review for the Week of 5/25/20"
Samsung Launches Access Program in the US
Followed by:
"Book Publishers Sue Internet Archive"