Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
Source: Sphero, maker of robotic toys, lays off 45 employees after disappointing holiday season; spokesperson says it’s now focusing on its efforts in education — Sphero was ready to conquer the world last year. The company quintupled its product release schedule, flying high with the help …
Alexis C. Madrigal / The Atlantic:
Facebook should explain how it will design surveys ranking trust in news sources, whether media can contest rank, whether user ideologies will be a factor, more — Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday that Facebook will begin surveying users about which news sources they trust, in an effort to rank publications on “trustworthiness.”
Joseph Cox / The Daily Beast:
On gaming chat service Discord, some users swap revenge porn and rape videos on dedicated servers — Discord is used by millions of gamers every day to chat, relax, and coordinate while playing their game of choice. But this multimillion-dollar messaging platform has another ballooning user base: revenge-porn offenders.
Jason Del Rey / Recode:
Amazon Go, a high-tech version of a 7-Eleven, will finally open on Monday — with no checkout lines and no cashiers — Amazon Go allows customers to grab items and just walk out without stopping to pay. — Amazon’s store of the future has been five years in the making. But the unveiling is just about here.
Sandra Upson / Wired:
How the developers of the Lightning Network plan to make Bitcoin transactions faster and cheaper using private payment channels — IN 2014, JOSEPH Poon and Thaddeus Dryja were bitcoin-obsessed engineers hanging out at pizza-fueled meetups in San Francisco.
Eva Yoo / TechNode:
WeChat says it now has 980M monthly active users, claims 170M daily active users for its Mini Program app platform, which now has 580,000 apps — January 9th was WeChat mini program’s first birthday. Throughout the year, some startups picked it up and developed their mini program.
The Economic Times:
Indian mobile operator Reliance Jio reports first quarterly profit of ~$79M in FY Q3, 15 months after starting commercial operations, had 160M+ users as of Dec. — Within 15 months of starting commercial operations, Reliance Jio Infocomm turned profitable, posting a net profit of Rs 504 crore for the third quarter of the fiscal year.
Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica:
The rise of cryptocurrency mining has created a global shortage of high-end graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, driving up prices for retail gamers/buyers — “Cryptocurrency can’t crash soon enough,” one gamer fumes. — The market for high-end graphics cards used to work like the market for almost any other piece of computer gear.
Lily Hay Newman / Wired:
Schneider Electric researchers share more details about “Triton” malware, which exploited a firmware flaw in company’s Triconex Tricon industrial safety systems — A RECENT DIGITAL attack on the control systems of an industrial plant has renewed concerns about the threat hacking poses to critical infrastructure.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Slack launches in beta on Linux as a Snap, an application package that’s available across a range of Linux distributions, including Ubuntu — Slack’s ambition to become the default, go-to place for employees chat to each other and link into hundreds of other applications to get work done …