Instagram is finally testing a way for users to “reshare” posts from other accounts, The Verge reports. “The feature, which company executives have long resisted for fear it would corrupt the personal nature of the app, could bring new life to the main feed at a time when it is becoming rapidly eclipsed by ephemeral stories,” it suggests.
Chamath Palihapitiya has decided that he doesn’t want to run a tech venture capital firm saturated with “Stanford MBAs in fleece vests,” CNBC reports. In addition, the founder of Social Capital no longer plans to accept outside investment from limited partners, and will instead act like a “technology holding company,” it writes. That means “making investments in tech companies with no particular timeline for delivering a return.”
Google is acknowledging that the personal Gmail accounts of a number of US senators and their staff have been targeted by foreign government hackers, CNN reports. “Google would not say whether the targeting had resulted in a successful hack but pointed to a blog post on its website about its government-backed hacking warnings,” it writes.
Amazon this week unveiled Echo Auto – a “dongle” that will give drivers many of the voice-activated offerings that regular Echo owners have come to expect. As TechCrunch reports: “Users can interact with the product’s mic array in standard fashion and ask for things like traffic reports, add products to shopping lists and play music through Amazon’s entertainment system.”
Thanks to a new partnership with T-Mobile, Google now promises to provide 911 operators with more accurate location information from Android users. “The company has partnered with T-Mobile and emergency technology companies RapidSOS and West to send location data from its Emergency Location Service to 911 call centers when an Android user places an emergency call,” Engadget reports.
In lieu of underwriting traditional life insurance, John Hancock has decided to starting selling “interactive” policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones, Reuters reports. “The move by the 156-year-old insurer … marks a major shift for the company, which unveiled its first interactive life insurance policy in 2015,” Reuters notes. “It is now applying the model across all of its life coverage.”
The New York Times takes a peek inside Facebook’s election “war room,” which will serve as ground zero for the company’s fake news-fighting efforts leading up to the U.S. midterm elections. “Sandwiched between Building 20 and Building 21 in the heart of Facebook's campus, [the] approximately 25-foot by 35-foot conference room is under construction,” it writes.
Over the next five years, Amazon could open up to 3,000 new AmazonGo cashierless stores, Bloomberg reports. “Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos sees eliminating meal-time logjams in busy cities as the best way for Amazon to reinvent the brick-and-mortar shopping experience,” it writes. Of course, the move “would threaten convenience chains like 7-Eleven Inc., quick-service sandwich shops like Subway and Panera Bread, and mom-and-pop pizzerias and taco trucks.”
Sending shares of digital map companies downward, Google just announced a partnership with several carmakers, including Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. The deals “will supply new infotainment systems for their vehicles, including services such as Google Assistant and Google Maps,” Reuters reports. Dutch company TomTom was hit particularly hard by the news.
Evernote is parting ways with 54 employees -- or about 15% of its workforce -- TechCrunch reports. It’s just the latest bit of bad news for the maker of productivity apps. “Just two weeks ago, we reported that Evernote had lost several of its most senior executives, including its CTO Anirban Kundu, CFO Vincent Toolan, CPO Erik Wrobel and head of HR Michelle Wagner,” TC notes.