YouTube is started to police in-video links to crowdfunding campaigns, and other external sites, The Verge reports. As it writes: “Users must now join the YouTube Partner Program in order to add end cards with external links -- a common way for YouTubers to point fans toward merchandise or Patreon pages.”
Moving out of beta, Google just announced the official launch of its Family Link app, which lets parents set up accounts on Android devices for children under 13. Android Police tested the app back in March, and was pretty impressed. “It couldn't be simpler to use,” it writes. “With these controls, you can let your children happily tap away without fearing that they'll be accessing something they shouldn't or be on it for too long.”
Moving a step closer to truly “smart” homes, Amazon’s Alexa will soon perform multiples actions with single commands. “This allows a user to say ‘Alexa, goodnight,’ and have the system lock the doors, turn off the lights, and lower the thermostat,” Fast Company reports. More broadly, “The Alexa app will serve as a central dashboard, where users can monitor and control their devices.”
Taking on Amazon’s Echo Show, Google is building a tabletop smart screen for video calling, sources tell TechCrunch. As TC writes: “The device could help Google keep up in the race for the smart home market after Amazon just revealed a slew of new Echos and as Facebook continues to work on its codename ‘Aloha’ video calling screen.”
EU regulators say U.S. tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have six months to curb hate speech and terrorist-related content on their platforms. “If they fail to do so, they could face possible new regulations next year,” Venture Beat reports. “European officials feel that while some progress has been made, it hasn’t gone as far or as fast as they’d hoped.”
Leading up to its public offering, streaming media giant Spotify is being valued at around $16 billion, Reuters reports. “That is around $3 billion higher than in similar trades up until June … adding strong demand for the shares and rising subscription numbers at the Swedish business meant it could be worth at least $20 billion when it goes public.”
Twitter is now widely suspected of serving as a platform for Russian agents to influence popular perceptions and election outcomes in the United States. “There is evidence that Twitter may have been used even more extensively than Facebook in the Russian influence campaign last year,” The New York Times reports. “In addition to Russia-linked Twitter accounts that posed as Americans, the platform was also used for large-scale automated messaging.”
Amazon this week unveiled its latest Echo smart speaker. As The Verge reports, “The new device looks to be about half the size of the original Echo, is cloth-covered, and goes on sale today for $99.” The ecommerce giant is also selling a three-pack -- which allows for multi-room audio -- for $250.
Following news of connectivity issues with its latest Watch, Apple also confirms issues with the iPhone 8’s earpiece. “When they make a call, the earpiece makes a disruptive ‘crackling’ or ‘static’ sound that disrupts the audio,” The Verge reports. “Dozens of people … have reported experiencing the issue,” it writes. In a statement, Apple is insisting that the problem is only affecting a “small number” of phones.
Open Whisper Systems -- which runs encrypted-communication app Signal -- is launching a new method to ensure the safety of user data. “Using a feature in the latest generation of Intel processors,” Wired reports, “the group plans to announce Tuesday that it’s testing a method that lets its servers mine your address book to find other Signal users, while provably deleting all the contact data those servers see without recording it.”