Microsoft has surpassed Alphabet in market value, Business Insider reports. On Tuesday, the software giant ended regular trading with a market cap of $753 billion, which was better than Google parent’s $739 billion. “The two companies basically swapped places, with Microsoft now the third most valuable company in the world and Alphabet at the number four spot,” BI notes. “Apple and Amazon have the Number 1 and 2 spots, respectively.”
Following major algorithm changes by Facebook, the number of mobile readers visiting news sites directly has surpassed the number visiting from the social network. That’s according to new data from Chartbeat, Nieman Lab reports. “Starting in mid-October, Facebook began tweaking the News Feed algorithm away from Page content -- a.k.a. many publishers -- and toward ‘meaningful interactions,” Nieman Lab notes.
Media player Plex just unveiled a redesigned mobile experience for iOS and Android. “The new apps offer improved navigation, and full control over how your movies, TV shows, music, photos, and, now, podcasts(!) are organized on the most personal of personal devices that you own,” The Verge’s Thomas Ricker writes. Among other issues, however, “The podcast experience has been rather glitchy,” according to Ricker.
Snapchat is reportedly building its own developer platform. Dubbed Snapkit, “The platform’s prototypes indicate it will let other apps offer a ‘login with Snapchat’ options, use the Bitmoji avatars it acquired and host a version of Snap’s full-featured camera software,” TechCrunch reports. “Multiple sources confirm Snap Inc. is currently in talks with several app developers to integrate Snapkit.”
In order to study the effects that Facebook is having on its citizens, the government of Papua New Guinea is banning the social network for a month. “The communication minister, Sam Basil, said the shutdown would allow his department’s analysts to carry out research and analysis on who was using the platform, and how they were using it,” The Guardian reports.
With the help of a PayPal subsidiary, the city London is supporting contactless payments for street performers. “The organisation Busk in London, which is working with [PayPal-owned tech firm] iZettle on the scheme, said it would be made available to buskers in all the capital’s boroughs over the coming months,” BBC News writes.
The Department of Homeland Security is rescinding the International Entrepreneur Rule, which, as TechCrunch reports, “would have allowed immigrant founders of startups to remain in the U.S. for up to five years.” As TC Notes, “The Obama-era initiative was designed to allow immigrants who were creating new companies (and new jobs) in the United States to remain in the country.”
ooks at how animal shelters and rescue organizations are effectively using social media. Among other success stories, “LifeLine, whose mission is to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets in Atlanta, has increased the shelter’s lifesaving rates to nearly 90%,” it writes. “In 2014, the organization brought on two full-time, on-site social media coordinators and photographers, one for each of the shelters.”
Early reviewers have good things to say about YouTube’s first dedicated music-streaming service, YouTube Music. “It’s surprisingly great,” according to The Verge’s Micah Singleton. “It’s clear YouTube has been putting in the work to improve upon Google’s previous attempts at music streaming, and the foundation is here to accomplish that.”
Following years of litigation, a jury just decided that Samsung owes Apple far less than previously determined, Venture Beat reports. While Apple had been awarded over $1 billion for Samsung infringing on its intellectual properties, a jury just knocked that number down to around $500 million. “The verdict comes after years of damages-only retrials and appeals, including a visit to the United States Supreme Court,”