How ad-free subscriptions could solve Facebook

 At the core of Facebook’s “well-being” problem is that its business is directly coupled with total time spent on its apps. The more hours you pass on the social network, the more ads you see and click, the more money it earns. That puts its plan to make using Facebook healthier at odds with its finances, restricting how far it’s willing to go to protect us from the harms… Read More

Telegram has raised an initial $850M for its billion-dollar ICO

 It looks like Telegram’s billion-dollar ICO has reached its first milestone after the chat app company raised an initial $850 million, according to a filing. A document submitted to the SEC earlier this week states that the money was raised “for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes.” The security… Read More

People are trolling iPhone users with the ‘killer symbol’ that crashes their apps

 Surprise! Assorted jerks on the internet have weaponized the unicode-based bug we reported yesterday to insta-crash apps running on an iPhone or a Mac. The result is somewhere between the old Alt + F4 trick and a script kiddie stunt and it ranges from being annoying to rendering a device unusable, depending on the tenacity of the troll. The bug causes many iOS and Mac apps to crash when… Read More

Uber is reportedly preparing to sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab

 Uber is preparing to sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab in exchange for a stake in the Singaporean ride-sharing company that has a big presence in that region, according to a new report from CNBC. This wouldn’t be an unfamiliar story for Uber, which was handily beaten by Didi in China before eventually caving and selling the company to the dominant ride-sharing startup in China.… Read More

As tech automates, Blinkist keeps its book summary service very human

 When I first heard of Blinkist, a service that breaks down recent nonfiction books to easily digestible snippets, I was afraid it would turn out to be some machine-learning-driven auto-summary thing. But in talking to co-founder Niklas Jansen, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the company is still very much people-powered — and in fact, that may be the root of its continuing success. Read More

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel basically says the Snapchat redesign is here to stay

 Despite a lot of backlash over a big redesign for the Snapchat app — which to be sure is a very big deal for a product-centric company like Snap — Snap CEO Evan Spiegel vigorously defended the redesign and basically said people need to get used to it. Spiegel said at the Goldman Sachs Internet & Technology Conference that even people complaining about the app was a sort of… Read More