Essential has begun taking orders for their Phone, the smartphone with the most on-the-nose name ever. The device is a bit overdue, based on shipping timelines the company laid out earlier, but fans are probably excited nonetheless.
The smartphone aims to be a premium alternative to the reigning champs with a low-touch approach to Android software and other add-ons/bloatware. It's also got a modular accessory system, and the company says it's going to release more accessories on a regular basis.
Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out a company-wide email in which he says he disagrees with Trump's stance on Charlottesville. This is a pretty standard strategy for tech companies: circulate an internal email and "leak" it to media in lieu of making an actual on the record statement. It would be nice if more people in power would speak out directly.
Why would that be nice? Well, it might help turn the tides in the continuing fight against hate online. Taylor takes a look at why the tide might not be turning, as you might imagine based on the wave of companies making an effort to move hate off their platforms.
At least one hate monger is having trouble finding harbor in a storm, at least: Cloudflare and CloudOcean have booted The Daily Stormer off their respective platforms. Cloudflare's CEO penned a very personal letter about coming to the decision, and it's worth a look.
Amazon has made a new SDK for Alexa available, opening up access to its voice assistant to commercial products. Making Alexa an enterprise hardware product add-on could open up lots of new opportunities.
Uber agrees to 20 years of privacy audits, and loses its head of developer products. Meanwhile Apple is going to spend big time on original content next year, and we've coincidentally just launched a new podcast to talk all about Original Content. All that and more in The Daily Crunch for August 16, 2017.
Uber can take an FTC probe into potential customer data mishandling by the company off its list of worries – but only because it agreed to 20 years of ongoing independent privacy audits.
This privacy snafu looks like another piece of fallout from Uber's move fast-and-break-everything strategy, since it results in part from Uber not having a written information security program in place until at least 2014. Still in Uber's best interest to get this matter resolved quickly.
Uber had another high-profile executive departure, too – this time it's Chris Saad, who was head of the company's developer product. The departure was in part related to Travis Kalanick's ouster, as Saad was a staunch supporter of the founder.
Apple is said to be putting a huge cash pile behind creation of new original TV shows and video content in 2018. A report says it'll budget $1 billion for that purpose next year. That's still way less than Amazon and Netflix are spending, but it's a big start for a company new to streaming video content creation.
Andrew Ng is basically an AI legend, and now he's raising $150 million to build a fund to invest in startups creating AI. The former Google Brain founder and Baidu chief scientist is probably the best person alive right now to make decisions about where to funnel cash to back AI startups.
Hate proliferates via platforms that have also made it easy for people to communicate and share. Those companies that run the social web are taking steps to stop the spread of harmful speech, however, and Brian takes a look at what each is doing.
Hey look, it's a brand new TechCrunch audio podcast! It's called Original Content, and the focus will be on new original programming from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Apple and other digital-first media companies. It's the new TV, and we're watching it. All of it. Subscribe and leave a review in Apple Podcasts.