Apple Moves to the Middle


A New Transaction-Based Strategy

Apple this week launched three new ways to take a cut of your paycheck—and one card to pay for it all, Slate reports. It rolled out Apple Arcade for games, Apple News+ for digital magazines, Apple TV+ for ad-free streaming TV service and Apple Card to pay for them. The new Apple doesn’t just sell you devices; it wants to be the middleman in an ever-growing number of transactions that it wants you to make on its devices. Legacy publishers are wary of Apple News+, but some digitally native companies think it could be a good way to test new paid products, Digiday reports.


How McDonald's Plans to Become More Like Amazon


McDonald's has acquired Dynamic Yield, a company that focuses on personalization and recommendation technology, in a move that the company hopes will accelerate its digital transformation, ZDNet reports. Dynamic Yield will show food based on time of day, weather, restaurant traffic and food that is trending; it also can also suggest and display items. In other words, McDonald's is hoping to replicate tools like Amazon's recommendation engine.


WeWork’s Revenue and Losses Nearly Double in 2018

WeWork says revenue more than doubled last year to $1.8 billion, but so did its net loss, CNBC reports. The company, whose co-working spaces are found in many of the world's biggest cities, said it had a net loss in 2018 of $1.9 billion, up from $933 million in 2017. Members—the people who pay for monthly use of WeWork's facilities—jumped to 401,000 from 186,000, accounting for 88 percent of revenue.


Three AI Pioneers Win the Turing Prize


Three pioneers in AI—University of Toronto faculty member and Google Brain researcher Geoffrey Hinton, Facebook chief AI scientist and NYU professor Yann LeCun, and Element AI founder and University of Montreal professor Yoshua Bengio—were honored Wednesday with the Turing Award for their work on neural networks, Venture Beat reports. The Turing Award, which was introduced in 1966, is often called the Nobel Prize of computing.


What the Worst Tech Innovations Have in Common


Last month, MIT Technology Review published a list of the worst innovations from the past two decades including the Segway, Google Glass and cryptocurrency. Some were too early for market; some were a product without a customer; others were helpful, but caused more problems than they solved. What do many of these innovations have in common? They were built in the 21st century using 20th-century entrepreneurial rules, Inc. magazine observes.


Google Brings AMP to Inboxes

Starting this week, Gmail on the Web will be able to support embedded AMP content, with support rolling out to mobile clients later. With AMP embeds, email can now contain rich interactivity, not just text and pictures, Ars Technica reports.


A Prank on Twitter Locks Out Users


On Monday, some Twitter users began circulating a rumor that changing your birth year to 2007 on the social media service would unlock new color schemes. BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac and many others found out the hard way it was a prank: Twitter immediately locked his account, for violating the company’s terms of service, which require everyone who uses Twitter to be 13 or older.


What Do the EU’s Copyright Changes Mean?

The European parliament this week approved the largest, and most contentious, overhaul of copyright legislation in two decades, the Guardian reports. Under the legislation, people will still be able to upload content, but technology firms, including Google, have warned they will have to remove vastly more content automatically.


Wyze Unveils a $20 Home Sensor System

Wyze, the maker of one of the cheapest and most capable smart cameras on the market, is entering into a new category: home security systems, The Verge reports. The new $20 Wyze Sense system is a set of sensors for monitoring entryways into your home, including doors and windows, and keeping track of any unusual motion activity.


Who Needs Politicians?


One in four Europeans want artificial intelligence—not politicians—to be making important decisions about how their country is run, Vox reports. The findings come from a new survey conducted by the Center for the Governance of Change at IE University in Spain, which polled people in eight European countries. The percentage of Europeans who are somewhat or totally in favor of letting AI make important decisions about the running of their country in highest in the Netherlands: 43 percent.