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1. China attacks Apple for allowing Hong Kong crowdsourced police activity app
Apple’s decision to greenlight an app called HKmaps, which is being used by pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong to crowdsource information about street closures and police presence, is attracting the ire of the Chinese government.
Specifically, an article in Chinese state mouthpiece China Daily attacks the iPhone maker for reversing an earlier decision not to allow the app to be listed on the iOS App Store.
2. What the hell is up with this Essential device?
Essential CEO Andy Rubin tweeted photos of what he called a “radically different formfactor” — basically, it’s a long, skinny phone.
3. Uber’s newest feature alerts drivers that pets will be joining the ride
With Uber Pet, riders will pay a “small surcharge” for the privilege of taking their pets with them. And drivers will have the option of avoiding trips with non-service animals by opting out of Uber Pet trips.
4. Twitter admits it used two-factor phone numbers and emails for serving targeted ads
Twitter finds itself in the same boat as Facebook, which last year was caught using phone numbers and email addresses — given to Facebook to secure users’ accounts — for targeted advertising.
5. Google’s Grasshopper coding class for beginners comes to the desktop
A larger screen and access to a keyboard makes learning to code on the desktop significantly easier than on mobile. For example, in the desktop app Google is able to put columns for the instructions, the code editor and the results next to each other.
6. Amazon, Walmart confront India’s slowing economy as holiday season growth stalls
Even India’s biggest festive season, featuring blinding marketing blitzkrieg and heavy discounts from Amazon India and Walmart’s Flipkart, has failed to escape the pains of a slowing economy.
7. With $15M round and 100K tablets sold, reMarkable CEO wants to make tech ‘more human’
The reMarkable tablet is a strange device in this era of ultra-smart gadgets, with a black and white screen meant for reading, writing and sketching — and nothing more. (Extra Crunch membership required.)