Good morning, Austin! We have scrolled the internet to bring you the latest in technology news. Here’s what’s going on:
Expect Apple’s first smart speaker to take on Amazon and Google this year
Apple has started manufacturing a long-in-the-works Siri-controlled smart speaker, according to Bloomberg.
Apple could debut the speaker as soon as its annual developer conference this month, but the device will not be ready to ship until later in the year, Bloomberg’s sources say.
The device is expected to differ from Amazon.com Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home speakers by offering virtual surround sound technology and deep integration with Apple’s product lineup.
CEO Tim Cook has emphasized Apple’s services businesses over the past 18 months as iPhone sales slowed. He expects service revenue to double by 2020 from last year’s $24 billion.
Mary Meeker unveils her 2017 internet trends report
It’s called the most anticipated slide deck of the year. In Silicon Valley at least.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker has delivered her annual internet trends report and here are some of Recode’s top takeaways:
- Global smartphone growth is slowing: Smartphone shipments grew 3 percent year over year last year, versus 10 percent the year before.
- Voice is beginning to replace typing in online queries. Twenty percent of mobile queries were made via voice in 2016, while accuracy is now about 95 percent.
- In 10 years, Netflix went from zero to more than 30 percent of home entertainment revenue in the U.S. This is happening while TV viewership continues to decline.
Uber’s finance head leaves as company’s quarterly loss narrows
Uber’s head of finance is leaving, and the privately held ride-hailing company also said that its first-quarter loss narrowed substantially from the prior quarter, putting it on a path toward profitability.
Head of finance Gautam Gupta is leaving in July to join another startup in San Francisco, the company said, making Gupta the latest high-profile executive to leave Uber.
Gupta's exit sets the stage for a second major executive search, now for a chief financial officer who has public company experience. About a dozen top executives have left Uber since February.
EU: Social media firms have increased removals of online hate speech
Social media companies Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube have stepped up both the speed and number of removals of hate speech on their platforms in response to pressure from the European Union to do more to tackle the issue, according to a new EU report.
Facebook won particular praise for reviewing most complaints within a 24-hour target timeframe set down in a code of conduct agreed in December by the European Commission, Facebook, Microsoft , Twitter and YouTube.
Calling the results "encouraging" for the Commission's push for self-regulation, Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said the proportion of offending items taken down had doubled and action was being taken more quickly than when the EU checked six months ago.
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