- Isaiah Downing/Reuters
Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
1. Intel has admitted the Spectre and Meltdown patches have impacted the performance of a broad range of processors. Those include chips of the Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, and Kaby Lake families, with a performance impact between 2% and 25%.
2. Snap reportedly laid off about 24 people across eight different teams, mostly in the unit that curates users’ videos. Some staff have reportedly asked to be relocated to Los Angeles too.
3. Spotify has partnered with eight firms, including BuzzFeed, to launch a new initiative called Spotlight. The podcast-like feature will have news as well as political programming, and is part of a company effort to diversify its revenue stream.
4. Amazon has narrowed down the search for its second headquarter (HQ2) to 20 cities from 238 proposals. Toronto is joined by 19 US cities, and the firm is expected to make the final choice sometime this year.
5. WhatsApp has officially announced a free Android app for businesses. The app, simply called WhatsApp Business, is coming to the US, UK, Mexico, Italy, and Indonesia first, with a global rollout planned for the coming weeks.
6. Apple announced it will fix iOS’ most recent bug with an update sometime next week. The bug, called “chaiOS,” allows users to send a malicious link and make the Messages app crash upon receipt.
7. Uber has closed its $8.8 billion (£6.3 billion) deal with SoftBank, which now controls 15% of the company. New board member Rajeev Misra said that the firm should return to focus on the US, Europe, Latin America, and Australia to become profitable.
8. Microsoft has promoted “Minecraft” boss Matt Booty to corporate VP of Microsoft Studios. He will oversee game development and publishing for Xbox, PC, and mobile.
9. Instagram has updated its app with an optional feature that displays when you last logged in. It’s visible by default only to users you have talked to via direct messages.
10. Google software engineer Grzegorz Milka has revealed during a conference that, as of now, less than 10% of active Google accounts use two-factor authentication. He also said that only about 12% of US customers have a password manager to protect their accounts.