Above: Stripe chief business officer Billy AlvaradoBack in 2010, Patrick and John Collison cofounded Stripe, which quickly gained a following thanks to how easily it let developers integrate a payment system with a few lines of code, something that financial tech giants like PayPal lacked at the time. More than seven years later, the Y Combinator alumnus has matured; its mission of helping developers process online payments has moved beyond transactions to tackle an even more important problem for entrepreneurs: setting up an online business.
Above: iPhone 7 Plus.Apple last week admitted that it was indeed slowing down iPhones based on the performance of their batteries. After multiple lawsuits and investigations by foreign governments unsurprisingly followed, Apple today published a letter of apology and offered a concession to affected iPhone users.
Two days ago, Energous announced that its “wireless 2.0” non-contact charger had been approved by the FCC. Today, two new Apple wireless power patent applications were published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Coincidence? Perhaps. But it looks like we might finally get truly wireless charging devices in 2018.
Above: Google Home MaxUntil I tried the Google Home Max, I had never met a smart speaker that brought a smile to my face just by turning up its volume. I was awash in the thumping bass from Zedd’s “Clarity,” and it felt like my apartment’s living room was in the middle of a nightclub. The massive speaker array that makes up much of the Max kept up admirably, providing plenty of volume without distorting the music.
Apple had a very good 2017 holiday season, once again holding the top place in smartphone and tablet activations, though it remained at 44 percent of total activations in both 2016 and 2017, according to Flurry Analytics. By comparison, rival Samsung gained 5 percentage points over the same time period, jumping from 21 percent to 26 percent, which Flurry attributes primarily to weakness in Samsung’s 2016 sales attributable to the Galaxy Note 7 recall.
Hey, everybody!When I talk with people about being an AI reporter, one of the topics that tends to come up is the issue of evaluating companies that claim to be working with AI in some capacity. It can be hard to evaluate how different companies compare, especially with new startups cropping up on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
The software development kit (SDK) for Google Assistant is expanding to additional countries today, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. As part of the expansion, Google Assistant SDK is now available in English, French, German, and Japanese, according to a Google blog post.
Above: SendbirdSendBird, a company that provides the infrastructure for developers to build messaging and chat services into their apps, has raised $16 million in a series A round of funding led by Shasta Ventures and August Capital, with participation from Y Combinator and FundersClub.
Above: The Microsoft Azure logo.Two of Microsoft’s key pre-built AI services for developers were made generally available today, so that it’s easier for businesses to build chatbots and other services that use language understanding.
Google has massively cut prices for its managed cloud machine learning service just two weeks after AWS released a competing offering at its re:Invent user conference.

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