Good morning! Here’s what people are talking about in the world of tech going into the weekend.
1. Apple issued an apology for slowing down some iPhones with older batteries: Apple is dropping the price of iPhone battery replacements from $US79 to $US29 in January 2018, and will release a new version of iOS that gives consumers more information on the health of their phone battery.
2. Softbank and its partners have agreed to acquire at least a 14% stake in Uber at a $US48 billion valuation, a 30% discount compared to Uber’s last valuation: Uber says if the deal is successful, Softbank has agreed to invest another $US1.25 billion on top of that.
3. The Softbank deal with Uber also includes governance changes that limit founder Travis Kalanick’s power:People close to the founder tell Business Insider that Kalanick is ok with that, and has good reason to be on board with the changes.
4. Three movies that are getting Oscar buzz and are still in theatres were leaked to piracy networks this week:The films “Lady Bird,” “I, Tonya,” and “Call Me By Your Name” leaked online, reportedly from award-season screeners.
5. Aneditorial in The Wall Street Journal argues that Google is giving preferential advertising treatment to certain hotel chains: The WSJ’s editorial board writes that Google is putting online travel agencies at a disadvantage and preventing consumers from seeing all available options. Google disputes the charges.
6. The founder of failed social media app Fling reportedly pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend: Tech entrepreneur Marco Nardone reportedly pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend at a domestic violence court in London on Thursday.
7. Ripple briefly overtook Ethereum as the No.2 cryptocurrency: XRP’s market cap reached $US73.65 billion before the digital coin pared its gains.
8. The CEO of bitcoin exchange Exmo Bitcoin has reportedly been kidnapped in Ukraine: CEO Pavel Lerner was reportedly dragged into a black Mercedes-Benz while leaving the Kiev offices of his company on December 26, according to local media reports.
9. New York state has indicated it will create its own net neutrality legislation in 2018: Other states have indicated the same, and will test a provision in the FCC’s new order that says states can’t do this.
10. Two Romanians were arrested for allegedly hacking police surveillance cameras in Washington DC days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration: The BBC reports that the hacking was potentially part of a larger ransomware scheme.
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