#ICYMI: Popular Stories in Tech This Week (Week Ending August 8)

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/ August 9, 2016

An employee double checks the contents of a customer order before sealing the package for shipment at the Jet.com Inc. fulfillment center on Cyber Monday in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

An employee double checks the contents of a customer order before sealing the package for shipment at the Jet.com Inc. fulfillment center on Cyber Monday in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Walmart acquired e-commerce newcomer Jet.com to compete with online behemoth Amazon. Hulu announced plans to stop streaming ad-supported TV for free, expanding their partnership with streaming service Yahoo View. Over at Facebook HQ, the flagship social media platform changed its algorithm to avoid clickbait, while Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom admitted that Stories is a Snapchat clone. Meanwhile, the world’s largest aircraft (technically a dirigible) briefly took flight last week.

Read more on these stories, as well as the other top stories in tech this week.


1.Walmart bets $3 billion that Jet.com is the key to gaining on Amazon—Recode, John Murrell

Top line:Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, announced it will acquire two-year-old online retailer Jet.com for $3.3 billion in cash and stock in the largest-ever acquisition of an e-commerce company.”

Topic to follow: E-commerce


2World’s largest aircraft leaves hangar for first time ahead of maiden flight—Telegraph, Luke Heighton

Top line: “Four years after the US Army deemed it too expensive, the hybrid airship—a carbon-composite cross between a zeppelin, a helicopter and an aeroplane—was gently piloted into the open in a delicate five-minute operation.”

Topic to follow: Aviation


3. Hulu Bids Goodbye to Its Free Service—The Wall Street Journal, Shalini Ramachandran and Deepa Seetharaman

Top line:  “We’ve all known that the streaming video service has been emphasizing its subscription offering over its free service for the past couple years. But Hulu’s deal to license its free content to Yahoo, announced Monday, is the last nail in the coffin. Over the next few weeks, Hulu says, it will phase out its free offering, which until now has allowed people to watch the most recent five episodes of several ABC, NBC and Fox shows for free, after an eight day delay.”

Topic to follow: Streaming


4. Instagram CEO on Stories: Snapchat deserves all the credit—TechCrunch, Josh Constine

Top line: “The one thing you never hear in Silicon Valley is an entrepreneur admit they copied someone else. Yet there in the headquarters of Facebook, the world’s most prolific product cloner, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom surprised me…‘Totally,’ Systrom interrupted me. ‘They deserve all the credit.’”

Topic to follow: Instagram


5. Hackers steal $65 million from prominent Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex—Mashable, Victoria Ho

Top line: “Its website confirms that some of its users lost bitcoin. The company’s head of community and product development, Zane Tackett, has been answering questions on Reddit’s Bitcoin community forum, and stated that 119,756 bitcoin were lost.”

Topic to follow: Bitcoin


6. Shocker! Facebook Changes Its Algorithm to Avoid ‘Clickbait’—The New York Times, Mike Isaac and Sydney Ember

Top line: “In a change to its news feed algorithm on Thursday, Facebook said certain types of headlines would be classified as clickbait, those that ‘withhold or distort information.’ Those stories will then appear less frequently in users’ feeds, the company said.”

Topic to follow: Facebook


7. The next MacBook Pro may have a fingerprint-reading power button—Engadget, Jon Fingas

Top line: “Just how it would work isn’t clear, but it’s reasonable to imagine logging in without your usual password or taking advantage of macOS Sierra’s Apple Pay support when shopping online.”

Topic to follow: Macbook Pro


8. iPhone 7 may sport pressure-sensitive home button, Space Black paint job—CNET, Lance Whitney

Top line: “The latest report reaffirms the long-running rumors that Apple’s next iPhone will offer only modest changes. With the iPhone sales on a downslide over the past few quarters, Apple needs something big to draw in buyers. Another much-rumored feature also served up by Bloomberg’s sources is a dual-camera system for the iPhone 7 Plus.”

Topic to follow: iPhone


9. Curvy Samsung Galaxy Note 7 takes giant-screen Android phones to the next level—CNET, Jessica Dolcourt

Top line: “That’s right, Samsung jumped right from last year’s Note 5 to the Note 7, skipping the Note 6 entirely. And that’s a little weird, but easy enough to wrap your brain around because the Note 7’s molded screens, 12-megapixel camera, expandable storage and water-resistant coating bring it closer to this year’s S7 series than to last year’s Note.”

Topic to follow: Samsung Galaxy


10. Let’s try this again: Has the Apple Watch’s time finally come?—Salon, Angelo Young

Top line:If the loquacious online Apple rumor mill is right, next month the company will release both an updated operating system for its existing wearable and a new generation Apple Watch featuring an updated design, a longer battery life and ‘the ultimate selfie camera.’”

Topic to follow: Apple Watch


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~BenM is following iPhoneography in hopes that the dual camera rumors are true