Data Sheet—Why Netflix Isn't Really a Tech Company  4/17/2018 12:51:49 PM 

You lied to me first. In his new book, former FBI director James Comey takes some time out of criticizing President Donald Trump to knock Apple and Google over the enhanced encryption security features they added to smartphones in 2014. The moves better protected the private data of customers but also made it more difficult for law enforcers to gain access after a crime. “I found it appalling that the tech types couldn’t see this,” Comey wrote. “I would frequently joke with the FBI ‘Going Dark’ team assigned to seek solutions, ‘Of course the Silicon Valley types don’t see the darkness—they live where it’s sunny all the time and everybody is rich and smart.’”

Did she hurt you, Jack? Speaking of national security, the Commerce Department banned U.S. companies from selling to Chinese phonemaker ZTE for seven years. PC Magazine columnist Sascha Segan points out the move will hurt American companies, particularly Qualcomm. The governments of the United States and United Kingdom are “trying to drum up a 5G trade war, but U.S. companies are getting hit by friendly fire.”

Why are you so unpopular with the Chicago police department. Microsoft also has security in view, with a new chip designed to control smart, connected devices. The low-power microcontroller chip runs a custom operating system, dubbed Azure Sphere OS, which is based not on any Windows code, but the open source Linux system.

I can’t keep you cuffed on a commercial flight. A telecom executive named by Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai to head an advisory committee on broadband last year was arrested and charged with investment fraud, The Verge reports. Elizabeth Pierce, who ran an Alaskan fiber optic cable provider, was Pai’s pick last April to head the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee but she resigned in September as the scandal was coming to light. Pierce allegedly forged contracts to convince investors to put $250 million into her company, Quintillion.

These people depend on tips for a living. Drivers for Lyft have made $500 million in tips from customers, the company said on Monday. Lyft’s app has allowed customers to tip drivers for years, though the company says the average tip amount was up 8% last year from 2016. Rival Uber only added a tipping feature last June.

There were some good looking chickens there, Jack. After buying the “Netflix of magazines,” a startup called Texture, last month, Apple is planning to create a subscription news service, Bloomberg reports. The acquired company could provide the blueprint for the new news service, just as Apple built its music app from the streaming music service started by Beats, which it purchased in 2014. Magazine publishers (perhaps including Fortune) would share in a cut of the revenue. In a similar move, Goldman Sachs bought personal finance app Clarity Money as the investment bank seeks to build out its millennial-oriented bank called Marcus. Clarity Money founder Adam Dell, the less famous Dell brother, will join Goldman as a partner.

Why does he get special treatment? Popular digital currency exchange Coinbase acquired, a social network that lets people earn and spend Bitcoin, and hired the startup’s CEO, Balaji Srinivasan, as its first-ever chief technology officer. The price tag was reportedly about $100 million.

Is this moron number one? Leading Chinese social media network Weibo dropped a plan to ban cartoons and video games with gay themes after the announcement sparked an uproar. But the company didn’t say whether it would restore some gay-related content it had already deleted.

(Headline quotation explainer)

« Go back