el producto #60 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness

Spotify’s IPO, Google’s open-source App toolkit, Uber Health, Netflix’s content expansion for 2018, Voice shopping growth, Why stratups fail & more.

Welcome to another week full of fresh ideas and innovation at el producto!

📰 What’s going on

GitHub suffers largest DDoS attack ever recorded at 1.35Tbps of traffic; the attacker(s) used memcached servers rather than a botnet; the technique is known as an amplification attack; GitHub experienced outages before DDoS mitigation service Akamai Prolexic diverted traffic to scrubbing centers, where legitimate traffic was forwarded to GitHub.

Google launches Learn with Google AI: an educational resource for developers seeking to advance their AI and machine learning skills; includes the free Machine Learning Crash Course; more than 18k people have enrolled in the course so far.

Google launches open-source toolkit to build Android and iOS apps; Flutter (in beta) supports stateful hot reloads, meaning a developer can update source code and see changes reflected on a mobile device almost instantly; the Dart language-focused toolkit also supports updating an existing app with Flutter features without having to recreate the entire app.

Facebook rolls out Messenger 2.3 with more features for businesses; the site plugin now features a setup tool and firms can adjust the color of the Messenger icon on their website; businesses can also customize greeting text, and a quick reply tool lets customers auto-populate a message with their email or phone number; Messenger also includes new metrics tools.

Facebook ends “Explore” feed test, which saw posts from publishers and brands moved from News Feed to a dedicated tab; the company launched the test in six countries last fall; Facebook surveyed users in the test group and found that, overall, people preferred all news items in a single feed.

Twitter launches Bookmarks; provides an alternative to the Favorite feature, which indicates positive sentiment about a tweet; unlike the Favorite feature, bookmarking a tweet does not notify the tweet author.

Microsoft launches Soundscape, an iOS app that offers 3D audio maps; aimed at those with vision impairment, notifies users of street names, nearby stores, and other places of interest.

Uber launches Uber Health, lets health providers book rides for patients; a healthcare worker can arrange a journey to or from a clinic or hospital, even if the patient isn’t an Uber user; patients receive SMS updates.

Apple enables snowboarding and skiing tracking for Watch Series 3 apps; multiple snow sports apps have updated to take advantage of the new capabilities; snow workouts can count toward Activity rings; some apps track calories burned, as reflected in the Activity app.

Apple plans to launch an iPhone with a 6.5-inch edge-to-edge display this year; will utilize an OLED display with resolution similar to that of the iPhone X; Apple also plans a successor the iPhone X and a more affordable model; all will feature Face ID.

Apple uses Google Cloud to store iCloud user data; Apple’s iOS security guide previously disclosed that Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS were used for iCloud storage; the most recent version excludes Azure and adds Google.

Apple hands over operation of its Chinese iCloud servers. The iPhone maker is partnering with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data, owned by the provincial government, to comply with strict new rules for foreign tech companies.

Netflix signs a partnership with pay TV Sky; Sky will include Netflix content alongside programming from HBO and others as part of its Sky Q platform; the service will launch in the UK and Ireland later this year with more countries to follow. Sky Q will also add Spotify this spring.

YouTube updates its Live service with real-time automated English captioning; users can also now play back chats after a live stream has ended; new geo-tagging feature enables users to browse feeds nearby.

Amazon plans to open 6 more cashierless Amazon Go stores this year. Likely in Seattle and LA.

Amazon expanding his connected home presence with the acquisition of video doorbell company Ring (for estimated $1b); last month, Ring acquired wireless LED lighting company Mr. Beams.

Spanish mobile operator Telefonica launches Aura, its new voice-activated, AI-powered assistant; will run via a branded app in Argentina, Brazil, and Britain; through Telefonica’s pay-TV platform in Spain; and on Facebook Messenger in Chile and Germany; will integrate with Google Assistant soon and Microsoft’s Cortana in 2019.

Dropbox announces native integration with Google’s G Suite; more than half of Dropbox users have a G Suite account.

Ford is preparing an autonomous ride-share and delivery service in Miami; ride-share and delivery fleets will operate separately during the pilot phase but vehicles might perform double duty at a later time; Ford has partnered with Domino’s and Postmates for delivery, and Lyft for rides.

The California DMV approves testing of fully driverless vehicles on public roads; will no longer require a safety driver, but cars will have to be monitored by a remote operator who can take over at a moment’s notice; the new rules go into effect in April.

Autonomous driving tech company Pony.ai launches a self-driving ride-share service in China; it is the first such service publicly available in the country; initially limited to transporting passengers to and from the Nansha municipal government building.

Samsung open pre-orders for Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus; begin shipping mid-March; both feature Super AMOLED screens and are available in blue, black, or purple. Their cameras are equipped with AR Emoji and Super slo-mo features.

Samsung announces DeX Pad which enables Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus to function as a desktop computer; the device connects to an external monitor and runs a full desktop environment; the smartphone’s display serves as a touchpad and will eventually include touch-keyboard support.

🎰 The week in figures

The US shop-by-voice market will grow from the current annual $2B to $40B by 2022, according to a survey of smart speaker owners by OC&C Strategy Consultants; Juniper Research estimates that 55% of US households will own a smart speaker within the next four years; currently, grocery shopping represents 20% of all US voice shopping

Google has been asked to delist 2.4M URLs since European “right to be forgotten” laws were implemented in 2014; the company has removed 43% of links, and has received more than 650k individual requests; top 1k requesters were responsible for the delisting of almost 21% of URLs.

đź“š Stuff to think about

The Art of the lazy Product Manager. Parul Singh argues that high growth startups need to build less, not more. Check her 10 principals to tackle a fast paced developement / delivery environment in a more strategic way.

Why startups fail? CB Insights looks at 101 startup postmortems.

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el producto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product Owner’s perspective.

Full-time learner, product stuff, “triathlete” & global traveller. Creating cool products @ Revolut, formerly @ Booking.com and @ Just Eat.