TechSummit Rewind 155

This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Verizon, Yahoo agree to slash $350 million from merger deal

Verizon and Yahoo have agreed to drop its original $4.83 billion acquisition deal price by $350 million after the company’s public image rolled downhill from one hacking scandal after another.

“We have always believed this acquisition makes strategic sense. We look forward to moving ahead expeditiously so that we can quickly welcome Yahoo’s tremendous talent and assets into our expanding portfolio in the digital advertising space.”

-Marni Walden; Verizon executive vice president, in a statement

The companies have agreed to share the legal and regulatory burdens that will come from the hacks the website suffered from in 2013 and 2014.

Under the terms of the revised deal, Yahoo will have to pay half the bill for any non-SEC government investigations and lawsuits related to the hack. Any shareholder’s lawsuit over the hacks will also be Yahoo’s responsibility.

The deal is still open to adjustments, and is expected to close by June 30.

TransferWise launches Facebook Messenger bot for easy money transfers


International money transfer service TransferWise has introduced a new Facebook Messenger bot, letting customers send money and create rate alerts directly within Facebook Messenger.

The automated customer service bot guides users through money transfers, that can be made from the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Canada. They can also set up rate alerts through Messenger giving you a daily update on rates between your preferred currencies.

“Our mission at TransferWise is to bring faster, cheaper, and more convenient international money transfers to everyone in the world. Building the TransferWise bot for Messenger is a great step in that direction. It’s also a powerful example of how our API can be used to seamlessly integrate TransferWise into almost any messaging, bank, or business payment system.”

-Scott Miller; TransferWise head of global partnerships, in a blog post

Qualcomm chip promises phone data that’s faster than fiber


Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem that promises 1.2Gbps download speeds on mobile devices. That’s 20 percent faster than the company’s previous best, and enough to nearly max out the speed provided by landline services like Google Fiber. The X20 does this with more aggressive carrier aggregation (which bonds carrier frequency ranges) That lets it download 12 unique data streams of up to 100Mbps each. Upload speeds are also healthy at 150Mbps.

The chip supports the 3.5GHz airspace used by Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the U.S., which opens the door to private LTE networks. It can also handle high-quality LTE phone calls on dual SIM phones.

Unfortunately, the first shipping products with this modem aren’t expected until the first half of 2018.

Project Fi starts testing Voice over LTE support

Project Fi

Google’s Project Fi wireless service has rolled out Voice over LTE support for some users, according to an announcement in its product forums. Users can tell if they’re a tester by their signal indicator remaining at LTE when they’re making or receiving a call instead of falling to H [HSPA], according to Google.

The test has been underway for a few weeks.

Voice over LTE includes higher quality calls that don’t count towards your data usage, faster data browsing while on a call, and faster call setup.

This translates into fewer dropped calls, or being able to navigate in Google Maps while on the phone without losing your connection.

The VoLTE support will only work when users are on T-Mobile’s network as Project Fi’s other carrier partners haven’t officially introduced support.

UPS tests drone deliveries


UPS tested home delivery by drone on Monday in Lithia, Florida (a western suburb of Tampa), where the drone launched from the roof of a UPS vehicle and anonymously flew towards its destination.

The package was dropped off and then returned to the vehicle as the driver continued its normal delivery route.

There is no timeline for when drones might be put into wider use, according to company vice president of industrial engineering John Dodero, partly because federal authorities are still developing regulations on the technology.


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