Nov 18, 2018

LinkedIn revenue triumphs and other tech news you missed this week

Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Amazon's HQ2 announcement and the New York Times investigation into the leadership of Facebook dominated the news cycles this week, but here are five other important stories you may have missed.

Catch up quick: LinkedIn expects media business to bring in $2 billion in 2018; China’s networking-equipment manufacturing threatens 5G wireless infrastructure; Spotify launches in 13 new markets in the Middle East and North Africa; the global market for refurbished phones grew 10% in Q2; and veterans with disabilities find work training AI.

LinkedIn expects media biz to bring in $2 billion in 2018

  • Why it matters: LinkedIn has been hesitant to reveal specific revenue numbers around its media efforts since it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016, but is doing so now to highlight the growth of its ad business, which can be in part attributed to user engagement. — Sara Fischer

Report: China’s networking-equipment manufacturing threatens 5G wireless infrastructure (The Wall Street Journal)

  • Why it matters: As China's dominance continues over manufacturing networking equipment, a new report says 5G infrastructure is at risk of security vulnerabilities. Chipmaker Qualcomm is the biggest American player in the underlying 5G technology, while network equipment made by Chinese giants Huawei and ZTE is much more common.

Spotify launches in 13 new markets in Middle East and North Africa (Variety)

  • Why it matters: As Spotify's subscription base in the U.S. is on its way to saturation, the music streaming service is expanding to 13 new markets, with a fully Arabic user experience and locally curated playlists and international music. The new markets are: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories and Egypt.

Global market for refurbished phones grew 10% in Q2

  • Why it matters: It's a tough one-two punch for the smartphone industry, which is dealing with slowing growth after a decade of massive expansion, writes Axios's Ina Fried. In related news, Amazon announced last week it's kicking Apple refurbishers and secondhand sellers' products off the site after Jan. 4.

Veterans with disabilities find work training AI

  • Why it matters: Physical disabilities or a mental health condition like PTSD can make it difficult for a veteran to work in a traditional office or work site. But data labeling can be done on a computer from home. — Kaveh Waddell

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.