Apps Dominating Because of Hurricanes, International Founders & More Highlights

5 hand-picked articles from across the Startup Digest Reading Lists. Sign up to receive great weekly content on various topics from our expert curators.


1. Microsoft and Amazon partner to integrate Alexa and Cortana digital assistants

By The Verge

Digest: Artificial Intelligence

Curators: Aashay Mody, Sergio A. Escobar

Amazon and Microsoft are partnering to better integrate their Alexa and Cortana digital assistants. Alexa users will be able to access Cortana, and vice versa on a range of devices, although the integration will be a little awkward initially. As first reported by The New York Times, someone using an Alexa device will have to say “Alexa, open Cortana” to get talk to Microsoft’s digital assistant, and someone using Cortana will have to say “Cortana, open Alexa” to talk to Amazon’s. It appears that both companies have simply created skills on each others platforms to enable the basic integration. Read More

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2. These apps are dominating because of Hurricane Irma

By Mashable

Digest: Mobile

Curator: Edith Yeung

GasBuddy isn’t the only app to gain notoriety in the wake of Harvey and, now, Hurricane Irma. Zello, a walkie-talkie app, has been sitting in the top spot in the U.S App Store, after it took a central role in rescue efforts in Texas. Read More

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3. Facebook Said to Offer Hundreds of Millions for Music Rights

By BLOOMBERG – The Denver Post

Digest: Music

Curators: Corey Crossfield, Christian Nicholson

“Facebook Inc. is offering major record labels and music publishers hundreds of millions of dollars so the users of its social network can legally include songs in videos they upload, according to people familiar with the matter.” Read More

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4. Google’s voice typing tech adds support for 30 more languages, reaching further into Africa, India

By Sarah Perez – TechCrunch

Digest: Emerging Economies

Curator: Anurag Maloo

Google is expanding its speech recognition capabilities to support dozens of new languages, particularly those in emerging markets in India and Africa, the company announced this morning. That means more people around the world will gain the ability to search the web by voice as well as type via voice using Google’s keyboard app, Gboard.

The company says with the update, it’s adding 30 languages and locales around the world, bringing the total supported to 119. The update includes 8 more Indian languages, as well as Swahili and Amharic, two of Africa’s largest languages. Read More

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5. Business Impact Investors Go Where Trump Won’t: To Immigrant Entrepreneurs

By Yohei Nakajima

Digest: Venture Capital

Curator: Elizabeth Woyke

A new crop of venture capitalists is specifically backing companies that have international founders. Read More

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