Daily Crunch: Google tries to explain that secret microphone

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1. Google says Nest’s secret microphone was ‘never intended to be a secret’

When Google announced earlier this month that its Nest Secure smart home hub would double-up as a Google Assistant, the news sparked anger, since Google hadn’t told anyone that the security hub had a microphone inside to begin with.

Now Google is trying to explain itself, claiming there’s absolutely, positively nothing to worry about: “The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech spec. That was an error on our part.”

2. SoundCloud adds a music distribution service to its premium subscriptions

With SoundCloud Premier distribution, artists can upload their tracks to all major music services — including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Tencent, YouTube Music and even Instagram — directly from SoundCloud.

3. This is the best VR headset I’ve ever demoed

The “I” in question is our VR reporter Lucas Matney. And the headset? The VR-1 from Finland-based Varjo.

4. How to watch Samsung unveil the Galaxy S10

Today’s the day we finally see the Galaxy S10. The fun starts at 11am Pacific — and of course we’ll round up the news in tomorrow’s newsletter.

5. EF raises $115M new fund, aiming to create another 300-plus startups in the next three years

Entrepreneur First, the London-headquartered “talent investor” that recruits and backs individuals pre-team and pre-idea to enable them to found startups, has raised a new fund of its own to continue scaling globally.

6. eMarketer predicts digital ads will overtake traditional spending in 2019

The research firm is predicting that U.S. digital ad spend will increase 19.1 percent this year, to $129.3 billion, while traditional advertising will fall 19 percent, to $109.5 billion.

7. Get to know Extra Crunch

A one-week-later reminder: Extra Crunch is a toolkit to help you build a better startup, offering exclusive access to analysis of successful startups, resources on company building, lists of verified experts in key services, enhanced reader tools, conference calls and more.