Recode Daily: Samsung’s comeback phone — the Galaxy Note 8 — is here. And it’s big.
Plus, the FTC greenlights Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, Chamath wants to create a “blank check company” for startups, and a look inside Waymo’s secret self-driving world.
It’s new phone season, and Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note 8 is finally here — the company’s comeback from the literal meltdown leading to the recall and cancellation of the Galaxy Note 7. The main question: How is it different from that other big Samsung smartphone? Answer: It’s bigger — with a 6.3-inch curved “infinity” screen — and it has a stylus. Maybe too big. It’s expensive, starting at $ 929. See for yourself. Next month: Apple’s iPhone 8. [Chris Welch / The Verge]
Amazon officially owns Whole Foods. The Federal Trade Commission approved the $ 13.7 deal, hours after shareholders signed off. [Angelica LaVito / CNBC]
Investment firm Social Capital filed an S-1 form to create a “blank check company” that could allow startups to go public without the help of Goldman Sachs or other banks. Headed by Social Capital founder Chamath Palihapitiya, the Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. will raise $ 500 million by selling 50 million shares to undetermined investors. [Kara Swisher / Recode]
Uber’s business continues to grow as it licks its wounds from what has been a tumultuous year so far. Valued at $ 68 billion, the company brought in $ 8.7 in ride bookings in Q2, up 102 percent year over year, but it’s still losing more than half a billion dollars per quarter. Take a look at Uber’s first pitch deck from 2008 — founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp compared their concept to a private jet service. [Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]
A look inside Uber competitor Waymo’s secret world for training self-driving cars. Accelerating the Alphabet-owned company’s ambitious autonomous-driving progress is a hidden city built for robot cars, and simulation software called Carcraft spun out of Alphabet’s “moonshot” research wing, X. Meanwhile, here’s where Apple is heading with its self-driving tech. [The Atlantic]
Add LinkedIn to the list of video platforms pushing against the dominance of YouTube and Facebook. The social network for business is testing a video-making button that will let users record or upload videos, presumably to talk about their jobs. Recently, a NASA employee used LinkedIn to record a rocket launch; HotelTonight’s CEO used it to give business advice. [Business Insider]
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On the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, CNN’s Oliver Darcy and BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel explain this wild world.