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Recode Daily: Uber meets its new CEO at an all-smiles, all-selfies all-hands

Plus, Apple waves good-bye to home, Amazon and Microsoft let Alexa and Cortana play together, and Silicon Valley grows its own diamonds.

A selfie of Uber employees featuring former CEO Travis Kalanick, current CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and board member Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington / Twitter

Dara Khoshrowshahi made his first appearance as CEO at an all-hands with Uber staff yesterday. He starts on Tuesday, and said he’s aiming at an IPO as soon as 2019. Board member Arianna Huffington took an all-smiles selfie with Khoshrowshahi, ex-CEO Travis Kalanick and the Uber gang. Kara Swisher was there, too, live-tweeting it all. Meanwhile, a judge gave Kalanick a legal win by sending Benchmark’s lawsuit against him to arbitration. And high-profile new chief brand officer Bozoma Saint John says she wants to “humanize” Uber. [Kara Swisher / Recode]

The iPhone is (only? already?) 10 years old, and when Apple rolls out its new models at its big event next month, one of them will be a high-end device that replaces the functions of the familiar home button with facial recognition and a swipe on the screen. Perhaps the trade-off — a bigger screen in a smaller phone package — will make our temporary bewilderment worth it. [Dan Frommer / Recode]

In a rare partnership between megacompetitors, Amazon and Microsoft are going to let Alexa summon Cortana, and vice versa, in an effort to extend the abilities of both companies’ voice-controlled digital assistants. Amazon executives provide some insight into Alexa’s personality and history, as the team tries to make her smarter, chattier — and more like you. Their inspiration for the Echo: The all-knowing behind-the-scenes computer from “Star Trek.” [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

The FCC received a record-breaking 21 million comments from both sides of the net neutrality debate, but more than 90 percent of those comments were pre-written form letters, and millions are otherwise suspicious in origin. An analysis showed that “general sentiment is against” repeal of the Obama-era open internet rules, but FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has made it clear that there’s no “numerical threshold” that might guide his next move. [Tony Romm and Rani Molla]

Social media continues to save many stranded victims of the storm in Texas, using Twitter, Facebook and the walkie-talkie app Zello to connect aid workers with those in need of help. Twitter and smartphones didn’t exist when Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005; Hurricane Harvey showed their potential and their shortcomings. Meanwhile, during President Trump’s visit to the disaster area, he continued to make himself the “I” of the storm. [Kevin Collier / BuzzFeed]

Tim Armstrong runs a “house of brands” at Oath — the Verizon subsidiary that contains AOL, Yahoo and all the organizations they own, including HuffPost, Tumblr and TechCrunch. But, as Armstrong says on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, one brand that’s no longer in-house, the local news site Patch, taught him a lot about how to run the rest. [Eric Johnson / Recode]

Top stories from Recode

People keep spending more time using Snapchat, even though Instagram is cloning all of its features.

Time spent on Snap has grown almost 20 percent in the past six months.

Software and IT services is the highest-paying industry.

It pays to be in tech.

This is cool

Silicon Valley is on a quest to grow the perfect diamond. Earth’s oldest object of desire can now be created in a lab, by a startup, in two weeks. But will Diamond Foundry be able to reproduce the allure of mined stones? [Tom Vanderbilt / Wired UK]

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