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Recode Daily: Samsung’s $1,980 foldable phone stole the show from the new flagship Galaxy S10

Plus: Disney, Epic Games, and others pull advertising from YouTube after a child exploitation controversy; Lyft will launch its pre-IPO roadshow in mid-March; this Spotify quiz is the best time-waster in ages.

Samsung’s folding phone.
DJ Koh, president and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division of Samsung Electronics, unveiled the company’s folding handset, the Galaxy Fold; Samsung is the first major manufacturer to offer the feature.
Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images

Samsung revealed its new flagship phone, the Galaxy S10, as well as its first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, which starts at $1,980. The S10 and S10 Plus offer a triple-camera array on the back, with a new ultrawide mode. Camera sensors have been laser-etched into the screen, allowing for a notch-less display, which has a built-in fingerprint sensor. The phones also feature a new Instagram mode that lets users edit or add stickers or captions to the photo right after it’s taken to share directly to their feed or as a Story. Samsung also unveiled new Galaxy Buds with built-in microphones and its Bixby personal assistant; like Apple’s AirPods, they wirelessly charge in their own carrying case. And the company’s long-awaited entry into the smart speaker market, the Galaxy Home, will launch by April. [Natt Garun / The Verge]

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller may finally submit his full report on Russian interference as early as next week. Four of Mueller’s 17 prosecutors have ended their tenures with the office, with most returning to other roles in the Justice Department. Under the special counsel regulations, Mueller must submit a “confidential” report to the attorney general at the conclusion of his work, but the rules don’t require it to be shared with Congress, or by extension, the public. And, as Attorney General William Barr has made clear, the Justice Department generally guards against publicizing “derogatory” information about uncharged individuals. [Evan Perez, Laura Jarrett, and Katelyn Polantz / CNN]

Walt Disney joined Nestle, Epic Games, and other companies in pulling advertising from Google-owned YouTube following a report indicating that comments on the video platform are being used to facilitate a “soft-core pedophilia ring.” A video highlighting the comments, posted by the YouTube creator Matt Watson (a.k.a. MattsWhatItIs) and viewed 1.75 million times since it went up on Sunday, accused YouTube of “facilitating the sexual exploitation” of children; Watson said YouTube’s recommendation system also guided predators to other similar videos of minors — many of which carry advertisements for major brands. A YouTube spokesperson said the company has taken “immediate action” following the report, including deleting accounts, reporting illegal activity, and planning refunds for advertisers. [Mark Bergen, Gerrit De Vynck, and Christopher Palmeri / Bloomberg]

A federal judge delayed a lawsuit over a $10 billion Pentagon cloud-computing contract that Amazon was favored to win so the government can investigate “new information” about possible conflicts of interest in the procurement process. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract would help the Pentagon use cloud computing to harness advanced technologies for much of the nation’s military. Amazon’s bidding rival Oracle called for an investigation into conflicts surrounding a former government employee who worked at Amazon before and after his role in the Pentagon’s procurement process. [John D. McKinnon and Kate O’Keeffe / The Wall Street Journal]

Hoping to beat rival Uber to the public market, Lyft plans to launch its roadshow in mid-March and is looking to IPO in early April. If Lyft wins this race, it will be the first ride-hailing company to go public. The two companies have been locked in a competition to go public, with Lyft facing pressure to be first to avoid being overshadowed by Uber, which is much larger. The two companies have competed fiercely for riders and drivers since their earliest days, often introducing copycat services within days of each other. In keeping with that tradition, both filed to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the same day in early December. [Mike Isaac and Kate Conger / The New York Times]

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained why an ad-free version of the social network isn’t as simple as it sounds. During a nearly two-hour discussion with a Harvard Law professor, Zuckerberg correctly identified that the problem most people seem to have with Facebook is not actually with Facebook’s ads — it’s with the personal data Facebook collects and uses to target people with those ads. He suggested that a subscription product would need to include a way for people to opt out of Facebook’s data collection practices altogether — something that doesn’t currently exist. Here’s more about Zuckerberg’s conversation with Jonathan Zittrrain, which also touched on encryption, “information fiduciaries,” and targeted ads. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Recode presents ...

For the fourth straight year, Recode Editor-at-Large Kara Swisher and Senior Commerce Editor Jason Del Rey are hosting some of the brightest minds in e-commerce and retail for a night of live journalism at An Evening With Code Commerce. The three-hour event — slated for Sunday, March 3, at The Venetian in Las Vegas — will feature Recode’s signature brand of unscripted interviews, as well as a cocktail party where you’ll have the chance to chat up 200 of your smartest peers. Onstage guests include Tim Armstrong, who has built a long career in digital media, and is now entering commerce with the launch of “the dtx company,” which is investing in direct-to-consumer brands like ThirdLove and Dirty Lemon; Helena Foulkes, who just a year ago was named CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company — the owner of the Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Hudson’s Bay chains; and Manish Chandra, who has quietly built eight-year-old Poshmark into the second-most-popular iPhone shopping app in the US, ranking just behind Amazon. This event will sell out, so register now.

Top stories from Recode

Digital advertising in the US is finally bigger than print and television. TV and newspapers are out. Facebook and Google are in. [Kurt Wagner]

The “PayPal Mafia” is teaming up once again at Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. More turnover in the upper ranks of an industry that has had a ton recently. [Theodore Schleifer]

Full Q&A: AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on Recode Media. Stephenson talks about sports gambling, the potential of 5G, and buying Time Warner.[Peter Kafka]

This is cool

This new Spotify quiz is the best time-waster we’ve found in ages.

The dead Mars Rover was a Springsteen fan.

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