Techmeme
December 7, 2017, 3:30 PM

Top News

Casey Newton / The Verge:
Instagram is testing Direct, a standalone private messaging app that replaces the current inbox, in six countries; there is no timeline yet for a global launch  —  Messenger 2.0  —  Instagram is testing a standalone app for private messages called Direct, a first step toward possibly toward …
Lauren Etter / Bloomberg:
How Philippine's President Duterte utilized Facebook, used by 97% of Filipino internet users, to spread his message before weaponizing it to target dissent  —  Rodrigo Duterte walked down the aisle of a packed auditorium at De La Salle University in downtown Manila, shaking hands and waving …
Andrew Webster / The Verge:
Sony says PS4 sales reached 70M units and PlayStation VR sold 2M units worldwide; PS4 now on track to surpass PS3's 80M+ lifetime sales  —  Sony announced today that the PlayStation 4 has hit a major new milestone, surpassing 70 million units sold worldwide.  That puts the console on track to surpass its predecessor very soon.
David Meyer / Fortune:
Bitcoin price reaches $16K+ despite bubble warnings, with a total market capitalization of ~$270B  —  Bitcoin broke through the $15,000 barrier on Thursday morning as it continued what has been a remarkable run even by the cryptocurrency's usual bubblelicious standards.
Catherine Shu / TechCrunch:
Patreon says it will reduce pledge fee from 5% to 2.9%, but add a $0.35 charge for each individual pledge, causing concern among some creators  —  Patreon announced a new service fee policy that it says will help creators keep more money, but many are worried because they believe it will instead discourage their patrons from pledging.
Shannon Liao / The Verge:
Google adds video responses from celebrities, including Will Ferrell, Gina Rodriguez, and Mark Wahlberg, for popular questions as a trial in US  —  Using selfie-style videos  —  Google today is launching a new search feature that will have celebrities answering commonly searched questions …
Reuters:
NiceHash, a Slovenia-based marketplace for cryptocurrency mining, says it was hacked and 4,700 bitcoins, worth about $60M+, were stolen from its wallet  —  (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency marketplace NiceHash said the contents of its bitcoin wallet had been stolen in a security breach and one executive said nearly $64 million had been lost.
Dan Primack / Axios:
Boston entrepreneur Laura Fitton becomes first woman on record to accuse Shervin Pishevar of sexual harassment, saying he forcibly kissed her and more in 2011  —  Laura Fitton is a Boston entrepreneur and social marketing executive, known to many early Twitter users as the co-author of Twitter for Dummies.
Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
PullRequest raises $2.3M seed round led by Google's Gradient Ventures, with participation from Slack Fund and others, to provide code review as a service  —  PullRequest, a Y Combinator Summer 17 graduate, announced a $2.3 million seed round today led by Google's new AI fund, Gradient Ventures.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Making gaming accessible to all  —  Read the story behind the new Xbox Adaptive Controller, which will make gaming accessible to people with a broad range of disabilities.
eero:
CNET: eero Labs introduces a new innovation playground for networks.  —  eero is introducing eero Labs to give its customers a chance to try out new features on its mesh Wi-Fi system before they go mainstream.
IBM:
Multi-platinum music producer collaborates with AI and APIs  —  See how IBM partnered with Spotify to help Alex da Kid find the perfect match for his upcoming single.
Zoho:
How to connect in 60 seconds...  The best sales professionals are always looking for the slightest advantage to help them connect with more clients and close more deals.  —  They focus on small things …
CB Insights:
How Google Plans To Use AI To Reinvent The $3 Trillion US Healthcare Industry  —  In this report we explore Google's many healthcare initiatives and areas of potential future expansion.

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