Techmeme
April 16, 2018, 11:25 PM

Top News

Reuters:
Dept of Commerce blocks sales from US firms to ZTE for seven years, after alleged false statements to officials that followed guilty plea on sanctions violation  —  LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Commerce has banned American companies from selling components …
Kia Kokalitcheva / Axios:
Coinbase acquires Earn.com, which lets users earn bitcoin by completing tasks, hires Earn.com CEO Balaji Srinivasan as CTO; sources say deal is valued at $120M+  —  Coinbase is acquiring Earn.com, a paid inbox service formerly known as 21 inc., with CEO Balaji Srinivasan joining as chief technology officer …
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
Microsoft announces the Azure Sphere stack for securing IoT devices, includes a Linux-based OS, custom silicon for microcontrollers, and matching cloud service  —  Microsoft is introducing new custom silicon, a Linux-based embedded OS and cloud service aimed at securing microcontroller-based devices.
Alfred Ng / CNET:
TaskRabbit informs users that it is investigating a cybersecurity incident and that it has temporarily taken down its app and website  —  The handyman-for-hire app sent an email to users today recommending they change their passwords if they used the same ones for different websites.
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai / Motherboard:
GrayKey, the tool law enforcement's been buying to unlock iPhones, appears to work by brute forcing passcodes, another reason to use a strong alphanumeric code  —  Now that police agents can allegedly crack iPhones protected with passcodes made of six numbers, it's time to use longer, harder to guess and crack alphanumeric passphrases.
Dustin Volz / Reuters:
Rob Joyce to return to the NSA after more than a year as White House cybersecurity coordinator; his departure follows that of his boss, Tom Bossert, last week  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House cyber security coordinator Rob Joyce will leave his post and return to the National Security Agency, a White House official said on Monday.
More: Wired and CyberscoopThanks:@dnvolz
New York Times:
China's Weibo backs down from censoring gay content following backlash from users, after saying it would ban it along with other content to comply with new law  —  BEIJING — With hashtags like #Iamgaynotapervert and images of hearts and rainbows, tens of thousands of Chinese residents took …
Eliot Brown / Wall Street Journal:
Pitchbook: US VC firms are at record levels of late-stage funding with 102 startups receiving at least $50M in Q1 2018, totaling $16B  —  The rush of venture funds has led to bidding wars and heightened concerns that the sector is overvalued  —  When Tony Xu, chief executive …
More: PYMNTS.com
Megan Rose Dickey / TechCrunch:
Lyft says its drivers have earned $500M+ in tips since the company was founded in 2012; tip averages up 8% YoY in 2017 due to app encouraging higher tip amounts  —  Lyft drivers have earned more than $500 million in tips to date, Lyft announced today.  Since fleshing out tip functionality …
More: Lyft Blog, CNET, and Mashable
David Shepardson / Reuters:
T-Mobile fined $40M by FCC for failing to fix rural calling problems and playing ringing sounds to mislead “hundreds of millions” into thinking calls connected  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - T-Mobile USA Inc (TMUS.O) agreed on Monday to pay $40 million to resolve a government investigation …
Issie Lapowsky / Wired:
Study: of 228 groups found running divisive Facebook ads during 2016 election, 122 were “suspicious” and ran 4x more ads than others, ~20 had known links to IRA  —  WHEN YOUNG MIE Kim began studying political ads on Facebook in August of 2016—while Hillary Clinton was still leading the polls …
Theodore Schleifer / Recode:
Sources: NYC-based VC firm Lerer Hippeau to take over Binary Capital's $175M second fund after assuming management of its debut fund last month  —  Binary is handing over its second fund to Lerer Hippeau.  —  Venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau has reached an agreement to take over another fund …

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Earlier Picks

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Dan Primack / Axios: