Techmeme
December 13, 2018, 9:00 PM

Top News

Ina Fried / Axios:
Apple announces a $1B Austin campus initially for 5,000 workers, new offices in Seattle, San Diego, and Culver City, and expansions in several other US cities  —  Apple plans to build a new $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, adding thousands of jobs, while also setting up new large offices in Seattle …
Zac Hall / 9to5Mac:
Apple is notifying artists that it is removing their ability to post to Apple Music Connect and is removing previously posted content from Artist Pages  —  Apple Music Connect appears to slowly be going the way of iTunes Ping.  Apple has started notifying Apple Music artists that it is removing …
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Spammers are emailing businesses, schools, and other locations in the US, Canada, and New Zealand, demanding bitcoin as ransom to not detonate a supposed bomb  —  Spammers are sending a wave of threats to businesses, schools, and other locations in English-speaking countries across the world …
Sam Levin / The Guardian:
Some current and former fact-checkers say Facebook has ignored their concerns, that they have been used for PR, and that they have lost trust in the company  —  Journalists paid to help fix Facebook's fake news problem say they have lost trust in the platform
Jason Del Rey / Recode:
Instacart says it will end its partnership with Whole Foods starting in February; source: move is expected to reduce Instacart's revenue by less than 5 percent  —  Instacart will begin pulling the first group of workers out of Whole Foods locations in February.
Arielle Pardes / Wired:
Postmates announces Serve, an autonomous rover launching soon in LA, and says it now averages 4M deliveries per month in 550+ cities  —  HANGING ON THE wall of Postmates' stealth R&D laboratory, there's a framed photo of an iconic scene from Star Wars, Luke Skywalker bent down beside R2D2.
Amy Gesenhues / Marketing Land:
Facebook says it is rolling out Watch globally on desktop and Facebook Lite and expands availability of Ad Breaks, 15-second in-stream ads, to 14 more markets  —  Says more than 75 million daily Watch visitors spend, on average, more than 20 minutes on the video platform.
Kent Walker / Google:
Google says it won't sell general-purpose facial recognition APIs before working through “important technology and policy questions”  —  More than 400 million people in the world have diabetes.  A third of them have diabetic retinopathy, a complication that can cause permanent blindness.
Julia Alexander / The Verge:
YouTube's annual Rewind video received 10M dislikes in about eight days, overtaking Justin Bieber's Baby to be the most disliked video  —  Creators help explain why  —  To say that this year's YouTube Rewind didn't go over well with the YouTube community would be quite an understatement.
Richard Lawler / Engadget:
Google Maps adds Lime as a navigation option, showing distance to the nearest bike or scooter and an estimate for the cost and ride time, starting in 13 cities  —  Google Maps is always ready to help you get where you're going, and the latest addition to its list of features is a tie …
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Robinhood launches checking and savings accounts in the US with a 3% interest rate and no minimum balance or fees for overdrafts or foreign transactions  —  Robinhood is undercutting the big banks by forgoing brick-and-mortar branches with its new zero-fee checking and savings account features.
Katie Roof / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Niantic, publisher of Pokémon Go, is in the process of raising a $200M funding round that would value the company at $3.9B  —  The $200 million funding round is expected to be led by IVP, with participation from strategic investors Samsung Electronics Co. and aXiomatic Gaming LLC.
Ryan Randazzo / Arizona Republic:
Police in Chandler, AZ have documented 20+ incidents in the past two years where people vandalized Waymo's autonomous vehicles and harassed their test drivers  —  Police have responded to dozens of calls regarding people threatening and harassing Waymo vans.  —  CONNECT
John Timmer / Ars Technica:
Hands-on with the ECG feature in Apple Watch Series 4: taking an ECG is easy, but to review ECG traces you view them on the iPhone, not the watch itself  —  When Apple introduced the fourth iteration of its smartwatch, the big new selling point wasn't a feature we typically associate with a watch or any sort of smart device.
More: CNBC and Mashable
Jon Russell / TechCrunch:
South African fintech startup Jumo, which specializes in microloans, savings, and insurance, adds $12.5M to $52M round from September as it expands into Asia  —  Months after a big round, African fintech startup Jumo has pulled in a fresh $12.5 million to add more fuel for its expansion into Asia Pacific.
More: jumo.world
Karen Weise / New York Times:
New York's HQ2 proposal shows the types of data Amazon collected: availability of tech experts, real estate sites, outcomes from educational institutions, more  —  The city and state sent loads of data to Amazon during its search for a new headquarters, offering a peek into the valuable information …
Kate Clark / TechCrunch:
Juniper Square, which operates a platform for commercial real estate investment firms, raises $25M Series B led by Ribbit Capital  —  Juniper Square, a four-year-old startup at the intersection of enterprise software, real estate and financial technology, has brought in an additional $25 million …

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