Techmeme
December 14, 2018, 6:10 AM

Top News

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
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 …
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.
Bloomberg:
In a court filing, Apple argues that China's ban on the sale of some iPhones, which it is appealing, would force it to settle its licensing battle with Qualcomm  —  Apple Inc. said a Chinese ban on the sale of some models of the iPhone will force it to settle a long and bitter licensing battle …
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.
Peter Kafka / Recode:
Sources: Facebook is in talks with pay TV channels, including HBO, Showtime, and Starz, about selling their streaming TV services on its platform  —  The world's biggest social network wants to get into the pay TV business — by taking a page from Amazon.  —  Facebook is readying …
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.
Kate Clark / TechCrunch:
Amsterdam-based e-scooter startup Dott, founded by former Ofo exec Maxim Romain, raises €20M led by EQT Ventures and Naspers  —  The funding extravaganza may be approaching its end for scooter “unicorns” Lime and Bird, but smaller startups in the micro-mobility space have continued …
More: VentureBeat and Tech.eu
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.
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 …
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.
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.

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Michael del Castillo / Forbes:

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New York Times:
Richard Lawler / Engadget: