Techmeme
September 12, 2019, 9:20 PM

Top News

Richard Gingras / The Keyword:
Google says it changed how it ranks stories and updated guidelines for evaluation of search results to help better identify and surface original news reporting  —  Google Search was built to provide everyone access to information on the web—and with tens of thousands of web pages …
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Google Photos starts rolling out Memories, a tool that brings back old photos and videos on their anniversaries in an Instagram Stories-like format  —  A new feature to help you reminisce, plus same-day printing  —  Google Photos is adding features to encourage reminiscing …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Slack launches a dark mode for macOS, Windows, and Linux, with dark mode variants of all existing sidebar themes and a new “Nocturne” dark mode theme  —  Updated dark mode themes are available today  —  Slack is introducing a new dark mode for desktop versions of its workplace chat app.
Theodore Schleifer / Vox:
Sources: federal investigators, including the FBI, are probing the conduct and practices of Mithril Capital, the VC firm co-founded by Peter Thiel  —  Mithril Capital raised over $1 billion on the name of Thiel, one of Silicon Valley's biggest celebrities.  Now federal investigators are looking under the hood.
April Glaser / Slate:
Kickstarter has fired two union organizers in eight days; sources: both were fired for what management said were performance-related issues  —  On Thursday morning, Kickstarter fired Taylor Moore, an employee who was one of the organizers of a unionization effort within the company.
Claudia Koerner / BuzzFeed News:
Facebook takes down fact-check of anti-abortion video after complaints from four GOP senators alleging bias; Facebook's fact-checking partner is investigating  —  Facebook on Wednesday removed a fact-check conducted by doctors of an anti-abortion activist's video, which falsely claimed abortion …
Lindsey O'Donnell / Threatpost:
Researchers: “SimJacker”, a widespread SIM card-based vulnerability, is being exploited by a private actor “that works with governments to monitor individuals”  —  A vulnerability discovered in mobile SIM cards is being actively exploited to track phone owners' locations …
Anthony Cuthbertson / The Independent:
French Economy and Finance Minister says the country will block the development of Facebook's Libra in the EU as it poses a threat to “monetary sovereignty”  —  French Finance Minister says: ‘We cannot authorise the development of Libra on European soil’
Jared Newman / Fast Company:
Amazon launches Alexa Answers, a crowdsourcing platform that lets any user answer questions asked by other users, in the US  —  The Alexa Answers crowdsourcing platform is now open to everyone in the United States.  Amazon says it has measures in place to prevent misuse.
Lauren Debter / Forbes:
Direct-to-consumer dental startup SmileDirectClub closes down 28% on its first day of trading, after raising $1.35B in its IPO at a $9B valuation  —  SmileDirectClub raised $1.35 billion in an initial public offering on Thursday, defying challenges from dentists and regulators and cementing …
Lesley Goldberg / Hollywood Reporter:
AT&T's WarnerMedia signs an exclusive five-year deal with J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot for TV, film, and streaming projects; sources: deal is worth ~$250M  —  Bad Robot, the production company he runs with his wife and co-CEO, Katie McGrath, will now have all of its divisions …
Michael del Castillo / Forbes:
Dapper Labs, developer of CryptoKitties, raises $11.2M from a16z, Warner Music Group, and others for its proof-of-stake, high transaction volume blockchain Flow  —  Now that Warner Music Group has mastered streaming, generating $2 billion in revenue from the technology, the music giant behind Cardi B …
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Apple says it is tweaking changes announced at WWDC to App Store policies around Sign in with Apple and the rules around children's app categories  —  Originally announced in June, changes to Apple's App Store policies on its Sign in with Apple service and the rules around children's app categories are being tweaked.
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Google won't need to admit wrongdoing in a NLRB settlement over complaints of restricting employees' speech, but will need to inform employees of speech rights  —  Google will affirm that employees can discuss workplace issues, following a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times:
Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft did not sign a letter from 145 CEOs, including Lyft, Twitter, Airbnb, and Uber CEOs, urging Senate action on gun violence  —  “Doing nothing about America's gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable," the corporate chiefs urged senators in a letter.
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:
Uber says drivers will remain contractors under AB5, as they aren't core to its business which serves as a platform for several types of digital marketplaces  —  The ride-hail company shrugs off a new bill in California, but legal challenges loom  —  Uber won't be reclassifying its drivers …
Corbin Davenport / Android Police:
Android 10 allows multiple apps to access a phone's microphone at once, in a way designed to benefit accessibility services and Google Assistant  —  Android 10 is now available in its final form on a few phones, but some of its more interesting changes flew under the radar.

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