Techmeme
November 26, 2019, 5:15 PM

Top News

Chris Welch / The Verge:
Twitter says accounts that have not been logged into for six months leading up to Dec. 11 will be removed, likely freeing up a large number of usernames  —  No exact date for when usernames will be available  —  Twitter is sending out emails to owners of inactive accounts with a warning …
Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:
Facebook buys the VR studio behind Beat Saber, one of virtual reality's biggest titles with over 1M copies sold since May 2018  —  Virtual reality doesn't have many hit games yet, but Facebook is buying the studio behind one of the platform's biggest titles.
CNBC:
Sources: Facebook made several bids to acquire Fitbit, including a final offer of $7.30/share, below Google's announced offer of ~$2.1B in cash at $7.35/share  —  - Facebook is “Party A,” the company that bid against Google to acquire Fitbit, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Leo Kelion / BBC:
Teen's TikTok video about China's Muslim camps, bookended with beauty tips, goes viral with 1.4M+ views and ~500,000 likes, as copycats get millions more  —  A US teenager's TikTok video clip accusing China of putting Muslims into “concentration camps” has gone viral on the Chinese-owned social network.
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Mark Zuckerberg's 2019 “personal challenge”, examining the future of tech through public discussions, saw him speak with nine guests: all white and eight men  —  Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg completed his 2019 “personal challenge” on Monday, his version of a New Year's resolution.
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
A look at Athena, a new coalition of three dozen US grass-roots groups seeking to scrutinize and pressure Amazon on working conditions, surveillance, and more  —  As groups join a coalition against the internet giant, a new report underlines its troubling impact in warehouse towns.
Maya Kosoff / GEN:
How Texas Instruments monopolized the US education market for graphing calculators, products with high profit margins and tech that hasn't changed in 20 years  —  These $100 calculators have been required in classrooms for more than twenty years, as students and teachers still struggle to afford them
David Dayen / American Prospect:
Docs shared by tech giants in response to questions from Congress show few customers, employees, or contractors bother to challenge the firms in arbitration  —  Responding to Congress, they make clear that forced arbitration gives them the means to sidestep the law.
Gwyn Topham / The Guardian:
TfL says Uber's London license will not be renewed after it identified risks in Uber's system that allowed drivers to fake their identity; some were unlicensed  —  Ride-hailing service to continue while it appeals against Transport for London decision  —  Uber has lost its licence …
Joseph Cox / VICE:
Documents show California's DMV is making ~$50M/year selling drivers' personal info, partaking in the highly criticized but common practice since at least 2013  —  The California Department of Motor Vehicles is generating revenue of $50,000,000 a year through selling drivers' personal information …
Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch:
Pricefx, which offers cloud-based pricing software, raises €23M in additional funding as part of its Series B led by Digital+ Partners  —  Pricefx, the Munich-founded startup that offers cloud-based pricing software, has raised €23 million in additional funding as part of its earlier Series B round.
More: VentureBeat and Tech.eu
Bloomberg:
Memo: Google fires four employees, citing data-security violations, amid rising tension between management and staff  —  - Move comes after worker protests and union organizing  —  Google told staff on Monday that it fired four employees for what the company called “clear and repeated violations” of its data-security policies.

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