Techmeme
December 10, 2019, 7:55 PM

Top News

Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
Google rolls out Chrome 79 adding security features like notifications for data breaches affecting users' passwords, new phishing prevention tools, tab freezing  —  Chrome 79 also ships with support for predictive phishing, for real-time Safe Browsing detections, and a built-in Password Checkup tool.
Craig Silverman / BuzzFeed News:
Facebook has fired a contractor who was bribed to reactivate banned ad accounts; messages show he agreed to a $5K upfront payment and a monthly retainer  —  A Facebook contractor was paid thousands of dollars in bribes by a shady affiliate marketer to reactivate ad accounts that had been banned due …
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Apple releases watchOS 6.1.1 and version 13.3 for iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS, with updates to Screen Time, Apple News, support for physical security keys, and more  —  As expected, Apple today has released iOS 13.3, iPadOS 13.3, tvOS 13.3, and watchOS 6.1.1 to the public.
Juli Clover / MacRumors:
Apple releases more pricing details for Mac Pro, now available to order: maxed-out 4TB model costs $50K+ and wheels are $400, delivering between December 19-27  —  Apple's new Mac Pro became available for purchase today, giving us our first look at all of the available upgrade options and pricing tiers.
Ryan Mac / BuzzFeed News:
Facebook says it will not weaken end-to-end encryption, build backdoors into its messaging apps, in response to a letter from US AG and UK, Australian officials  —  Facebook said it would not weaken end-to-end encryption across its messaging apps, despite pressure from world governments …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Apple Card's interest-free iPhone installment plan goes live, now with 6% back on Apple purchases through December 31  —  Apple is today launching a new feature for Apple Card which allows cardholders to purchase a new iPhone then pay it back over 24 months with no interest.
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Microsoft is bringing its first Office app to Linux with Microsoft Teams, now in public preview  —  Microsoft today launched Microsoft Teams for Linux in public preview.  No, that's not a typo — Microsoft Teams is indeed the first Office app that the company has ported to Linux.
Reuters:
How White House veterans helped the UAE build a surveillance unit in 9/11's wake that would go on to target activists and journalists as well as terrorists  —  In the years after 9/11, former U.S. counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke warned Congress that the country needed more expansive spying powers to prevent another catastrophe.
Shaun Nichols / The Register:
Apple sues former chief architect of the iPhone and iPad microprocessors, who quit in February to start data center chip startup Nuvia, for breach of contract  —  CEO accused of breaching contract with Cupertino, fires back in court  —  Apple is suing the former chief architect of its iPhone …
Isaac Stanley-Becker / Washington Post:
Researchers find Facebook's ad targeting tools, which charge less for ads to users already interested in the content, have worsened polarization in US politics  —  For the first time, researchers have demonstrated a skew in the delivery of political ads based on the content of those ads alone.
Kate Clark / TechCrunch:
VSCO acquires video editing startup Rylo, which had raised ~$38M, reached a valuation of ~$120.25M, and was backed by Sequoia Capital, among others  —  The photo-sharing app behind the 2019 meme craze “VSCO girls” has acquired Rylo, a video editing startup founded by the original developer of Instagram's Hyperlapse.
New York Times:
The UK general election provides new insights into how disinformation spreads online, showing many in the ruling Conservative Party have joined in the practice  —  Foreign meddling was once the most feared source of online deception before critical elections.  Now, some candidates themselves are turning to such manipulative tactics.
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Magic Leap is renaming its AR headset from the Magic Leap One Creator Edition to the Magic Leap 1, as it pivots from consumers to business customers  —  The same headset, aimed at a different market  —  Magic Leap is pitching its headset to businesses with a new name.
Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch:
Passport, a permitting, parking, ticketing management, and mobile payments platform for cities, office parks, and campuses raises $65M Series D  —  The big new round of funding for Passport's ticketing and parking management tech proves that software can even disrupt something as mundane and seemingly low-tech as the parking lot.
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
North stops selling its Focals smart AR glasses 14 months after debuting them, says it plans to launch a sleeker version with 10x higher resolution in 2020  —  North, an augmented reality (AR) wearables company backed by Amazon and Intel, has announced that it's pulling its current Focals smart glasses off …
Joanna Glasner / Crunchbase News:
Analysis find that at least 14 known startups working on AI-driven healthcare chatbots have collectively raised $800M+, with Babylon Health accounting for $635M  —  We all want to get healthier.  However, most of us would prefer if it didn't have to involve things like vigorous exercise …
Michael Potuck / 9to5Mac:
Report: since Apple debuted Intelligent Tracking Prevention, the cost for advertisers to reach Safari users has dropped 60%+, as such ads are less desirable  —  In the two years since Apple released Safari's Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature that keeps websites from tracking users around the web …
Ari Levy / CNBC:
Oracle to move its annual OpenWorld conference from SF to Las Vegas for at least three years, citing SF's high hotel rates; move estimated to cost SF $64M/year  —  - Oracle is moving its annual OpenWorld conference from San Francisco to Las Vegas and it signed a three-year agreement with the Caesars Forum for the move.
Gregory Barber / Wired:

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