Techmeme
December 20, 2019, 5:00 PM

Top News

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple has a secret team of ~12 engineers working on satellites and related wireless tech to beam data directly to its devices  —  Apple Inc. has a secret team working on satellites and related wireless technology, striving to find new ways to beam data such as internet connectivity directly …
Davey Alba / New York Times:
Facebook and Twitter shut down a network of fake accounts using AI-generated faces to “masquerade” as Americans; Facebook links the network to Epoch Media Group  —  Researchers said the profiles, linked to the Epoch Media Group, used photos generated by artificial intelligence in a preview of an …
Fortune:
Ripple raises $200M Series C led by global investment firm Tetragon at a $10B valuation  —  Ripple, a San Francisco-based company that uses cryptocurrency to move money across borders, announced a massive funding round on Thursday that values the company at $10 billion.
New York Times:
Reporters identified a Secret Service agent, his home address, family details, and tracked Trump's movements using the leaked dataset obtained by the NYT  —  IF YOU OWN A MOBILE PHONE, its every move is logged and tracked by dozens of companies.  No one is beyond the reach of this constant digital surveillance.
New York Times:
Kim Lyons / The Verge:
Convenience store chain Wawa discloses a data breach across its 700 stores over the past nine months that may have exposed customer and credit card details  —  The breach may have affected all 700 stores over the past nine months.  —  If you used your credit card or debit card to buy gas …
Alex Sherman / CNBC:
Sources: NBC's Peacock to integrate NBC News Now, have a free, limited-content tier, a limited-ads tier for $5/month, and an ad-free tier for $10/month  —  - NBCUniversal is looking to differentiate its streaming service Peacock from rivals through its pricing structure and user interface.
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
Apple opens its bug bounty program to security researchers, publishes eligibility criteria, bounty categories, and report and payout guidelines  —  Apple opens its previously-closed bug bounty program to all security researchers.  —  Apple has formally opened its bug bounty program today …
The Economic Times:
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 invests $231M in India-based eyewear ecommerce startup Lenskart's Series G, sources say at a valuation of $1.5B  —  The transaction values company at about $1.5 billion post the investment  —  SoftBank has invested about $231 million (Rs 1,645 crore) …
Sam Schechner / Wall Street Journal:
France's competition authority fines Google €150M for mistreating advertisers by suspending them on its search engine in a random and unjustified fashion  —  Google has been accused of suspending keyword advertisers on its search engine in a random and unjustified fashion
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Source: Facebook bought video-shopping startup Packagd, to help build live shopping for Marketplace; Packagd was building a shopping product for YouTube videos  —  - Packagd was founded by former Kleiner Perkins partner  — Live shopping is growing in popularity, especially in China
More: PYMNTS.com
Elly Cosgrove / CNBC:
IAC to buy online caregiver marketplace Care.com in a deal valued at nearly $500M; Care.com stock is up 13+%  —  - IAC's deal to buy Care.com comes one day after it detailed plans to spin off all of its shares of online dating company Match Group.  — Care.com soars more than 13% on the news …
Kana Inagaki / Financial Times:
Mitsubishi and NTT to buy 30% stake in digital map provider HERE Technologies; BMW, Audi, and Daimler bought Nokia's HERE unit for ~€2.8bn in 2015  —  Japan's biggest trading house Mitsubishi and telecoms company NTT are to acquire a 30 per cent stake in Here Technologies …

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Drew Harwell / Washington Post:
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Josh Constine / TechCrunch: