Techmeme
February 13, 2020, 5:20 AM

Top News

Tom Warren / The Verge:
GSMA says it has canceled Mobile World Congress after the coronavirus made it “impossible” to hold the event  —  MWC 2020 is no more  —  The world's biggest phone show, Mobile World Congress, is no longer taking place this year.  After coronavirus threatened to throw MWC into chaos …
New York Times:
Andy Rubin's Essential Products, which raised $330M to build smartphones and was valued at $1B, says it is ceasing operations  —  The smartphone company founded by Mr. Rubin, a former Google executive, struggled to win over customers.  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Essential Products …
Financial Times:
Facebook says it has banned a network of two dozen fake pages and accounts linked to two Southeast Asian telecoms for using disinformation against rivals  —  South-east Asian providers said to have used fake accounts to discredit rivals  —  Facebook has alleged that one of south-east Asia's …
Edward Ongweso Jr / VICE:
Consumer advocacy group DoNotPay launches Robo Revenge, an app that fights robocallers by giving them burner credit card info and then helping users sue them  —  DoNotPay, the family of consumer advocacy services meant to protect people from corporate exploitation, is launching a new app aimed …
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
WhatsApp says it now has 2B users worldwide, up from the 1.5B it announced two years ago  —  WhatsApp, the most popular messaging service, revealed today just how big it has become.  The Facebook-owned app said it has amassed two billion users, up from 1.5 billion it revealed two years ago.
Khari Johnson / VentureBeat:
Democratic senators propose the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence Act that would place a moratorium on facial recognition use by federal agencies, police  —  Two Democratic U.S. Senators today proposed legislation that requires a moratorium on facial recognition use by federal agencies …
More: Axios
Data Protection Commission:
Ireland's Data Protection Commission: Facebook has postponed launching Dating on Valentine's Day in Europe after DPC resorted to an inspection to procure docs  —  Facebook Ireland first contacted the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) in relation to its intention to roll-out a new Dating feature in the EU on Monday 3 February.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
SEC filing: Spotify bought The Ringer for ~$141M to $196M in cash, some of it deferred and subject to closing adjustments  —  Spotify disclosed that it will pay upwards of $196 million for The Ringer, the podcast and media company founded by Bill Simmons.  —  The streaming music and audio company …
Christina Farr / CNBC:
Sources: Google's scattered health care projects unify under Google Health, which now has over 500 employees and is led by former Geisinger CEO David Feinberg  —  - More than 500 people now work at Google Health, mostly out of the Palo Alto offices formerly occupied by smart home group Nest.
Sarah Holder / CityLab:
Nextdoor launches new app for public agencies like police, fire departments, and city halls, allowing them to post updates and push out geotargeted alerts  —  The neighborhood social network's new app is aimed at public agencies, and it lets local law enforcement more easily tap into the online community.
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Google rolls out Emoji Kitchen, which mashes up two emojis into a sticker, for Gboard on Android  —  Compatible with WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, and more  —  There are already hundreds of emoji available to cover every emotion from yawning to being a straight-up drunk weirdo.
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Q&A with McAfee CTO Steve Grobman on unusual types of ransomware, the state of AI in orchestrating and defending against cyberattacks, and deepfake detection  —  Artificial intelligence is sweeping through almost every industry, layering a new level of intelligence on the software used …
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
Nominet survey of CISOs at large US and UK companies finds 88% are “moderately or tremendously stressed”, resulting in an average tenure of 26 months  —  Report: The vast majority of interviewed CISO executives (88%) report high levels of stress, a third report stress-caused …
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
Habu, which offers analysis and management tools for marketing data, emerges from stealth with $15M Series A  —  Marketing startup Habu is emerging from stealth today and announcing that it has already raised $15 million in Series A funding.  —  The company comes out of super{set} …
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Reuters launches a new Reuters Fact Check business unit and blog and partners with Facebook to review news headlines, deepfakes, and user generated content  —  Eye-witness photos and videos distributed by news wire Reuters already go through an exhaustive media verification process.
Alex Hern / The Guardian:
UK expands broadcast regulator Ofcom's role to include online content, giving it the ability to enforce content standards on social media  —  Ministers unveil plans to block harmful content, while guaranteeing free speech  —  Ofcom will be put in charge of regulating the internet …
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
Judge in the Sprint merger trial decided T-Mobile would stay aggressive due to its public image, despite execs speaking of the merger in terms of raising prices  —  Judge Victor Marrero thinks John Legere is just the coolest  —  After a lengthy trial, a federal court ruled in favor …

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