Techmeme
February 19, 2020, 10:50 AM

Top News

Dave Gershgorn / OneZero :
Profile of Japan-based NEC, which has been a longtime provider of facial recognition services globally and garners less scrutiny than new entrants in the space  —  July 2018, the mayor of Irving, Texas, signed a contract that would dramatically expand how the city's police department could investigate crimes using facial recognition.
More: Vox and VICE
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
EU issues proposals to drive digitization across industries and sectors, including rules for high risk AI systems and a regulatory framework for data governance  —  European Union lawmakers have set out a first bundle of proposals for a new digital strategy for the bloc …
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Twitter acquires Chroma Labs, which makes tools for video and photo creation, will split team across product, design, and engineering, shut down Chroma Stories  —  - Company builds photo, video-editing features for social media  — Chroma will join Twitter to work on ‘conversations’ products
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook is internally testing a tabbed version of News Feed for mobile that includes the Most Relevant, Most Recent, and Already Seen feeds  —  Facebook may make it easier to escape its ranking algorithm and explore the News Feed in different formats.  Facebook has internally prototyped …
Corbin Davenport / Android Police:
Mozilla releases its VPN service Firefox Private Network on Android in a closed beta for $4.99/month  —  Mozilla, the organization behind the much-loved Firefox web browser, has experimented with creating a VPN service for some time.  Unlike the VPNs packaged with browsers like Opera …
Richard Cooke / Wired:
A tribute to Wikipedia, which is one of the few remaining places that retains the faintly utopian glow of the early World Wide Web  —  People used to think the crowdsourced encyclopedia represented all that was wrong with the web.  Now it's a beacon of so much that's right.
Michael del Castillo / Forbes:
Coinbase becomes a Visa Principal Member, allowing it to issue bitcoin debit cards for other crypto companies and traditional firms  —  Credit card giant Visa has granted its principal membership to a cryptocurrency company for the first time.  Officially awarded to cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase …
Billy Steele / Engadget:
As Photoshop turns 30, Adobe begins rolling out new desktop and mobile features, including bringing the Object Selection tool to iPad  —  Photoshop turns 30 today, and Adobe is celebrating with some worthwhile updates to the photo-editing app on both the desktop and iPad.
Hugh Son / CNBC:
LendingClub is acquiring Boston-based online bank Radius Bancorp in a deal valued at $185M, making it the first US fintech company to acquire a bank  —  - LendingClub, a fintech company that pioneered personal loans made online, is buying a U.S. bank to give it access to a stable and cheaper source of funding, CNBC has learned.
Steven Overly / Politico:
Judge rules that Huawei does not have grounds to sue the US government over a law banning federal agencies and their contractors from buying Huawei products  —  A federal judge ruled today that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei does not have grounds to sue the U.S. government …
Duncan Riley / SiliconANGLE:
ForgePoint Capital raises $450M for its second cybersecurity investment fund, taking its funds under management to $750M  —  ForgePoint Capital said today it has raised $450 million in its second fund to invest in early-stage and select growth companies in the cybersecurity sector, taking its funds under management to $750 million.
Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch:
Atomico announces its fifth fund has closed at $820M, bringing their total assets to $2.7B; Atomico will mostly fund European startups at Series A  —  Atomico, the European venture capital firm founded by Skype's Niklas Zennström, has announced that it has closed its fifth fund …
Nicholas Quah / Hot Pod News:
Patreon has launched Patreon Capital, which provides creators with cash advances they pay back with slight interest using income earned on the platform  —  I was tempted to kick this story off with a platitude along the lines of: “Starting something is the hardest part.”
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
Whatfix, which helps companies onboard users and improve employee training, raises $32M Series C led by Sequoia Capital India  —  Whatfix, a “digital adoption platform” (DAP) that helps companies create on-screen product walk-throughs for their software, has raised $32 million in a series C round …
Taiga Uranaka / Bloomberg:
Sources: Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is investing $700M in ride hailing giant Grab, intends to market its financial services to Grab's users  —  - MUFG gains access to millions of users in Southeast Asia  — Grab is trying to build a regional super-app like WeChat
Nilesh Christopher / VICE:
An Indian election candidate created multiple deepfakes of his own video with him speaking different languages to access voters, reaching ~15M WhatsApp users  —  On February 7, a day ahead of the Legislative Assembly elections in Delhi, two videos of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) …

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