Techmeme
April 16, 2020, 1:55 PM

Top News

Sarah Krouse / Wall Street Journal:
Verizon says it will buy videoconferencing company Blue Jeans Network, source says for less than $500M  —  Acquisition comes as the coronavirus spurs unprecedented work-from-home arrangements  —  Verizon Communications Inc. has agreed to buy videoconferencing company Blue Jeans Network Inc. …
Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is developing at least two over-ear wireless headphone variants, with swappable magnetic ear cups and headbands, to augment its AirPods business  —  - Over-ear headphones customizable via magnetic attachments  — Entering a category led by own Beats brand, Bose and Sony
Bloomberg:
Sources: Sony plans to limit its initial PlayStation 5 production run in its first year partly because it expects lower demand due to a higher launch price  —  - Console still on track for year-end launch despite Covid-19  — Biggest impact from virus so far seen on unveiling timeline
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Facebook will notify users who have liked, commented, or reacted to coronavirus misinformation and guide them to WHO resources  —  Facebook will begin informing people who have engaged with coronavirus misinformation on its main Facebook app, the company announced Thursday.
New York Times:
Libra scales back ambitions of launching a global currency and will now focus on creating a traditional payment network with coins tied to local currencies  —  After months of criticism, the cryptocurrency is moving ahead with significant revisions.  —  OAKLAND, Calif. …
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
TikTok lets parents set restrictions on their kids' accounts like limiting screen time, disabling DMs, and restricting content, and disables DMs for under-16s  —  They can set screen time limits, disable DMs, and restrict content  —  TikTok is amping up its parental controls today …
Dan Primack / Axios:
Stripe adds $600M extension to its $250M Series G at a $36B valuation from existing investors, including a16z, GV, and Sequoia, in its largest funding to date  —  Digital payments platform Stripe has raised $600 million in new funding and is now valued at nearly $36 billion, co-founder and president John Collison tells Axios.
Natalia Drozdiak / Bloomberg:
EU issues guidelines to make COVID-19 contact tracing apps interoperable and says it will scrutinize Google and Apple's proposed APIs to ensure compatibility  —  - Bloc set common approach on tracking apps to exit lockdowns  — Apple, Google announced new contact-tracing tech last week
Matt Day / Bloomberg:
In his annual letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos outlined the steps Amazon is taking to curb the coronavirus, including regular testing for all staff globally  —  Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said the online retail giant is developing Covid-19 testing capabilities …
Mark Bergen / Bloomberg:
In an internal email, Sundar Pichai tells Alphabet employees that the company will slow the pace of hiring for the rest of 2020 as it re-evaluates investments  —  - Company is ‘recalibrating’ spending on data centers, servers  — Covid-19 crisis is affecting richest Silicon Valley businesses
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Apple announces a new iPhone SE with a 4.7" display, A13, Touch ID, 12MP camera with portrait mode, 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB storage from $399, shipping April 24  —  It looks like an iPhone 8, but it has more modern specs  —  Apple has officially announced the new iPhone SE …
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Google will tighten Play Store rules from June 16 to stop Android app subscription scams, requiring clear information on free trials and ways to cancel them  —  Clearer information about free trials and subscription costs  —  Google has announced a series of new policies to make Android's …
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Samsung to use Xilinx's Versal ACAP chips, which optimize beamforming tech, for its 5G commercial deployments, with first Versal ACAP devices available in Q4  —  Samsung Electronics and programmable chip maker Xilinx have teamed up to make chips that can serve as the key processing technology …
Paresh Dave / Reuters:
Google says Gmail business and education users can now directly take video calls on Meet, with a new Zoom-like layout, noise filtering, and more coming later  —  OAKLAND, California (Reuters) - Google will allow business and education users on Gmail.com to directly take calls …
More: 9to5GoogleThanks:@peard33
Sudip Kar-Gupta / Reuters:
Free Now, the ride-hailing service run by Daimler and BMW, announces a restructuring, with possible job cuts, and says it plans to merge with French app Kapten  —  PARIS (Reuters) - The ‘FREE NOW’ taxi ride-hailing service run by Daimler and BMW announced on Thursday a corporate restructuring …
More: TechCrunch
Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
Bridgecrew, which makes automated cloud security tools for engineers, raises $14M Series A led by Battery Ventures  —  In today's grim economic climate, companies are looking for ways to automate wherever they can.  Bridgecrew, an early-stage startup that makes automated cloud security tooling aimed …
Jacqueline Feldscher / Politico:
US DOD's report could not “definitively determine” whether the White House intervened in $10B JEDI contract as officials were barred from answering questions  —  The Pentagon's inspector general “could not definitively determine” whether the White House influenced the procurement process …
Alex Wilhelm / TechCrunch:
Utah-based Everee, which develops a worker-friendly payroll software service, raises $10M Series A led by Origin Ventures and Signal Peak Ventures  —  This morning Everee, a Utah-based software as a service (SaaS) startup focused on payroll, announced that it has closed a $10 million Series …
More: FinSMEs and Everee

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Katie Roof / Bloomberg: