Techmeme
April 28, 2020, 1:50 PM

Top News

Matt Stroud / OneZero:
The CEO of Banjo, a SoftBank-backed surveillance firm that's raised nearly $223M, was once a neo-Nazi and was involved in the drive-by shooting of a synagogue  —  magazine profiles and on conference stages, Damien Patton, the 47-year-old co-founder and CEO of the surveillance startup Banjo, often recounts a colorful autobiography.
Taylor Lorenz / New York Times:
Instagram has been overrun with cash giveaways, which are often framed as charity, but are part of growth schemes run by social media marketing firms  —  As the coronavirus continues to disrupt lives and livelihoods, influencers are offering free money to followers — and gaining a lot more in return.
Casey Newton / The Verge:
YouTube adds fact-check info boxes to some searches, above the search results, in the US, after launching in Brazil and India last year  —  The program launched in Brazil and India last year  —  YouTube will begin adding informational panels containing information from its network …
Neha Alawadhi / Business Standard:
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
Shopify launches Shop, a consumer shopping app that allows users to browse recommended and local products and buy using the one-click Shop Pay checkout process  —  While Shopify is best-known for powering the online stores of more than 1 million businesses, the company is launching …
Leo Kelion / BBC:
UK's NHS says it's making a contact tracing app that uses a centralized approach, giving it more insight into COVID-19's spread than Apple and Google's tools  —  The UK's coronavirus contact-tracing app is set to use a different model to the one proposed by Apple and Google, despite concerns raised about privacy and performance.
Gizmodo:
Parolees say technical issues of Guardian, an app that uses GPS and biometric data for tracking, are causing problems like losing jobs and reincarceration  —  On the day Layla got out of prison and back to her home in Georgia, she was told she would need to purchase a smartphone …
Washington Post:
Stanford Internet Observatory researchers say Facebook and YouTube should not allow paid political ads from state-controlled media outlets  —  Vanessa Molter is a graduate research assistant at the Stanford Internet Observatory.  Renée DiResta is the research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory.
Bloomberg:
Sources: TripAdvisor will cut ~300 global and ~600 US positions, shutting San Francisco and downtown Boston offices; most remaining employees to take 20% cut  —  TripAdvisor Inc. is cutting about a quarter of its workforce in a bid to shrink costs as the global coronavirus pandemic decimates travel.
Paresh Dave / Reuters:
Interviews show some companies and retail stores are equipping existing security cameras with AI software to track social distancing and mask-wearing  —  OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) - Stores and workplaces eager to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus are equipping existing security cameras …
Marne Levine / About Facebook:
Facebook says it will stream a virtual graduation ceremony on May 15, with a commencement speech from Oprah Winfrey; highlights will be shared on Instagram  —  This is a bittersweet time for the Class of 2020.  As students head toward graduation, it's not the day they might have imagined …
David Shepardson / Reuters:
Verizon and Comcast both say they will extend a commitment through June 30 to not cancel service or charge late fees because of the coronavirus pandemic  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), the largest U.S. wireless carrier, said Monday it will extend …
Vjeran Pavic / The Verge:
DJI unveils Mavic Air 2 with upgraded camera sensor that can take 48MP photos and shoot 4K at 60 fps, claims 34 minutes of flying time, shipping May 11 at $799  —  A bigger sensor, a bigger battery, and redesigned controller come to DJI's mainstream drone  —  Two and a half years …
Mary Ann Azevedo / Crunchbase News:
Cheetah, which offers contactless pickup and delivery of food and supplies, raises $36M Series B led by Eclipse Ventures, bringing its total funding to $66M+  —  Cheetah, which offers contactless pickup and delivery of food and supplies, has closed $36 million in a Series B funding round, the company exclusively told Crunchbase News.
More: TechCrunch and FinSMEs
James Cook / Telegraph:
Deliveroo, which employs over 2,500 people, is laying off 367 and furloughing 50 employees as it struggles amid low demand  —  50 employees have also been furloughed as the business prepares for an economic downturn  —  Deliveroo is letting go of 367 of its employees as it struggles with demand amid coronavirus lockdown.
Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
Tecton.ai, which is building an easy-to-use service to build machine learning systems, emerges from stealth with $20M Series A led by a16z and Sequoia Capital  —  Three former Uber engineers, who helped build the company's Michelangelo machine learning platform, left the company last year …

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