Techmeme
May 13, 2020, 11:25 AM

Top News

Max Willens / Digiday:
Sources: Apple is asking the publishers participating in Apple News+ for permission to produce audio versions of stories, with Apple handling production costs  —  Apple News+ is pivoting to audio.  —  Over the past several months, Apple has been asking the publishers participating …
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple plans to return employees to offices sooner than rival tech companies, with staff coming back in phases  —  - Company to start letting more workers return to major offices  — Google, Facebook will allow remote work through end of 2020  —  Apple Inc. plans …
CNBC:
Sources: Uber has been in off and on talks for a year to acquire Grubhub, but the parties remain at odds about price  —  - Uber has made an offer to buy food delivery company Grubhub, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC Tuesday.  — Grubhub's stock spiked as much as 38% …
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Facebook will pay $52M in a settlement covering 11,250 content moderators as compensation for mental health issues developed on the job  —  Current and former moderators will all be paid a minimum of $1,000  —  In a landmark acknowledgment of the toll that content moderation takes on its workforce …
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Dell's upgraded flagship Alienware Area-51m R2 shows the promise of upgradeable Area-51m has failed, as the original won't get any of the new CPU or GPU updates  —  Original owners won't get any of the new CPU or GPU upgrades  —  Alienware has announced the second generation of its flagship Area-51m gaming laptop, the Area-51m R2.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Devindra Hardawar / Engadget:
Spatial makes its VR meeting rooms free to use and adds support for the web, mobile, and Oculus Quest  —  Two years ago, we called Spatial's virtual collaboration platform “FaceTime in VR.”  Since then, the company has focused on corporate users who have access to pricey augmented reality headsets …
More: VentureBeat, CNET, and WiredThanks:@lucyagoss
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Alphabet's Loon signs deal with carrier Vodacom to bring its commercial internet service to Mozambique  —  Loon, the Alphabet -owned company that's using stratospheric balloons to provide high-speed bandwidth to hard-to-serve areas without strong ground infrastructure, has signed a new deal …
More: Loon and Engadget
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Amazon updates the Fire HD 8 tablet with a faster processor, more RAM, more storage, and USB-C, with the base model getting a slight price increase to $89.99  —  Along with a slight price increase to $89.99  —  Amazon has announced a new update for its Fire HD 8 tablet, adding a faster processor, more RAM, and USB-C charging.
Robert Stevens / Decrypt:
Chat app Telegram says it's abandoning its TON blockchain project, after the SEC challenged the legality of its $1.7B ICO and delayed the network's launch  —  Telegram, the operator of the 400 million-strong messenger app, today announced that it has given up on its upcoming blockchain network …
Lily Hay Newman / Wired:
Security experts believe online voting systems do not have strong enough security guarantees for prime time despite seemingly successful trials in the US  —  Proponents of mobile and internet voting point to its uneventful track record.  That's not good enough.
Michael Potuck / 9to5Mac:
Instagram adds bulk comment deletion and control for who can mention or tag you on iOS, to help fight bullying; the ability to pin comments is being tested  —  Instagram is rolling out some changes today to keep the platform a more positive place for users.
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Epic Games unveils the Unreal Engine 5, coming in 2021, with a PlayStation 5 demo and says the Epic Online Services set of tools are available today  —  Epic says its new engine is a ‘quantum leap,’ and it'll arrive in 2021  —  Epic Games today announced the next iteration of its game engine …
Annie Musgrove / Tech.eu:
Tel Aviv-based accessiBe, which uses AI to make website content more accessible to disabled users, raises $12M led by K1  —  Tel Aviv-based accessiBe, a startup using AI to make website content more accessible for users with disabilities, has raised $12 million from K1, an investment firm based in California.

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JD Alois / Crowdfund Insider: