Techmeme
May 13, 2020, 4:15 PM

Top News

Joe Maring / Android Central:
Report: Google's Pixel division has lost Marc Levoy, the engineer leading the camera division, and GM Mario Queiroz over the past year, as sales disappoint  —  The general manager for the Pixel division is also gone.  —  What you need to know  — According to The Information, Marc Levoy and Mario Queiroz have both left Google.
Igor Bonifacic / Engadget:
Google announces a new tab-grouping tool for Chrome, rolling out “slowly”, letting users cluster tabs together and organize them by name and color  —  Google is introducing a new feature to Chrome that will have you asking how you lived without it before.
Martin Matishak / Politico:
A bipartisan amendment to FISA to prohibit warrantless surveillance of Americans' online browsing and search histories failed in the Senate by one vote, 59-37  —  The Senate on Wednesday blocked a bipartisan effort to shield Americans' internet browsing and search histories from warrantless surveillance.
Ryan Browne / CNBC:
Uber says all riders and drivers will need to wear masks starting next week and introduces new tools to verify drivers are doing so before each trip  —  - Uber is launching a new tool that checks if drivers are wearing face masks before starting trips.  — The ride-hailing firm …
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 …
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Facebook says it took action on 9.6M pieces of hate speech content in Q1, up by 3.9M, and AI now proactively detects 88.8% of it, up from 80.2% last quarter  —  Facebook sheds light on its new AI-powered moderation  —  Facebook on Monday released a new report detailing how it uses a combination …
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Sean Lyngaas / CyberScoop:
DHS and FBI jointly accuse hackers affiliated with Chinese government of attempting to steal US research into a COVID-19 vaccine, adding to a slew of charges  —  The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI on Wednesday blamed hackers linked with the Chinese government for attempting …
April Glaser / NBC News:
Sources say Google has significantly rolled back diversity and inclusion initiatives since mid-2018 in an effort to avoid being perceived as anti-conservative  —  One well-liked diversity training program at Google called Sojourn was cut entirely, according to seven former and current employees.
Natalie Gagliordi / ZDNet:
Slack rolls out its redesign on iOS and Android, which launched on desktop in March, including new navigation icons and a new compose button  —  The updates build on Slack's desktop revamp​ back in March, which aimed to make the user interface more intuitive and organized.
More: Slack, CNET, and The Verge
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Facebook brings Avatars, its Bitmoji competitor, to the US after launching internationally last year  —  Avatars can be used in comments, messages, and stories  —  Facebook is now rolling out its customizable avatars in the US after first launching them internationally last year.
More: CNET, Redmond Pie, TechCrunch, and AdweekFacebook: Fidji Simo
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.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Dell announces a new XPS 17 and a redesigned XPS 15 with 16:10 edge-to-edge displays, only USB-C ports, and Intel 10th-gen CPUs, starting at $1,300 and $1,500  —  Dell goes all USB-C and 16:10 for its XPS lineup  —  Dell is making some big changes to its XPS lineup today, with a redesigned XPS 15 and a new XPS 17.
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
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 …
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 …
Alex Wilhelm / TechCrunch:
Cryptocurrency trading service FalconX raises $17M from Avon Ventures, Accel, and others  —  Over the last few weeks all eyes in the crypto world have been glued to the halvening, a nigh-religious moment in the blockchain realm.  Every once in a while, the amount of new bitcoin mined …
Jason Del Rey / Vox:
Amazon says it will extend hazard pay for warehouse workers, an extra $2 per hour, to the end of May, but will return to normal rates in June  —  Amazon warehouse workers have faced additional hazards throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post via Getty Images
More: CNBC and Bloomberg
Tyler Sonnemaker / Business Insider:
Filing: Kickstarter laid off 25 employees, or ~18% of its workforce; the company says 30 staff members took voluntary buyouts, taking total reductions to 39%  —  - Kickstarter is reducing its workforce by around 39%, the company confirmed on Wednesday.  — “Through a combination …
More: The Verge
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Some European Netflix users say video quality throttling is still in place, angering those who pay more for higher-quality plans  —  Facebook to Pay $52 Million to Settle Lawsuit Over Moderators' Exposure to Graphic, Disturbing Content  —  Almost two months ago, Netflix …
Bijan Stephen / The Verge:
Reports: live-streaming grew 45% between March and April, and 99% YoY; Twitch saw the highest growth, as hours watched rose 50% from March to April and 101% YoY  —  Every platform grew, but Twitch is still the biggest  —  We finally have numbers to back up the wild view counts we've seen …
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: Wired, VentureBeat, and CNETThanks:@lucyagoss
David Shepardson / Reuters:
Trump extends an executive order banning US companies from using telecom equipment from companies like Huawei for another year  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday extended for another year an executive order signed in May 2019 declaring a national emergency …
Doug Black / HPCwire:
MemVerge, which develops memory machine software, raises $19M led by Intel Capital  —  Memory situated at the center of the computing universe, replacing processing, has long been envisioned as instrumental to radically improved datacenter systems performance.
More: FinSMEs
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.

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