Techmeme
August 5, 2020, 9:50 AM

Top News

Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
Disney says Disney+ has grown to 60.5M subscribers, up from 54M in May, and it has 100M+ paid subs for streaming services including Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+  —  Disney+ had more than 60.5 million paying subscribers as of yesterday, according to The Walt Disney Company's CEO Bob Chapek.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Facebook launches Instagram Reels, its TikTok competitor that lets users create and publish 15-second videos, in 50+ countries, including the US, UK, and Japan  —  Instagram Reels, the company's significant effort in challenging TikTok on short-form creative content, is launching globally, starting today.
TechCrunch:
Anthony Levandowski, ex-Uber self-driving head, was sentenced to 18 months in prison as he files a new lawsuit against Waymo and Uber  —  Maverick self-driving car engineer will not need to report until threat of COVID-19 pandemic has passed  —  Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer …
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:
In a letter to staff, ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming says a forced sale of TikTok to a US buyer is “unreasonable” and the real goal of the US is a ban  —  - U.S. doesn't really want to see a sale to American buyers  — Founder Zhang Yiming issues second letter in two days
Dan Primack / Axios:
New York Times:
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Files by Google adds a PIN-encrypted folder to protect sensitive files on Android  —  It's aimed at users who share devices, Google says  —  The Files by Google app, which primarily gives Android users an easy way to manage files and free up space on their phone, is getting a new PIN-protected “Safe Folder” feature.
Kate Clark / The Information:
HeadSpin to return ~$95M to investors and has replaced its CEO after an internal review of financial irregularities; its valuation now down from $1.16B to $250M  —  HeadSpin, a mobile app testing company recently valued at $1.16 billion, plans to return up to $95 million in funding to investors …
Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
Google says Google Play Music shutdown starts this month, global streaming will shut down in October, and music collections will be deleted in December  —  August begins the four-month Google Music shutdown.  —  Google Play Music has been given the death sentence by Google …
Bloomberg:
Square reports Q2 total net revenue of $1.92B, up 64% YoY, with Cash App generating $875M in bitcoin revenue, gross profit up 167% YoY; stock up 13%  —  - Online payment volume jumped more than 50% year over year  — Square's Cash App has more than 30 million monthly customers
The Verge:
What to expect from Samsung on Wednesday: Galaxy Note 20, new Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Buds Live earbuds, Tab S7 and S7 Plus, and possibly a sequel to Galaxy Fold  —  We might also see a sequel to the beleaguered Galaxy Fold  —  Samsung's next big product launch is right around the corner …
Bill Kisliuk / UCLA:
UCLA and Apple launch a study to see whether iPhones, Watches, and Beddit sleep monitors can help in understanding how daily routines impact depression symptoms  —  Researchers from the Depression Grand Challenge collaborate with Apple  —  Researchers from the Depression Grand Challenge collaborate with Apple
Apple:
Greg Joswiak will replace Phil Schiller as SVP of Worldwide Marketing; Schiller becomes an Apple Fellow and will continue to lead the App Store and Apple Events  —  Greg Joswiak joins Apple executive team as senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing  —  Cupertino, California …
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
A hacker has posted a list of usernames, passwords, IP addresses and SSH keys of 900+ Pulse Secure VPN enterprise servers on a Russian-speaking hacker forum  —  EXCLUSIVE: The list has been shared on a Russian-speaking hacker forum frequented by multiple ransomware gangs.
Geoffrey Fowler / Washington Post:
Review of Amazon's Echo Frames, $180 Alexa-enabled glasses that debuted last year: their internet connectivity is flaky and Alexa is too chatty and disruptive  —  You have to really love Amazon's Alexa to let the Echo Frames whisper in your ear all day.  —  What do you call it when there's …
Eugene Wei / Remains of the Day:
TikTok's video recommendation algorithm shows that machine learning can overcome cultural ignorance, a boon for companies operating in foreign markets  —  I often describe myself as a cultural determinist, more as a way to differentiate myself from people with other dominant worldviews, though I am not a strict adherent.
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai / VICE:
Profile of Mohamed Al-Sharifi, aka GamerDoc, a volunteer who has spent two years hunting cheaters in Overwatch and Valorant, getting ~50K-70K cheaters banned  —  This 24-year-old Iraqi who lives in London has spent two years hunting cheaters in Overwatch and Valorant, getting thousands …
Financial Times:
Chinese investments into India's tech startups are showing signs of drying up amid geopolitical tensions, opening the door for US investors to fill the void  —  As political tensions dominate India's relations with China, US companies see an opportunity  —  Just days after 20 Indian soldiers …
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:
Analysis of the questions asked by Democrats and Republicans during the House antitrust hearing and what it reveals about their partisan priorities  —  The only thing more predictable than members of Congress using hearings to make statements instead of ask questions, and when they do ask questions …

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