Techmeme
August 11, 2020, 7:55 PM

Top News

Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Google is partnering with USGS and creating a worldwide, Android phone-powered opt-in earthquake alert system using phone accelerometers  —  Google is creating a worldwide, Android phone-powered earthquake alert system.  The first part of that system is rolling out today.
Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo:
Google announces new features in its computer vision Lookout app, like document scanning, an Android Auto refresh, and Bedtime mode is no longer Pixel-exclusive  —  Ahead of the upcoming official release of Android 11, Google is pushing out a few updates to all Android phones …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft commits to launching the Xbox Series X in November and will delay Halo Infinite until 2021  —  Halo Infinite will not be available until 2021  —  Microsoft is committing to launching its next-generation Xbox Series X console in November.  The company had previously only confirmed a vague …
Joseph Cox / VICE:
Mozilla says it plans to lay off around 250 employees and is closing the company's current operations in Taipei, Taiwan  —  The changes come as the Mozilla Corporation looks to invest in more revenue-generating projects like its recently announced VPN.  —  Joseph Cox
Wall Street Journal:
Analysis: TikTok used an Android security hole to collect MAC addresses, possibly for ad tracking, without an ability to opt out; the practice ended in November  —  The tactic, which experts in mobile-phone security said was concealed through an unusual added layer of encryption, appears to have violated Google policies
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Twitter says it is now letting anyone limit who can reply to their tweets to just those that follow the author or just the accounts that are tagged in the tweet  —  Twitter may describe itself as the town square, but that doesn't mean you have to talk to everyone walking past your seat at the cafe.
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Facebook says it removed 22.5M posts for violating hate speech policies in Q2, up 2x from Q1, and that 95% of the violations were caught using automated systems  —  - Hate speech removal has jumped nearly 10-fold since 2018  — Facebook to undergo third party audit for content in 2021
Erin Griffith / New York Times:
Former Pinterest COO accuses the company of gender bias in a new lawsuit, alleges she was fired in April after complaining about sexist treatment  —  Françoise Brougher, Pinterest's former chief operating officer, said she was fired after speaking up about mistreatment.
Kashmir Hill / New York Times:
Clearview AI has hired pre-eminent First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, who plans to assert a free-speech right to disseminate publicly available photos  —  Clearview AI has hired Floyd Abrams, a top lawyer, to help fight claims that selling its data to law enforcement agencies violates privacy laws.
Samuel Axon / Ars Technica:
Parallels Desktop 16 adds support for Big Sur, 3D in Metal, and zoom and rotate gestures on multitouch trackpads, and claims 20% faster DirectX performance  —  Windows on Apple Silicon is still a question mark, though.  —  Parallels Desktop 16 launched on the Mac today.
Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter:
US judge sides with Google in a lawsuit brought by Genius, which alleged that Google scraped lyrics in violation of copyright law  —  Google may have been caught “redhanded,” but a federal judge rules that Genius hasn't alleged any viable claims not be preempted by copyright law.
Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica:
NJ Supreme Court ruled that compelling a suspect to unlock their cell phone doesn't violate Fifth Amendment, following opposite ruling by Indiana SC in June  —  Courts are split on whether phone unlocking orders violate the Fifth Amendment.  —  New Jersey's Supreme Court has ruled …
Bloomberg Law:
US appeals court throws out a 2019 antitrust ruling against Qualcomm and its licensing practices in a case brought by the FTC  —  Listen  —  Qualcomm Inc. persuaded a U.S. appeals court to set aside a 2019 ruling that cast a pall over its licensing business and threatened to upend the smartphone industry.
Yogita Khatri / The Block:
MicroStrategy buys ~$250M in bitcoin, becoming the first publicly traded company to buy the currency as part of its capital allocation strategy  —  MicroStrategy, the Nasdaq-listed business intelligence company, has become the first publicly-traded company to buy bitcoin as part of its capital allocation strategy.
Ari Levy / CNBC:
Sources: about a month before BigCommerce's successful IPO, Intuit offered to buy the company for $1.5B  —  - Intuit offered to buy BigCommerce for $1.5 billion about a month before the e-commerce software company's IPO.  — BigCommerce opted to go public instead, and the stock jumped over 200% in its debut last week.
More: PYMNTS.com
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
LinkedIn says it has sold presentation-sharing service SlideShare to Scribd, which will take over its operation on September 24  —  SlideShare has a new owner, with LinkedIn selling the presentation-sharing service to Scribd for an undisclosed price.  —  According to LinkedIn …
Russell Brandom / The Verge:
Trump's executive order to ban TikTok by Sept. 20 is a gross abuse of power and sets an alarming precedent for the executive branch's control over software  —  An alarming precedent for government control over software  —  For months, President Trump has been teasing some kind of ban on TikTok …
Andrei Frumusanu / AnandTech:
Samsung Display reveals new generation of variable refresh rate mobile display panels, making its debut in the Note20 Ultra, helping lower device power usage  —  By now we've become quite familiar with high refresh-rate displays in the mobile space, as the first pioneering 90Hz devices …

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