Techmeme
December 14, 2020, 12:35 PM

Top News

Dustin Volz / Wall Street Journal:
Source: Treasury's hackers used a flaw in a SolarWinds product; SolarWinds, which touts 300K+ customers, says the flaw was the result of a “supply chain attack”  —  Russia's foreign intelligence service is suspected of being behind effort to breach government networks
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Sources: state-backed Russian hacking group APT29, or Cozy Bear, is behind the hacks of US Treasury, NTIA, and FireEye  —  The Russian government hackers who breached a top cybersecurity firm are behind a global espionage campaign that also compromised the Treasury and Commerce departments …
Christopher Bing / Reuters:
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Google says Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, and other Google services suffered a worldwide outage for about an hour for a majority of users on Monday  —  Update: It looks like services are slowly starting to come back again.  We've contacted Google for a statement about what happened.
Samantha Cole / VICE:
Pornhub says it has removed all videos from unverified accounts from its platform; the number of hosted videos dropped from 13.5M to 7.2M  —  After changing its policies to ban unverified uploaders and Mastercard and Visa's decision to drop the platform entirely, Pornhub announced that it has removed all unverified videos.
Daisuke Wakabayashi / New York Times:
Internal memo: Google now plans to have employees return to office in September 2021 and is testing a flexible model of three days in office, two days WFH  —  The Silicon Valley company now plans to have employees return to the office in September.  It will be different when they get there.
Upvoted:
Reddit announces it has acquired short-form video app and TikTok rival Dubsmash  —  Reddit is where passionate communities come together for authentic exchanges about the topics that matter to them.  Video is increasingly core to how people want to connect, and as we continue to grow our community …
Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal:
Review of Apple's Fitness+ subscription service: a relatively good deal compared to rivals, with plenty of workouts, but requiring a Watch might put people off  —  The $10-a-month app takes on at-home fitness for a competitive price but with an expensive catch
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Sources: Apple TV+ was making Scraper, a show about Gawker Media, with several episodes written, then Tim Cook sent an email about it and the project was killed  —  Big tech companies now exert huge influence over what stories get told.  The message is clear: Be careful who you offend.
New York Times:
In H1 2020, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft spent ~$23M on EU lobbying, equal to what they declared for all of 2019 and up from ~$8.3M in 2014  —  Silicon Valley is building a powerful influence industry in Brussels, which has “never seen this kind of money” spent this way.
Politico:
Ryan Browne / CNBC:
EA says it has agreed to buy British racing game developer Codemasters for $1.2B, outbidding Take-Two, which had agreed on a $971M acquisition last month  —  - The deal upstaged a previous transaction agreed between rival publisher Take-Two Interactive and Codemasters.
Edward Ludlow / Bloomberg:
Amazon's Zoox unveils an autonomous electric robotaxi that can hold four passengers and run for a claimed 16 hours on a single charge, with a launch date TBC  —  - Vehicle seats four and can run for 16 hours before recharging  — CEO says Zoox may eventually build package delivery vehicles
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Facebook launches Collab, a TikTok-inspired music making app, on iOS in the US, after announcing a beta version in May  —  Collab, Facebook's experimental app for making collaborative music videos, is today launching out of private beta testing with a public release on the App Store.

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