Techmeme
December 23, 2020, 2:35 PM

Top News

Reuters:
Documents: Google's AI unit tightened control over its scientists' papers on “sensitive topics” and asked at least three to portray its tech in a positive light  —  OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google this year moved to tighten control over its scientists' papers by launching a …
Nikhilesh De / CoinDesk:
SEC sues Ripple Labs, its CEO Brad Garlinghouse, and Chairman Chris Larsen, alleging they violated federal securities laws in selling XRP to retail consumers  —  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) believes Ripple Labs violated federal securities laws in selling the XRP cryptocurrency to retail consumers.
Kevin McLaughlin / The Information:
Sources: Zoom has begun developing a web email service for businesses, and may trial it next year, and is also considering building a calendar app  —  Zoom Video Communications has had an astonishing rise in 2020, emerging as the go-to service for work meetings and family get-togethers during the pandemic.
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Telegram debuts group voice chat as CEO Pavel Durov says it is nearing 500M MAUs and will launch an ad platform for public one-to-many channels next year  —  Instant messaging app Telegram is “approaching” 500 million users and plans to start generating revenue starting next year to keep the business afloat …
Logic Magazine:
Q&A with an anonymous AWS cybersecurity engineer on why AWS is easy to migrate to but difficult to leave, how the pandemic compounded AWS' advantages, and more  —  Amazon is on a mission to own the infrastructure of our lives.  The second-largest private employer in the United States after Walmart …
Bloomberg:
Profile of YouTube's top creator of 2020, 22-year-old MrBeast, who has 48M+ subscribers, 4B views a year, ~50 employees, and spends $300K per video on average  —  Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, was the top creator on YouTube this year.  Now he wants to sell you hamburgers.
Drew FitzGerald / Wall Street Journal:
FCC's ongoing 5G wireless licenses auction has fetched over $66.4B after three weeks, beating the $44.9B sale of 4G licenses in 2015, and will resume January 4  —  FCC sale of wireless licenses has already hit new spending highs and the total could climb after a holiday break
John Harney / Bloomberg:
DHS has issued an advisory to US businesses, warning of data security risks with using communication equipment and services from China-linked companies  —  - Homeland Security warns of trade secret, competition risks  — Advisory comes after hack that Trump advisers blame on Russia
Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
Certificate authority Let's Encrypt says it has found a workaround that will extend older Android phones' compatibility with its certificates by three years  —  When you haven't been updated since 2016, expiring certificates are a problem.  —  Things were touch-and-go for a while …
Taylor Lorenz / New York Times:
Clubhouse is testing an invite-only Creator Pilot Program, with over 40 members, as the service hits 600,000 registered users  —  Tech investors have warmed to the idea that being a content creator is a legitimate form of business.  —  Nearly every social media platform has turned its top users into stars …
Leo Kelion / BBC:
DeepMind details MuZero, revealed in 2019 and following AlphaZero, which can master games without knowing the rules and is working on YouTube video compression  —  DeepMind's latest AI program can attain “superhuman performance” in tasks without needing to be given the rules.
Rachel Sandler / Forbes:
NY Governor signs a bill to suspend the use of facial recognition and other biometric ID tech in schools until July 2022, the first such regulation in the US  —  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Tuesday temporarily banning the use of facial recognition in schools, making it the first state to take such a step.
Richard Waters / Financial Times:
Google CEO Sundar Pichai says GDPR shows that “regulation can get it wrong” and “we are still a small part of the overall information ecosystem”  —  For Google, the Techlash arrived with a vengeance last week.  After years of mounting angst about the power of Big Tech …
Alex Gallagher / NME:
The COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress includes the Felony Streaming Bill, which makes illegal streaming for profit a felony, with up to 10 years jail time  —  Targeting illegal for-profit streaming providers, not individual users  —  The US Congress has passed a COVID-19 stimulus bill …
Rachel Reichenbach / rainylune:
Small business owner shares conversation with an Instagram media expert, who told her the algorithm favors Reels, consistency, and using all post types  —  Back in November, Instagram reached out to me and asked me to schedule a call with them so a media expert from the Instagram Partnerships team …
Bloomberg:
Xiaomi's market value tops $100B, the valuation that sources said it had originally eyed for its 2018 IPO  —  - Stock surge follows strong sales, Hang Seng Index inclusion  — Shares have nearly tripled in 2020 after post-IPO struggles  —  Xiaomi Corp. founder Lei Jun can finally rejoice …
Tweets: @bsindia
Matthew Green / @matthew_d_green:
[Thread] How iPhone security degrades following a user's first device unlock after powering it on, leaving it more vulnerable to data exfiltration  —  My students @maxzks and Tushar Jois spent most of the summer going through every piece of public documentation, forensics report, and legal document we could find to figure out how police were “breaking phone encryption”. 1/ https://twitter.com/...

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