Techmeme
December 23, 2020, 8:00 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 …
Kate Duffy / Business Insider:
April Christina Curley, a Google recruiter focused on Black colleges, says she was fired in September and alleges a hostile work environment for Black people  —  - A Google employee, who said she was fired by the tech giant in September, claimed Monday that her manager told her that her way of speaking …
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.
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Source: Apple is planning to release an updated Apple TV with a focus on gaming, an updated remote, and a new processor next year  —  Hey everyone, it's Mark Gurman.  I cover all things Apple Inc. at Bloomberg Technology and I'm the host of the new consumer tech segment Power Up on Bloomberg TV.
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.
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.
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 …
Zach Dorfman / Foreign Policy:
US officials say Chinese tech companies, including Alibaba and Baidu, have been enlisted to process stolen US data for Chinese spy agencies to analyze  —  Beijing was giving China hawks in the United States plenty of ammunition.  That same year, hackers working for China's People's Liberation Army …
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 …
Drew FitzGerald / Wall Street Journal:
FCC's ongoing 5G wireless licenses auction has fetched over $69.8B 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
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/...
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.
More: NewserTweets: @mwanikih, @glenngabe, @jpage, and @glenngabe
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 …
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Voat, a lightly moderated Reddit clone that gained users after the ban of several subreddits about five years ago, says it will shut down on December 25  —  Co-founder says a key investor backed out in March  —  Voat, an “anti-censorship” alternative social network that's been described as the …
More: SlashGear
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.
Martha C. White / New York Times:
Experts say demand for data centers has been a bright spot for US commercial real estate this year; REITs focused on data centers had returns of 19% in H1 2020  —  Developers and investors see more opportunities in commercial real estate as businesses and consumers gobble up more data.
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:
Apple's new privacy prompt to allow or deny tracking, originally meant to be introduced in Sept., has started to roll out for some iOS 14 users in certain apps  —  As a privacy measure, Apple will be requiring developers of iPhone and iPad apps to request permission from users to track …

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