Techmeme
January 4, 2021, 6:15 PM

Top News

Megan Rose Dickey / TechCrunch:
A group of over 200 Google and Alphabet workers have announced their plan to form a union, open to both employees and contractors  —  A group of more than 200 Google and Alphabet workers have announced the formation of the Alphabet Workers Union, The New York Times first reported.
New York Times:
Executives of the Alphabet Workers Union say discrimination and harassment continue and the company cracks down on those who are to speak out  —  Our company's motto used to be “Don't be evil.”  An organized work force will help us live up to it.  —  Ms. Koul and Mr. Shaw are, respectively …
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:
Kuo: Apple to release an AR device, AirTags item trackers, its first devices with Mini-LED displays, more Apple Silicon Macs, and new AirPods in 2021  —  Apple plans to release its long-awaited AirTags item trackers, an unspecified augmented reality device, and other new products in 2021 …
Hugh Son / CNBC:
Haven, the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture to disrupt healthcare, is disbanding after three years  —  - Haven began informing employees Monday that it will shut down by the end of next month, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.  — Many of the Boston-based firm's 57 workers …
Eileen Yu / ZDNet:
Singapore now says local law enforcement can access COVID-19 contact tracing data; 78% of its population has adopted the TraceTogether app and wearable token  —  Under the country's Criminal Procedure Code, the Singapore Police Force can obtain any data — including information gathered …
Reuters:
Alibaba founder Jack Ma has not appeared in a public setting since a late October forum in Shanghai, where he was critical of China's regulatory system  —  BEIJING (Reuters) - Alibaba founder Jack Ma's absence from public view in the past two months, including missing the final episode …
Matt Stoller / BIG:
SolarWinds hack is an example of private equity firms wrecking software companies and degrading their products' security to the detriment of national security  —  Private equity monopolist Orlando Bravo made billions by putting our whole society at risk.  —  1 hr ago
Kim Lyons / The Verge:
Slack confirmed it suffered a widespread outage Monday morning but resolved most problems as of 3pm ET, except for some integrations and email notifications  —  Users began reporting problems around 10AM ET  —  Slack is down on the first full work day of 2021.
New York Times:
A British judge rules against extraditing Julian Assange to the US, which has accused him of violating the Espionage Act, citing mental health concerns  —  U.S. officials want the WikiLeaks founder to face charges of violating the Espionage Act.  But a judge in London ruled that he was at extreme risk of suicide.
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Industrial sensor giant Teledyne says it will acquire thermal imaging sensor maker FLIR for $8B in cash and stock  —  Industrial sensor giant Teledyne is set to acquire sensing company FLIR in a deal valued at around $8 billion in a mix of stock and cash, pending approvals …
Eliot Brown / Wall Street Journal:
Because going public via a SPAC is seen as a merger, startups doing so face fewer restrictions on promoting stock vs. normal IPOs, which have a “quiet period”  —  Companies can dazzle investors by appearing on YouTube and other media outlets in ways those doing traditional IPOs can't
Zak Doffman / Forbes:
While Facebook touts e2e encryption on WhatsApp, Apple's privacy labels highlight how much user metadata WhatsApp collects compared to iMessage  —  WhatsApp, the world's leading messenger with 2 billion users sending 100 billion messages each day, popularized secure messaging.

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