Techmeme
January 6, 2021, 1:45 PM

Top News

Alexandra Alper / Reuters:
Trump signs an executive order banning transactions with Ant Group's Alipay, Tencent's WeChat Pay and QQ, and five other Chinese payment apps  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Ant Group's Alipay.
Jesse Pound / CNBC:
In a reversal, NYSE says it will go ahead with its plan to delist China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, following Mnuchin criticism  —  The New York Stock Exchange will delist three Chinese telecommunication giants after all.  —  The stock exchange will remove U.S.-traded shares of China Telecom …
Queenie Wong / CNET:
Pranob Mehrotra / XDA Developers:
WhatsApp updates its Terms and Privacy Policy to mandate data sharing with Facebook, including transaction data, mobile device information, IP address, and more  —  WhatsApp users are receiving an in-app notice today regarding the service's new terms and privacy policy.
Will Heaven / MIT Technology Review:
OpenAI introduces two new GPT-3 models: CLIP, which classifies images into categories from arbitrary text, and DALL·E, which can generate images from text  —  With GPT-3, OpenAI showed that a single deep-learning model could be trained to use language in a variety of ways simply by throwing it vast amounts of text.
Emily Birnbaum / Protocol:
As Democrats are poised to win Georgia's Senate seats, a look at potential tech legislation under a unified government, including a federal privacy bill  —  As of Wednesday morning, Democrats looked poised to win both Georgia Senate seats, taking back control of the Senate after five years of Republican leadership.
Bloomberg:
Facebook's Andrew Bosworth says its smart glasses, built in partnership with Ray-Ban, will arrive “sooner than later” in 2021 without AR features  —  - Company has more than 6,000 staff on AR, VR and hardware tasks  — Zuckerberg seeking the next computer platform after smartphone
Dina Bass / Bloomberg:
An oral history from 24 people describing how Microsoft developed the original Xbox, initially an over-budget ungainly product, and reshaped the gaming industry  —  The original product was ungainly, over-budget and nearly canceled.  Here's how it became a hit and reshaped an industry.
Nicole Friedman / Wall Street Journal:
Amazon commits $2B+ over five years to create and preserve affordable housing in three of its employment hubs, Seattle, WA; Arlington, VA; and Nashville, TN  —  Tech giant to make investments over next five years in and around Seattle, Arlington, Va., and Nashville, Tenn.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Google plans to add privacy labels across its iOS app catalog this week or next, after a report claimed none of Google's iOS apps have been updated since Dec. 7  —  Contrary to reports, Google is not delaying updates to its iOS apps because it doesn't want to comply with Apple's recently announced App Store Privacy Labels policy.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft says it will shut down Minecraft Earth, which let users play Minecraft in real life through AR, on June 30, due to the pandemic  —  The ambitious project to cover the world in blocks is over  —  Microsoft is closing down its Minecraft Earth mobile game in June, due to the ongoing pandemic.
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Dremio, which offers tools for companies to help streamline and curate data, raises $135M Series D led by Sapphire Ventures at a $1B post-money valuation  —  Dremio, a startup offering tools to help streamline and curate data, today announced that it raised $135 million in series D funding at a post-money valuation of $1 billion.
Hunter Walk / Medium:
To help creators avoid burnout, platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok need to explore new ideas like rate limiting of posts and paid time-offs  —  Creator Wellness Will Be A Key Goal of New Products  —  Being a modern creator is, for many, exhausting.
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Intel launches RealSense ID, an on-device facial authentication tool, launching in Q1 2021 for $99 and aimed at smart locks, ATMs, and kiosks  —  Intel today launched the newest addition to RealSense, its product range of depth and tracking technologies designed to give machines depth perception capabilities.
More: Gizmodo
Matt Grossman / Wall Street Journal:
IBM names Gary Cohn, former Goldman Sachs executive and economic adviser to Trump, as its vice chairman and member of its executive leadership team  —  Past Goldman Sachs president named vice chairman as tech icon develops stronger growth strategy  —  International Business Machines Corp …
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
FBI, CISA, and ODNI, with support from NSA, say an APT “likely Russian in origin” is responsible for all or most of the recently discovered hacks of US agencies  —  Joint statement from the FBI, CISA, ODNI, and NSA says SolarWinds hack was “likely Russian in origin.”
Ryan Browne / CNBC:
Kahoot, a game-based online learning service, says it had revenues of $45.2M in 2020, up 247% YoY, and plans to list on the main Norwegian stock market  —  - Kahoot is a game-based online learning service that lets players create and engage in multiple-choice quizzes.
Corin Faife / The Markup:
Study of 58 Facebook users' feeds in Georgia found partisan content elbowed out traditional news sites after Facebook reversed its political ad ban  —  Ahead of crucial senate runoffs, Facebook reversed its political ad ban, and the impact was visible on users' feeds

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