Techmeme
February 2, 2021, 2:30 AM

Top News

Stephen Totilo / Kotaku:
Google says it will close its two Stadia game studios, in LA and Montreal, and Stadia head Jade Raymond is leaving; the closure will affect ~150 developers  —  Google Stadia, the late 2019 streaming platform that promised to revolutionize gaming by letting users stream games without needing …
Chris Velazco / Engadget:
Apple releases the first iOS 14.5 beta, which lets users unlock their iPhones with Face ID while wearing a mask if they are also wearing an Apple Watch  —  The feature debuts in a new developer beta, available now  —  While the full release won't arrive for some time …
Peter Rudegeair / Wall Street Journal:
Robinhood says it has raised $2.4B from shareholders, just days after raising ~$1B  —  The $3.4 billion raised since last Thursday is more than the company has raised in its entire prior existence  —  Robinhood Markets Inc. raised another $2.4 billion from shareholders …
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Robinhood plummets back to one-star rating on Google Play Store; Google says current reviews are compliant with its policies and won't be removed  —  Following thousands of negative reviews  —  Investment app Robinhood has plummeted back down to a one-star rating on Google Play, thanks to a flood of thousands of new negative reviews.
Zoe Schiffer / The Verge:
Google to pay $2.5M to 5,500+ female engineers as well as female and Asian job applicants to settle pay and hiring discrimination allegations  —  The US Department of Labor alleges systemic pay and hiring discrimination  —  Google has agreed to pay $2.5 million to more than 5,500 employees …
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:
Ford says “millions” of its vehicles will run on Android starting in 2023, as it signs a six-year deal for Google Cloud to provide connected vehicle services  —  Google bags its latest automotive partner  —  Ford is the latest automaker to turn its vehicle operating systems over to Google.
Alex Heath / The Information:
Source: Sriram Krishnan, known for holding product leadership roles at Facebook, Twitter, and Snap, has joined Andreessen Horowitz as a general partner  —  Sriram Krishnan, a well-known tech investor and former product leader at Twitter, has joined the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz …
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Facebook is testing a notification for Facebook and Instagram iOS app users globally that encourages opting in to tracking for a “better ads experience”  —  Facebook is testing a notification that notifies Apple iOS users about ways the tech giant uses their data to target personalized ads to them.
Ian Allison / CoinDesk:
Sources: IBM has drastically downsized its blockchain team after missing revenue targets by 90%; IBM says the unit is “doing well”  —  “There is not really going to be a blockchain team any longer,” said a source.  —  IBM has cut its blockchain team down to almost nothing …
Ryan McMorrow / Financial Times:
A profile of Kuaishou, a Chinese TikTok rival, which is likely to hit a valuation of over $60B during its IPO this week, roughly one-third of ByteDance  —  Video sharing app is pivoting business model to advertising and ecommerce  —  Gu Jing spends two hours a day filming himself skinning pigs …
More: Bloomberg
Kellen Browning / New York Times:
Microsoft's head of IR says Xbox will be in short supply through at least June, after it sold every unit it had last quarter and topped $5B in gaming revenue  —  A month after the holiday season, gamers are still contending with scalpers, bots and immense demand as they hunt for elusive devices.
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Twitter quietly restored a number of high-profile accounts in India it banned earlier, citing a “legal demand”, including Caravan and two politicians  —  Twitter blocked access to dozens of accounts in India, including some that belonged to high-profile individuals in the country …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Democrats have complained to companies, including Google, that have suspended campaign donations, say they are being penalized for Republicans' actions  —  Lawmakers say companies' suspension of campaign donations puts business priorities at risk  —  Lawmakers from both parties …

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Byron Kaye / Reuters:
Maryclaire Dale / Associated Press:
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