Techmeme
February 18, 2021, 3:37 AM

Top News

William Easton / About Facebook:
Ahead of proposed media law, Facebook bans Australians from sharing or viewing news and all users from sharing and viewing news on Australian news Pages  —  In response to Australia's proposed new Media Bargaining law, Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing …
More: Facebook, ABC, The Verge, 9News, The Guardian, The Guardian, Protocol, CNET, CNN, The Economic Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, The Next Web, The Guardian, Insider, ZDNet, OneZero , NPR, Bloomberg, Benedict Evans, CNBC, Sydney Morning Herald, Herald Sun, TechCrunch, Reuters, Digiday, Australian Financial Review, VICE, Associated Press, New York Post, Financial Times, BGR India, BBC, Neowin, New York Times, Mumbrella, PCMag, Mashable, Gizmodo, news.com.au, 3AW, 9News, Jezebel, SiliconANGLE, Ubergizmo, Facebook Australia, MUO, Tech.co, Input, ABC, and Daily Mail
News Corp:
News Corp announces a multi-year, global partnership with Google to provide content from its news sites “in return for significant payments by Google”  —  Long-term Deal Involves Payment For Premium Content For Google News Showcase;  —  Will Yield Substantial Benefits For Journalism And Society
ABC:
Australian authorities in public health, weather, and other areas say Facebook has removed posts from their feeds following Facebook's news ban  —  Facebook has restricted access to news in Australia, and so far the tech giant seems to have taken a pretty broad definition of news.
Casey Newton / Platformer:
Banning Australian news makes sense for Facebook and may prompt people to visit news sites directly; Google's payoffs, though, will invite global shakedowns  —  But Google gives in.  What's next?  —  Yesterday, I wrote that Australia's News Media Bargaining Code threatened to splinter the internet.
Noam Bardin:
Former Waze CEO reflects on his time at Google and the impact of the acquisition on autonomy, the brand, hiring and firing, distribution, compensation, and more  —  It's been two weeks since I left Google and I keep getting asked “why did I leave now”?  I think the better question is “why did I stay for so long”?
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Google launches over 50 new features for its education products, including Classroom, Meet, and Workspace, with a focus on meeting educators' and admins' needs  —  Google today introduced a suite of updates for its online education tools whose adoption and further development have been accelerated …
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
DOJ charges three suspected North Korean hackers for allegedly conspiring to steal and extort over $1.3B in cash and cryptocurrencies from banks and businesses  —  The Justice Department on Wednesday unsealed charges against three North Korean hacker spies accused of conspiring to steal …
Todd Haselton / CNBC:
Amazon announces Build It, a Kickstarter-like program that lets customers vote on products and says it will build those that get enough support within 30 days  —  - A new program from Amazon called Build It lets customers choose to back a new product, and if it gets enough support within 30 days, Amazon will build it.
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Waymo says it has begun testing its autonomous robotaxi service with employee volunteers in San Francisco, its first expansion beyond the Phoenix metro area  —  Waymo today announced that it has begun limited rider testing with employee volunteers in San Francisco to gather feedback and improve its robo-taxi technology.
More: Waymo and SiliconANGLE
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:
Google Maps now lets users pay for public transportation and parking by integrating Passport and ParkMobile services into its app, available in 400+ US cities  —  Fill your meter or get a train ticket  —  Google Maps is adding a couple of new useful features: the ability to pay for parking or buy a train ticket right from the app.
Karl Bode / VICE:
FCC launches the Broadband Data Task Force to collect data and develop more precise maps of US broadband availability, which currently rely on ISP-provided data  —  You can't fix a problem you don't understand.  And for decades the US has refused to accurately measure the full scope of US broadband market failure.
Bloomberg:
Sources: Google will restructure its Responsible AI teams to centralize them under a single Black executive, Marian Croak, in wake of Timnit Gebru's departure  —  - Company seeks to stabilize department amid internal rancor  — Responsible AI teams to be centralized under single executive
Daisuke Wakabayashi / New York Times:
Profile of Corey Quinn, a “cloud economist” who consults for AWS clients like WaPo and Epic on cloud computing costs and often lampoons Amazon on Twitter  —  Corey Quinn has made it his business to understand Amazon's cloud-computing charges and have some fun at the company's expense.
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
How the success of California's Prop 22, driven by gig economy companies, is affecting negotiations between unions and businesses across the US  —  The tower of aging Manila envelopes, stacked in a corner of Rome Aloise's cluttered Bay Area home office, is a monument to five years of failure.
Babu Mohan / Android Central:
Twitter starts testing voice DMs, which can be up to 140 seconds long, on iOS in India, Brazil, and Japan  —  Twitter is giving its users “more options to express themselves” in conversations.  —  What you need to know  — Twitter is testing a voice messaging feature for direct messages.
Bloomberg:
Biden admin says SolarWinds attack was executed from within the US, though Russia was responsible, and nine federal agencies and ~100 companies were compromised  —  A sprawling cyber-attack that compromised popular software created by Texas-based SolarWinds Corp. was executed from within the U.S. …
Sean Burch / The Wrap:
Triller CEO now says the company never inflated user numbers and that Triller should even be valued at over $10B based on claims made in a Billboard report  —  CEO Mike Lu said the company has “never” padded its user count, one day after Billboard said the app had half the 50 million users it claimed
More: Billboard
Javier Espinoza / Financial Times:
Epic Games files a formal antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission, claiming that Apple imposes commercially unviable burdens on rivals  —  Filing is latest shot in escalating feud between ‘Fortnite’ developer and Silicon Valley giant  —  Epic Games has filed …
Aditya Kalra / Reuters:
Internal docs: Amazon India has secretly favored big sellers, misrepresented its ties with them, and used them to circumvent tough foreign investment rules  —  NEW DELHI (Reuters) - It was early 2019, and senior Amazon.com Inc executive Jay Carney was preparing for an important meeting.

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