Techmeme
February 23, 2021, 7:50 PM

Top News

Georgia Hitch / ABC:
Australia says Facebook agreed to reinstate news content in Australia in the coming days after the government promised amendments to its proposed media bill  —  Facebook will walk back its block on Australian users sharing news on its site after the government agreed to make amendments …
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
Facebook's Australia news ban shows tech giants don't mind giving up money to appease regulators and business, but will not give up control over platforms  —  [Warning: Violent and gruesome metaphor ahead.]  —  In The Usual Suspects (1995), there's a scene in which the true extent …
Alex Barker / Financial Times:
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Google announces new features for Android, including a way to schedule texts and a Password Checkup tool to notify users of compromised credentials  —  Google today announced the next set of features coming to Android, including a new password checkup tool, a way to schedule your texts …
Selena Deckelmann / The Mozilla Blog:
Josh Sisco / The Information:
Sources: the DOJ is investigating if Apple's use of its “Sign in with Apple” button makes it more difficult for users to switch to a rival device maker  —  More and more iPhone apps are offering people the option of signing up by using information stored with Apple …
Square - Investor Relations:
Square announces it spent $170M to acquire 3,318 bitcoins at an average price of $51,236, following its earlier $50M bet on the cryptocurrency  —  Square also announced a $170 million purchase in bitcoin as part of its ongoing commitment to the cryptocurrency
Emily Bary / MarketWatch:
Stephen Warwick / iMore:
Some M1 Mac owners report a worryingly large number of writes to their Macs' SSDs, though in some cases it could be explained by faulty monitoring tools  —  “If this is accurate, some of these machines aren't going to last half a year”  —  What you need to know
Nikkei Asia:
Draft executive order from Biden admin orders development of a US supply chain strategy less reliant on China, focused on chips, batteries, rare-earth metals  —  Exclusive: Biden to sign presidential order to bolster chip, battery and rare-earth industries  —  WASHINGTON/TAIPEI …
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Q&A with Spotify's Daniel Ek on growing the number of creators on the service and engaging with them, podcast success metrics, Clubhouse, and more  —  Spotify hosted an event on Monday to discuss its ambitions in audio, and one message came through loud and clear: the company wants to play …
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:
Kuo: Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models with an HDMI port and an SD card reader in the second half of 2021  —  Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo …
Cecilia Kang / New York Times:
FCC proposes using $3.2B in emergency funds to subsidize broadband services for low-income families with discounts worth $50/month, or $75/month on tribal lands  —  A proposal released by the acting chairwoman of the commission is an attempt to close the digital divide.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Quill, a messaging app that raised its Index Ventures-led $12.5M Series A in 2019, quietly comes out of stealth to take on Slack  —  Slack took the workplace communications landscape by storm after it launched its integration-friendly, GIF-tastic chat platform in 2013.
More: 9to5Mac
Gene Park / Washington Post:
Sony says it's developing a VR headset for the PlayStation 5 that will be much less cumbersome than its current PS VR setup, but the device won't launch in 2021  —  The PlayStation 5 will have its own virtual reality headset, however, consumers may face ongoing difficulties obtaining a PS5 console given a supply chain shortfall.
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:
Akamai finds a botnet using bitcoin transactions to put its control server's IP address on the blockchain, making it basically impossible to fully take down  —  Wallet transactions camouflage the IP address of the botnet's control server.  —  When hackers corral infected computers into a botnet …
More: The Akamai BlogTweets: @stillinbeta
Tim Copeland / Decrypt:
Bitfinex and Tether agree to an $18.5M settlement with the New York AG and will stop operating in the state following a two-year probe  —  Bitfinex and Tether have agreed to stop all trading activity in the state of New York as part of a settlement announced today by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Hirsh Chitkara / Protocol:
Inside Chess.com's streaming success, with Twitch users watching 18.3M hours of chess content in January, nearly as much as they consumed throughout all of 2019  —  There's something inherently perverse in calling chess “open source.”  It's a bit like saying France “pivoted” …
The Information:
Source: ~40%, or 40M, of Disney+ subscribers are in the US, and Disney has said 30% are in India, so Europe and LatAm seem to make up less than a third of subs  —  Disney's flagship video-streaming service, Disney+, has quickly emerged as the only true competitor to Netflix …
Sarah E. Needleman / Wall Street Journal:
After delaying its plans, Roblox says it will go public via direct listing on March 10; in January, the company was valued at $29.5B after raising $500M+  —  Direct listing comes after videogame company delayed IPO late last year and recast financial reports in response to SEC
Natasha Mascarenhas / TechCrunch:
Reddit says it has raised a $116M Series E extension, after raising $250M earlier this month  —  Reddit, which announced a $250 million Series E earlier this month, has added over $116 million to the financing event, upping the round's most recent total to $367 million, according to a new SEC filing.
Sean Hollister / The Verge:
California's 2018 net neutrality law, SB 822, can go into effect after a California judge declined to grant the telecom industry a preliminary injunction  —  It survived challenges from Trump's DOJ, and now one from telecom industry too  —  Net neutrality died a horrible death in 2017 …
Eugene Wei / Remains of the Day:
TikTok's networks effects, driven by remixability of content and features that interconnect, can't be easily cloned by rivals who wish to recreate its ecosystem  —  I promised one final piece on TikTok, focused primarily on the network effects of creativity.  And this is that, in part.

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Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
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