Techmeme
February 26, 2021, 10:20 PM

Top News

Jason Schreier / Bloomberg:
Inside Google Stadia's failure as sources say it missed targets for controller sales and MAUs by hundreds of thousands after spending tens of millions on games  —  The tech giant likes to test and tweak.  Stadia promised to change the industry and failed to deliver.
Cecilia D'Anastasio / Wired:
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Facebook's NPE division launches BARS, a TikTok-like app for rappers to create and share their raps using professionally created beats, in closed beta  —  Facebook's internal R&D group, NPE Team, is today launching its next experimental app, called BARS.  The app makes it possible for rappers …
Marlow Stern / The Daily Beast:
Advanced deepfakes of Tom Cruise are going viral on TikTok, with the account deeptomcruise amassing 200K+ followers in a few days  —  FOR THE LOVE OF XENU  —  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  —  Three days ago, a TikTok account going by @deeptomcruise began posting video clips …
Jason Del Rey / Vox:
More than a dozen current and ex-Amazon corporate employees say its Black staff often face direct and insidious bias that harms their careers and personal lives  —  Interviews with diversity managers and internal data obtained by Recode indicate that Black Amazon employees are promoted less frequently …
Casey Newton / Platformer:
Twitter's Super Follows represent a surge of interest in tools that let individuals create real economic value for themselves on social networks  —  Will Super Follows shake up the media industry?  —  16 hr ago  —  Today let's talk about Twitter's move into subscriptions …
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Tiffany Hsu / New York Times:
The use of “+” to name on-demand services was fine when streaming was new but has become a cliché and a minus  —  An idea that seemed like a real plus when streaming was newer has fallen into cliché.  —  First there was e.  —  Then came i.  —  Now it's +.
Vignesh Ramachandran / Stanford News:
Researchers identify causes for Zoom fatigue: intense close-up eye contact, constantly seeing own reflection, reduced mobility, and increased cognitive load  —  It's not just Zoom.  Popular video chat platforms have design flaws that exhaust the human mind and body.  But there are easy ways to mitigate their effects.
Filipe Espósito / 9to5Mac:
Apple begins showing a repairability index for devices like the iPhone and Mac in France, due to local regulations set by the Minister of Ecological Transition  —  Apple surprisingly began to show a repair index for devices like the iPhone and Mac in the Apple Store app and the Apple Online Store in France this week.
Cecilia Kang / New York Times:
FCC approves a $50/month high-speed internet subsidy for low-income households and a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible homes  —  The money, aimed at low-income households, is part of an effort to bridge the access gap to broadband connectivity amid the pandemic.
Tim Anderson / The Register:
Security researcher finds seven embedded trackers in the Android app for LastPass password manager; LastPass says users can opt out if they want  —  Third-party code in security-critical apps is obviously suboptimal, but company says you can opt out  —  A security researcher has recommended …
Financial Times:
Treasury secretary Janet Yellen told G20 ministers that the US will drop its “safe harbor” provision for tech companies, allowing a global deal on digital tax  —  Biden administration drops insistence on ‘safe harbour’ for companies, opening door to agreement
Jan Stryjak / Counterpoint Research:
European smartphone market shrank by 14% YoY in 2020, with Xiaomi up 85% and Huawei down 62%; Apple hit record market share of 30% in Q4 helped by iPhone 12  —  Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul - February 26, 2021  —  2020 was a rollercoaster year for the European smartphone market.

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Katie Deighton / Wall Street Journal:
Cameron Faulkner / The Verge:
Ryan Mac / BuzzFeed News:
Reuters:
Megan Graham / CNBC: