Techmeme
March 31, 2021, 4:20 PM

Top News

Nick Clegg:
Nick Clegg defends Facebook, saying it is not in the company's interest, financially or reputationally, to push users towards ever more extreme content  —  In a recent article for The Atlantic, Adrienne LaFrance compared Facebook to a Doomsday Machine: “a device built with the sole purpose of destroying all human life.”
Josh Taylor / The Guardian:
Sami Fathi / MacRumors:
Jordan Novet / CNBC:
The Pentagon says Microsoft will build 120K custom HoloLens headsets for the US Army; Microsoft says the contract could be worth up to $21.88B over 10 years  —  - Microsoft will deliver to the U.S. Army over 120,000 devices based on its HoloLens augmented-reality headset.
Makena Kelly / The Verge:
Biden announces $2T American Jobs Plan focused on improving US infrastructure, with $100B allocated for high-speed broadband access over eight years  —  It sets aside $100 billion for the effort  —  President Biden plans to announce a sweeping infrastructure plan Wednesday that includes $100 billion …
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Apple says it is introducing two new Siri voices for English speakers and eliminating the default selection of a female voice, as part of iOS 14.5 beta 6  —  Apple is adding two new voices to Siri's English offerings, and eliminating the default ‘female voice’ selection in the latest beta version of iOS.
Financial Times:
Deliveroo closed down 26% in its LSE debut, after pricing shares at £3.90, valuing it at £5.2B; the poor debut is likely due to labor practice issues  —  Fall comes after food delivery company priced its shares at bottom end of range  —  Deliveroo's shares plunged 26 per cent …
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Apple leads $50M Series B in music distributor UnitedMasters, with a16z and Alphabet participating; UnitedMasters enters a strategic partnership with Apple  —  Independent music distribution platform and tool factory UnitedMasters has raised a $50M series B round led by Apple.
Cade Metz / New York Times:
Turing Award goes to Jeffrey Ullman and Alfred Aho for their work on compilers, which underpin computer programming languages  —  Jeffrey Ullman and Alfred Aho developed many of the fundamental concepts that researchers use when they build new software.  —  When Alfred Aho and Jeffrey Ullman met …
Ken Klippenstein / The Intercept:
Leaked doc sheds light on “Veritas”, an Amazon FC Ambassador program conceived in 2018 that sought to train employees to defend Amazon and Bezos on social media  —  Amazon's small Twitter army of “ambassadors” was quietly conceived in 2018 under the codename “Veritas,” …
Peter Rubin / Wired:
A reflection on Facebook's VR efforts as the Oculus Rift turns five: an astonishing number of problems have been solved but many big challenges remain  —  A lot's happened since Facebook's first headset brought virtual reality to the masses.  Facebook might have been a first mover, but it also wants to be the last one.
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Sponsor of Arizona's HB2005 bill, which allows alternative payment systems in app stores, says it won't get a hearing this year after being pulled last week  —  Arizona House Bill 2005, a hotly contested piece of legislation that would have imposed developer-friendly changes to Apple …
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Source: Apple is planning to announce a mixed reality headset “sometime” in the next several months, possibly at an in-person event  —  Hi everyone—it's Mark.  On Tuesday, Apple Inc. announced what will be at least its fifth virtual product launch in a row and one of its most important events …
Lawrence Weru / Slate:
The rise of Clubhouse and other audio-only social networks marginalizes people with speech impediments like stuttering  —  It's before sunrise and I'm doing some accounting while listening to conversations on Clubhouse.  On the app, people can schedule and host audio chat rooms …
Emily Feng / NPR:
How Wuhan's HSMC created an unusable chip factory, becoming one of six multibillion-dollar Chinese chip project failures in the last two years  —  WUHAN, China — In 2019, the U.S. sanctioned two major Chinese telecom firms, temporarily cutting them off from a vital supply of semiconductor chips …
Arjun Kharpal / CNBC:
Huawei reports 2020 revenue of $136.7B, up 3.8% YoY but slower than the 19%+ growth it saw in 2019, and net profit of $9.9B, up 3.2% YoY  —  - Huawei's revenue for 2020 totaled 891.4 billion yuan ($136.7 billion), a 3.8% year-on-year rise in yuan terms.  That was slower than the more than 19% revenue growth Huawei saw in 2019.
Ted Chiang / New Yorker:
For the foreseeable future, technological innovation will be driven by humans, not self-improving AI systems, so there won't be a “singularity”  —  We fear and yearn for “the singularity.”  But it will probably never come.  —  In the eleventh century, St. Anselm of Canterbury proposed …
Eric Geller / Politico:
Interviews with 15 people show CISA is underfunded, short on talent, outmatched by adversaries, and overwhelmed by the fallout from two massive cyberattacks  —  The agency that protects the U.S. from hackers is hobbled by funding woes, a talent shortage and growing pains that are jeopardizing …
Caitlin McCabe / Wall Street Journal:
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
Google promises not to silence workers discussing pay, as part of a settlement with a new union that represents hundreds of employees and contract workers  —  - Alphabet Workers Union accused Google and vendor of wrongdoing  — Contract worker said pro-union Facebook post got her suspended

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