Techmeme
March 31, 2021, 9:55 PM

Top News

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 more than 120,000 devices based on its HoloLens augmented reality headset.
Nick Clegg / Medium:
Nick Clegg defends Facebook, saying it is not in the company's interest, financially or reputationally, to continually push users toward 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.”
Sami Fathi / MacRumors:
Josh Taylor / The Guardian:
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.
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 …
Financial Times:
Deliveroo closed down 26% in its LSE debut, after pricing shares at £3.90, valuing it at £5.2B  —  Fall comes after food delivery company priced its shares at bottom end of range  —  Deliveroo's shares plunged 26 per cent in the company's London debut on Wednesday …
Ina Fried / Axios:
Memo: Google tells employees that it expects some US-based workers to return to the office in April, but won't require employees to come in until at least Sept.  —  Google told workers in an email Wednesday that it expects some U.S. employees to be able to return to the office in the coming month.
Taylor Hatmaker / TechCrunch:
Facebook says a now-removed interview with Trump posted by daughter-in-law Lara Trump falls under its ban as it spoke “in the voice of President Trump”  —  Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump promoted a new interview with the former president on Facebook and Instagram Tuesday …
Katie Roof / Bloomberg:
Squarespace says it is acquiring online restaurant services provider Tock for over $400M in cash and stock  —  - IPO candidate Squarespace raised funds at $10 billion value  — Chicago-based Tock works with restaurants on reservations  —  Website-hosting service Squarespace Inc. …
Jay Peters / The Verge:
Discord debuts Stage Channels, a Clubhouse-like way of broadcasting audio to a room, available on all platforms; only Community servers can make Stage Channels  —  Another app adding live audio spaces  —  Discord is the latest company to introduce a Clubhouse-like feature …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Instagram announces Remix, a way to record Reels alongside other users, similar to TikTok's Duets  —  Instagram today is officially launching a new feature called Remix, which offers a way to record your Reels video alongside a video from another user.  The option is similar …
Eric Geller / Politico:
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.
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Sources: Comcast's NBCUniversal is considering pulling its movies from HBO Max and Netflix and keeping future releases for Peacock  —  Media giant's NBCUniversal division wants to boost its own streaming service, Peacock  —  Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal is considering pulling its movies …
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 …
Riley de León / CNBC:
Coursera closes at $45 per share, up 36% from its IPO price of $33 per share, giving Coursera a market cap of ~$5.9B  —  - Education tech company Coursera made its market debut Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange through an IPO and is now trading under the ticker symbol “COUR.”
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  —  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 of the year …
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.
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
Nandita Bose / Reuters:
During an address, President Biden said Amazon uses “various loopholes” to avoid paying any federal income taxes, but says he doesn't want to “punish” them  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Wednesday singled out Amazon.com Inc for not paying federal taxes during …

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