Techmeme
April 1, 2021, 10:10 AM

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.
Annie Palmer / CNBC:
Amazon says it expects some of its employees to start coming back to the office as early as this summer and most of its staff back at the office this fall  —  - Amazon said it expects some employees to begin transitioning away from remote work this summer, with most of its staff back at the office by the fall.
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.
Debby Wu / Bloomberg:
TSMC says it plans to spend $100B over the next three years to expand its chip fabrication capacity  —  Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plans to spend $100 billion over the next three years to expand its chip fabrication capacity, the company said Thursday.
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 …
Tim Hardwick / MacRumors:
Microsoft has officially discontinued its Cortana mobile app for both iOS and Android  —  As expected, Microsoft today discontinued its Cortana mobile app.  As a result, the company has ended all support for third-party Cortana skills and eliminated the Cortana app for iOS and Android devices.
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.
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 …
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Thrasio, which says it has acquired and consolidated around 6,000 third party sellers on Amazon to date, adds $100M extension to its $750M Series C  —  Thrasio, an early mover and leading player in the wave of startups emerging to consolidate and scale companies that sell …
More: Bloomberg
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 …
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google will limit most apps on the Play Store from seeing which apps are installed on devices running Android 11 and newer beginning May 5, 2021  —  Google today announced a series of policy updates for apps distributed through the Play Store.  The most impactful sees Google limit most developers …
Source: Play Console HelpMore: SlashGear
Jonathan Browning / Bloomberg:
UK's CMA says Facebook will face an in-depth review of its $400M purchase of GIPHY after the company failed to address antitrust concerns  —  - CMA says second-phase investigation will run to Sept. 15  — Authority has cited concerns the deal may hurt rival platforms
More: CNBC and GOV.UK
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 …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
App Annie: users spent $32B on apps across iOS and Play Store globally in Q1 2021, up 40% YoY and the largest quarter on record; iOS beat Android $21B to $11B  —  The pandemic's remarkable impact on the app industry has not slowed down in 2021.  In fact, consumer spending in apps has hit …
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. …
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.”
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 …

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