Techmeme
April 12, 2021, 3:20 PM

Top News

Microsoft:
Microsoft says it has acquired speech tech company Nuance for $19.7B in cash, a 23% premium on its Friday closing price, as it boosts its healthcare offerings  —  Acquisition will combine solutions and expertise to deliver new cloud and AI capabilities across healthcare and other industries
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is in early stages of developing a product that combines an Apple TV with a HomePod speaker and has a FaceTime camera and smart home functions  —  - Company also exploring Amazon-like speaker with iPad as screen  — Apple has trailed Amazon, Google in the connected home market
Julia Carrie Wong / The Guardian:
Sources detail how Facebook allowed state-backed political manipulation in small countries, prioritizing abuses considered PR risks in countries like the US  —  A Guardian investigation exposes the breadth of state-backed manipulation of the platform  —  Facebook has repeatedly allowed world leaders …
Ryan Smith / AnandTech:
Nvidia unveils Grace, a high-performance Arm-based server CPU for large-scale neural network workloads, expected to become available in Nvidia products in 2023  —  Kicking off another busy Spring GPU Technology Conference for NVIDIA, this morning the graphics and accelerator designer …
Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple faces supply constraints due to issues with MiniLED display production, but still plans to debut two iPad Pros later this month  —  - New iPads planned for introduction in latter half of April  — MiniLED display is key part of Apple's upgrade proposition
Leo Kelion / BBC:
Apple and Google block an update to NHS COVID-19 app that uploads logs of venue check-ins, citing API terms on collecting location data  —  An update to England and Wales's contact tracing app has been blocked for breaking the terms of an agreement made with Apple and Google.
Bloomberg:
Twitter says it plans to hire its first product and engineering teams in Africa, based in Ghana, calling the country a “champion of democracy”  —  Twitter Inc. is planning to hire its first product and engineering team in Africa, an effort to expand its workforce in emerging markets …
Lulu Yilun Chen / Bloomberg:
Under intense pressure from China, Ant Group will become a financial holding company that is regulated more like a bank, among other changes  —  - Chinese regulators summoned Ant for meeting on April 12  — Ant to fold all financial operations into holding firm
Pranob Mehrotra / XDA Developers:
Google is rolling out “Heads Up”, a Digital Wellbeing feature that tells users to raise their head when walking while on Pixel devices  —  In November last year, XDA's Mishaal Rahman spotted an upcoming feature, called Heads Up, in a teardown of the Digital Wellbeing app.
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Substack strikes deals with trans writers, amid claims it supports allegedly anti-trans writers and is a kind of lucrative off ramp for “cancel culture” victims  —  A company that makes it easy to charge for newsletters has captivated an anxious industry because it embodies larger forces and contradictions.
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Biden administration announces the nominations of ex-NSA deputy director Chris Inglis as first national cyber director and Jen Easterly as CISA head  —  The Biden administration plans on Monday to name a former senior National Security Agency official as the first national cyber director …
Jordan Novet / CNBC:
Salesforce to reopen its San Francisco tower in May, initially for people who are fully vaccinated, but employees can work from home through 2021  —  - At first, a small group of fully vaccinated employees can volunteer to work in the 61-story Salesforce Tower and take coronavirus tests regularly.
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
MLB announces that venerable trading card company Topps will begin selling new NFT baseball cards via the WAX blockchain starting on April 20  —  The MLB has its answer to the NBA's Top Shot NFT clips  —  Major League Baseball has announced its latest move to cash in on the NFT craze …

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Liam Tung / ZDNet:
David Heinemeier Hansson:
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg: