Techmeme
May 20, 2021, 9:25 PM

Top News

The Verge:
Twitter is rolling out its new verification program, with revamped categories that include activists and journalists, and previews upcoming changes to profiles  —  It also previewed potential changes coming to profiles  —  Twitter is relaunching its public verification program, allowing anyone to apply for a coveted blue check mark.
Thomas Franck / CNBC:
US Treasury announces it will require any cryptocurrency transfers worth $10,000+ to be reported to the IRS, saying cryptocurrencies pose a tax evasion risk  —  - The Treasury Department announced that it will require any transfer worth $10,000 or more to be reported to the IRS.
Alex Heath / The Verge:
Snap unveils its first AR glasses, with four built-in microphones, two stereo speakers, and a touchpad, and says it will test them with some AR effects creators  —  The fourth-gen glasses have built-in AR displays  —  Snap's new Spectacles glasses are its most ambitious yet.
Kerry Flynn / CNN:
Snapchat says 5,400+ creators earned $130M in total via its Spotlight incentive program and it will stop giving away $1M per day to creators starting June 1  —  New York (CNN Business)When Snap took on TikTok, it didn't just release a copycat product.  It distributed $1 million every …
Jason Rosenthal / The Keyword:
Google is opening its first ever physical retail store in New York this summer, letting users buy Pixel phones, Nest products, Fitbit devices, more  —  Today, we're announcing our plans to open Google's first ever physical retail store, in one of the greatest cities in the world: New York.
Ian Sherr / CNET:
Jacob Krol / CNN:
Apple TV 4K (2021) review: faster than competition and the new Siri Remote is very good with a power button and easy-to-use click wheel, but very expensive  —  Like the refresh of the iPad Pros, the updates to the Apple TV 4K are all internal, namely new hardware that leads to an overall speedier experience.
Bloomberg:
Sources: CNA Financial, one of the largest insurance companies in the US, paid $40M in late March to regain control of its network after a ransomware attack  —  CNA Financial Corp., among the largest insurance companies in the U.S., paid $40 million in late March to regain control of its network …
Reuters:
Federal Reserve Chair Powell discusses the risks of cryptocurrencies and sets a timeline for a Fed discussion paper on a possible central bank digital currency  —  Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell flagged the risks of cryptocurrencies in an unusual video message on Thursday that also laid …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Spotify partners with Audible rival Storytel, allowing the latter's subscribers to listen to books on Spotify; Storytel has 500K titles and 1.6M subscribers  —  Spotify is further expanding into audiobooks — but not in the way you may think.  The company today announced a new partnership …
Maggie Fitzgerald / CNBC:
Robinhood announces IPO Access, which will let retail investors buy shares of companies at their IPO price before trading begins on public exchanges  —  - Robinhood said it is giving retail investors access to IPO shares.  — Retail traders typically don't have a vehicle to buy …
S. Shah / Engadget:
Opera is testing its gaming-focused browser Opera GX on iOS and Android; Opera GX had 9M+ monthly active gamers across Windows and Mac as of March, up 190% YoY  —  desktop browser for gamers to further distinguish itself from Google Chrome.  Over the following months and years …
Echo Wang / Reuters:
Issie Lapowsky / Protocol:
Democratic Reps. Trahan and Castor introduce the Social Media DATA Act, which would force large platforms to share ad targeting data with researchers and FTC  —  Facebook's ad library allows researchers to see the content of ads that run on the platform and information on who those ads reach.
Katie Roof / Bloomberg:
Enterprise video messaging service Loom raises $130M led by a16z at a valuation of $1.53B, and says it now has 10M users across 120K businesses  —  - Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner, Sequoia join $130 million round  — Work-from-home accelerated Loom's video messaging growth
Financial Times:
Regional government of Inner Mongolia sets up hotline to report suspected crypto mining as China moves to curb energy emissions and fortify its central bank  —  Move comes as Beijing's crackdown prompts volatility in global bitcoin trading  —  A Chinese province has asked residents to blow …
More: MUO
Cassidy Ritter / Built In Austin:
Austin-based Hearth, which lets contractors quote house repair projects as monthly payments, raises $23M Series B, bringing its total raised to $51M  —  When the winter storm blew through Texas earlier this year, hundreds of homeowners were faced with pricy, unexpected home repair costs.
Natasha Mascarenhas / TechCrunch:
Maven, which helps professionals teach cohort-based classes, has raised $20M Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz  —  Maven, a startup that helps professionals teach cohort-based classes, has raised $20 million in a Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

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