Techmeme
June 17, 2021, 12:55 PM

Top News

Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC:
Facebook says it will begin testing ads on Oculus headsets, starting with the shooter game Blaston, and won't use data stored on devices to target ads  —  - Facebook on Wednesday announced that it will begin testing advertisements that will appear within the company's Oculus virtual reality headsets.
Bloomberg:
Wise, previously known as TransferWise, plans to go public on the LSE via a direct listing, the first company to choose an alternative listing in the UK  —  - Founders, employees get extra voting rights for limited time  — Direct listings are becoming more popular among U.S. startups
Joe Weisenthal / Bloomberg:
Mark Cuban calls for stablecoin regulation, after trading Iron Finance's algorithmic stablecoin DeFi Titanium, which then crashed from $60 to $0 in a day  —  Here's a chart you never want to see.  It's of the DeFi Titanium token, which in one day went from being valued around $60 to $0.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Instagram launches ads in Reels worldwide; the ads can be up to 30 seconds and vertical in format  —  Instagram Reels are getting ads.  The company announced today it's launching ads in its short-form video platform and TikTok rival, Reels, to businesses and advertisers worldwide.
Elias Saba / AFTVnews:
Amazon Appstore unveils a new program that reduces its share of developer revenue from 30% to 20% for developers earning less than $1M per year, starting in Q4  —  The Amazon Appstore has announced that it will be reducing its cut of developer revenue from 30% to 20% for developers that earn less than $1 million in revenue per year.
Jack Nicas / New York Times:
Profile of Doug Guthrie, an advocate for doing business in China who advised Apple from 2014-2019, as he now warns of the risks of China's nationalist turn  —  Doug Guthrie, once one of America's leading China bulls, rang the alarm on doing business there.  He spoke about his time at Apple.
Jordan Novet / CNBC:
Microsoft has named CEO Satya Nadella as chair of its board, replacing independent director John Thompson who succeeded Bill Gates as chair in 2014  —  - Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, is becoming the software company's chair, after running the company for seven years, when he replaced Steve Ballmer.
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:
Akur8, which uses AI to automate insurance claims, raises $30M Series B, bringing its total raised to $42M  —  Automating insurance claims is a big business, and the world of AI is coming at it ‘full pelt’.  The latest is Akur8, an insurtech automating insurance platform whose ‘Transparent AI’ product …
Washington Post:
The recent surge in ransomware attacks has upended the cyber insurance industry, increasing costs and requirements just as more companies need it  —  Cyber insurance carriers are raising premiums and limiting coverage in the face of severe ransomware attacks, just as organizations are clamoring for more protection
Igor Bonifacic / Engadget:
In Xbox's June update, Microsoft adds a Stories-like feature to the Xbox mobile app and rolls out text-to-speech and speech-to-text accessibility features  —  June update is here, and Microsoft has  —  detailed the latest software tweaks Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S users can look forward to trying out on their consoles.
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Snap launches Creative Kit for Spotlight, which will let developers put their apps inside Snapchat's TikTok rival Spotlight  —  Ride the wave of virality for downloads  —  Snapchat is making it easier for developers to use viral content to directly promote their apps.
Sarah Krouse / The Information:
Sources: Google is developing a conversational AI product, known internally as Tivoli, which aims to teach foreign languages through Google Search  —  Google CEO Sundar Pichai last month previewed an artificial intelligence model that he said would enable people to have open-ended conversations with technology.
Liza Lin / Wall Street Journal:
Leaked memo: ByteDance says its annual revenue in 2020 grew 111% YoY to $34.3B, while gross profit rose 93% YoY to $19B  —  ByteDance's gross profit rose 93% to $19 billion last year, according to a memo to staff  —  ByteDance Ltd., the owner of popular short-video app TikTok …
Reuters:
At the summit, Biden told Putin that certain critical infrastructure should be “off-limits” to cyberattacks; Putin agreed to “begin consultations” on the issue  —  U.S. President Joe Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that certain critical infrastructure …

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Earlier Picks

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Mathew Olson / The Information:
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
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Lauren Feiner / CNBC: