Techmeme
July 15, 2021, 1:35 AM

Top News

Bloomberg:
Netflix says it has hired Mike Verdu, Facebook's VP of AR/VR content, to lead its expansion into video games  —  Netflix Inc., marking its first big move beyond TV shows and films, is planning an expansion into video games and has hired a former Electronic Arts Inc. and Facebook Inc. executive …
Alex Heath / The Verge:
Twitter says it will retire Fleets, its Stories-like service, on August 3 after low adoption  —  A fleeting moment for Fleets  —  Say goodbye to Fleets, the row of fullscreen tweets at the top of the Twitter timeline that expire after 24 hours.  The ephemeral tweet format is shutting …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft announces Windows 365, letting businesses stream a version of Windows 10 or 11 in a web browser or through its Remote Desktop app, launching August 2  —  Windows 365 is a new service that creates Cloud PCs  —  Microsoft is putting Windows in the cloud.
Kevin Roose / New York Times:
Facebook staff detail the fight over CrowdTangle, which notes top-engaging posts, often showing right-wing sources dominating; in April, its team was reassigned  —  Executives at the social network have clashed over CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned data tool that revealed users' high engagement levels with right-wing media sources.
Taylor Lorenz / New York Times:
Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will pay $1B to creators by the end of 2022; creators can earn money using Instagram or Facebook tools or by hitting milestones  —  Facebook is setting up a program to pay $1 billion to creators through the end of 2022, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive …
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Android 12 Beta 3 introduces scrolling screenshots, a faster auto-rotate using face detection to determine the phone's orientation, and more new features  —  Plus, it will finally support scrolling screenshots  —  Google is releasing the latest beta for Android 12 right on schedule.
Jackson Palmer / @ummjackson:
[Thread] Jackson Palmer, a Dogecoin co-creator, says crypto primarily amplifies the wealth of its proponents via tax avoidance, limited regulatory oversight  —  I am often asked if I will “return to cryptocurrency” or begin regularly sharing my thoughts on the topic again. My answer is a wholehearted “no”, but to avoid repeating myself I figure it might be worthwhile briefly explaining why here...
Maddie Stone / The Keyword:
Google's Threat Analysis Group breaks down three recent malware campaigns, likely state-backed, and notes a large uptick of in-the-wild 0-day attacks this year  —  Zero-day vulnerabilities are unknown software flaws.  Until they're identified and fixed, they can be exploited by attackers.
Brent Kendall / Wall Street Journal:
Facebook says it is seeking the recusal of FTC chair Lina Khan in the agency's deliberations over a new antitrust case, following a similar move by Amazon  —  Social-media giant follows Amazon in citing Lina Khan's tech criticisms, congressional work to question her impartiality
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
WhatsApp begins a limited beta for multi-device support, letting users access WhatsApp on up to four non-phone devices without an active smartphone connection  —  WhatsApp is finally pushing an improvement to a key feature that even the Facebook-owned instant messaging service acknowledges has been a top request from users for years.
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
As very few iOS users opt into tracking, Facebook's many advertisers are noticing a negative impact on tracking campaigns, targeting new customers, and more  —  People give iOS apps permission to track their behavior just 25% of the time  —  When users get asked on iPhone devices …
Juli Clover / MacRumors:
In macOS Monterey's new developer beta, Apple appears to walk back on its revamp of Safari's tabs, which were set to become more efficient with vertical space  —  In the third developer beta of macOS Monterey, which came out this morning, Apple has overhauled the design of Safari …
Wall Street Journal:
Avast says it is in advanced talks to merge with NortonLifeLock in a cash and stock deal; Avast has a market value of ~$7.2B  —  Cybersecurity firm Avast has market value of $7.2 billion  —  NortonLifeLock Inc. is in talks to buy cybersecurity firm Avast Plc in a deal that would expand the U.S. company's focus on consumer software.
Tomio Geron / Protocol:
Square acquires Crew, maker of a messaging service for retail and other in-person workers, for an undisclosed amount; Crew had raised ~$58M previously  —  Square has acquired Crew, maker of a messaging service for retail and other in-person workers, in a deal to bolster Square's workforce management products.
Bloomberg:
European Central Bank says it will begin a 24-month “investigation phase” that could lead to the creation of a digital euro by around 2025  —  - Process will take 24 months before decision on adoption taken  — ECB says infrastructure would use far less energy than Bitcoin
Reuters:
Twitter says governments made 361 demands to remove content from 199 verified accounts of journalists and news outlets in H2 2020, up 26% from H1  —  Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) saw a surge in demands over the course of last year from governments around the world to take down content posted …
Dave Gershgorn / The Verge:
A coalition of 35 organizations demands that top US retailers, including Macy's and Lowe's, stop using facial recognition to identify customers  —  Lowe's, Albertsons, Macy's are already using the tech  —  More than 35 organizations are demanding top US retailers cease using facial recognition …
Christine Hall / TechCrunch:
Miami-based Unybrands, which acquires small e-commerce brands looking to scale their operations on and off Amazon, raises $300M from Crayhill Capital Management  —  Unybrands is the latest e-commerce aggregator to pick up a significant investment, this time closing $300 million in growth capital from Crayhill Capital Management.
Source: PR Newswire
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Lambda, which offers AI-optimized hardware and develops a machine learning development framework, raises $24.5M from 1517, Gradient Ventures, and others  —  Join executive leaders at the Conversational AI & Intelligent AI Assistants Summit, presented by Five9.  Watch now!
Tweets: @quinnypig
Priya Anand / Bloomberg:
Internal documents: Amazon considered building an Alexa-powered, GPS-enabled wearable device for kids aged 4-12 as part of its 2020 product roadmap  —  - Gadget would give kids aged 4 to 12 access to movies, games  — Company is also exploring a ‘Magic Band’ wearable with Disney
Casey Newton / Platformer:
An Ugly Truth attributes many of Facebook's scandals to its capitalist origins, while arguably the biggest scandals extend from it impacting human psychology  —  Three ways of looking at a Facebook scandal  —  I. The CSO and The Wire  —  As the second season of the great 2000s crime drama …

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