Techmeme
August 17, 2021, 8:00 PM

Top News

The Intercept:
Sources: the Taliban have seized US military biometric devices, known as HIIDE, that could aid in the identification of Afghans who supported coalition forces  —  The Taliban have seized U.S. military biometrics devices that could aid in the identification of Afghans who assisted coalition forces …
Bloomberg:
Adam Mosseri says Facebook is “proactively” removing content from its platforms that promotes or represents the Taliban  —  A Facebook Inc. executive said the company is “proactively” removing content from its platforms that promotes the Taliban as the group seizes power in Afghanistan.
Madhumita Murgia / Financial Times:
WhatsApp shuts down Taliban helpline in Kabul that was allegedly for reporting violence and looting, as Facebook blocks other “official Taliban channels”  —  Complaints number meant to act as emergency hotline for civilians to report violence and looting
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai / VICE:
Allison Johnson / The Verge:
Google says the Pixel 5a is the last Pixel phone that will come with a charging brick, claiming most people already have a USB-C charger  —  Google says the 5A is the last Pixel phone to include a charging brick  —  Google is the latest manufacturer to bid farewell to the in-box charging brick …
Allison Johnson / The Verge:
Google's new $449 Pixel 5a review: IP67 water resistance, big 4,680mAh battery, and top-class camera, but limited availability and only three years of updates  —  Smart updates and a lower price  —  Google is revealing a phone this year where it's pulling out all the stops and going big on a cutting-edge …
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Twitter tests adding option for users to report misinfo in the US, Australia, S. Korea, and will primarily use the reports to study and identify misinfo trends  —  - Not all flagged tweets will be reviewed by fact checkers  — Experiment will run in the U.S., Australia and South Korea
New York Times:
Amazon has surpassed Walmart as the world's top retail seller outside China; FactSet says people spent $610B+ on Amazon in the 12 months ending in June  —  Proof that the online future has arrived: The biggest e-commerce company outside China has unseated the biggest brick-and-mortar seller.
Politico:
BlackBerry admits a critical flaw in its QNX OS, impacting 200M+ cars, hospital equipment, more; sources say it resisted public disclosure until talks with CISA  —  The former smartphone maker turned software firm resisted announcing a major vulnerability until after federal officials stepped in.
Amanda Silberling / TechCrunch:
YouTube introduces new search features, including viewing video chapters directly on the search page and better recommendations for translated videos  —  YouTube announced two feature updates today to make it easier for people to find the content they're looking for on the platform.
Lily Hay Newman / Wired:
Researchers find a bug in the ThroughTek Kalay SDK, which connects over 83M IoT devices with apps, that lets attackers access audio and video streams  —  A vulnerability in the Kalay platform leaves countless IoT devices susceptible to hackers.  —  A VULNERABILITY IS lurking in numerous types …
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
OnlyFans begins promoting OFTV, a free safe-for-work app available on iOS and Android with 800+ videos, as it prepares to raise new funding  —  The most common question customers ask Tim Stokely, the chief executive officer of OnlyFans, is why he doesn't have an app.
Christian Shepherd / Financial Times:
Shares in Alibaba, Tencent, and JD fall after China's antitrust watchdog announces a ban on unfair competitive practices, including exploiting user data  —  Shares of country's big tech companies slide as crackdown on sector intensifies  —  China will ban its internet platforms from a wide array …
South China Morning Post:
Samantha Hissong / Rolling Stone:
TikTok partners with Audius, a music streaming service built on Ethereum, to let users upload their music as TikTok Sounds  —  It's the blockchain-powered Audius, rather than Spotify or Apple Music, that will let artists share their sounds into TikTok in one click
Dina Bass / Bloomberg:
Microsoft invests in IT and cloud security startup Rubrik to sell anti-ransomware tools; source: investment was in the low tens of millions at a ~$4B valuation  —  'You don't have to pay the bad guys,' Rubrik CEO Says.  —  Microsoft Corp. is investing in software startup Rubrik Inc …
Filipe Espósito / 9to5Mac:
iOS 15 beta 6 adds an option to show Safari's address bar at the top, while displaying some buttons like back, forward, and share in a bottom toolbar  —  Apple has just released the sixth beta of iOS 15 for developers, and while we don't know exactly what has changed with this update …
Carrie Mihalcik / CNET:
The Consumer Technology Association says attendees of CES 2022 will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination  —  People attending CES 2022 in person in Las Vegas will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, the Consumer Technology Association announced on Tuesday.
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Apple tells staff it will increase COVID-19 testing for corporate and retail employees and pauses relaunching classes at Apple Stores this month in some regions  —  - Company to start testing employees for Covid-19 twice per week  — Apple reverses course on relaunching store classes this month
David Gilbert / VICE:
Report: militias like the Three Percenters are key spreaders of vaccine misinfo on Facebook, and some of their Facebook Group admins get a “Group Expert” badge  —  Violent militia groups have become “key” spreaders of vaccine misinformation on Facebook, and now those groups …
Mary Ann Azevedo / TechCrunch:
Brex, which offers credit cards tailored to startups, acquires Weav, a developer of a universal API for commerce platforms, for $50M  —  Fintech Brex first partnered with Weav, a developer of a universal API for commerce platforms, last summer.  —  In March, Brex launched Instant Payouts …
Joseph Cox / VICE:
T-Mobile confirms hackers gained access to its systems, following reports that sensitive data, including SSNs, for over 100M people was for sale on the dark web  —  “We have determined that unauthorized access to some T-Mobile data occurred.”  —  Joseph Cox

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