Techmeme
August 18, 2021, 8:15 AM

Top News

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
Russell Brandom / The Verge:
As Facebook bans the Taliban, Twitter says it only takes action against accounts breaking its rules and YouTube says it will terminate Taliban-linked accounts  —  Who will control Afghanistan's official Facebook page?  —  Social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are coming under …
Amy Thomson / Bloomberg:
T-Mobile says an investigation found 7.8M current users and 40M past and prospective users who applied for credit had information stolen in a cyberattack  —  - About 7.8 million current customers had information stolen  — Records from former and prospective users also accessed
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Samsung confirms it will stop showing ads in default apps, including Weather, Pay, and Theme, starting later this year  —  Including its Weather, Pay, and Theme apps  —  Samsung has confirmed that it will stop showing ads in default apps including Samsung Weather, Samsung Pay, and Samsung Theme.
South China Morning Post:
Tencent reports Q2 revenue rose 20% YoY to $21.3B, beating estimates, as profit reached $6.6B, up 29% YoY from $5.1B  —  The Hong Kong-listed company reported a profit of US$6.6 billion in the quarter ended June The results come amid a recent stock market rout for the country's tech sector …
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Twitter tests adding an option for users to report misinformation in the US, Australia, South Korea, and will use the reports to study and identify trends  —  - Not all flagged tweets will be reviewed by fact checkers  — Experiment will run in the U.S., Australia and South Korea
Politico:
BlackBerry discloses a critical flaw in QNX OS, impacting 200M+ cars, hospital equipment, more; sources say it resisted public disclosure until talks with CISA  —  A flaw in software made by BlackBerry has left two hundred million cars, along with critical hospital and factory equipment …
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:
Reuters:
Apple appeals a 2019 copyright case it lost against Corellium, after settling other claims with the company relating to the DMCA this month to avoid a trial  —  Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Tuesday filed a notice of appeal in a copyright case it brought against cybersecurity firm Corellium LLC in 2019.
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.
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 …
Lizette Chapman / Bloomberg:
Filing: Palantir acquired $50.7M in 100-ounce gold bars in August, in preparation for a “black swan event”, and will accept payment from clients in gold  —  - Company spent $50.7 million on 100-ounce gold bars in August  — Customers can now pay for software in gold or Bitcoin
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.
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 …
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 …
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Joseph Bernstein / Harper's:
A look at the focus on disinformation by media, tech, and academic leaders, and how assumptions about disinfo effectiveness echo old media and advertising myths  —  In the beginning, there were ABC, NBC, and CBS, and they were good.  Midcentury American man could come home after eight hours …
Dylan Martin / CRN:
Intel says it's “winding down” its RealSense camera business, which focused on hardware for computer vision applications  —  The semiconductor giant tells CRN that it is ‘winding down’ the company's portfolio of high-tech cameras and sensors that were built for computer vision applications …
Bloomberg:
Sources: several execs at Waymo, which saw a mass exodus of top talent this spring, felt frustrated about the sluggish pace of progress with its driverless tech  —  The world's most famous autonomous car shop has lost its CEO and is still getting stymied by traffic cones.  What's taking so long?
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols / ZDNet:
ByteDance joins the Open Invention Network, the largest US-based patent non-aggression consortium covering Linux and related open-source tech  —  Another major social network, TikTok, acknowledges the importance of Linux and open-source software by joining the OIN.

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Carrie Mihalcik / CNET: