August 18, 2021, 2:25 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
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.
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
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
Yonhap News Agency:
Ahead of South Korea's tighter crypto regulations, Binance and some other exchanges have proactively halted or discontinued trading using Korean currency  —  Some foreign cryptocurrency exchanges have distanced themselves from South Korea as Korean authorities are set to enforce tighter regulations against virtual coins.
Financial Times:
Analysis: Chinese startups are increasingly looking to raise renminbi rather than USD; ~90% of semiconductor funding in China last year was renminbi denominated  —  Preference rises for raising money in renminbi rather than dollars  —  Wu Xiao is turning down dollars.
Sightline Payments, a digital payments provider for casinos and the hospitality industry in the US, raises $244M led by Cannae Holdings at a $1B+ valuation  —  Sightline Payments raised $244 million in a new funding round that propelled the company to unicorn status, with a valuation topping $1 billion …
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 …
Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
Split, which makes it easy for developers to use feature flags, raises $50M Series D led by Owl Rock, bringing its total raised to $110M  —  As developers build applications, they often want to test new functionality on a limited set of users to blunt any possible negative impact …
Eudora Wang / DealStreetAsia:
PatPat, an e-commerce website that sells kidswear and matching family outfits, raises $160M from SoftBank's Vision Fund 2, bringing its total raised to $700M+  —  SoftBank's Vision Fund 2 has invested $160 million in PatPat, a global e-commerce website that sells baby and matching family outfits …

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