Techmeme
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
PYMNTS.com:
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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