Techmeme
August 24, 2021, 1:30 PM

Top News

The Citizen Lab:
Investigation details ForcedEntry, an iMessage “zero-click” attack used by NSO Group that circumvents iOS 14's BlastDoor, likely used by the Bahraini government  —  Summary & Key Findings  — We identified nine Bahraini activists whose iPhones were successfully hacked …
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Spotify says all US-based podcasters using Anchor can sell subscriptions to episodes available on RSS and Spotify, expanding internationally later  —  Plus new price tiers and email addresses  —  Spotify is broadening the number of people who can offer subscription podcasts and have their shows play on its service.
Erin Woo / New York Times:
TikTok partners with Shopify to launch a pilot program letting merchants add a shopping tab to their profiles and link to products in their posts  —  TikTok and Shopify, the e-commerce platform, said on Tuesday that they were working together to add the ability for consumers to shop directly in the TikTok app for the first time.
Bloomberg:
Sources: Tim Cook, Satya Nadella, and Andy Jassy plan to attend a meeting with Joe Biden on Wednesday to discuss efforts to improve cybersecurity  —  Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella plan to attend a White House meeting with President Joe Biden …
New York Times:
Apple and Google call on the White House to oppose a South Korean bill, set to face a vote this week, that would mandate multiple payment systems for IAPs  —  A proposal in the South Korean legislature is an early test of how forcefully the Biden administration will defend the companies abroad while trying to trim their power at home.
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review: water resistant with an improved screen feel and multitasking, but terrible under-screen camera, expensive, and heavy  —  As good as foldables get, but is that good enough?  —  The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the best possible case Samsung can make for a phone that unfolds into a small tablet.
Mary Ann Azevedo / TechCrunch:
Ramp, which provides corporate cards and spend management software, raises $300M Series C at a $3.9B valuation, up from $1.6B after raising $115M in April  —  Less than five months after raising $115 million, spend management startup Ramp announced today it has raised $300 million …
Charles Riley / CNN:
Brian Chesky says Airbnb will provide free housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees without specifying for how long  —  London (CNN Business)Airbnb has pledged to provide free housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees.  —  CEO Brian Chesky said Tuesday that the program would begin immediately, and that Airbnb would pay for the stays.
Source: @bcheskyMore: CNBC, The Guardian, Insider, BBC, and Washington Post
Tweets: @bchesky, @bchesky, and @bchesky
Sascha Segan / PCMag:
Testing of carriers across the US shows T-Mobile with a commanding lead in 5G, winning speed tests in 24 cities and rural regions to AT&T's eight, Verizon's two  —  For our 12th annual test, we drove more than 10,000 miles, speed-testing AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon 4G and 5G in cities, towns, and rural regions all over the US.
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Instagram says it is retiring the swipe-up link feature, which lets users visit external links by swiping up, in favor of tappable stickers, starting August 30  —  The swipe-up will be no more.  Instagram is planning to retire the feature, which allows people to visit external webpages by swiping up …
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Facebook is testing bringing voice and video calling back to the main Facebook app in the US, reducing the need to jump between Facebook and Messenger  —  - New test will bring Messenger technology back into Facebook  —  Facebook Inc. is bringing voice and video calling …
Gillian Tan / Bloomberg:
Bungalow, a marketplace for residential real estate that offers tools for landlords, raises $75M at a $600M+ valuation led by Deer Park Road Management  —  - Coatue, Khosla, Founders Fund bet on residential marketplace  — Initially a roommate-finder, firm expanded into family rentals
Josh Scott / BetaKit:
Blockstream, which offers Bitcoin infrastructure and apps, raises $210M Series B at a $3.2B valuation and will acquire Israeli mining manufacturer Spondoolies  —  With years invested in building its sidechain-based settlement network, Blockstream has raised significant funding to continue …
Igor Bonifacic / Engadget:
Poly Network says it has now recovered all of $610M in cryptocurrencies it lost to a hacker, and is in the process of returning them to their rightful owners  —  One of the most unusual cryptocurrency heists in recent memory has come to a close.  On Monday, Poly Network …
Aria Alamalhodaei / TechCrunch:
SpaceX says it has now shipped 100K Starlink terminals to customers, and has launched more than 1,700 satellites since its first in November 2019  —  Elon Musk's Starlink project, which aims to provide global broadband connectivity via a constellation of satellites, has shipped 100,000 terminals to customers.
Ryan Gallagher / Bloomberg:
Patricia Nilsson / Financial Times:
OnlyFans founder Tim Stokely blames banks, including BNY Mellon, Metro Bank, JPMorgan, for its porn ban, but says Mastercard's rules had no bearing on the ban  —  Tim Stokely says Bank of New York Mellon ‘flagged and rejected’ all interbank wires linked to website
Matt Phillips / New York Times:
Profile of Cathie Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest, which manages $85B, whose aggressive bets on Tesla and others have earned her admiration from Reddit traders  —  Ms. Wood says the Holy Spirit moved her to strike out on her own after an up-and-down career in money management.
Tiyashi Datta / Reuters:
Baidu says its AI voice assistant Xiaodu has raised a Series B round at a $5.1B valuation, up from $2.9B in November 2020  —  Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc (9888.HK) said on Tuesday its artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant Xiaodu Technology has closed Series B financing at a $5.1 billion valuation.
Varsha Bansal / Rest of World:
A look at the decade long struggle to bring the script of Tulu, an Indian language, into Unicode, and the problem of keeping languages alive in the digital age  —  For 10 years, experts have tried to bring Tulu to smartphones.  But they can't agree on how.  —  • BENGALURU, INDIA

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