Techmeme
August 24, 2021, 12:00 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 …
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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 …
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
Android Developers Blog:
Google says it will make app ratings on the Play Store more personalized by localizing by users' country from November 2021 and device type from early 2022  —  Ratings and reviews are important.  They provide valuable quantitative and qualitative feedback on your users' reported experience …
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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