Techmeme
September 16, 2021, 1:50 AM

Top News

Ryan Weeks / The Block:
NFT marketplace OpenSea acknowledges that its head of product, Nate Chastain, purchased NFTs he knew were going to be displayed prominently  —  Quick Take  — The marketplace has acknowledged that its head of product Nate Chastain purchased NFTs that he knew were going to be displayed prominently.
Ash Parrish / The Verge:
After being sued by the state of California, Activision Blizzard is sued by a group representing employees, alleging it tried to prevent them from organizing  —  Organized by CODE-CWA, the suit claims Activision Blizzard engaged in coercive and intimidating behavior
Wall Street Journal:
Internal documents: Facebook's own research found that a 2018 change to encourage positive interactions had the opposite effect; Zuckerberg resisted any fixes  —  Internal memos show how a big 2018 change rewarded outrage and that CEO Mark Zuckerberg resisted proposed fixes
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft will now let users access accounts without a password by using Microsoft Authenticator, Windows Hello, a security key, or a verification code  —  You can delete your Microsoft account password  —  Microsoft now lets you remove passwords from Microsoft accounts to embrace a passwordless future.
Jon Porter / The Verge:
While critics liken iPhone 13 to an iterative “12S” update, the branding shows Apple has adjusted to the current smartphone market, where big overhauls are rare  —  Apple's ‘S’-year iPhones never went away, it just stopped advertising them  —  Apple had a lot of new features …
Filipe Espósito / 9to5Mac:
Dylan Patel / SemiAnalysis:
Patrick Howell O'Neill / MIT Technology Review:
Sources: US firm Accuvant, now part of Optiv, sold iPhone hacking tool Karma to the UAE for $1.3M in 2016; the tool has been used against hundreds of targets  —  An American cybersecurity company was behind a 2016 iPhone hack sold to a group of mercenaries and used by the United Arab Emirates.
Catalin Cimpanu / The Record:
Makena Kelly / The Verge:
Senator Markey and Reps. Castor and Trahan wrote to Facebook calling on it to abandon its plans to launch an Instagram app for kids in light of WSJ's report  —  Democrats call on the company to abandon Instagram for kids  —  Two top lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Committee's panel …
Turner Wright / Cointelegraph:
Chainalysis: Africa's crypto market grew 1,200%+ in value between July 2020 and June 2021 to reach $105.6B; retail-sized transfers made up 7%+ of overall volume  —  P2P platforms, the need for remittances to circumvent restrictions from banks, and putting savings into crypto as a means …
Politico:
Joe Biden announces a new Indo-Pacific security partnership with Australia and the UK to share tech in areas like AI, cybersecurity, and quantum technologies  —  The new allies' agreement will include cooperation on nuclear-powered subs, AI and cutting-edge defense tech.  —  The Australian flag flies.
Elizabeth Culliford / Reuters:
WhatsApp launches its first test of a public directory for businesses within the app, starting in São Paulo  —  (Reuters) - Facebook's messaging service WhatsApp on Wednesday launched a new feature to make it possible to search for businesses within its app for the first time, the company told Reuters.
Dan Primack / Axios:
Rebellion Defense, the Eric Schmidt-backed developer of AI defense tech, raises $150M led by Insight and Venrock at a $1B pre-money valuation  —  Rebellion Defense, a developer of AI solutions for U.S. defense, tells Axios that it has raised $150 million in venture capital at a $1 billion pre-money valuation.
More: The AtlanticThanks:@szeyian
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:
French startup Skello, which develops a SaaS tool that lets companies manage their work schedules, raises €40M led by Partech  —  French startup Skello has raised a $47.3 million funding round (€40 million).  The company has been working on a software-as-a-service tool that lets you manage the work schedule of your company.

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Max Chafkin / Bloomberg: