Techmeme
September 21, 2021, 7:40 PM

Top News

New York Times:
Sources: last month Zuckerberg signed off on using the News Feed to show people positive stories about Facebook, as part of wider PR shift  —  Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, has signed off on an effort to show users pro-Facebook stories and to distance himself from scandals.
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
iPhone 13 review: excellent cameras and battery life, more base storage, but front camera is unchanged, refresh rate is standard, and iPhone 12 cases don't fit  —  So are bigger cameras  —  What, really, do you want out of a new phone?  —  Assuming you're starting with a good foundation …
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Apple iPhone 13 Pro review: incredible cameras, improved battery, and high refresh display, but front camera is average, no USB-C, and Cinematic Mode is limited  —  The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max are phones designed for people who care about the details.  The improvements over last year's iPhones …
Konrad Putzier / Wall Street Journal:
Google says it will buy St. John's Terminal, a 1.3M square foot office building it is leasing on Manhattan's West Side, for $2.1B in Q1 2022  —  Manhattan deal is priciest sale of a U.S. office building since pandemic began  —  Google said it is buying a Manhattan office building for $2.1 billion …
Rolfe Winkler / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Apple is working with UCLA and Biogen to identify depression, cognitive decline, and other issues using sensor data, such as typing behavior and sleep  —  Company is working with UCLA, Biogen to see if sensitive data like facial expressions, typing metrics could signal mental-health concerns
Washington Post:
Sources: FBI refrained from sharing a ransomware decryptor with businesses for almost three weeks, as it carried out an operation to disrupt the REvil gang  —  The FBI refrained for almost three weeks from helping to unlock the computers of hundreds of businesses and institutions hobbled …
Juli Clover / MacRumors:
iOS 15.1 beta lets users store their verifiable health records, including COVID-19 vaccination cards and test results, in the Health app  —  The iOS 15.1 beta that was introduced today allows iPhone users to upload their COVID-19 vaccination status to the Health app and then generate a vaccination card in Apple Wallet.
Corin Faife / The Markup:
Analysis: Facebook appears to be adding code to interfere with automated data collection of News Feed posts by researchers, such as NYU's Ad Observatory  —  The tweak, which targets the code in accessibility features for visually impaired users, drew ire from researchers and those who monitor the platform
Karissa Bell / Engadget:
Facebook's Oversight Board wants the company to explain its “cross-check” system, which reportedly lets celebrities, politicians, and others break its rules  —  pushing Facebook to provide more information on its controversial “cross-check” system, following a report that the company …
Sergiu Gatlan / BleepingComputer:
macOS is susceptible to running arbitrary code when a user opens a malicious .inetloc file, and Apple's first attempt to silently fix the issue failed  —  Security researchers disclosed today a new vulnerability in Apple's macOS Finder, which makes it possible for attackers to run arbitrary commands …
Nicole Lee / Engadget:
Facebook announces the Portal Go, a $199 10" portable device, and a new $349 Portal+ device with a 14" tilting display and stereo speakers, shipping October 19  —  Facebook's Portal devices have proven surprisingly popular over the past year, largely due to the pandemic and our dependence on video calls.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
PayPal updates its app to include more services, such as direct deposits, crypto tools, peer-to-peer payments, and a digital wallet  —  PayPal has been talking about its “super app” plans for some time, having recently told investors its upcoming digital wallet and payments app had been given a go for launch.
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Following WSJ's investigation series, Facebook says it has spent over $13B on safety and security since the 2016 election and 40K employees work on these issues  —  - Company now has more than 40,000 safety and security employees  — Facebook responds after critical series of newspaper stories
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:
Treasury Department sanctions cryptocurrency exchange Suex for helping facilitate and launder transactions from at least eight ransomware variants  —  - The U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday it will sanction a cryptocurrency exchange for its alleged role in laundering ransoms for cyberattacks.
Todd Haselton / CNBC:
Amazon introduces three new Kindle Paperwhites: $140 Paperwhite with 6.8" display and USB-C, $190 Signature Edition with 32GB of storage, and $160 Kids Edition  —  - Amazon on Tuesday announced three new versions of its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, including the Paperwhite, Paperwhite Kids Edition and Paperwhite Signature Edition.
Tatiana Cirisano / Billboard:
Twitch and NMPA reach deal after tensions over takedown notices; sources: deal doesn't include music licenses, and Twitch will issue warnings before suspensions  —  Twitch and the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) have reached a long-awaited agreement focused on building …
Leah Nylen / Politico:
Shareholders allege Facebook conditioned its $5B Cambridge Analytica settlement on the FTC dropping plans to sue and depose Zuckerberg  —  The company allegedly agreed to overpay on the original $106 million penalty so its CEO and COO could avoid deposition and personal liability.
Ryan Weeks / The Block:
Paris-based Sorare, a soccer-focused NFT trading platform, raises $680M Series B led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 at a $4.3B valuation  —  Quick Take  — The fundraise values the Paris-based NFT startup at $4.3 billion.  — It comes off a period of rapid growth for Sorare, which now boasts 600,000 registered users.
Freedom House:
Report finds global internet freedom has declined for the 11th consecutive year including in the US, tech giants clashed with governments over data, and more  —  In the high-stakes battle between states and technology companies, the rights of internet users have become the main casualties.
Yogita Khatri / The Block:
BitClout creator raises $200M for “Decentralized Social”, a blockchain project with social tools such as profiles, from a16z, Sequoia, Coinbase, and others  —  Quick Take  — BitClout's creator has revealed his identity today.  He is Nader Al-Naji, the founder of the stablecoin startup Basis that shut down in 2018.

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Larry Dignan / ZDNet:
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