Techmeme
September 21, 2021, 11:00 PM

Top News

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 …
New York Times:
Sources: last month Zuckerberg agreed to show users positive stories about Facebook via News Feed; Facebook says it ran only a small test with labeled posts  —  Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, has signed off on an effort to show users pro-Facebook stories and to distance himself from scandals.
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 …
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
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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
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.
Ari Notis / Kotaku:
Blizzard's chief legal officer Claire Hart leaves Activision Blizzard amid a series of high-level departures  —  Claire Hart, who had been the company's top lawyer for three years, resigned Friday  —  Blizzard Entertainment's chief legal officer, Claire Hart, has resigned from the embattled company.
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.
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.
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
James Rubin / CoinDesk:
Blockdaemon, which offers blockchain staking infrastructure, raises $155M Series B led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 at a $1.26B valuation  —  Blockdaemon has raised $155 million in a Series B capital round at a valuation of $1.3 billion, the provider of blockchain staking infrastructure said Tuesday.
Ari Levy / CNBC:
Source: ahead of its NYSE debut, Toast prices its IPO at $40 per share, above its original $30-$33 range, which would give it a market cap of ~$20B  —  - Toast priced its IPO at $40 a share, after previously raising its price range to as high as $36.  — The company, which sells technology …
More: BloombergThanks:@mattrosoff
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.
Andrius Sytas / Reuters:
Lithuanian government recommends ditching Chinese phones after finding Xiaomi devices with censorship capabilities that can be activated remotely  —  Lithuania's Defense Ministry recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones …
Garrison Wells / FierceHealthcare:
eVisit, a SaaS startup helping hospitals and health care systems provide telehealth services, raises $45M Series B led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management  —  eVisit has closed on $45 million in Series B financing that it plans to use to expand its virtual care platform for large health systems.

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