Techmeme
September 29, 2021, 11:10 AM

Top News

Gerrit De Vynck / Washington Post:
YouTube says it is banning prominent anti-vaccine activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr, and blocking all anti-vax content, not just about COVID-19 vaccines  —  The Google-owned video site previously only banned misinformation about coronavirus vaccines.  Facebook made the same change months ago.
Reuters:
Russia arrests Ilya Sachkov, the CEO of cybersecurity company Group-IB, on suspicion of treason and will hold him in custody for two months  —  Russia has arrested Ilya Sachkov, the chief executive of top Russian cybersecurity company Group IB, on suspicion of state treason and will hold …
Matthew Gault / VICE:
Internal docs detail Amazon's Astro, including its use of facial recognition and “Sentry” mode; sources who worked on Astro say it is a “privacy nightmare”  —  Leaked meetings show the robot will heavily rely on facial recognition and user behavior, but sources who worked on Astro say the robot is flawed.
Dan Seifert / The Verge:
Andrew Cunningham / Ars Technica:
Apple says the “jelly scroll” issue on the 6th-gen iPad mini is normal for LCD screens; the issue isn't noticeable on other latest iPad models with LCD screens  —  Apple says the issue is caused by normal LCD screen behavior.  —  Update, 9/28/2021: In response to our inquiry …
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Netflix acquires its first game studio, Night School Studio, which was founded by Sean Krankel and Adam Hines in 2014 and is best known for the game Oxenfree  —  Netflix has acquired its first game studio with the acquisition of Oxenfree creator Night School Studio.  The purchase price wasn't disclosed.
Natasha Mascarenhas / TechCrunch:
AngelList launches AngelList Stack, a set of tools to help founders start and run their companies, including end-to-end incorporation and banking services  —  AngelList Stack is a new suite of workflow products for founders  —  AngelList this week launched AngelList Stack …
Krebs on Security:
Researcher discloses AirTag Lost Mode vulnerability that enables a phishing attack, and says Apple spent three months investigating and refused basic questions  —  The new $30 Airtag tracking device from Apple has a feature that allows anyone who finds one of these tiny location beacons …
Wall Street Journal:
Internal docs: Facebook was “exploring playdates as a growth lever”, including engaging tweens as they hung out together  —  It has investigated how to engage young users in response to competition from Snapchat, TikTok; ‘Exploring playdates as a growth lever’
Turner Wright / Cointelegraph:
CFTC fines Kraken $1.25M for illegally offering margined crypto products from June 2020 to July 2021 and not registering as a futures commission merchant  —  “Margined, leveraged or financed digital asset trading offered to retail U.S. customers must occur on properly registered …
Christine Hall / TechCrunch:
Cocoon, which offers a service to help companies and employees manage leave, raises $20M Series A led by Index Ventures  —  Employee leave benefits are a complicated web of company and government policies, and Cocoon is out to bring clarity and simplicity to both the employer and employee experience.
Reuters:
Sens. Blackburn and Blumenthal say a Facebook whistleblower will testify at an October 5 Senate hearing on child safety  —  Two U.S. senators said on Tuesday a Facebook Inc (FB.O) whistleblower will testify at a Senate hearing next week about what one of them called the social media company's “toxic effects” on young users.
Cherie Hu / Water & Music:
UK study: ~0.4% of artists generated enough streams in 2020, around 1M/month, to make a living, up from 0.1% in 2015, with 65%-75% of streams from back catalogs  —  This article is part of Extended Play, our new free weekly briefing built around contextualizing music-industry data.
Jennifer Surane / Bloomberg:
Affirm plans to debut a debit card and allow its customers to buy and sell crypto directly from Affirm savings accounts  —  - Customers will be able to buy, sell crypto including Bitcoin  — 'We won't let you do crazy things,' Affirm's Levchin says  —  Affirm Holdings Inc. is planning …
Christine Hall / TechCrunch:
Totango, which offers subscription tools to track and improve customer engagement, raises $100M Series D led by Great Hill Partners  —  Totango, a company that helps SaaS companies track customer engagement to find and fix user flow errors and friction, announced Wednesday that it has raised $100 million …
More: Globes Online and CTech
Annie Massa / Bloomberg:
Investment and savings app Betterment raises $100M debt and $60M Series F at a ~$1.3B valuation led by Treasury and says it has around 700,000 clients  —  Betterment LLC has raised an additional $160 million, pushing the robo-adviser's market value to almost $1.3 billion.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Facebook is rolling out Reels to all US mobile users, after launching a beta last month, and announces a Reels Play bonus program for creators  —  After launching into beta tests just last month, Facebook today is rolling out Reels to all Facebook users in the U.S. on both iOS and Android.
Source: About FacebookMore: The Verge and Variety
Dalya Alberge / The Guardian:
Analysis by Swiss AI company Art Recognition of 148 paintings suggests UK National Gallery's Samson and Delilah by Peter Paul Rubens, bought in 1980, is a fake  —  Long-held doubts about the authenticity of the National Gallery's masterpiece, bought for £2.5m in 1980, are backed by pioneering technology
Gene Park / Washington Post:
Tim Sweeney and Epic execs discuss Epic's metaverse plans, contrasting it with Facebook's “manicured” feed and emphasizing the role of creators  —  Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and other executives detail their plan for the metaverse and how it differs from Facebook's vision

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