Techmeme
October 20, 2021, 7:50 PM

Top News

Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft begins letting Windows 11 beta testers try Android apps from the Amazon Appstore, starting with 50 apps  —  Beta Channel testers get access first  —  Microsoft is now allowing Windows 11 testers to try out Android apps.  A preview version of the Windows Subsystem for Android …
Alex Heath / The Verge:
Source: Facebook is planning to change its company name to reflect its focus on the metaverse as soon as next week  —  Mark Zuckerberg wants to be known for building the metaverse  —  Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse …
Bloomberg:
Sources: PayPal has approached Pinterest about an acquisition, potentially valuing it at $39B; Pinterest stock had dropped 16% this year but is up 10%+ today  —  PayPal Holdings Inc. is exploring an acquisition of social media company Pinterest Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said, Bloomberg News reports.
Emily Birnbaum / Politico:
Source: Pierre Omidyar's philanthropic organization Luminate handles Frances Haugen's PR in Europe; Omidyar donated $150K to Whistleblower Aid in 2020  —  Support from eBay-founder-turned-tech-critic Pierre Omidyar is helping Frances Haugen take on one of the world's most powerful companies.
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
US Commerce Department announces rules banning the export or resale of hacking tools to China, Russia, and other countries of concern  —  The Commerce Department on Wednesday announced a long-awaited rule that officials hope will help stem the export or resale of hacking tools to China …
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Twitter acquires London-based Sphere, which develops a group chat app and has raised $30M to date  —  Twitter has acquired London-based Sphere, which operates an eponymous groups chat app, the latest in a series of recent moves from the social network as it looks to aggressively broaden and improve its product offerings.
Cecilia Kang / New York Times:
District of Columbia AG Karl Racine plans to add Mark Zuckerberg to an ongoing privacy lawsuit, which began in 2018 following the Cambridge Analytica scandal  —  The District of Columbia case, which grew out of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, could expose the chief executive to financial and other penalties.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Spotify partners with Shopify to let artists list merch on profiles for $29/month to $299/month, starting in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand  —  Spotify on Wednesday announced a new partnership with ecommerce provider Shopify to let artists list merchandise directly on their profiles …
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Internal email: Apple will test unvaccinated corporate staff each time they enter offices starting Nov. 1, and asks US staff to report vaccine status by Oct. 24  —  - The company is still stopping short of requiring the shots  — Unvaccinated retail staff will be asked to test twice a week
Aisha Counts / Protocol:
Since May, Google says it has blocked 1.6M messages and restored ~4,000 YouTube influencer accounts affected by a phishing campaign offering fake collaborations  —  A network of Russian-speaking hackers are phishing YouTube influencers with fake collaboration offers in order to hijack their accounts …
CoinDesk:
Bitcoin crosses $66K, an all-time high, after the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF rose by nearly 5% on the NYSE  —  The latest rally appears fueled by the successful debut on Tuesday of the first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund.  —  Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency …
Nikkei Asia:
Sources: China's Oppo is developing high-end mobile chips, using TSMC's 3nm tech, for its premium handsets due out in 2023 or 2024  —  China's top handset maker looks to use TSMC's cutting-edge 3-nm tech  —  TAIPEI — China's leading smartphone maker Oppo is developing high-end mobile chips …
Naman Ramachandran / Variety:
UK's CMA fines Facebook £50.5M for breaching an order imposed during its ongoing Giphy acquisition investigation, saying Facebook refused to report information  —  Social media giant Facebook has been fined £50.5 million ($69.1 million) for breaching an order imposed …
James Vincent / The Verge:
A look at Ask Delphi, a research project by the Allen Institute for AI that offers answers to ethical dilemmas, often with bewildering responses  —  A fascinating project that's best understood as a cautionary tale  —  Got a moral quandary you don't know how to solve?  Fancy making it worse?
William Turton / Bloomberg:
Sources: the recent ransomware attack against Sinclair is linked to Russian group Evil Corp., which changed names to avoid 2019 US sanctions  —  - Evil Corp. said to change names to avoid 2019 U.S. sanctions  — Broadcaster hit with new ransomware strain called Macaw
Yogita Khatri / The Block:
Sommelier Finance, which offers an automated DeFi portfolio manager, raises a $23M Series A led by Polychain Capital  —  Sommelier Finance, a crypto project that helps automate DeFi trading, has raised $23 million in a Series A funding round.  —  The round was led by Polychain Capital …
More: FinSMEs and CoinDesk
Benedict Evans / @benedictevans:
[Thread] Analysis of FTC's report on Big Tech's startup M&A between 2010 and 2019: half of the deals were <$10M, most had <10 people and were US-based, and more  —  A common talking point in tech anti-trust: big tech companies have made hundreds of acquisitions in recent years, and almost none were reviewed, let along stopped. So, last month the FTC released some actual data, for Google, Apple, FB, Amazon and Microsoft. 🧵 https://twitter.com/...
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Facebook will start demoting all Groups content from users who have violated policies elsewhere on the site, and will let admins review flagged content  —  It's also got a new moderation tool for admins  —  Facebook will start demoting all Groups content from people who have violated its policies elsewhere across the platform.
More: TechCrunch, CNET, and Engadget
Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
Hex, which simplifies storing and sharing large data sets with integrations for Snowflake, BigQuery, and others, raises a $16M Series A led by Redpoint Ventures  —  Data is everywhere inside organizations, and employees are increasingly trying to find ways to put it to work to improve business outcomes.
Catalin Cimpanu / The Record:
DC-based exploit broker Zerodium is now seeking to buy 0-days in ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark's PC apps, namely those disclosing user info or allowing RCE  —  Exploit broker Zerodium announced its intention today to buy zero-day vulnerabilities in the Windows clients of three major VPN providers …

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Keith Zhai / Wall Street Journal: