October 21, 2021, 7:30 AM

Top News

Casey Newton / Platformer:
Sources: Mark Zuckerberg has not settled on a new name for Facebook, which could be announced as early as Monday  —  See you Monday!  —  Facebook is changing its name.  Perhaps you heard.  The news was broken by Alex Heath of The Verge on Tuesday night, and I've since confirmed it with sources of my own.
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.
ABC News:
Trump announces the Trump Media & Technology Group and TRUTH Social, a social network coming in Nov. to “stand up” to Big Tech, in the App Store for preorder  —  The former president has been banned from several platforms.  —  Silenced by many major platforms …
Ben Sisario / New York Times:
PleasrDAO, a group of digital asset collectors, says it created an NFT that will stand as an ownership deed for Wu-Tang Clan's one-of-a-kind physical album  —  The government sold “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” to satisfy a judgment against its first owner, Martin Shkreli.
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
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.
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 …
Alex Webb / Bloomberg:
Apple's product design has improved since Jony Ive left, as it seems to be putting the emphasis back on function over form and is less obsessed with thinness  —  At one time, even broaching the idea would have been sacrilegious.  But here goes: might Apple Inc.'s product design have improved since the departure of Jony Ive?
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.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
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 …
Benoit Berthelot / Bloomberg:
French labor union-commissioned report: Amazon shipped 258M packages in France in 2020, up from 229M in 2019 but below 419M target, following warehouse closures  —  - Study shows company struggled to surf pandemic e-commerce boom  — Online giant is trying soccer to kick-start French growth
Peter Rudegeair / Wall Street Journal:
Plaid partners with Square, Stripe, and others to help consumers and businesses make payments funded by their bank accounts after its acquisition by Visa failed  —  The fintech is teaming up with Square, Stripe and dozens of others on a digital pay-by-bank offering
Liya Su / DealStreetAsia:
Chinese chipmaker Clounix, which focuses on network chips, raises $63M across angel and seed, the latter led by China Internet Investment Fund  —  Software solutions firm Hangzhou Clounix Technology has raised approximately 400 million yuan ($63 million) in angel and pre-Series A funding, it said in an announcement.
More: Pandaily
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.
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:
Batch, a company founded by the team behind AppGratis to let companies manage push notifications at scale, raises $23M led by Expedition Capital  —  If you've been working in the French tech ecosystem, you may remember a startup called AppGratis.  The app discovery and promotion startup basically …

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