Techmeme
November 19, 2021, 12:05 AM

Top News

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is accelerating the development of a fully autonomous electric car, after hitting a car processor milestone, with plans to debut it by 2025  —  - Company looks to refocus project on self-driving capabilities  — New car chief Kevin Lynch pushing for debut as early as 2025
Abram Brown / Forbes:
ConstitutionDAO loses Sotheby's US Constitution auction to an undisclosed winner's $43.2M bid, after crowdfunding over $40M  —  This story has been updated to reflect the full price that the Constitution sold for after all auction fees.  —  A rare copy of the U.S. Constitution sold …
Jason Schreier / Bloomberg:
In a staff email, Phil Spencer says he's evaluating Xbox's relationship with Activision Blizzard and will make adjustments; PlayStation head sent a similar note  —  Microsoft Corp.'s head of Xbox said he's “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard …
Wall Street Journal:
A bipartisan coalition of state AGs from CA, FL, KY, MA, NE, NJ, NY, TN, and VT is investigating how Instagram attracts and affects young people  —  Move raises pressure on parent company Meta Platforms, formerly called Facebook, over the potential harms to its users
Will Evans / Wired:
Sources and internal docs detail Amazon's careless handling of its retail customer data, including letting some low-level staff snoop on celebrity purchases  —  Voyeurs.  Sabotaged accounts.  Backdoor schemes.  For years, the retail giant has handled your information less carefully than it handles your packages.
Mark Di Stefano / The Information:
Memo: Tim Cook tells Apple employees they can work remotely for up to four weeks per year and sets a February 1 return to office goal  —  Apple will let employees work for up to four weeks remotely each year as the iPhone giant prepares for the company to gradually return to offices in 2022 …
Michael del Castillo / Forbes:
Winklevoss twins' cryptocurrency exchange Gemini raises $400M led by Morgan Creek Digital at a $7.1B valuation  —  After seven years of funding their Gemini cryptocurrency empire out of pocket, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are in the process of signing the last documents on their first round of capital …
David McCabe / New York Times:
Local US governments, including in Texas and Arizona, are offering chipmakers deals to build plants, seeking to capitalize on the semiconductor shortage  —  Many local governments see a silver lining in the shortage of semiconductor chips that has contributed to a slowdown in the global economy.
The Information:
Sources: Facebook is offering musicians and celebrities, via production companies, payments to host Live Audio Rooms; source says up to $50K per session  —  Facebook is offering to pay musicians and other celebrities tens of thousands of dollars to host sessions on its new live audio feature …
Amelia Lucas / CNBC:
Starbucks and Amazon partner to launch Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go in Manhattan using Amazon's Just Walk Out tech  —  - Starbucks is opening a pick-up cafe in midtown Manhattan with Amazon that uses the retail giant's cashierless technology.  — It's the latest step in Starbucks' strategy …
Shannon Bond / NPR:
Meta says it's looking at how users from marginalized communities experience its products and releases a paper on changes to how it uses US demographic data  —  The parent company of Facebook and Instagram is looking into whether its platforms treat users differently based on race …
Byron Tau / Wall Street Journal:
In a letter to Sen. Wyden, data broker Mobilewalla says it was the source of some data used by the DHS, IRS, and US military for warrantless tracking of devices  —  Mobilewalla CEO writes to U.S. senator investigating location brokers: ‘Selling mobile device data for use by law enforcement agencies is not our business model’
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Spotify expands real-time lyrics to all users globally in partnership with Musixmatch, after initially launching in 26 markets  —  After years of ignoring consumer demand for in-app lyrics, particularly in the U.S., Spotify announced today it will make a new Lyrics feature available to all global users …
Bryan Walsh / Axios:
OpenAI makes its API for GPT-3 generally available in supported countries, eliminating the waiting list for access  —  The artificial intelligence research company OpenAI will eliminate the waiting list for access to the API of its natural language processing program (NLP) GPT-3.
Ann-Marie Alcántara / Wall Street Journal:
Netomi, which offers customer-service chatbots, raises a $30M Series B led by WndrCo LLC at a $210M valuation, bringing its total funding to $52M  —  The new round of funding values the company at $210 million, up from a valuation of $67.5 million in 2019.  —  Netomi Inc., a provider …

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