Techmeme
December 9, 2021, 8:00 PM

Top News

WABetaInfo:
WhatsApp begins a limited test of Meta's Novi digital wallet in the US, letting users send and receive USDP within a chat  —  Today, WhatsApp is finally announcing a small pilot program to some people in the US, that can finally use the Novi digital wallet within WhatsApp!
Alex Heath / The Verge:
Meta opens its VR social platform Horizon Worlds to all adult users in the US and Canada, after announcing a private beta in September 2019  —  Facebook's first stab at the metaverse is Roblox meets the OASIS  —  More than two years and a company rebrand later, Meta is finally opening …
Sean Hollister / The Verge:
Epic v. Apple emails show Microsoft offered to bring triple-A, Xbox-exclusive games to iOS if Apple let its xCloud game streaming service into the App Store  —  Remember when Apple pretended like it would let cloud gaming services like Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia into the App Store …
Jonathan Bell / Wallpaper*:
A look at the working processes at Apple's design team, led by VP of industrial design Evans Hankey and VP of human interface design Alan Dye  —  Global exclusive!  Led by Evans Hankey and Alan Dye, the Apple Design Team holds enormous sway over our evolving relationship with technology.
Politico:
Italy's competition authority fines Amazon €1.13B for abusing its market position and harming competitors in e-commerce logistics; Amazon plans to appeal  —  Italy's competition authority announced Thursday it was slapping a €1.13 billion fine on Amazon for abusing its dominant position …
Eli Tan / CoinDesk:
Palm, which helps companies and brands create NFT projects, raises a $27M Series B led by Microsoft's M12  —  Microsoft's venture arm is leading a $27 million bet on NFT studio Palm.  —  The funding will be used primarily to scale the company's operations with a slew of new hires, a representative of the studio told CoinDesk.
Bloomberg:
Sources: as Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen buy Las Vegas properties, they are less involved in a16z's daily operations and are on fewer corporate boards  —  Recently, the Bay Area-based venture capitalist Ben Horowitz took part in a popular pandemic-era pastime: updating the location on his LinkedIn profile.
MacRumors:
Kuo: Apple's AR headset will include four sets of 3D sensors to offer a user interface with hand gesture controls and object detection  —  Apple's long rumored AR headset is predicted to include multiple highly sensitive 3D sensing modules in order to offer an innovative hand gesture …
Bloomberg:
Coinbase launches a DeFi yield product for non-US customers in over 70 countries, after US regulators effectively killed plans for its Lend program in September  —  - U.S. regulators effectively shut down Lend program earlier  — Holdings to be deposited into the Compound Finance protocol
Elizabeth M. Renieris / CIGI:
A look at Cardano, a controversial blockchain project led by Ethereum cofounder Charles Hoskinson that aims to build a national ID system for Ethiopia  —  There are countless examples of the dangers posed by national ID schemes, including from Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan, India and elsewhere.
Frank Chaparro / The Block:
Crypto derivates market Paradigm, which focuses on large trades, raises a $35M Series A at a $400M valuation led by Jump Capital and Alameda Research  —  Quick Take  — Paradigm is raising $35 million in a fundraise led by Jump Capital and Alameda Research.
New York Times:
EU Commission proposes rules to turn gig workers into employees, affecting up to 4.1M workers; the EU estimates 28M work via digital labor platforms in the bloc  —  A proposal with widespread political support would entitle drivers and couriers for companies like Uber to a minimum wage and legal protections.
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Tim Berners-Lee's Inrupt, which aims to “reshape the internet” by letting users control their data, raises Series A led by Forte Ventures, source says for ~$30M  —  Tim Berners-Lee's startup, Inrupt, has raised about $30 million in its Series A financing round, a source familiar with the matter said.
Sylvia Varnham O'Regan / The Information:
Meta has moved its artificial intelligence group to the Reality Labs unit, shifting the AI team's focus towards metaverse-related efforts  —  Facebook parent Meta Platforms has moved its artificial intelligence group to the Reality Labs unit developing augmented and virtual reality products …
Tweets: @alexeheath and @amir
C-SPAN.org:
Video of Adam Mosseri's testimony before a Senate Commerce subcommittee examining Instagram's negative effects on teen mental health  —  Instagram CEO testifies on impact of platform on young users before a Senate Commerce subcommittee.
Cat Zakrzewski / Washington Post:
In a letter, Sen. Warren asks the US DOJ and SEC to investigate whether Meta executives knew the company inflated a key metric measuring an ad's potential reach  —  Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the DOJ and SEC, after Sen. Maria Cantwell sent a letter to the FTC
Will Douglas Heaven / MIT Technology Review:
DeepMind claims its language model RETRO matches the performance of neural networks 25 times its size, cutting the time and cost to train large language models  —  RETRO uses an external memory to look up passages of text on the fly, avoiding some of the costs of training a vast neural network

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Bloomberg:
Mayank Parmar / BleepingComputer:
Kollen Post / The Block: