Techmeme
December 16, 2021, 8:55 PM

Top News

The Citizen Lab:
Two Egyptians living in exile had their iPhones compromised in June 2021 using Predator spyware built by North Macedonian developer Cytrox  —  Key Findings  — Two Egyptians—exiled politician Ayman Nour and the host of a popular news program (who wishes to remain anonymous) …
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Meta bans seven surveillance-for-hire groups, including Cytrox, removing over 1,500 Facebook and Instagram accounts and alerting 50K users who were targeted  —  Cytrox is one of seven surveillance companies now banned from Meta's platforms  —  While NSO Group was taking flak for hacking …
Zachary Basu / Axios:
The US bans investing in eight Chinese companies, including DJI and Megvii, for their alleged involvement in surveilling Uyghurs and other minority groups  —  The Treasury Department has added eight Chinese companies — including DJI, the world's largest commercial drone manufacturer …
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Job listings show Apple is hiring engineers for a new office in Irvine, California to develop wireless chips that could replace Broadcom and Skyworks components  —  - Company seeks engineers for location in Irvine, California  — Apple is poised to attract employees from Broadcom, Skyworks
Kris Holt / Engadget:
Sidewalk Labs plans to shut down, fold its products into Google, and spin out Canopy Buildings; CEO Dan Doctoroff says he is stepping down for health reasons  —  Alphabet's smart city project is winding down and Google will take over its products.  Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff announced …
Orla McCaffrey / Wall Street Journal:
Tax preparation company H&R Block sues Block, formerly Square, for trademark infringement, claiming Block's name and logo are “nearly identical” to its own  —  Square changed name to Block earlier this month, a nod to CEO Jack Dorsey's blockchain ambitions
Henry Mance / Financial Times:
Interview with Meta's VP of Global Affairs Nick Clegg on leaving politics, the impact of Haugen's leaks, and his leading role in the decision to ban Trump  —  Nick Clegg may be available in Berlin.  He has a slot in Paris.  He'll make time for lunch in Brussels.
Tanya Basu / MIT Technology Review:
Meta says a woman was groped in Horizon Worlds on November 26; an internal review found she should have used the VR platform's Safe Zone tool  —  Last week, Meta (the umbrella company formerly known as Facebook) opened up access to its virtual-reality social media platform, Horizon Worlds.
Liza Lin / Wall Street Journal:
TikTok says it will adjust its recommendation algorithm to avoid negative reinforcement and let users pick words and hashtags to remove videos from their feed  —  The app says it is working to diversify the content it pushes to individual users in order to protect their mental well-being
Aisha Malik / TechCrunch:
Apple releases Swift Playgrounds 4, which lets users develop iPhone and iPad apps on their iPads, preview apps in real time, and upload them to the App Store  —  Apple announced that it has officially released Swift Playgrounds 4.  The tech giant first announced the upcoming launch of the new software at WWDC earlier this year.
Kyle Orland / Ars Technica:
Legacy, an NFT-powered game by Peter Molyneux's 22cans studio and Gala Games planned for next year, raised $54M in virtual land NFT sales in less than a week  —  But are these games a brave new world or a FOMO-driven gold rush bubble?  —  On Saturday, Peter Molyneux's 22cans studio …
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Spotify acquires Australian company Whooshkaa, which helps radio broadcasters turn existing content into podcasts and sell ads around them  —  Spotify on Thursday said it acquired Whooshkaa, a podcast technology platform that specializes in technology for radio broadcasters to turn existing content into podcasts.
Chainalysis:
Analysis: cryptocurrency scams cost victims $7.7B in 2021, up 81% from 2020, driven by DeFi-based “rug pulls” wherein developers unexpectedly abandon projects  —  Scams were once again the largest form of cryptocurrency-based crime by transaction volume, with over $7.7 billion worth …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Oracle is in talks to acquire electronic medical records company Cerner, in a deal that could be worth ~$30B  —  An agreement, which could potentially be worth $30 billion, would rank as biggest ever for software giant  —  Oracle Corp. is in talks to buy electronic-medical-records …
Gearoid Reidy / Bloomberg:
Research: Japanese startups raised a record $3B+ in H1 2021, up from $2.37B in H1 2020, as China's crackdown leads SoftBank and others to invest in the country  —  Japan's startups are attracting increasing interest from overseas investors as the country starts to shake off a reputation as a unicorn-free venture backwater.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Spotify rolls out a podcast ratings system that will let users rate a show from one to five stars only after listening to it  —  Spotify is borrowing a page from rival Apple with the addition of a five-star user ratings system for podcasts — a new tool for sorting through …
Reddit:
Bloomberg:
Sources: Indian edtech company Byju's is in advanced talks to go public via a SPAC on the NYSE, raising around $4B and seeking a $48B valuation  —  - Education startup is discussing deal with Churchill Capital  — SPAC merger could value Byju's at more than $40 billion
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:
GM's Cruise says CEO Dan Ammann is leaving the company “to pursue other opportunities”, and Cruise co-founder and CTO Kyle Vogt will take over as interim CEO  —  He will be replaced by Cruise founder Kyle Vogt  —  Dan Ammann, the CEO of Cruise, the autonomous vehicle company …
Washington Post:
As investigators examine the collapsed Amazon warehouse in Illinois where six people were killed during a tornado, Amazon says the building was built to code  —  A woman told 911 that one of the people sheltering with her had been ‘bent in half’ by rubble.  A driver detailed his frantic flight to safety.
Katie Jennings / Forbes:
Cerebral, an app-based mental health service provider that recently raised $300M at a $4.8B valuation, has made some staff health insurance contingent on quotas  —  The company, which raised $300 million at a $4.8 billion valuation this month, changed the status of more than 200 employees …
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Adidas Originals launches an NFT collection with Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney, and Punks Comic that offers access to wearables in The Sandbox virtual world  —  Adidas Originals will launch its first nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as it dives into Web 3 and the metaverse.

Sponsor Posts

Intel:
Managing a Complex Multi-Cloud Environment Requires a Reliable Ecosystem  —  To avoid vendor lock-in and effectively manage your mission critical workload needs, you need a reliable ecosystem and architecture
Vesto:
The treasury management platform built for startups  —  Put your idle cash to work, earn higher yields, and extend your runway with Vesto.
Zoho:
Introducing Advanced Multi-currency Handling  —  Businesses deal with multiple clients across borders and it is a challenging task to collect payments in their preferred currencies.  This is now effortless with our new Advanced Multi-currency Handling.
Census:
Figma's CFO on how they built a $20B business with data  —  From Series B to acquisition, Figma needed Census to scale their business operations on top of their data warehouse.
Climate Draft:
Climate Career Resources for Laid Off Tech Workers  —  Your skills are in demand!  Check out our jobs board, learn about the climate ecosystem, and join our directory to make yourself discoverable to top venture-backed startups.
Techmeme Ride Home:
Tue. 12/06 - Is Elon's Neuralink Cruel To Animals?
The day's tech news, every day at 5pm ET. Fifteen minutes and you're up to date.
Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.
 

About This Page

This is a Techmeme archive page. It shows how the site appeared at 8:55 PM ET, December 16, 2021.

The most current version of the site as always is available at our home page. To view an earlier snapshot click here and then modify the date indicated.

More News

Earlier Picks