Techmeme
January 26, 2022, 8:30 AM

Top News

Bloomberg:
Sources: Meta-backed Diem Association is talking to investment bankers about selling its IP to return capital to investors and giving its engineers a new home  —  The controversial cryptocurrency project that Mark Zuckerberg once defended in front of Congress is unraveling after regulatory pressure.
Microsoft Investor Relations:
Microsoft Q2: revenue of $51.7B, up 20% YoY, net income of $18.8B, up 21% YoY, Windows OEM revenue up 25%, LinkedIn revenue up 37%, and Surface revenue up 8%  —  Earnings Release FY22 Q2 - REDMOND, Wash. — January 25, 2022 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the following results …
Eric Martin / Bloomberg:
The IMF's board urges El Salvador to strip Bitcoin of its status as legal currency due to its large risks, a major obstacle to the country's $1.3B loan request  —  The International Monetary Fund's board urged El Salvador to strip Bitcoin of its status as legal currency due to its large risks …
Jason Schreier / Bloomberg:
Sources: Microsoft will keep Activision Blizzard agreements for three new Call of Duty games on PlayStation in the next two years, but long-term plans are hazy  —  Activision Blizzard Inc., which is being bought by Microsoft Corp., will release at least the next three games in its hit Call …
Jay Peters / The Verge:
Ryan Wyatt, YouTube's gaming head who oversaw big deals to poach Twitch's star streamers, leaves to grow Ethereum scaling startup Polygon's developer ecosystem  —  Ryan Wyatt will be at YouTube until the end of February  —  Ryan Wyatt, YouTube's head of gaming who oversaw some of its big deals …
Ionut Ilascu / BleepingComputer:
Researchers find a 12-year-old vulnerability in Polkit that local attackers can use to gain root privileges on all major Linux distributions; an exploit is out  —  A vulnerability in Polkit's pkexec component that is present in the default configuration of all major Linux distributions …
Shannon Liao / Washington Post:
Activision Blizzard declines to voluntarily recognize a union formed by 34 QA testers at Raven Software, after failing to reach an agreement with the CWA  —  Activision Blizzard did not respond to workers' request for recognition of a union formed by quality assurance testers at Raven Software, the workers said Tuesday evening.
Frank Chaparro / The Block:
Crypto exchange FTX's American affiliate, FTX.US, raises $400M at an $8B valuation from Paradigm, SoftBank, and others, its first outside funding  —  FTX's American affiliate, FTX.US, has joined the crypto unicorn club after closing its first-ever fundraising round.
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
After reports of AirTags being used for stalking, Apple releases a Personal Safety User Guide, covering AirTags alerts, information for Android users, and more  —  Apple has launched a new “Personal Safety User Guide” that aggregates details and support documents that can help users “when your personal safety is at risk.”
Jason Koebler / VICE:
President Biden backs consumers' right to repair and acknowledges the anticompetitive practices of electronics manufacturers  —  “Too many areas, if you own a product, from a smartphone to a tractor, you don't have the freedom to choose how or where to repair that item you purchased.”
Dave Lee / Financial Times:
Sources: Amazon has abandoned its much-maligned campaign of paying warehouse employees to share positive messages on social media after embarrassing backfires  —  Paying warehouse workers to tweet positive comments is dropped after poor reach and embarrassing backfires
Todd Spangler / Variety:
In a YouTube creator update, Susan Wojcicki defends hiding dislikes, discusses adding NFT support, says creators making over $10K/year jumped 40% YoY, and more  —  YouTube is touting the explosive popularity of its TikTok-style short-form Shorts video feature — and says it's going to test …
Cherlynn Low / Engadget:
Samsung announces its Galaxy Unpacked “The Epic Standard” event will be held virtually on February 9 at 7am PT, where it's expected to unveil the Galaxy S22  —  After its president TM Roh teased “the most noteworthy S series device we've ever created”, Samsung is announcing today when we can learn more.
Kim Zetter / The Verge:
How hacker Joe Grand used a fault-injection attack to crack a Trezor One hardware wallet to recover $2M in cryptocurrency for two friends who forgot the PIN  —  In early 2018, Dan Reich and a friend decided to spend $50,000 in Bitcoin on a batch of Theta tokens, a new cryptocurrency then worth just 21 cents apiece.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google shutters FLoC, its controversial ad tech for replacing third-party cookies, and proposes Topics, which categorizes the sites users visit into 300+ topics  —  FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), Google's controversial project for replacing cookies for interest-based advertising …
Ivan Lam / Counterpoint Research:
Chinese smartphone sales fell 9% YoY in Q4 2021 as full-year sales dropped 2% YoY; Apple became China's top vendor in Q4 after six years with 23% marketshare  —  - Smartphone sales in China declined (9% YoY) for the third consecutive quarter in Q4 2021.  — Full-year smartphone sales declined …
Catherine Shu / TechCrunch:
Manila-based GrowSari, which helps Filipino MSMEs to digitize, offer bill payments, launch e-commerce stores, and more, raises $45M from KKR  —  GrowSari, the Manila-based startup that helps small shops grow and digitize, announced today that KKR will lead its Series C round with a $45 million investment.
Aisha Malik / TechCrunch:
Poland-based Infermedica, whose AI tools offer symptom analysis and patient triage, raises a $30M Series B led by One Peak, bringing its total funding to $45M  —  Infermedica, a Poland-founded digital health company that offers AI-powered solutions for symptom analysis and patient triage, has raised $30 million in Series B funding.
More: FinSMEs and EU-Startups
Chester Wisniewski / Sophos News:
The immediate threat of attackers mass exploiting Log4Shell was averted because the severity of the bug galvanized digital and security communities into action  —  Sometimes, when a software crisis doesn't cause the kind of devastation everyone expects, it is because there may not have been a crisis in the first place.
More: ZDNet
Elizabeth Culliford / Reuters:
Twitter: governments made 43,387 content removal demands from a record 196,878 accounts in H1 2021; 95% came from Japan, Russia, Turkey, India, and South Korea  —  Twitter said governments around the world made requests to remove content from a record number of user accounts between January …

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