Techmeme
January 28, 2022, 3:40 PM

Top News

New York Times:
An investigation into the rise of NSO's Pegasus shows its widespread use by the CIA, UAE, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and others; the FBI bought but didn't use it  —  A Times investigation reveals how Israel reaped diplomatic gains around the world from NSO's Pegasus spyware — a tool America itself purchased but is now trying to ban.
Alex Heath / The Verge:
Will Cathcart says WhatsApp has no plans to support RCS, as Meta launches its first marketing push for WhatsApp in the US, touting its privacy compared to SMS  —  The Meta-owned messaging app wants to be as popular in the US as it is everywhere else — will a big marketing push work?
Catalin Cimpanu / The Record:
DeFi service Qubit Finance says a hacker stole ~$80M in Binance coins on January 27 and offers them a bug bounty in exchange for returning the cryptocurrency  —  A threat actor has used an exploit to steal approximately $80 million from Qubit Finance, a decentralized finance (DeFi) …
Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
After a customer backlash, Google says legacy free G Suite accounts will be able to migrate their data to free, consumer accounts before the July 2022 shutdown  —  Last week, Google essentially told free G Suite users “pay up or lose your account.”  —  There is hope for users of Google's “legacy” free G Suite accounts.
Florian Mueller / FOSS Patents:
Microsoft, the DOJ, and 35 US states led by Utah support Epic Games against Apple through amicus briefs filed with the Ninth Circuit appeals court  —  [Update] The Biden Administration is also supporting Epic.  [/Update]  —  Apple just reported record numbers.
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:
Apple deprecates Python 2.7 in macOS 12.3 and points developers to alternative languages like Python 3; Python ended support for version 2 on January 1, 2020  —  Apple will no longer bundle Python 2.7 with macOS 12.3, according to developer release notes for the upcoming software update.
Alexandra S. Levine / Politico:
AI-driven suicide chat service Crisis Text Line shares anonymized data with for-profit spinoff Loris.ai, which uses it to market its customer service software  —  Crisis Text Line is one of the world's most prominent mental health support lines, a tech-driven nonprofit that uses big data …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
FTC: US consumers lost $770M to social media scams in 2021, about 25% of all fraud losses for the year and up 18x from the $42M in losses reported in 2017  —  A growing number of U.S. consumers are getting scammed on social media according to a new report by the Federal Trade Commission …
Corinne Reichert / CNET:
Counterpoint and IDC: smartphone shipments grew about 5% to 1.35B+ units in 2021; Samsung took the top spot with 270M+ units, followed by Apple with 235M+  —  Companies shipped 1.35 billion smartphones in 2021, a 5.7% increase over the previous year, market researcher IDC said Thursday.
Russ Mitchell / Los Angeles Times:
Waymo sues the California DMV to hide its safety details, such as descriptions of driverless car crashes, and says the data should be designated a trade secret  —  Waymo, the driverless car company operating an autonomous taxi fleet in San Francisco, is suing the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Daren Fonda / Barron's Online:
Source: White House is readying an executive action to task federal agencies with regulating Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a matter of national security  —  The Biden administration is preparing to release an executive action that will task federal agencies with regulating digital assets …
Jonathan Browning / Bloomberg:
Autonomy founder Mike Lynch loses $5B court battle with HP over false accounting; the UK government will now decide whether to extradite him to the US  —  Mike Lynch, the Autonomy Corp. founder lost his acrimonious court battle with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. over false accounting.
Microsoft Azure Blog:
Microsoft mitigated a 3.47 Tbps DDoS attack on an Azure customer in Asia in November; DDoS attacks in India rose from 2% of all attacks in H1 2021 to 23% in H2  —  This blog post was co-authored by Anupam Vij, Principal PM Manager, and Syed Pasha, Principal Network Engineer, Azure Networking
Saheli Roy Choudhury / CNBC:
SoftBank confirms COO Marcelo Claure, who was also SoftBank Group International's CEO, is leaving after nine years; Michel Combes will be the new CEO  —  - Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group confirmed Friday that its Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure is leaving the company following a nine-year tenure.
Jordan Novet / CNBC:
Alphabet's Google Cloud division forms a group to win blockchain business, hire a slew of blockchain experts, and possibly accept payments in cryptocurrencies  —  - Alphabet's Google Cloud division is forming a team to win blockchain business after making a concerted effort in retail and other industries.
Juli Clover / MacRumors:
iOS 15.4 beta adds Face ID use with a mask for iPhone 12 and newer, without needing Apple Watch authentication, by recognizing “unique features around the eye”  —  The iOS 15.4 beta that was introduced today added a new feature designed to allow Face ID to be used with a mask and without an Apple Watch for authentication.
Juli Clover / MacRumors:
Kif Leswing / CNBC:
Apple reports Q1 Mac revenue of $10.85B, up 25% YoY, iPad revenue of $7.25B, down 14% YoY, and other products revenue, including Watch, of $14.70B, up 13% YoY  —  - Apple reported its largest single quarter in terms of revenue ever, with sales growing over 11% despite supply challenges and the lingering effects of the pandemic.
Apple:

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