Techmeme
January 29, 2022, 1:10 AM

Top News

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) …
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.
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Internal messages detail Spotify's lax health content policy; the company told staff multiple Joe Rogan podcast episodes “didn't meet the threshold for removal”  —  Leaked messages reveal the company has reviewed every Rogan episode and none ‘meet the threshold for removal’
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.
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 …
Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac:
Apple adds unlisted app distribution to the App Store, letting developers publish an app that can only be installed via a direct link and not found via search  —  Apple has deployed an interesting new App Store feature called ‘unlisted app distribution’.  This means a developer can now publish …
Chris Stead / Finder:
Q&A with two Ubisoft executives, one of whom says NFTs are a paradigm shift in gaming and gamers “don't get what a digital secondary market can bring to them”  —  We talk to Nicolas Pouard, VP at Ubisoft's Strategic Innovations Lab, about the launch of Ubisoft Quartz and the Digits NFTs.
James Hale / Tubefilter:
YouTuber Hank Green compares TikTok's creator fund, which pays creators less as more creators join, unfavorably to YouTube, which pays 55% of ad revenue  —  In 2020, TikTok established a creator fund that distributes $200 million annually to creators based in the U.S.
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.
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.
Jonathan Browning / Bloomberg:
Jordan Pearson / VICE:
OpenSea says 80%+ of NFTs minted for free on its service are plagiarized works, fake collections, and spam, but reverses its decision to limit free NFT creation  —  After reversing course on a limit to the amount of free NFTs a user can create, OpenSea said the decision was due to the amount of fraud and spam.
Eva Szalay / Financial Times:
Digital asset trading group Genesis starts accepting “blue-chip” NFTs as collateral for loans and derivatives deals  —  Decision to use the tokens to back crypto deals highlights boom in digital collectibles market  —  Digital asset trading group Genesis has started accepting non-fungible tokens …
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?
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:
Vipal Monga / Wall Street Journal:
Shopify denies copyright infringement claims from five publishers and says court is the wrong venue to compel copyright law changes that shield tech companies  —  E-commerce company says it isn't liable for copyright infringement by sellers; has responded to takedown requests

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Earlier Picks

Saheli Roy Choudhury / CNBC:
Florian Mueller / FOSS Patents:
Elizabeth Dwoskin / Washington Post:
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Apple: