Techmeme
June 23, 2022, 6:35 PM

Top News

Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Google details the commercial spyware Hermit, used in Kazakhstan and Italy, targeting Android and iOS; the iOS version has six exploits, including two zero-days  —  The spyware has targeted victims in Kazakhstan and Italy  —  Security researchers at Lookout recently tied …
New York Times:
Sources: Mark Zuckerberg's top priority is now the metaverse, not securing elections; Meta has ~60 people focused primarily on elections, down from 300+ in 2020  —  Mark Zuckerberg, who once said securing elections was “the most important thing,” has shifted Meta's focus to the metaverse.
Phillip Tracy / Gizmodo:
Microsoft announces gaming features for Edge, including a new homepage, exclusive free-to-play games, Clarity Boost for streamed games, and a performance option  —  This latest browser update adds a new gaming interface, graphics enhancements to Xbox Cloud Gaming, and easy access to free casual games.
Maddie Ellis / Wall Street Journal:
Instagram begins testing tools to verify ages, starting with 17 and under, using either Yoti's facial video analysis, photo IDs, or adults vouching for users  —  Meta's new policy will make it tougher for teens to update to adult accounts.  But they can still lie about their age in the first place
Wall Street Journal:
Wall Street Journal:
Intel delays its scheduled July 22 groundbreaking of a $20B Ohio chip plant due to uncertainty around the Bipartisan Innovation Act, but still plans to build it  —  Company still plans to build the Ohio chips facility, but frustrated about status of proposed law supporting U.S. semiconductor industry
More: CRN, PCMag, and Oregonian
Washington Post:
Jeffrey Dastin / Reuters:
Amazon is working on letting Alexa mimic any voice after hearing less than a minute of audio, as a way to “make the memories last” of deceased family members  —  Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) wants to give customers the chance to make Alexa, the company's voice assistant, sound just like their grandmother — or anyone else.
Tim De Chant / TechCrunch:
Vibrant Planet, a public-benefit startup that is developing software for forest management, has raised a $17M seed  —  For Allison Wolff, the 2018 wildfire season in California marked a turning point.  During that record-breaking year, she started asking a lot of questions.
More: FinSMEsThanks:@rickliebling
Evan Conrad:
Crypto may be “more bad than good” but it has use cases like cutting out middlemen via decentralization, so the claim that it has “no use cases” is not rational  —  I've heard many smart people who I trust complain that “after 13 years, there are still no use cases for crypto.”
Bloomberg:
A profile of Changpeng Zhao, who built Binance into the largest crypto exchange, as he navigates China's regulatory crackdown in a brutal crypto winter  —  During the first few months of this year—back when buying digital tokens named after dog memes was still seen, at least …
Sander Lutz / Decrypt:
Coinbase plans to shut down its standalone, trader-focused Pro service by the end of 2022 and replace it with Advanced Trade as part of its main app and website  —  The standalone service will be replaced by Advanced Trade, a feature within the main Coinbase app.
Ben Schoon / 9to5Google:
OSOM, founded by ex-Essential employees, scraps its OV1 phone and partners with Solana to produce Saga, a $1,000 Web3-focused Android phone launching in Q1 2023  —  The OSOM OV1 was a new Android smartphone built from the bones of Essential, but it's now being rebranded as a crypto/web3 device, the “Solana Saga.”
Nilesh Christopher / Rest of World:
A hacktivist claims DALL-E-like Craiyon, formerly DALL-E mini, generated portraits of brown-skinned women in saris almost every time he ran a blank request  —  The images represent a glitch in the system that even its creator can't explain.  —  Like most people who are extremely online …
Xinmei Shen / South China Morning Post:
Report: video gaming revenue in China fell for a third consecutive month in May, declining 6.7% YoY to $3.4B, amid a slowing economy and regulatory uncertainty  —  China's video gaming revenue fell 6.7 per cent to US$3.4 billion in May, driven mostly by a decline in mobile game spending …
Cristiano Lima / Washington Post:
Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell says she does not support the bipartisan privacy bill, a significant blow to long-stalled federal protections for user data  —  Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell said she's not close to supporting a major proposal, dealing a significant blow to efforts to revive the long-stalled bill

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Earlier Picks

Charlotte Tobitt / Press Gazette: