Techmeme
June 23, 2022, 9:20 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 …
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
Washington Post:
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
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Amazon launches CodeWhisperer, a GitHub Copilot-like AI pair programming tool, in preview within the AWS IDE Toolkit, supporting Java, JavaScript, and Python  —  At its re:Mars conference, Amazon today announced the launch of CodeWhisperer, an AI pair programming tool similar to GitHub's Copilot …
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.
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.”
Wall Street Journal:
Mariella Moon / Engadget:
Spotify replaces Concert Hub with a Live Events Feed, populated by Ticketmaster, AXS, DICE, Eventbrite, See Tickets, and other partners, for finding tour dates  —  Spotify has expanded its old Concert Hub and added more features to make it easier to find information and tickets for live events in your location.
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.”
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 …
Xinmei Shen / South China Morning Post:
Report: video game revenue in China fell for a third consecutive month in May 2022, down 6.7% YoY to $3.4B, amid a slowing economy and regulatory uncertainties  —  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 …
Jessica Lucas / Input:
A look at r/LossPrevention, a subreddit for busting shoplifters; members monitor Reddit's pro-shoplifting community and share videos of people being apprehended  —  Alex McLeod is an adrenaline junkie.  The 24-year-old, who lives in Ontario, Canada, is an avid martial artist with plans to sign up for a professional fighting league.
Megan Graham / Wall Street Journal:
A look at efforts to reduce online advertising's carbon footprint, which, according to a 2018 study, accounts for roughly 10% of the internet's energy usage  —  Digital ads require a lot of computing power, but the exact amount of electricity they consume is hard to pin down

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Earlier Picks

Financial Times:
Sander Lutz / Decrypt:
Jeffrey Dastin / Reuters: