Techmeme
February 21, 2024, 7:15 AM

Top News

Andy Greenberg / Wired:
Messaging app Signal finally rolls out usernames in beta, letting users conceal their phone numbers; Signal still requires inputting a phone number to register  —  We tested the end-to-end encrypted messenger's new feature aimed at addressing critics' most persistent complaint.  Here's how it works.
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Apple says the iPhone 15 lineup can retain 80% of its original battery capacity after 1,000 charge cycles, up from its original estimate of 500 charge cycles  —  In addition to changes to the Battery Health settings in iOS 17.4, Apple has more iPhone battery news to share today.
Stephen Totilo / Game File:
An interview with Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer on Xbox growth, job cuts, and why getting rid of physical Xbox discs is “not a strategic thing for us”  —  Microsoft's gaming chief Phil Spencer is upbeat about his vast Xbox team's future.  But he also tells Game File …
Tom Wilson / Reuters:
Circle no longer plans to mint USDC tokens on the Tron blockchain, effective immediately, to “ensure that USDC remains trusted, transparent, and safe”  —  Major U.S. crypto firm Circle will end support for its USDC token on the Tron blockchain network, a decision the company said on Wednesday …
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Gary Geaves, Apple's longtime VP in charge of acoustics, is stepping down, replaced by Ruchir Davé, adding to the hardware engineering group's upheaval  —  - Apple acoustics chief Gary Geaves is stepping down from role  — Executive has been key to development of AirPods and HomePod
Bloomberg:
Cybersecurity experts say global law enforcement agencies dealt Russia-linked LockBit a major blow, but history shows that ransomware gangs regroup quickly  —  - Disruption of LockBit praised as major blow against gang  — History has shown that hackers regroup quickly, experts say  —  Two arrests.
Sergiu Gatlan / BleepingComputer:
Duncan Riley / SiliconANGLE:
IBM: hackers are finding more opportunities to log in via legitimate credentials, rather than hacking into networks; infostealing malware jumped 266% in 2023  —  IBM's annual X-Force Threat Intelligence Index report released today highlights an emerging global crisis in identity as cybercriminals continue to compromise users worldwide.
Michael Acton / Financial Times:
Meta and Microsoft are lobbying EU regulators to reject Apple's proposed App Store changes to comply with the DMA, saying Apple's plans don't go far enough  —  Meta and Microsoft want Brussels regulators to extract more concessions that unpick iOS mobile software
Maxwell Zeff / Gizmodo:
Demos from AI chipmaker Groq go viral after the startup's inference engine shows lightning-fast speeds when running LLMs, including for real-time conversations  —  Two AI companies are claiming the science fiction term, “Grok,” as their own, but only one is turbocharging the AI industry.
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Byju's says the $200M rights issue that cuts its valuation by 99% to $20M-$25M is fully subscribed; source: some of Byju's major investors are yet to take part  —  Byju's says its recently launched $200 million rights issue has been fully-subscribed, but the startup's founder urged …
Josh Xiao / Bloomberg:
China's Ministry of State Security warns unnamed hackers are obtaining data on key issues, like food production and the weather, in a series of WeChat posts  —  - A growing array of sensitive data is being pilfered, MSS warns  — Beijing's vague warnings could spook foreign businesses
Margi Murphy / Bloomberg:
A profile of ElevenLabs, whose AI voice cloning tech is being used to spoof politicians; five of ElevenLabs' 40 employees are dedicated to trust and safety  —  ElevenLabs' technology is already being used to spoof political candidates and promote scammy products.
Daphné Leprince-Ringuet / Sifted:
Paris-based Bioptimus, which aims to build an LLM to understand biological processes on different scales, launches with a $35M seed led by Sofinnova Partners  —  Bioptimus plans to build an LLM that is based on the complex data needed to represent organisms

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Earlier Picks

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Antonia Mufarech / Bloomberg: