Techmeme
December 6, 2022, 7:05 PM
 

December 6, 2022

6:30 PM  •
Paul Sawers / TechCrunch:  Loft Dynamics, which makes a VR training simulator for helicopter pilots, has raised $20M in a round led by Craft Ventures, Sky Dayton, and Up Partners
5:50 PM  •
Jason McMaster / VentureBeat:  GameOn, which develops the AI chatbot ChatOS, used by major sports brands to connect with fans, raised a $35M Series B, bringing its total funding to $54M
4:55 PM  •
Kif Leswing / CNBC:  Apple, AMD, and Nvidia have all indicated plans to buy chips from TSMC's planned Arizona fabs
4:45 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Hedge fund Fir Tree Capital sues Grayscale Investments for info on potential mismanagement, as GBTC, down ~74% YTD, trades at a ~43% discount to its BTC's value
3:10 PM  •
Bill Toulas / BleepingComputer:  Russia's second-largest bank, VTB, is hit with a large DDoS attack causing its apps and website to go offline; “IT Army of Ukraine” claims credit for the attack
2:05 PM  •
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:  Sources: Apple reins in its ambitious self-driving plans for its electric vehicle, delayed to 2026, now with a steering wheel, pedals, and highway-only autonomy
1:45 PM  •
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:  Apple changes App Store pricing to range from $0.29 to $10K, from $0.49 to $999.99, starting with subscription apps; top 100 prices require Apple's approval
1:30 PM  •
Gretchen Morgenson / NBC News:  A look at Silvergate, one of the few US banks that let customers move dollars onto crypto exchanges, now drawing congressional scrutiny following FTX's collapse
12:35 PM  •
Rakteem Katakey / Bloomberg:  NRG Energy agrees to acquire Utah-based Vivint, which sells smart thermostats, locks, lights, and more, for $2.8B in cash, ~33% above December 5's closing price
12:30 PM  •
Sergiu Gatlan / BleepingComputer:  Rackspace confirms a ransomware attack is behind an ongoing outage to its hosted Microsoft Exchange services but says its other products are fully operational
12:20 PM  •
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:  The NLRB finds that Apple illegally interfered with union organizing in Atlanta by interrogating workers, making them attend anti-union meetings, and more
11:55 AM  •
Aaron Holmes / The Information:  Sources: Microsoft recently considered building a “super app” that would combine shopping, messaging, search, news, and other services, inspired by WeChat
11:35 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Sources: the US-TikTok national security deal faces further delays as US officials fret over the app's risks; both sides agree Oracle will host TikTok's US data
11:30 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Telegram CEO Pavel Durov says Telegram Premium passed 1M subscribers since its June 2022 launch; the monthly subscription costs $5 in the US and £5 in the UK
11:05 AM  •
Mary Ann Azevedo / TechCrunch:  Robinhood opens a waitlist for Robinhood Retirement, claiming zero minimums and the “first and only” IRA with a 1% match on every eligible dollar contributed
10:54 AM  •
Financial Times:  A spreadsheet SBF used in November lists nearly 500 alleged VC investments by Alameda, including in Circle, Genesis, Sky Mavis, Paxos, StarkWare, and Anchorage
9:50 AM  •
Aisha Malik / TechCrunch:  Snapchat partners with Adidas to launch a Bitmoji Fashion Drop, giving users a limited time to buy an item they can only acquire with Snap Tokens, a first
9:45 AM  •
Javier Espinoza / Financial Times:  Sources: Amazon reaches a deal with the EU to end two antitrust investigations, increasing visibility of rivals' products and adding offers for non-Prime orders
9:38 AM  •
Sam Schechner / Wall Street Journal:  Sources: EU privacy regulators rule that Meta's TOS should not require that users agree to personalized ads based on their online activity; Meta can appeal
9:35 AM  •
Ben Schoon / 9to5Google:  Amazon updates its Luna game streaming service to let users play Ubisoft PC games they own without having to pay the $17.99 per month subscription
9:30 AM  •
Steven Levy / Wired:  A look at Tony Fadell's new Ledger Stax crypto hardware wallet with an E Ink touchscreen, manufactured by Foxconn for Ledger and debuting on December 6 for $279
9:25 AM  •
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:  The US Army awards $49.9M to autonomous truck startup Kodiak Robotics for self-driving vehicles for reconnaissance, surveillance, and other “high-risk” missions
9:15 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Oslo-based grocery delivery startup Oda raised ~$151M from Kinnevik, Verdane, and Summa Equity at a ~$353M post-money valuation, down from ~$900M in April 2021
8:55 AM  •
John Seabrook / New Yorker:  How a young generation of musicians uses TikTok, amassing huge followings but making little money, while some older musicians remain opposed to the platform
8:30 AM  •
Sam Kessler / CoinDesk:  After criticism from users, ConsenSys revises MetaMask's data collection practices, including stopping logging IP addresses directly alongside transaction data
7:55 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:  Israel-based NeuReality, which is developing low-cost and power-efficient AI inferencing chips, raised a $35M Series A led by Samsung Ventures and others
7:25 AM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  YouTube begins rolling out Twitch-like YouTube Emotes, available in the emoji picker across comment sections and live chats, initially focused on gaming
7:20 AM  •
Newley Purnell / Wall Street Journal:  Hong Kong officials and legislators criticize Google over a pro-democracy song, “Glory to Hong Kong”, appearing among the top results for the national anthem
7:05 AM  •
Catherine Shu / TechCrunch:  Singapore-based Osome, a “super app” for corporate services, raised a $25M Series B, after a $16M Series A in June 2021, and says 11K+ companies are its clients
6:55 AM  •
Joshua Oliver / Financial Times:  Filing: US bank Silvergate confirms processing wire transfers for traders on Alameda, claiming to have conducted “extensive due diligence” on FTX and Alameda
6:45 AM  •
Drew FitzGerald / Wall Street Journal:  Verizon replaces consumer unit chief Manon Brouillette, who joined from Vidéotron in July 2021, with CEO Hans Vestberg; Verizon's stock is down ~29% in 2022
6:30 AM  •
David Pan / Bloomberg:  Kaiko: as FTX disintegrated, trading volume at the largest crypto exchanges jumped 23% to $705B in November, mainly driven by a 30% jump on Binance
6:15 AM  •
Adi Robertson / The Verge:  Meta's Oversight Board releases a report on the controversial cross-check moderation system, citing “shortcomings” and calling for “radically” more transparency
6:00 AM  •
Brad Smith / Wall Street Journal:  Microsoft's president discusses the FTC reportedly blocking the Activision Blizzard acquisition and says the company offered Sony a 10-year Call of Duty deal
5:50 AM  •
Jon Porter / The Verge:  Google brings continuous scrolling to desktop search in English in the US, loading six pages of results, after a similar change on mobile in October 2021
5:45 AM  •
Matt Levine / Bloomberg:  Unpacking the 2022 crypto credit crisis and its parallels with the 2008 financial crisis by analyzing Three Arrows Capital's collapse, FTX's implosion, and more
5:40 AM  •
Financial Times:  TSMC plans to more than triple its Arizona investment to $40B, building a fab for 3nm chips, set to open in 2026, and making 4nm chips in its fab for 5nm chips
5:35 AM  •
Yuka Hayashi / Wall Street Journal:  The EU and the US agree to coordinate chip subsidy programs, including reciprocal information sharing and an early warning system for supply chain disruptions
5:30 AM  •
Reuters:  Goldman Sachs plans to spend tens of millions of dollars to buy or invest in crypto companies after FTX's collapse hit valuations and dampened investor interest
5:25 AM  •
Financial Times:  Sources: the UK Treasury finalizes expanded crypto regulation plans, including letting the FCA restrict how companies run and advertise, after FTX's implosion
5:20 AM  •
Tim Hardwick / MacRumors:  Apple launches its Self Service Repair program in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, the first expansion outside the US
5:15 AM  •
Jon Swartz / MarketWatch:  Meta threatens to consider removing news from its apps if Congress passes Senator Klobuchar's “ill-considered” Journalism Competition and Preservation Act
2:45 AM  •
Paul Sawers / TechCrunch:  London-based Chattermill, which analyzes customer feedback data across channels to give companies actionable insights, raised a $26M Series B led by Beringea
1:55 AM  •
Pranav Dixit / BuzzFeed News:  Some laid-off tech workers on H-1B visas from Meta, Shopify, Twitter, and other tech companies say their employers did not provide adequate immigration support
12:45 AM  •
Mehnaz Yasmin / Reuters:  E-commerce marketing startup Rokt raised a secondary funding round at a $2.4B valuation led by Square Peg, up from $1.95B in December 2021, ahead of its IPO

December 5, 2022

11:35 PM  •
Rebecca Bellan / TechCrunch:  Uber reaches a $10M settlement with Chicago for listing restaurants in Uber Eats and Postmates without the owners' consent and charging excess commission fees
10:30 PM  •
Blake Brittain / Reuters:  SCOTUS declines to hear an appeal by Virginia-based Centripetal Networks to reinstate a $2.75B award to be paid by Cisco for infringing on cybersecurity patents
7:05 PM  •
Kenrick Cai / Forbes:  Runway, one of the two startups behind Stable Diffusion, raised a $50M Series C led by Felicis Ventures; sources say Runway has a $500M valuation and a ~$1M ARR
6:30 PM  •
Rachael Levy / Reuters:  Sources: the US Department of Agriculture is investigating Neuralink for potential animal welfare violations after staff complaints over rushed animal testing
6:15 PM  •
Sam Altman / @sama:  OpenAI CEO Sam Altman says ChatGPT crossed 1M users in five days and the company will monetize the tool eventually as the compute costs are “eye-watering”
3:40 PM  •
Paul Thurrott / Thurrott:  Google releases a Pixel update, adding its VPN and Clear Calling to Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, automatic speaker labels to Recorder for Pixel 6 and up, and more
3:30 PM  •
Rebekah Valentine / IGN:  Microsoft plans to increase the price of new, first-party Xbox Series X and S games to $70 in 2023, after prices remained steady at $60 since the Xbox 360 era
2:15 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Texas' crypto mining boom, built on incentives like cheap power and favorable regulations, looks like a bust after soaring energy costs and crashing coin prices
1:25 PM  •
Nikhilesh De / CoinDesk:  Crypto lender Nexo aims to exit the US in the coming months; US users in eight states can no longer use its Earn Interest Product and signups are halted
12:05 PM  •
Ellen Thomas / Insider:  Memo: Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield plans to leave Salesforce in January 2023, saying the move “has nothing to do” with Bret Taylor's departure
11:40 AM  •
Ina Fried / Axios:  Unlike Getty Images, Adobe plans to sell stock images made by artists using generative AI tools like DALL-E, but requires that the images be labeled as such
10:45 AM  •
Ashley Gold / Axios:  Following tests on Instagram, Meta begins testing age verification tools on Facebook Dating, letting users upload IDs or video selfies screened by partner Yoti
10:30 AM  •
Financial Times:  How Hong Kong-based Genesis Block, part-owned by Alameda, helped FTX access hard cash and onboard wealthy clients
9:45 AM  •
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:  A look at the effects of ChatGPT, which has caused an explosion of interest in OpenAI's capabilities and led to questions about AI's impending impact on society
9:30 AM  •
Tim Copeland / The Block:  Orthogonal Trading defaults on eight loans to lending protocol Maple Finance, totaling $36M, or ~30% of active loans on the protocol, likely due to FTX exposure
8:55 AM  •
NBC News:  Secret Service report: China-linked APT41 hackers stole $20M+ in US COVID-19 relief benefits, the first known pandemic fraud tied to state-affiliated hackers
8:40 AM  •
Financial Times:  Seeking to emulate BlackRock's Aladdin portfolio management system, State Street, Pimco, Amundi, and others are creating their own digital investment platforms
8:25 AM  •
Parikshit Mishra / CoinDesk:  USDC stablecoin developer Circle terminates its plan to go public via a SPAC merger with Concord Acquisition Corp., announced in July 2021, by mutual agreement
7:35 AM  •
James Vincent / The Verge:  Stack Overflow temporarily bans users from sharing responses generated by ChatGPT, pending a final ruling; the site's mods say most ChatGPT answers are wrong
7:10 AM  •
Stephanie Murray / The Block:  SBF claims FTX CEO John Ray is not working with him, not replying to messages, and made false statements, while dodging questions on Alameda and loaning funds
6:40 AM  •
Simon Sharwood / The Register:  Rackspace takes down its hosted Microsoft Exchange services and confirms a “security incident”, causing an “extended outage”; customers complain of poor support
5:40 AM  •
Dan Milmo / The Guardian:  A survey of 8,000 young people in nine European countries finds 34% say they have pirated content, 27% have trolled someone, 22% have incited violence, and more
5:25 AM  •
Ankush Khardori / New York Magazine:  Unlike Bernie Madoff, SBF has not confessed to criminal conduct, arguing sloppiness and missteps caused FTX's collapse, meaning a US prosecution could take time
4:40 AM  •
Christopher Byrd / New Yorker:  An interview with Cory Doctorow on lessons from science fiction, Big Tech's comeuppance, AI dangers, surveillance capitalism, smart contracts, dApps, and more
2:10 AM  •
Reuters:  Source: Foxconn plans to resume full production in its Zhengzhou plant in late December or early January, after worker unrest; November revenue fell 11.4% YoY
1:40 AM  •
David C. Brock / CHM:  A look at Adobe's PostScript, a desktop publishing programming language launched in 1984, as The Computer History Museum releases its source code

December 4, 2022

5:55 PM  •
Lauren Goode / Wired:  An interview with Affirm co-founder Max Levchin on the US CFPB's probe into BNPL services, issues with credit cards, the current economic environment, and more
1:35 PM  •
Joshua Oliver / Financial Times:  Sam Bankman-Fried admits involvement in two of Alameda's largest uses of funds: spending $3B to buy out Binance's FTX stake and pouring $4B into venture capital
11:10 AM  •
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:  Kuo: mass shipments of Apple's AR/VR headset may be delayed until H2 2023, from the previously estimated Q2 2023, due to “software-related issues”
7:05 AM  •
Joanna Glasner / Crunchbase News:  Autonomous trucking software company Embark has lost ~98% of its market cap, or ~$5B, since going public via a SPAC merger in November 2021
2:00 AM  •
Matt Von Hippel / Quanta Magazine:  A look at FORM software, released in the 1980s for particle physics calculation, which is maintained almost entirely by a retiree and is at risk of obsolescence
12:40 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Boston- and London-based health and nutrition app Zoe raised a £25M Series B extension led by Accomplice at a £209M valuation, after a £48M Series B in May 2021

December 3, 2022

11:55 PM  •
Shaji Mathew / Bloomberg:  Riyadh-based food delivery service Jahez plans to acquire local rival The Chefz for ~$173M in cash and stock after Saudi Arabia blocked Delivery Hero's takeover
9:20 PM  •
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:  Elon Musk says Apple has “fully resumed” advertising on Twitter, after claiming on November 28 that Apple had “mostly stopped” ads on the social network
7:10 PM  •
Bloomberg:  An interview with the co-founder of Vietnamese unicorn VNG, which offers games and services like Zalo, a messaging app that had 74M+ MAUs in Vietnam in February
4:15 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  A look at Roblox's Robux, which some kids prefer to get for chores or as an allowance since they can control purchasing decisions, and other virtual currencies
1:45 PM  •
Patrick McGee / Financial Times:  Tim Cook was able to placate Elon Musk within two days, but the chaos at Foxconn's “iPhone City” could be the greatest test of Cook's diplomatic skills yet
11:55 AM  •
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:  Elon Musk thinks the “Twitter Files” detail Twitter staff nefariously helping Joe Biden, but all they show is a team debating a difficult moderation decision
10:55 AM  •
Lydia O'Connor / HuffPost:  Twitter reinstated the account of Andrew Anglin, the neo-Nazi who founded the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer, after originally banning him in 2013
10:10 AM  •
Financial Times:  Sources: Winklevoss twins' crypto exchange Gemini is trying to recover $900M owed by Genesis Global and Genesis' parent company Digital Currency Group
6:10 AM  •
Samriddhi Sakunia / Rest of World:  A look at the use of WhatsApp in Indian state Gujarat's elections, as political parties deploy thousands of “digital warriors” to spam the “people's feed”
2:05 AM  •
Bill Gifford / Bloomberg:  A profile of Duolingo, which has almost 15M DAUs, up 51% YoY, and 3.7M paying subscribers, as the company expects 2022 revenue to pass $365M, up 45% from 2021
1:50 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  A look at Apple's efforts to reduce its dependence on Foxconn; sources say Apple wants suppliers in China, Vietnam, and India to actively plan product assembly
1:20 AM  •
Reuters:  Twitter's VP of trust and safety Ella Irwin says it is focusing on automation to moderate content, favoring curbs on distribution rather than outright removals
12:45 AM  •
New York Times:  Sources: Twitter's US ad revenue was 80% below internal expectations for the week of the World Cup's November 20 start, as it keeps missing weekly ad targets
12:25 AM  •
Reuters:  Germany says it is not planning a blanket ban on telecom equipment made by Chinese companies, but will continue making such decisions on a case-by-case basis

December 2, 2022

11:50 PM  •
Jacob Bernstein / New York Times:  Inside the Crypties, an awards ceremony calling itself the Oscars for Web 3.0, with awards for game of the year, investor of the year, social impact, and more
9:30 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: FTX's derivatives exchange LedgerX is for sale, attracting interest from Blockchain.com, Gemini, and others; Nov. 17 filing: LedgerX had ~$303M in cash
8:51 PM  •
Todd Spangler / Variety:  Matt Taibbi posts internal Twitter documents showing the company's 2020 debate over the handling of content related to NY Post's Hunter Biden laptop story
8:10 PM  •
Reuters:  A US judge dismisses an indictment against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, formally ending a criminal sanctions case that strained US-China relations
6:50 PM  •
Aidan Ryan / The Information:  Sources: ex-FTX US President Brett Harrison is raising money for a startup to build crypto trading software for big investors, seeking $6M at a $60M valuation
5:20 PM  •
New York Times:  China is using phone trackers and other tools to track protestors, the first time mass surveillance has been directed at middle-class people in affluent cities
3:45 PM  •
Adam Morgan McCarthy / The Block:  Mike Novogratz's Galaxy Digital agrees to buy high-security custodian GK8 from bankrupt crypto lender Celsius; Celsius acquired GK8 for $115M in late 2021
2:25 PM  •
Jonathan Vanian / CNBC:  Amazon's senior VP of global media and entertainment Jeff Blackburn will leave in early 2023; Blackburn left Amazon in February 2021 and rejoined in May 2021
1:35 PM  •
Ivan Mehta / TechCrunch:  Google says it is testing end-to-end encryption for RCS-based group chats on its Messages app
1:05 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Internal doc: Alameda and FTX's largest venture bet was Bitcoin mining company Genesis Digital, investing a total of $1.15B between August 2021 and April 2022
12:50 PM  •
Kristin Robinson / Billboard:  Triller removes music catalogs for UMG, WMG, Sony Music, and Merlin after Sony filed a lawsuit claiming Triller failed to make payments worth “millions”
11:45 AM  •
Jane Lanhee Lee / Reuters:  Reach Power, which is developing products to wirelessly transmit electricity to power IoT and other devices, raised a $30M Series B led by DCVC
11:00 AM  •
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:  AWS launches Application Composer, a low-code tool for visually designing and building serverless applications with a drag-and-drop interface
10:50 AM  •
Newley Purnell / Wall Street Journal:  Ye's Twitter account is suspended after he tweeted a picture of a swastika merged with a Star of David; Elon Musk replied, saying he violated Twitter rules
10:25 AM  •
Natasha Mascarenhas / TechCrunch:  Sources: BloomTech, previously Lambda School, is cutting half of staff, or an estimated 88 employees, its third round of known layoffs since the pandemic began
10:05 AM  •
CNBC:  Filing: DOJ requests the appointment of an independent examiner to probe “substantial and serious allegations of fraud, dishonesty” that led to FTX's bankruptcy
9:25 AM  •
Financial Times:  Sources: Alameda sheltered FTX from an up to $1B loss in April 2021 after an FTX trader's MobileCoin trade went bad, wiping out Alameda's 2021 profits
8:45 AM  •
Olaf Storbeck / Financial Times:  The trial of three Wirecard executives has begun, seeking to understand how the €24B startup imploded in June 2020, one of the largest frauds in German history
8:20 AM  •
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic:  A look at some implications for generative AI: “answer engines” replacing search engines, AI mastering cognitive tasks by surveilling how experts work, and more
7:35 AM  •
Richard Waters / Financial Times:  Palmer Luckey's Anduril, which builds autonomous systems for the US military, raised nearly $1.5B at a $7B pre-money valuation, up from $4.2B in June 2021
7:15 AM  •
Patience Haggin / Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Twitter offers advertisers generous incentives, including matching $500K to $1M in spending in 2022, in a bid to jump-start its faltering business
5:40 AM  •
Olivia Solon / Bloomberg:  TikTok and Bumble plan to use StopNCII.org's database of hashes of nude images and videos to block revenge porn; Meta has been using it since last year
12:47 AM  •
Elon Musk / @elonmusk:  @TheeAleexJ @kanyewest I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.
12:00 AM  •
Anil Ananthaswamy / Nature:  DeepMind unveils DeepNash, an AI agent that matches human experts in the board game Stratego by combining game theory and model-free deep reinforcement learning

December 1, 2022

10:05 PM  •
Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez / Fortune:  Stripe debuts a customizable fiat-to-crypto payments widget for Web3 devs to directly embed into their apps; Stripe to handle KYC checks, fraud, and compliance
8:45 PM  •
Michael Sheetz / CNBC:  SpaceX gets FCC approval to deploy up to 7,500 next-generation Starlink internet satellites in low Earth orbit; SpaceX had applied for nearly 30K satellites

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