October 14, 2019, 5:45 PM

October 14, 2019

4:55 PM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft debuts the preview of its Project xCloud game streaming service for Xbox users in the US, UK, and Korea, initially with four games for Android devices
4:00 PM  •
Anna Menin / CityAM:  KKR acquires a majority stake in UK's largest residential gigabit broadband provider Hyperoptic, source says for £500M
3:34 PM  •
Mohit Kumar / The Hacker News:  A flaw in Sudo, which is installed on almost every Linux OS, could let users run commands as “root” even when they are restricted; patched version now available
2:30 PM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Reliance Jio unveils an AI-powered Video Call Assistant service that will allow businesses to automate their customer support and other communications
2:00 PM  •
Will Oremus / OneZero:  Inside Pinterest's efforts to avoid rivals' algorithm-related issues as it rolls out Home Feed Tuner, which lets users edit their activity history and interests
1:35 PM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft is testing content filters for messages on Xbox Live to block toxicity, initially with four levels of text-based filtering; voice filters are planned
1:30 PM  •
Saritha Rai / Bloomberg:  Source: Paytm is close to raising $2B in funding from Ant Financial and SoftBank, at a valuation of $16B
1:20 PM  •
Jason Del Rey / Vox:  Amazon turned off its Add-On program in recent months, making low-priced items, as little as $0.75, available to Prime customers with free one-day shipping
1:10 PM  •
Daniel Lippman / Politico:  Sources: Zuckerberg recently hosted off-the-record dinners with conservative figures like Tucker Carlson and Lindsey Graham to discuss free speech, partnerships
12:51 PM  •
Rene Ritchie / iMore:  Apple says its Tencent partnership to flag malicious sites for Safari users only applies to mainland China; hashes of URL prefixes and IP addresses are shared
12:21 PM  •
Riley MacLeod / Kotaku:  Fortnite has been down for nearly a day, as players speculate about what's next after having their maps sucked into a black hole, following the Season 10 event
9:55 AM  •
David Pan / CoinDesk:  China Construction Bank says its blockchain-based platform for factoring and forfaiting services has processed $53B+ in transactions since April 2018
8:50 AM  •
Daniel Michaels / Wall Street Journal:  Universities across Europe are intensifying efforts to create companies around tech developed in their labs, mirroring the model pioneered by US universities
7:05 AM  •
Financial Times:  US private equity group Thoma Bravo agrees to buy British cybersecurity company Sophos for £3.1B
6:30 AM  •
Tom Murphy / Associated Press:  A look at US-based startups like CirrusMD and 98point6, which let users seek treatment from doctors for minor injuries or illnesses over text-based online chats
12:35 AM  •
Mihai M. / SamMobile:  Samsung's Galaxy Fold Premier Service goes live in the US, offering 24-hour support and assistance via phone or video chat for Galaxy Fold owners

October 13, 2019

8:35 PM  •
MacRumors:  Kuo: “iPhone SE 2” will have 3GB RAM, 64GB and 128GB storage options, but won't have 3D Touch, and will be priced from $399
6:10 PM  •
Horace He / The Gradient:  ML frameworks in 2019: analysis of AI research papers shows TensorFlow is the platform of choice in industry, but most researchers are now using PyTorch
3:15 PM  •
Matthew Green / A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering:  Safari on iOS, which only used Google Safe Browsing for malicious site warnings earlier, now says it may also use Tencent Safe Browsing, which can log IPs
1:00 PM  •
Sheraz Sadiq / KQED:  SF proposes an Office of Emerging Technology to evaluate, issue permits for new devices and services that operate on the city's streets and other infrastructure
11:15 AM  •
Noam Scheiber / New York Times:  A book based on labor ideas from the early 20th century has provided a blueprint for workers at Google, Uber, and Kickstarter to organize without a formal union
8:10 AM  •
Columbia Journalism Review:  While tech journalists recently have embraced a watchdog role, they could be even more useful by focusing on solutions rather than palace intrigue and villains
5:05 AM  •
Kaitlyn Tiffany / The Atlantic:  Newsletter platforms like Substack, which recently raised a $15.3M funding round, offer some writers a sustainable business model, but others see a bubble
2:00 AM  •
Jay Peters / The Verge:  What to expect from Google on Oct. 15: Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, a faster Google Assistant, a more affordable Pixelbook, new Pixel Buds, and additional devices

October 12, 2019

11:50 PM  •
Anna Fifield / Washington Post:  Study: the Android version of a Chinese government propaganda app enables authorities to retrieve messages, photos, contacts, and even record audio
10:25 PM  •
Makena Kelly / The Verge:  Tencent-owned Riot says its broadcasters shouldn't discuss politics and religion on air; Epic, in which Tencent has a 40% stake, says political speech is OK
8:30 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Google bans payday loan apps with an APR of 36% or higher from the Play Store, with praise from an African-American advocacy group that pressed it for the ban
5:25 PM  •
David Uberti / VICE:  Twitch helped limit the reach of German synagogue gunman's video by uploading the video's “hash” to the database of Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism
2:50 PM  •
New York Times:  Sources: Bill Gates met Jeffrey Epstein on many occasions, beginning in 2011, after Epstein's conviction for sex crimes; Gates says it was an error in judgment
12:35 PM  •
Nicole Carpenter / Polygon:  Gamers upset with Blizzard are protesting by turning Mei, a Chinese Overwatch character, into a pro-democracy symbol, to get Blizzard's games banned in China
11:05 AM  •
Abner Li / 9to5Google:  Marketing docs for Pixel 4 and 4 XL confirm 5.7" and 6.3" displays, with 90Hz “Smooth Display”, 12MP and 16MP rear cameras, and Snapdragon 855 with 6GB of RAM
9:45 AM  •
Kevin Roose / New York Times:  Profile of PewDiePie covering his relationships with YouTube and mainstream media, as he tries to shed his reputation as a far-right sympathizer
7:10 AM  •
Tyler Hall /  Apple's insistence on unnecessarily tying software releases to yearly hardware upgrades is a broken cycle for a services company; it needs to be more agile
4:35 AM  •
Alex Konrad / Forbes:  Profile of BoxGroup, one of New York's most prolific seed stage investment firms, which is taking outside investors for the first time for two new $82.5M funds
2:00 AM  •
Rachel Monroe / The Atlantic:  Stories of three fundraising campaigns that illustrate the complexities of the GoFundMe ecosystem, where 50M people have donated $5B+ through 2017
12:40 AM  •
Dustin Gardiner / San Francisco Chronicle:  California passes law, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, to block police from using facial recognition tech in body cams; OR and NH have passed similar laws

October 11, 2019

11:55 PM  •
Brian Fung / CNN:  Elizabeth Warren targets Facebook's ad policy of exempting ads by politicians from third-party fact-checking by running a Facebook ad with a clear falsehood
10:35 PM  •
BuzzFeed News:  Sources: in early 2018, Eddy Cue and Morgan Wandell, Apple's international TV lead, asked some Apple TV+ show creators to avoid portraying China in a poor light
9:40 PM  •
Nick Statt / The Verge:  Blizzard says its decision over the Hearthstone controversy had nothing to do with China, reduces player's suspension to six months and restores his prize money
9:15 PM  •
Andy Greenberg / Wired:  Researcher shows how spies, criminals, or saboteurs can implant a chip in enterprise IT equipment to allow stealthy backdoor access using cheap $200 equipment
7:20 PM  •
Elizabeth Culliford / Reuters:  The Biden campaign asked Google and Twitter to take down Trump's misleading campaign ad, in addition to asking Facebook, and both companies refused the request
6:55 PM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  China-based Club Factory, an e-commerce site for beauty and lifestyle items which claims to have ~70M users, of which ~40M live in India, raises $100M Series D
6:20 PM  •
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:  Sources: Nike acquires TraceMe, which wants to connect celebs with “superfans”; TraceMe was founded by NFL star Russell Wilson and backed by Jeff Bezos, others
5:12 PM  •
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:  SEC says it has obtained a temporary restraining order against Telegram's $1.7B TON cryptocurrency ICO
4:12 PM  •
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:  Visa, Mastercard, eBay, and Stripe say they are exiting Facebook's Libra Association, following PayPal, which announced its withdrawal last week
3:48 PM  •
Financial Times:  Mastercard, Visa, eBay and Stripe quit Facebook's Libra
3:30 PM  •
Shwanika Narayan / San Francisco Chronicle:  California AG issues draft rules outlining how businesses should stay compliant with the state's new privacy law due to take effect January 1
3:00 PM  •
BuzzFeed News:  Amazon cancels contracts with three delivery firms, after report about shoddy working conditions and fatal accidents at Amazon's subcontracted delivery network
1:50 PM  •
Fred Pennic /  Papa, a “grandkids on-demand” platform that connects seniors with college students to provide companionship and help with home chores, raises $10M Series A
1:10 PM  •
Daniela Flamini / Poynter:  What can researchers find among the 32 million URLs Facebook just released to Social Science One?
12:50 PM  •
Lesley Goldberg / Hollywood Reporter:  Apple launches an internal studio, allowing it to own its content; the first series will be Masters of the Air, a follow-up to HBO's Band of Brothers
12:12 PM  •
Ryan Mac / BuzzFeed News:  Source: Andy Rubin left Playground Global, the venture firm he founded, in May, with a payout of more than $9M
11:35 AM  •
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:  A look at Netflix's kids programming and the creators it has hired to develop family friendly offerings, as it prepares for the gradual loss of Disney content
10:40 AM  •
FinSMEs:  Citrine, which wants to use AI and materials-specific data handling to accelerate the development cycle of materials, raises $20M Series B
9:40 AM  •
Kate Conger / New York Times:  Uber buys grocery delivery startup Cornershop, which operates in Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Canada; Mexico blocked Walmart's acquisition of Cornershop in June
8:45 AM  •
Kareem Anderson /  Mixer co-founder Matt Salsamendi leaves the platform after last week's departure of co-founder James Boehm; VP for Xbox Live and Mixer Mike Ybarra has also left
7:30 AM  •
Martin Shelton / Freedom of the Press:  G Suite's lack of end-to-end encryption means US agencies could force Google to hand over unreleased reporting, even unpublished info about journalistic sources
4:30 AM  •
M. Sriram / Livemint:  India's DealShare, which uses social media to offer group-buying discounts on household items, raises $11M Series A led by Matrix Partners, Falcon Edge Capital
2:35 AM  •
Stephen Hall / 9to5Google:  Hands-on with leaked Google's Pixelbook Go laptop: 8GB-16GB RAM, 64GB-256GB storage, 13.3-inch Full HD/4K display, 3.5mm headphone jack, and 2MP camera
1:15 AM  •
Danny O'Brien / Electronic Frontier Foundation:  China is now projecting its Internet power abroad using state-sponsored DDoS attacks, malware, client-side filtering and surveillance, economic sanctions, more
12:50 AM  •
Sam Byford / The Verge:  Twitter releases new Catalyst app for macOS Catalina, now available to download in the Mac App Store

October 10, 2019

11:05 PM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  Standard Cognition, an AI-powered checkout company, buys DeepMagic, an autonomous retail kiosk startup, to better compete with Amazon Go
9:40 PM  •
CNBC:  SAP CEO Bill McDermott steps down after over nine years, will be an adviser until year end; board members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein appointed co-CEOs
8:35 PM  •
Elizabeth Montalbano / Threatpost:  Researchers identify zero-day vulnerability in iTunes for Windows, now patched, that was exploited by attackers to deliver BitPaymer/iEncrypt ransomware
8:30 PM  •
Lauren Goode / Wired:  The Essential Gem's unveiling resurfaces allegations against Andy Rubin, making clear that it's becoming hard to disassociate products from their makers
6:45 PM  •
Charles Duhigg / New Yorker:  A deep dive into Amazon's enormous growth over the past decade as it tries to maintain its lean management culture and prepares to fend off regulators
5:40 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Parsley Health raises $26M Series B to roll out its personalized telemedicine service to all 50 states in the next six months, starting with NY and CA
3:30 PM  •
Kate Clark / TechCrunch:  Lattice, an employee performance and engagement management platform, raises $25M Series C at a valuation of around $200M, six months after a $15M Series B
3:00 PM  •
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:  Tim Cook's claim in an internal email that the banned app in Hong Kong “was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence” doesn't add up
2:15 PM  •
Mary Ann Azevedo / Crunchbase News:  RigUp, a marketplace for on-demand services and skilled labor in the energy industry, raises $300M Series D led by a16z, report says at a valuation of $1.9B
1:50 PM  •
Juli Clover / MacRumors:  Apple adds a new option in iOS 13.2 beta that allows users to delete their Siri and Dictation history and opt out of sharing audio recordings
1:35 PM  •
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:  Nerd Street Gamers raises $12M Series A from Five Below and others, to build esports Localhost facilities that house leagues, training camps, and tournaments
1:25 PM  •
Mike Wheatley / SiliconANGLE:  Facebook unveils Captum, a PyTorch tool to help developers understand decisions made by ML models, adds PyTorch support for app deployment on iOS and Android
1:00 PM  •
Khari Johnson / VentureBeat:  Facebook launches PyTorch 1.3, the latest version of its open-source deep learning library with quantization and support for use of Google Cloud TPUs
12:35 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Pinterest says its use of AI to identify and hide content that displays or encourages self-injury reduced reports of self-harm content by 88%
12:00 PM  •
Kirsten Korosec / TechCrunch:  Revel, a shared electric moped startup operating in DC and NYC, raises $27.6M Series A led by Ibex Investors, wants to expand to about 10 cities by mid-2020
11:10 AM  •
Chris O'Brien / VentureBeat:  Sweden-based Einride, which is developing autonomous, electric pods for logistics companies and supermarkets, raises $25M Series A
11:00 AM  •
Daniel Roberts / Yahoo Finance:  CFTC chairman says ether is a commodity, and thus falls under the jurisdiction of the CFTC, anticipates ether futures trading on US markets in the near future
10:30 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Clari, which develops an end-to-end sales analytics and forecasting platform for enterprises, raises $60M Series D led by Sapphire Ventures
10:12 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Google removed a game from the Play store that allowed players to role-play as Hong Kong protesters, says it violated rules related to “sensitive events”
9:20 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Grammarly, which provides AI-based grammar and spell-checking tools, raises $90M led by General Catalyst at a $1B+ valuation, bringing its total raised to $200M
8:45 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: workers in India and Romania review clips captured by customers' Amazon Cloud Cams, which are then used to train AI algorithms to detect threats
7:40 AM  •
Pranav Dixit / BuzzFeed News:  India's National Crime Records Bureau is inviting bids to create a national automated facial recognition system, raising concerns among privacy activists
4:55 AM  •
Michael del Castillo / Forbes:  UNICEF's Office of Innovation launches crypto fund for bitcoin and ether donations, becoming the first UN agency to hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency
12:46 AM  •
Jack Nicas / New York Times:  Apple removes app from the App Store that tracked Hong Kong police and protests after pressure from China, says it “violates our guidelines and local laws”

October 9, 2019

11:55 PM  •
Mark Kern / @grummz:  [Thread] Former World of Warcraft developer lead denounces Blizzard, says Chinese investment in game companies is silencing voices for freedom and democracy
11:20 PM  •
Paul Alcorn / Tom's Hardware:  Intel says it is discontinuing its Kaby Lake-G processors that used AMD graphics
10:45 PM  •
Kirsten Korosec / TechCrunch:  Waymo sends members of its early rider program an email saying they could be matched with a fully driverless car soon, and if so, the Waymo app will notify them
9:10 PM  •
Jacqueline Beauchere / Microsoft on the Issues:  Microsoft study finds 42% of teens concerned by their parents posting about them online, 66% report being victim to online risks like credit fraud, sexual abuse
8:10 PM  •
Mitchel Broussard / MacRumors:  Apple starts selling Microsoft's Xbox Wireless Controller on its online store for the first time
6:30 PM  •
Casey Newton / The Verge:  Facebook's choice to allow political ads with misinformation, while making ad details public, is not a perfect decision but it is a sensible and democratic one

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