Techmeme
April 16, 2021, 9:50 AM
 

April 16, 2021

8:45 AM  •
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:  Ireland-based digital rights group begins “mass action” to sue Facebook over 2019 breach, citing the right to monetary compensation set out in the GDPR
7:30 AM  •
The Guardian:  Facebook planned to remove a network of fake accounts that artificially inflated the popularity of an MP in India, until it realized it was for a BJP politician
5:55 AM  •
David Folkenflik / NPR:  Officials say USAGM CEO Michael Pack and others pushed to subsidize software built by Falun Gong adherents, diverting OTF money from other tech for dissidents
2:45 AM  •
James Rundle / Wall Street Journal:  For the first time, NATO wargames include scenarios exploring the impact of widespread cyberattacks on financial infrastructure

April 15, 2021

11:10 PM  •
Mars W. Mosqueda Jr / DealStreetAsia:  Netstars, a payments aggregator and fintech company, raises $60.6M led by KKR; Netstars' StarPay is used by 280K+ merchants in Japan
10:48 PM  •
Naaman Zhou / The Guardian:  Australian Federal Court rules Google misled Android users into thinking it would not collect their location data when they turned location history off
10:00 PM  •
FinSMEs:  Cart.com, which provides end-to-end software and services to scale e-commerce businesses, raises $25M Series A led by Mercury Fund and Arsenal Growth
9:40 PM  •
Sean Hollister / The Verge:  Apple's App Store hosted kids' games that became crypto-based casinos if launched from some non-US locations
8:40 PM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Walmart-owned Flipkart says it will acquire India-based online travel and hotel ticketing company Cleartrip; source says the deal values Cleartrip at about $40M
7:35 PM  •
Anton Shilov / AnandTech:  Chip fab equipment sales hit $71.19B in 2020, up 19% YoY, with Chinese firms spending $18.72B, up 39% YoY, according to semiconductor industry association SEMI
7:15 PM  •
Karen Freifeld / Reuters:  GOP lawmakers Rep. McCaul and Sen. Cotton ask Commerce Secretary to require licenses to sell chip-making tools to any Chinese firm making chips at 14nm or below
6:40 PM  •
Patrick Howell O'Neill / MIT Technology Review:  A look at Positive Technologies, a Russian cybersecurity firm sanctioned by the US, which sources say provides hacking tools and ops support for Russian spies
5:45 PM  •
Catalin Cimpanu / The Record:  Google's Project Zero updates its vulnerability disclosure policy to include a 30-day cushion before publishing bug details to give users time to apply patches
4:55 PM  •
Aparna Narayanan / Investor's Business Daily:  TuSimple, which is developing autonomous trucks, closes flat in its trading debut, after raising $1.35B in its IPO, giving it a market cap of ~$8.5B
4:50 PM  •
Megan Graham / CNBC:  KKR-backed mobile gaming company AppLovin closes down 18.5% on its first day of trading, after raising $2B in its IPO at a valuation of $28.6B
4:10 PM  •
Reuters:  Massachusetts seeks revocation of Robinhood's broker-dealer license, charging that it encourages inexperienced investors to place risky trades without limits
3:25 PM  •
Ashley Carman / The Verge:  Facebook's own ads that display the number of Facebook Dating users in a specific region show the service may have far fewer users than competitors like Tinder
2:30 PM  •
Cameron Faulkner / The Verge:  Oculus says developers can now sell recurring subscriptions to their Quest apps, and each subscription will have a free trial period
1:35 PM  •
Marcella McCarthy / TechCrunch:  C2i Genomics, which claims its software can accurately detect residual cancers by analysing genome sequences, raises $100M Series B led by Casdin Capital
1:05 PM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft launches a Kids Mode for Edge, with two age range options of between 5 to 8 years or 9 to 12 years
12:50 PM  •
Aria Alamalhodaei / TechCrunch:  Xwing, which is developing software to enable pilotless flight of small passenger aircraft, raises $40M at a $400M post-money valuation
12:35 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  FBI Director Wray says social media companies play a key role in disseminating the messaging of domestic violent extremists, similar to foreign disinformation
12:30 PM  •
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:  Chili Piper, which makes appointment scheduling software for sales teams, raises $33M Series B led by Tiger Global, bringing its total raised to $54M
12:25 PM  •
Diane Bartz / Reuters:  House Judiciary Committee formally approves a 450-page report accusing Big Tech of buying and crushing smaller rivals, a potential blueprint for legislation
12:15 PM  •
Ryan Browne / CNBC:  In its first update as a public company, Deliveroo says orders rose 100%+ YoY to £71M in Q1 and total transactions rose 130% YoY to £1.65B
12:05 PM  •
Matthew Boyle / Bloomberg:  Walmart says it is investing in GM's self-driving unit Cruise, bringing its latest round to $2.75B, up from $2B in January when Microsoft invested
12:00 PM  •
Sam Machkovech / Ars Technica:  Executives from Intel, Nvidia, and TSMC say the global chip shortage will likely continue at least into 2022 and maybe into 2023
11:50 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  UserZoom, which is used by companies like Google and Microsoft to evaluate and improve their UX and design elements, raises $100M led by Owl Rock
11:45 AM  •
Politico:  Leaked doc: EU considers a ban on using AI for social credit scores, surveillance, and more; non-compliant companies could be fined up to €20M or 4% of turnover
11:25 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Amazon launches a $250M fund in India to invest in startups that focus on helping SMBs automate and digitize their operations
11:20 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Federal judge overturns $506M+ in damages that Apple was ordered to pay PanOptis and related companies for willfully infringing patents covering 4G LTE tech
11:00 AM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Facebook says it is testing a News Feed feature in the US to let users tap on topics underneath posts and ads to explore content from related businesses
10:35 AM  •
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:  Tech industry group funded by Amazon, Facebook, Google, and others says it supports a corporate tax hike like the one Biden proposed in his $2T plan
10:20 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  TetraScience, which helps life sciences companies analyze data, raises $80M Series B bringing its total raised to $88M+
10:15 AM  •
Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac:  Apple announces $200M investment fund for forest restoration projects that will develop financially viable initiatives to restore woodland areas
10:05 AM  •
David Priest / CNET:  Jeff Bezos says Amazon Prime now has 200M+ subscribers, up 50M from the beginning of 2020, and Amazon's net profit in 2020 was $21.3B
9:55 AM  •
Vjeran Pavic / The Verge:  Review of DJI's new $999 Mavic Air 2S: great for beginners with a big one-inch camera sensor but is expensive and there's a significant crop in 4K 60fps
9:50 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Sources: SoftBank's Vision Fund 2 is in talks to invest up to $500M in Indian food delivery service Swiggy, at a ~$5.5B valuation
9:45 AM  •
NBC News:  US sanctions Russia for 2020 election interference and SolarWinds hack, blacklisting six tech companies that provide support to Russian intelligence services
9:40 AM  •
Natasha Singer / New York Times:  International coalition of 35 children's and consumer groups calls on Mark Zuckerberg to scrap plans for an Instagram for children
9:35 AM  •
Jay Peters / The Verge:  Google updates Earth with historical 3D time lapses that show the devastating effects of climate change, using satellite photos from the last 37 years
9:30 AM  •
Mary Ann Azevedo / TechCrunch:  Routable, which enables B2B payments by automating bill payment and invoicing processes, raises $30M Series B led by Sam Altman, and Lattice CEO Jack Altman
9:25 AM  •
Annie Palmer / CNBC:  In his final letter to shareholders as CEO, Bezos says Amazon needs a better vision for its employees' success and he will focus on making its warehouses safer
8:55 AM  •
Engadget:  Facebook says it has reached its target of powering its global operations entirely on renewable energy, after investing $8B in green energy projects
8:15 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Lingoda, an on-demand online language school with live instructors and Zoom classrooms, raises $68M led by Summit Partners
7:25 AM  •
Crystal Tse / Bloomberg:  TuSimple, which is developing autonomous trucks, raises $1.35B in its IPO, giving it a market capitalization of ~$8.5B
6:55 AM  •
Terry Nguyen / Vox:  Some Instagram accounts, such as NextShark, increasingly document incidents of anti-Asian violence that some say spurs a relentless cycle of aggregated trauma
4:30 AM  •
Financial Times:  KKR-backed mobile gaming company AppLovin, which operates more than 200 games, raises $1.8B in its IPO, giving it a market capitalization of $28.6B
2:50 AM  •
Ashley Carman / The Verge:  Some Clubhouse power users discuss the app's problems with scammers, moderation issues, stolen jokes, copied room concepts, celebrity imposters, and more

April 14, 2021

11:25 PM  •
Ryan Mac / @rmac18:  [Thread] A Facebook moderator at Accenture who just quit decries inadequate mental health support and says the current system is bad for Facebook itself
9:30 PM  •
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:  Seeq, a data analytics startup focused on the manufacturing industry, raises $50M Series C led by Insight Partners, bringing its total raise to ~$115M
8:50 PM  •
Amy Feldman / Forbes:  Benchling, which provides cloud-based software to manage biotech R&D, raises $200M led by Sequoia Capital Global Equities at $4B valuation, 5x its value in May
8:10 PM  •
Michael Sheetz / CNBC:  Astranis, which is developing small, low-cost satellites to provide broadband internet, raises $250M Series C at a $1.4B valuation led by BlackRock
7:05 PM  •
Kirsten Han / Rest of World:  A man was fined ~$100,000 in Singapore last month for sharing a Facebook link ruled as defamation against the Prime Minister, setting a dangerous precedent
5:05 PM  •
Natalie Gagliordi / ZDNet:  Dell to spin off its stake in VMware and use the proceeds of $9.3B-$9.7B to pay down Dell's debt, expecting to close the deal in Q4; Dell stock up 8%+
4:10 PM  •
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:  Ford unveils BlueCruise, its “hands-free” advanced driver assist system, limited for use on 100,000 miles of highways, coming to 2021 F-150 and Mach-E in 2021
3:55 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Profile of 23-year-old Nick Lim, who founded Vancouver-based VanwaTech, a hosting provider for white supremacist websites like Daily Stormer and 8kun
3:05 PM  •
Karissa Bell / Engadget:  Twitter says it will study any “unintentional harms” caused by its algorithms and will make the findings public as part of its Responsible ML Initiative
2:45 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  TrillerNet, parent of TikTok competitor Triller, acquires customer engagement platform Amplify.AI and combat sports streaming and events service FITE TV
2:25 PM  •
Richa Naidu / Reuters:  How Walmart's Marketplace, which grew from six third-party sellers in 2014 to ~70K in 2020, is competing with Amazon, as some worry Walmart's system is stressed
1:55 PM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Sources: Indian startup Zeta, which helps banks launch fintech products, is in talks to raise ~$250M Series D led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2
1:50 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Federal regulators say hospitals and health insurers can't use code that hides healthcare pricing data from web searches
1:34 PM  •
Ari Levy / CNBC:  Coinbase shares close at $328.28, valuing the company at $85.78B, down from its open of $381; Nasdaq listed shares at $250 before Wednesday's open
1:20 PM  •
David Sali / Ottawa Business Journal:  Internal memo: three high-ranking Shopify executives, the chief technology officer, chief talent officer, and chief legal officer, are leaving in June
1:15 PM  •
Kollen Post / The Block:  US Senate confirms Gary Gensler as chairman of the SEC; Gensler oversaw the CFTC under Obama and taught classes at MIT on digital assets and blockchain
12:45 PM  •
Nick Statt / The Verge:  Customers describe unhappiness with Apple contractor Phobio's handling of trade-ins, with quotes for devices slashed for alleged “defects” after being sent in
12:25 PM  •
Abner Li / 9to5Google:  Google announces Assistant updates, including helping find misplaced iPhones, even those in silent mode, and improvements to online food ordering checkout
12:05 PM  •
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:  Parallels releases Desktop 16.5 with native Apple Silicon support, letting users run Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview on M1 Macs, and touts improved performance
11:55 AM  •
Jeremy Kahn / Fortune:  Scale AI, which helps companies manage data for AI applications, raises $325M at a $7.3B valuation, up from a $3.5B valuation in December 2020
11:50 AM  •
Saritha Rai / Bloomberg:  Over 500,000 small Indian businesses are planning to protest Amazon and other foreign retailers, coinciding with Amazon's annual four-day sales event
11:40 AM  •
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:  Sunday, which helps restaurants improve their checkout flow, raises $24M seed at a $140M post-money valuation led by Coatue
11:30 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Sources detail how Amazon uses its power across markets to compel vendors in one market to accept its terms in others, including threatening punitive action
11:20 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Draft White House plan to shore up the security of the power grid, especially against cyberattacks, includes incentives for electric companies and more
11:15 AM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Instagram says it is running a small global test to let users toggle Like counts on or off on their own or others' posts; Facebook will run a similar test
10:55 AM  •
Charlie Warzel / Galaxy Brain:  Twitter's Trending Topics, designed to surface significant news, invariably leads to context collapse, where disparate audiences are lecturing past each other
10:35 AM  •
Juro Osawa / The Information:  Sources: Indonesia's Gojek and Tokopedia are finalizing an $18B merger, creating a combined company called Goto, in a deal expected to close as early as April
10:30 AM  •
Stephanie Yang / Wall Street Journal:  China's antitrust watchdog publishes strikingly similar statements from 12 companies, including ByteDance and JD.com, pledging compliance with antimonopoly laws
10:27 AM  •
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:  Ireland's Data Protection Commission says it is investigating Facebook's data leak that recently resulted in personal info of 533M accounts being posted online
10:20 AM  •
Miriam Gottfried / Wall Street Journal:  Abu Dhabi's Group 42, which offers AI and cloud computing products aimed at digitizing enterprises, raises ~$800M from Silver Lake for a minority stake
10:15 AM  •
Amy Feldman / Forbes:  Groq, which makes chips for data centers and autonomous vehicles, raises $300M Series C, led by Tiger Global and D1 Capital, at a $1B+ valuation
10:10 AM  •
New York Times:  Hundreds of executives and companies, including Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, sign a statement opposing “any discriminatory legislation” around voting
10:05 AM  •
William Gallagher / AppleInsider:  University of Washington researchers partner with Apple to study how Apple Watch may be used to predict respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 or flu
9:55 AM  •
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:  Wire, an enterprise-focused end-to-end encrypted messaging app raises $21M Series B led by UVC Partners
9:50 AM  •
Ian Hamilton / UploadVR:  Oculus says v28 software update to Quest 2 will add an Air Link mode to play PC VR games wirelessly, a 120Hz refresh rate, and improvements to Infinite Office
9:45 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Upstack, which helps businesses choose better cloud and other digital services, raises $50M, bringing its total raised to ~$85M
9:35 AM  •
Mishaal Rahman / XDA Developers:  Leaked Android 12 build gives a look at upcoming features, including quick settings, volume panel UI, location permissions, and clipboard access notification
9:30 AM  •
Todd Spangler / Variety:  Plex raises $50M+ Series C from existing investor Intercap, bringing its total raised to $60M, and says it has more than 25M registered users globally
9:25 AM  •
Chris Welch / The Verge:  Amazon unveils second-gen Echo Buds with a 20% smaller design and enhanced noise cancellation for $120 or $140 with a wireless charging case
9:00 AM  •
James Vincent / The Verge:  Google's decision to fire two of its top AI ethics researchers has triggered waves of protest from academics, as some say its research can't be trusted any more
8:35 AM  •
Washington Post:  Sources: Australian company Azimuth unlocked San Bernardino shooter's iPhone for FBI, using a flaw in Mozilla's open source code used for lightning accessories
8:15 AM  •
Michael Vizard / VentureBeat:  Atrium, which uses AI to surface opportunities for sales managers and closely track actual levels of customer engagement, raises $13.5M in seed funding
7:45 AM  •
Sami Fathi / MacRumors:  Kuo: 2023 iPhones will feature an under-display Face ID system alongside a new periscope telephoto lens
7:20 AM  •
Tamsin Shaw / The New York Review of Books:  A look at Nick Clegg's role in leading Facebook's PR effort to persuade us that liberal democracy is safe with Facebook
6:55 AM  •
Paul Resnikoff / Digital Music News:  Spotify has now removed 42 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, offering no explanations for the removals
6:40 AM  •
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:  Sony unveils 6.5" Xperia 1 III and 6.1" Xperia 5 III flagships with variable telephoto lenses, Snapdragon 888, three 12MP rear cameras, and 4,500mAH battery
6:10 AM  •
Anshuman Daga / Reuters:  Sale doc: Indonesian e-commerce company Bukalapak raises $234M round led by Microsoft, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, and local media conglomerate Emtek
5:25 AM  •
Juli Clover / MacRumors:  Kuo: 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1" and two 6.7" devices, no mini-sized 5.4"; high end models will have 48MP camera and 8K video capability
4:40 AM  •
Kate Conger / New York Times:  The debate over retiring engineering terms like “slave” and “blacklist” has led to nearly a year of back and forth discussion at Internet Engineering Task Force
2:50 AM  •
Man Zhou / GamesIndustry.biz:  A marketing manager at Tencent details the company's localization strategy for making Chinese games popular in Japan, where customer acquisition costs are high
1:10 AM  •
Karen Hao / MIT Technology Review:  A glossary to help decode the language used by Google and Facebook to reassure the public about AI responsibility without inviting deeper scrutiny
12:10 AM  •
Benjamin Wallace-Wells / New Yorker:  A look at IBM's Project Debater, an AI system that struggled to persuade a human audience in its first public debate despite excelling in analysis of evidence

April 13, 2021

11:35 PM  •
Andrew Hutchinson / Social Media Today:  Report: in pitch decks submitted to US advertisers about new ad formats, TikTok says it has 732M MAUs globally, 100M+ in the US, 59% of its users are under 24
10:55 PM  •
Jake Offenhartz / Gothamist:  Since October, the NYPD has deployed a quadruped robot called Spot to a handful of crime scenes and hostage situations, raising fears of unwanted surveillance
9:30 PM  •
Kimberly Chin / Wall Street Journal:  Stitch Fix says founder Katrina Lake will step down as CEO and become executive chairwoman starting August 1, names President Elizabeth Spaulding as next CEO
8:55 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Degreed, a software company that helps businesses upskill their employees, raises $153M Series D at a $1.4B valuation, up from $710M last year
8:07 PM  •
Joseph Cox / VICE:  The DOJ says the FBI performed a court-approved operation to “copy and remove malicious web shells” on hundreds of hacked Exchange servers across the US
7:20 PM  •
Shara Tibken / CNET:  Samsung announces its next Galaxy Unpacked event will be held on April 28, as rumors point to Galaxy Book laptops, teasing “the most powerful Galaxy is coming”
7:05 PM  •
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:  1Password acquires secrets management service SecretHub and launches Secrets Automation, a tool for companies to safeguard enterprise credentials
6:05 PM  •
Mike Dano / Light Reading:  Comments from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile suggest they have killed their joint Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative, which aimed to establish RCS interoperability
5:10 PM  •
Ari Levy / CNBC:  Nasdaq sets Coinbase's reference price at $250 per share for its direct listing, which would value the cryptocurrency exchange at $65.3B
4:24 PM  •
Mengqi Sun / Wall Street Journal:  Alphabet shareholder Trillium Asset Management pushes Google for better whistleblower protections, referencing the firing of Timnit Gebru and a 2020 NLRB report
4:10 PM  •
Katie Robertson / New York Times:  Over 650 tech workers at the NYT announce they have formed a union to be represented by the NewsGuild of New York and are seeking union recognition from the NYT
2:45 PM  •
Lawrence Abrams / BleepingComputer:  In its April batch of patches, Microsoft fixes 108 flaws, including 19 “critical” flaws, five 0-days, and four NSA-discovered critical Exchange flaws
1:59 PM  •
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai / VICE:  Researcher told Valve about a bug in its graphics engine in 2019 that could let hackers take over players' PCs via Steam invite; bug remains in some Valve games
1:15 PM  •
Josh Ye / South China Morning Post:  Filings by Chinese customs authorities show the country imported 155.6B semiconductor units in Q1, worth $93.6B, up 33.6% YoY
1:00 PM  •
Ifeoma Ozoma / New York Times:  Ex-Pinterest employee Ifeoma Ozoma describes why she helped draft the Silenced No More Act, a CA bill aiming to let discriminated-against employees bypass NDAs
12:50 PM  •
Everett Randle / The Valley of Dunning-Kruger:  Tiger Global is playing a different venture game by paying far more than competitors, speeding up diligence, and adopting a lightweight post-investment approach
12:35 PM  •
Natasha Singer / New York Times:  Disney, Viacom, and 10 ad tech companies agree to remove or disable software from children's apps that could target children with ads, resolving three lawsuits
12:29 PM  •
Peter Rudegeair / Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Stripe's revenue rose nearly 70% last year to about $7.4B as the pandemic boosted e-commerce
12:20 PM  •
The Guardian:  Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen called the return of the Honduran president's disinformation campaign a “bummer” in 2019, but it continued for 11 months
12:07 PM  •
Juli Clover / MacRumors:  Apple announces an online event on April 20 at 10am PT, entitled “Spring Loaded”, where new iPad Pro devices and more are expected
12:00 PM  •
Mary Ann Azevedo / TechCrunch:  HomeX, which pairs service workers with homeowners and uses AI to diagnose home-related issues, raises $90M, says number of contractors on HomeX rose 5x in 2020
11:30 AM  •
Reuters:  Clearcover, which uses AI to find affordable auto insurance, raises $200M Series D, source says at a $1B+ valuation, aims to expand to ~25 states by end of year
11:05 AM  •
Dror Poleg:  From BitClout to income share agreements at Lambda School, the future of work feels like a pyramid scheme where you can package and sell others' potential
10:42 AM  •
JP Mangalindan / TechCrunch:  Tempo, which sells smart fitness workout devices starting at $2,495, raises $220M Series C led by SoftBank, says users have worked out 5M times on Tempo devices
10:20 AM  •
Sahil Patel / Wall Street Journal:  Contextual adtech company GumGum raises $75M, sources say at a ~$700M valuation, almost tripling from last funding round, as Google and Apple limit targeted ads
10:05 AM  •
Ashley Carman / The Verge:  Spotify announces Car Thing, a Spotify-only, voice-controlled device for the car, launching today for free for select US users
10:00 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  SambaNova Systems, which is developing chips for AI training and inference workloads, raises $676M Series D led by SoftBank, at a $5B+ post-money valuation
9:55 AM  •
Mariella Moon / Engadget:  Roku starts rolling out Roku OS 10, adding AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support for HD devices and introducing Instant Resume for faster reload times
9:50 AM  •
Todd Spangler / Variety:  Epic Games raises $1B at a $28.7B equity valuation, including an additional $200M from Sony
9:45 AM  •
Ashley Carman / The Verge:  Facebook is testing a free video speed dating app called Sparked, which requires a Facebook profile to create an account
9:40 AM  •
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:  ConsenSys raises $65M from JP Morgan, Mastercard, UBS AG, and others to build the infrastructure for DeFi apps
9:25 AM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft debuts a $70 webcam and $100 USB-C speaker, available in June, new USB and wireless headsets, and Surface Headphones 2 Plus
9:19 AM  •
Jeff Dunn / Ars Technica:  Roku announces a trio of new devices: $40 Express 4K Plus streaming device, a $30 rechargeable Voice Remote Pro, and $180 Streambar Pro
9:17 AM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft unveils Surface Laptop 4 with 13.5" and 15" displays, starting at $999 for AMD model and $1,299 for Intel, shipping April 15 in US, Canada, and Japan
8:50 AM  •
Oversight Board:  Facebook Oversight Board will now accept appeals to remove content from Facebook and Instagram; previously, users were only able to appeal to restore content
8:40 AM  •
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:  China orders 34 internet companies to rectify their anti-competitive practices in the next month, signaling that its internet crackdown didn't end with Alibaba
8:20 AM  •
Dan Seifert / The Verge:  OnePlus Watch review: long battery life, nice finish, and low price, but no voice assistant, no always-on display, few notification options, only one big size
8:00 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Bitcoin rises to an all-time high of $63,246, exceeding the previous peak in March
7:40 AM  •
Catalin Cimpanu / The Record:  Researchers find new vulnerabilities called NAME:WRECK in the TCP/IP stack that impact hundreds of millions of servers, smart devices, and industrial equipment
7:20 AM  •
Yoolim Lee / Bloomberg:  Grab is going public on Nasdaq via SPAC, raising $4B+ at a ~$39.6B valuation; deal would make it the first Southeast Asian tech unicorn to go public via SPAC
6:50 AM  •
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:  Through her version of Fearless, Taylor Swift is showing artists how to use the power of the internet to ascribe value to work they own and devalue the rest
5:50 AM  •
Ionut Ilascu / BleepingComputer:  Researchers: 538K Huawei Android devices have Joker malware, via ten apps in Huawei's AppGallery, after Play Store's similar issues with Joker-infected apps
4:35 AM  •
Sami Fathi / MacRumors:  Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20
2:50 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Berlin-based Grover, which runs a subscription business where people rent out consumer electronics, raises €45M Series B in equity and €15M debt
12:50 AM  •
Julia Fioretti / Bloomberg:  Sources: travel booking site Trip.com, formerly called Ctrip, plans to raise ~$1.09B in its Hong Kong secondary listing; its US shares have risen ~4% this year

April 12, 2021

10:55 PM  •
Will Sattelberg / Android Police:  Google expands Lens beyond mobile by rolling it out inside Google Photos for the web, allowing desktop users to copy text from images using OCR
10:20 PM  •
Rita Kozlov / The Cloudflare Blog:  Cloudflare says Cloudflare Pages, a tool it announced in December 2020 for easily developing and deploying websites, is now available for everyone
9:15 PM  •
Axios:  Senator Josh Hawley unveils a proposal aimed at Big Tech that would bolster antitrust laws and ban acquisitions by companies with a market cap of over $100B
8:55 PM  •
Brian Krebs / Krebs on Security:  Data of 21M ParkMobile customers, including emails and license plate numbers, is up for sale; ParkMobile had disclosed a cybersecurity incident on March 26
8:15 PM  •
Ben Schoon / 9to5Google:  Google to shut down Play Movies and TV app for Roku, Samsung, LG, and Vizio on June 15, will push users to use YouTube instead
8:05 PM  •
Brave Browser:  Brave is disabling Google's FLoC tracking method from all of its releases, saying it materially harms user privacy under the guise of being privacy-friendly
7:55 PM  •
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:  Court orders Charter to pay $19.2M to Windstream for lying to customers that Windstream was going out of business in order to trick them into switching ISPs
7:30 PM  •
The Information:  Sources: Anduril Industries is raising a new round that could value the military drone and surveillance startup between $4B-$5B, over double its value in July
7:15 PM  •
Zak Doffman / Forbes:  Researchers have discovered a flaw where any user can deactivate another user's WhatsApp via multiple 2FA requests and emailing support to deactivate account
6:40 PM  •
Ian Hamilton / UploadVR:  Facebook to host Oculus Gaming Showcase, a virtual event focused exclusively on VR games, on April 21, with streams on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch
6:15 PM  •
Osato Avan-Nomayo / Cointelegraph:  HSBC bans its InvestDirect clients from buying shares of MicroStrategy over cryptocurrency exposure concerns, after other anti-crypto moves by Europe's top bank
4:55 PM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Sources: DealShare, an Indian social commerce startup initially focused on WhatsApp, raises $100M Series D led by Tiger Global, after its $21M Series C in Dec.
4:35 PM  •
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols / ZDNet:  Despite the backlash, Free Software Foundation doubles down on restoring Richard M. Stallman to its board after he issued a defensive non-apology apology
4:20 PM  •
Jamie Crawley / CoinDesk:  Binance launches Stock Tokens, a zero-commission tokenized stock trading service that lets users buy fractions of companies' shares, starting with Tesla
3:55 PM  •
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:  Nvidia unveils eight new RTX GPUs for laptops, desktops, and datacenter workstations, with over 2x performance improvements touted for many workflows
3:35 PM  •
Stephen Nellis / Reuters:  Following WH roundtable, Intel says it wants to help manufacture chips for car makers in the next 6-9 months to alleviate the US auto industry's chip shortage
3:15 PM  •
Alex Sherman / CNBC:  Nuance is Microsoft's fourth $5B+ acquisition since 2016; other than Microsoft, only Amazon among the Big Five has spent $5B+ on an acquisition in that span
2:30 PM  •
Makena Kelly / The Verge:  The FCC releases a speed test app on Android and iOS to help measure internet speeds in the US, and will use the data to inform its broadband deployment efforts
2:20 PM  •
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:  Nvidia will let customers rent its DGX A100 SuperPod mini supercomputers instead of buying them and introduces a subscription offering
2:00 PM  •
Jordan Novet / CNBC:  Salesforce to reopen its San Francisco tower in May, initially for people who are fully vaccinated, but employees can work from home through 2021
1:54 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Nvidia debuts Drive Atlan SoC for autonomous vehicles that is 4x to 33x as powerful as its other autonomous driving-focused chips, Drive Xavier and Drive Orin
1:30 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Twitter says it plans to hire its first product and engineering teams in Africa, based in Ghana, calling the country a “champion of democracy”
1:26 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Nvidia debuts TAO, an enterprise workflow for AI development incorporating Nvidia TensorRT and Nvidia's Transfer Learning Toolkit, now available in early access
1:17 PM  •
Mike Wheatley / SiliconANGLE:  Nvidia announces Omniverse Enterprise suite for real-time remote, collaborative, photorealistic graphics design in a shared virtual space
1:05 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Nvidia launches Jarvis conversational AI framework in general availability, after garnering 45K+ downloads since launching in preview in May of last year
1:02 PM  •
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:  Intel's Mobileye says it will launch a fully driverless delivery service in 2023 and is working with Udelv to make 35,000 autonomous delivery vehicles by 2028
12:45 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Nvidia announces Morpheus, an AI-powered cloud-native app framework to help cybersecurity providers detect and prevent breaches in real-time, now in preview
12:35 PM  •
Ryan Smith / AnandTech:  Nvidia unveils Grace, a high-performance Arm-based server CPU for large-scale neural network workloads, expected to become available in Nvidia products in 2023
12:25 PM  •
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:  MLB announces that venerable trading card company Topps will begin selling new NFT baseball cards via the WAX blockchain starting on April 20
11:35 AM  •
Hartley Charlton / MacRumors:  Apple Support docs show that unusual mid-production hardware changes were made to its A12, A13, and S5 chips last fall, to update the Secure Storage Component
10:30 AM  •
Bruce Rogers / Forbes:  Estonia-based identity verification startup Veriff raises $69M Series B led by IVP and Accel, bringing its total raised to $92.8M
9:35 AM  •
Ryan Browne / CNBC:  Filing: Uber says its mobility unit passed $30B in annualized gross bookings in March and its delivery unit passed a $52B annualized run rate, up 150% YoY
8:50 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: White House chip shortage meeting with Alphabet, Intel, TSMC, GM, and others is to air grievances and isn't expected to produce substantive outcomes
8:45 AM  •
Christine Hall / Crunchbase News:  Austin-based insurance comparison service The Zebra raises $150M Series D at a $1B+ valuation, bringing its total raised to $251.5M
8:36 AM  •
Microsoft:  Microsoft says it has acquired speech tech company Nuance for $19.7B in cash, a 23% premium on its Friday closing price, as it boosts its healthcare offerings
8:30 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Huawei says it will invest $1B in researching self-driving and EV tech this year, following Xiaomi's similar $10B investment over a decade
8:25 AM  •
Rachel Nuwer / New York Times:  A look at eLocust3m, an app that uses AI and GPS to combat locust swarms in East Africa, replacing an antiquated tablet-based program
8:15 AM  •
Coco Liu / Bloomberg:  After a $2.8B fine, Alibaba says it is unaware of other investigations under China's anti-monopoly law, besides inquiries into M&A that span the entire industry
8:05 AM  •
Liam Tung / ZDNet:  Google urges Biden admin to join a US-EU technology council to prevent further barriers to trade and data flows, citing an “explosion in national policies”
7:35 AM  •
Lulu Yilun Chen / Bloomberg:  Under intense pressure from China, Ant Group will become a financial holding company that is regulated more like a bank, among other changes
7:30 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  India has had 10 new unicorns this year vs. 11 in all of 2020; Tiger Global has invested in over 20 Indian unicorns
7:25 AM  •
Pranob Mehrotra / XDA Developers:  Google is rolling out “Heads Up”, a Digital Wellbeing feature that tells users to raise their head when walking while on Pixel devices
7:20 AM  •
Bloomberg:  British cybersecurity company Darktrace announces plans for a London IPO; one source says it could value the company at around $3B to $4B
7:15 AM  •
Leo Kelion / BBC:  Apple and Google block an update to NHS COVID-19 app that uploads logs of venue check-ins, citing API terms on collecting location data
6:40 AM  •
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:  Sources: Apple is in early stages of developing a product that combines an Apple TV with a HomePod speaker and has a FaceTime camera and smart home functions
6:25 AM  •
Julia Carrie Wong / The Guardian:  Sources detail how Facebook allowed state-backed political manipulation in small countries, prioritizing abuses considered PR risks in countries like the US
5:10 AM  •
Paul Vigna / Wall Street Journal:  How startups like Blockchain.com, banks, exchanges, and states like Wyoming are expanding crypto trading infrastructure to traditional capital markets
4:05 AM  •
Max Seddon / Financial Times:  Russian e-commerce company Ozon says it will apply for a banking license to expand its fintech services, and plans to offer loans to merchants
1:10 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: Apple faces supply constraints due to issues with MiniLED display production, but still plans to debut two iPad Pros later this month

April 11, 2021

10:30 PM  •
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:  Biden administration announces the nominations of ex-NSA deputy director Chris Inglis as first national cyber director and Jen Easterly as CISA head
10:15 PM  •
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:  A look at Tencent's TJ Sports, which surpassed $152M in total revenue since 2019 and runs the League of Legends Pro League, the largest esports league by size
8:15 PM  •
Yuan Yang / Financial Times:  Employees at Tencent Music, Meituan, and other Chinese tech giants are expecting increased antitrust scrutiny and penalties after Alibaba's record $2.8B fine
7:29 PM  •
Ben Smith / New York Times:  Substack strikes deals with trans writers, amid claims it supports allegedly anti-trans writers and is a kind of lucrative off ramp for “cancel culture” victims
6:45 PM  •
Nevo Trabelsy / Globes Online:  Israel-based Talon Cyber Security, which is developing software to protect distributed work forces as enterprises shift to hybrid work models, raises $26M seed
4:45 PM  •
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:  Responding to Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee, Apple says it will make Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer available at an upcoming hearing on app stores
3:55 PM  •
Pranav Dixit / BuzzFeed News:  Reporting on tech from India “feels like having a front-row seat to the country's rapid slide into authoritarianism”, as Big Tech companies remain silent
12:25 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: Microsoft in advanced talks to buy speech technology company Nuance Communications for ~$16B, or $56 a share, a 23% premium to Nuance's Friday close

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