Techmeme
September 16, 2019, 11:35 PM
 

September 16, 2019

11:25 PM  •
Song Jingli / KrASIA:  Hong Kong-based AutoX, which recently announced plans to roll out 100 robotaxis in Shanghai by early 2020, has closed $100M Series A from Alibaba and others
11:05 PM  •
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:  Crisp, which helps food brands reduce food waste by analyzing data from sources such as inventory databases and POS systems, raises $14.2M Series A
10:20 PM  •
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:  LastPass fixes a bug in its Chrome and Opera extensions which exposed credentials entered on previously visited websites
9:05 PM  •
Joseph Cox / VICE:  Richard Stallman has resigned as president and director of Free Software Foundation and from MIT's CSAIL over his comments related to Jeffrey Epstein
8:00 PM  •
Privacy International:  The High Court of South Africa rules that bulk surveillance is unlawful, in case brought after a reporter found his phone communications were recorded in 2008
7:05 PM  •
Tina Bellon / Reuters:  To comply with NYC regulations, Uber will start locking out drivers from its app at times and in areas of low demand in the city, from Tuesday
6:30 PM  •
Bloomberg:  China is struggling to rein in its citizens' appetite for online gambling, which is fueling an online casino boom in the Philippines and Cambodia
5:55 PM  •
Devindra Hardawar / Engadget:  Apple Arcade is a no brainer at $4.99/mo., with a strong selection of exclusives and a model that lets devs focus on fun instead of extracting money from users
5:15 PM  •
Reuters:  Sources: Match Group's Tinder has finished filming its first TV series; spokesperson says making shows is part of a larger strategy to be revealed soon
3:05 PM  •
Yahoo News:  Sources: Obama's move in 2016 to expel dozens of Russian diplomats and seize estates was in part due to a brazen Russian operation to breach FBI communications
2:07 PM  •
Juli Clover / MacRumors:  Ahead of the planned September 19 release date, Apple Arcade is rolling out to users running beta versions of iOS 13 or iOS 13.1, with 50+ games to play
1:25 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Facebook rolls out Instagram and IGTV content scheduling for up to 6 months in advance, and new video tools for live video, Watch Party, and Creator Studio
1:15 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: SoftBank Vision Fund backers Saudi Arabia's PIF and UAE's Mubadala are reconsidering how much to commit to Vision Fund II as a big bet on WeWork sours
1:05 PM  •
Kerry Flynn / CNN:  Following Twitter and Facebook, Snapchat launches a library of political ads on its platform globally from 2018 and 2019, available as downloadable spreadsheets
12:21 PM  •
Chris Welch / The Verge:  Google announces a hardware event on October 15 in NYC, where it's expected to announce the Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixelbook 2, and new Google Home speakers
11:50 AM  •
Dana Mattioli / Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Amazon changed its search algorithm last year to boost items that were more profitable for it, overriding internal dissent from lawyers and engineers
10:45 AM  •
Jeremy Horwitz / VentureBeat:  Qualcomm to buy TDK's remaining interest in RF360 Holdings, a joint venture focused on RF front-end, paying $3.1B total, a sum that includes earlier payments
10:25 AM  •
CBC News:  Facebook says it is planning changes to tool allowing advertisers to rewrite news story headlines after UK's Conservative party altered a BBC headline in an ad
10:15 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Greenlight, which provides preloaded debit cards for kids 13 and older that parents can manage from their smartphones, raises $54M Series B led by Drive Capital
10:00 AM  •
Steven Melendez / Fast Company:  Mozilla, Creative Commons, and Coil announce a $100M grant over five years to developers using Web Monetization, a proposed browser standard for micropayments
9:40 AM  •
Colin Packham / Reuters:  Sources: Australia has concluded that China was responsible for the hacking of its national parliament and three largest political parties earlier this year
9:30 AM  •
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:  Israel-based Trigo raises $22M Series A to enable supermarkets to launch Amazon Go-like cashierless stores by providing them with cameras, sensors, and software
9:00 AM  •
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:  Personal information of most of Ecuador's population, including 6.7M children, left exposed online with home addresses, phone numbers, work information, more
8:10 AM  •
Ry Crist / CNET:  The Wi-Fi Alliance launches the Wi-Fi Certified 6 program for devices using next-gen 802.11ax Wi-Fi radios, expected to be up to 40% faster than Wi-Fi 5
7:20 AM  •
Sean O'Neill / Skift:  Beekeeper, a communications platform for hourly workers without desktop PCs, raises $45M Series B co-led by Thayer Ventures and Swisscanto
4:30 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Since its 2014 IPO, Alibaba has struggled to grow beyond China despite investing $5B+ in new markets; ~5% of its last FY revenue came from international retail

September 15, 2019

10:25 PM  •
What's New in Publishing:  A look at TopBuzz, the English version of ByteDance's Chinese AI-powered news aggregator Toutiao, that rose from 1.8M MAUs in Nov. 2017 to 23M MAUs by Oct. 2018
9:05 PM  •
Washington Post:  The dearth of TikTok videos on Hong Kong protests offers a glimpse of how China could shape the perception of real-world events by US and global audiences
7:35 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  As AT&T's CEO plans to retire, AT&T's TV business keeps declining, the Time Warner integration looks shaky, and now an activist shareholder pushes for changes
6:15 PM  •
Rob Walker / New York Times:  Despite what media and politicians say, there is no tangible tech backlash from consumers, who shrug off warnings of a dystopian future and embrace new tech
5:25 PM  •
Christoph Rauwald / Bloomberg:  Volkswagen is unifying its fragmented IT efforts under a new Car.Software unit, which will develop “vw.os”, with first cars with new software shipping next year
2:20 PM  •
Jeremy Horwitz / VentureBeat:  An overview of Qualcomm's various R&D projects aimed at making 5G technology ubiquitous over the next few years
12:35 PM  •
Financial Times:  Sources: Libra representatives to meet officials from 26 central banks, including the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, in Basel, Switzerland on Monday
11:15 AM  •
Connie Loizos / TechCrunch:  Interview with Cloudflare co-founder Michelle Zatlyn on its IPO, its dual-class stock structure giving employees 10x the voting rights over public shares, more
8:10 AM  •
Cyrus Lee / ZDNet:  China Unicom and China Telecom, the two smaller mobile carriers among China's big three operators, are teaming up to build 5G networks across 15 Chinese cities
5:05 AM  •
Nikhilesh De / CoinDesk:  Winklevoss' crypto exchange Gemini launches Gemini Custody, a custody service targeting financial institutions, with support for 18 cryptocurrencies
2:00 AM  •
Renee Dudley / ProPublica:  Ransomware hackers are targeting managed service providers, causing chaos for the city governments, medical clinics, and smaller businesses who use them for IT
1:15 AM  •
FinSMEs:  Sourced Group, which helps enterprises in regulated industries migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud, raises CAD$20M
12:40 AM  •
Jake Bright / TechCrunch:  DHL expands its DHL Africa eShop to 13 additional markets, upping the presence of the global shipping company's e-commerce platform to 34 African countries
12:15 AM  •
Srividya Kalyanaraman / AmericanInno:  CIMCON Lighting, whose smart city platform simplifies the deployment of sensors, cameras, and other devices, such as Wi-Fi access points, raises $33M Series C

September 14, 2019

11:50 PM  •
Margie Manning / St Pete Catalyst:  ComplianceQuest, which develops cloud-based quality management software for life sciences and manufacturing sectors, raises $36M Series A
11:25 PM  •
Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:  Caper, which is developing smart grocery carts that use AI and various sensors to let shoppers quickly scan items and checkout, raises $10M Series A
9:30 PM  •
Andy Greenberg / Wired:  Researchers: flaws in the Crash Override malware, which took down the Ukrainian power grid for an hour in 2016, kept it from causing lasting damage
7:25 PM  •
David Coats / VC by the Numbers:  Analysis: ~51% of capital invested into US VC-funded companies exiting over the last decade lost money, while less than 4% generated a 10x or greater return
5:20 PM  •
Jeff Abramowitz / Wired:  Launched 20 years ago, Wi-Fi nearly lost out to the rival HomeRF, which was developed and promoted by a group including Compaq, HP, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft
3:50 PM  •
Miles Kruppa / Financial Times:  Research: tech start-ups spent $44B on advertising and cloud computing from Facebook, Google, and Amazon in 2018, making up ~10% of the revenue of tech giants
1:45 PM  •
Sam Machkovech / Ars Technica:  Interview with Björk about her album Vulnicura VR, which is arguably the world's first full “VR pop album”, now available on Windows PC via Steam
11:50 AM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft will reportedly launch a 15-inch version of the Surface Laptop 3 during its October 2 event
7:05 AM  •
Jason Parham / Wired:  A profile of Urban Dictionary, which started as a fun way to find meanings for slang but has done little to moderate submissions, letting hate speech flourish
2:00 AM  •
Jason Snell / Six Colors:  A look at Ultra Wideband-based U1 chip in iPhone 11 models, which is being used for AirDrop and could have many other potential applications like tracking tags

September 13, 2019

9:05 PM  •
Allison Schiff / AdExchanger:  After selling AppNexus to AT&T for $1.6B, Brian O'Kelley raises $10M for his new startup, CMDTY, to apply his adtech expertise to supply chain logistics
7:20 PM  •
TechCrunch:  Spotify acquires SoundBetter, a music production marketplace for artists, producers, and musicians to connect on specific projects, for an undisclosed sum
6:20 PM  •
Andrew Albanese / Publishers Weekly:  Audible will limit its Captions program, which shows text alongside narration, to public domain works until the copyright lawsuit filed by seven publishers ends
5:37 PM  •
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:  SEC filing: Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger has resigned from Apple's board
5:20 PM  •
Los Angeles Times:  Sources: Disney is mimicking Netflix in offering TV producers and others profits sooner in exchange for backend revenue, the first legacy media company to do so
4:40 PM  •
Eric Peckham / TechCrunch:  Patreon says it is selling the assets of Kit, the social-shopping platform that it acquired in June 2018, to localized affiliate link service Geniuslink
4:05 PM  •
Annie Palmer / CNBC:  MoviePass says it is shutting down and ending service for all subscribers on Saturday, September 14
3:40 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Applied Intuition, which provides software simulators for developing, testing, and deploying autonomous vehicles, raises $40M Series B
3:00 PM  •
Julie Verhage / Bloomberg:  Sources: Square is testing a new Cash App feature that would let users make free stock trades
2:40 PM  •
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:  US Treasury sanctions three North Korean state-sponsored hacking groups, Lazarus, Bluenoroff, and Andarial; Lazarus was responsible for WannaCry ransomware
12:55 PM  •
Jason Koebler / VICE:  House Judiciary Committee's letter to Apple asks for all internal communications from 14 top execs relating to “restrictions on third-party repairs”
12:15 PM  •
Chris Welch / The Verge:  Discord says it's phasing out the digital game store it launched less than a year ago as part of its $9.99 per month Nitro subscription service, by October 15
12:10 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  YouTube says it will no longer allow paid views and advertising to influence its YouTube Music Charts, instead calculating rankings based only on organic plays
12:06 PM  •
Annie Palmer / CNBC:  Cloudflare closes up 20% on its first day of trading after raising $525M in its IPO, which valued the company at over $4B
11:10 AM  •
Annie Palmer / CNBC:  WeWork announces sweeping corporate governance changes in amended S-1; sources: WeWork is now seeking a valuation as low as $10B to $12B in its IPO
10:40 AM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Apple says developers now have the option to offer a grace period for auto-renewable subscriptions when they lapse due to factors like expired credit cards
10:20 AM  •
Mary Ann Azevedo / Crunchbase News:  Zhuanzhuan, a China-based marketplace for trading used goods, raises $300M Series B from its parent company 58.com and Tencent Holdings
9:25 AM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  iOS 13 exploit bypasses the lockscreen to get access to contacts, appears to be fixed in beta copies of iOS 13.1, which is slated for release on September 30
9:10 AM  •
Sean Silcoff / Globe and Mail:  Element AI, which helps companies improve their operations using AI, raises $151.4M Series B, reportedly at a $625M valuation
8:42 AM  •
Tony Romm / Washington Post:  Bipartisan House lawmakers ask Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple for detailed information about internal operations and execs' emails in antitrust probe
8:25 AM  •
Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:  Sources: Daqri, which built enterprise-grade AR headsets and reportedly raised $275M in funding, has closed its HQ, laid off many employees, ahead of a shutdown
7:30 AM  •
Aditi Shrivastava / The Economic Times:  Bangalore-based OkCredit, which allows small business owners to record financial transactions digitally, raises $67M Series B led by Lightspeed and Tiger Global
2:45 AM  •
April Glaser / Slate:  How incidents like banning an “Always Punch Nazis” comic at Kickstarter led to a unionization push by employees who believe in the altruistic image of the brand

September 12, 2019

11:30 PM  •
Kirsten Korosec / TechCrunch:  Sidewalk Labs spinout Replica raises $11M Series A for its modeling tool that uses mobile location data to show public agencies how, when, and why people travel
9:26 PM  •
Martin Brinkmann / gHacks Technology News:  Mozilla launches Premium Support for Firefox enterprise customers starting at $10 per supported installation, includes benefits like critical bug fixes with SLA
9:00 PM  •
Michael del Castillo / Forbes:  Dapper Labs, developer of CryptoKitties, raises $11.2M from a16z, Warner Music Group, and others for its proof-of-stake, high transaction volume blockchain Flow
8:00 PM  •
Priyamvada Mathur / PitchBook:  Cloudflare prices its IPO at $15/share, raising $525M, which gives it an initial market cap of ~$4.4B, an increase of 144%+ over its last private valuation
7:05 PM  •
Lesley Goldberg / Hollywood Reporter:  AT&T's WarnerMedia signs an exclusive five-year deal with J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot for TV, film, and streaming projects; sources: deal is worth ~$250M
6:05 PM  •
Isabel Kershner / New York Times:  Facebook imposed a 24-hour ban on a chatbot operated by the official account of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for violating hate speech rules
5:35 PM  •
Lauren Debter / Forbes:  Direct-to-consumer dental startup SmileDirectClub closes down 28% on its first day of trading, after raising $1.35B in its IPO at a $9B valuation
4:40 PM  •
Corbin Davenport / Android Police:  Android 10 allows multiple apps to access a phone's microphone at once, in a way designed to benefit accessibility services and Google Assistant
4:05 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Walmart plans to reach 50%+ of the US by year end with “Delivery Unlimited”, its grocery delivery membership program that costs $98/year or $12.95/month
3:55 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Panoramic, an AI-powered digital marketing platform with clients including 20th Century Fox and MGM, comes out of stealth with $35M in funding
3:03 PM  •
Adi Robertson / The Verge:  Google won't need to admit wrongdoing in a NLRB settlement over complaints of restricting employees' speech, but will need to inform employees of speech rights
2:35 PM  •
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:  Shape Security, which uses AI to help companies protect against automated and imitation attacks, raises $51M Series F at a $1B+ valuation led by C5 Capital
2:25 PM  •
Facebook:  Facebook lays out four values that guide its Community Standards, in order to promote freedom of expression: authenticity, safety, privacy, and dignity
2:20 PM  •
Lindsey O'Donnell / Threatpost:  Researchers: “SimJacker”, a widespread SIM card-based vulnerability, is being exploited by a private actor “that works with governments to monitor individuals”
2:15 PM  •
April Glaser / Slate:  Kickstarter has fired two union organizers in eight days; sources: both were fired for what management said were performance-related issues
1:45 PM  •
Alan Ohnsman / Forbes:  Self-driving car startup Voyage, the Udacity spinoff operating taxi fleets in two retirement communities, raises $31M Series B led by Franklin Templeton
1:20 PM  •
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:  Incredible Health, a US-based job matching platform for nurse vacancies, raises $15M Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz
1:10 PM  •
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:  Apple says it is tweaking changes announced at WWDC to App Store policies around Sign in with Apple and the rules around children's app categories
1:00 PM  •
Claudia Koerner / BuzzFeed News:  Facebook takes down fact-check of anti-abortion video after complaints from four GOP senators alleging bias; Facebook's fact-checking partner is investigating
12:45 PM  •
Nat Levy / GeekWire:  Seattle-based Swiftly, which develops tech offerings for supermarkets to help compete with Amazon and Walmart, raises $15.6M seed round
12:35 PM  •
Richard Gingras / The Keyword:  Google says it changed how it ranks stories and updated guidelines for evaluation of search results to help better identify and surface original news reporting
12:10 PM  •
Casey Newton / The Verge:  Google Photos starts rolling out Memories, a tool that brings back old photos and videos on their anniversaries in an Instagram Stories-like format
11:45 AM  •
Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times:  Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft did not sign a letter from 145 CEOs, including Lyft, Twitter, Airbnb, and Uber CEOs, urging Senate action on gun violence
11:30 AM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Slack launches a dark mode for macOS, Windows, and Linux, with dark mode variants of all existing sidebar themes and a new “Nocturne” dark mode theme
11:06 AM  •
Rob Copeland / Wall Street Journal:  Sources: NLRB ordered Google to let employees speak out on political and workplace issues, as part of a settlement of complaints that it restricts free speech
10:55 AM  •
Todd Spangler / Variety:  Walmart's Vudu is launching family-friendly features, like Family Play, which lets viewers automatically skip or mute “objectionable” content, and a kids' mode
10:50 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Ola says Ola Bike, the two-wheeler service it launched in 2016, is now operational in 150 Indian cities and towns, and it intends to grow it 3x in the next year
10:40 AM  •
Anthony Cuthbertson / The Independent:  French Economy and Finance Minister says the country will block the development of Facebook's Libra in the EU as it poses a threat to “monetary sovereignty”
10:30 AM  •
Theodore Schleifer / Vox:  Sources: federal investigators, including the FBI, are probing the conduct and practices of Mithril Capital, the VC firm co-founded by Peter Thiel
10:25 AM  •
Simon Carraud / Reuters:  Google has agreed to pay a €500M fine and €465M in additional taxes in France to settle a fiscal fraud probe that began four years ago
10:20 AM  •
Alfred Ng / CNET:  Spotify updated its ToC in August, requiring Premium Family subscribers to provide location data “from time to time” to ensure users live at the same address
10:10 AM  •
Jared Newman / Fast Company:  Amazon launches Alexa Answers, a crowdsourcing platform that lets any user answer questions asked by other users, in the US
10:00 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Simbe Robotics, which builds autonomous inventory robots for the retail industry, raises $26M Series A led by Venrock
9:45 AM  •
Jonathan Vanian / Fortune:  Trifacta, which helps clean corporate data so it can be analyzed, raises $100M from Accel Partners, Greylock Partners, Telstra Ventures, NTT Docomo, and others
9:30 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Lacework, which helps protect cloud environments from data breaches, raises $42M from Sutter Hill Ventures and Liberty Global Ventures
9:15 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  SmartDrive, which provides in-truck video-based telematics and transportation insights, raises $90M led by TPG Sixth Street Partners
8:50 AM  •
Nicole Lee / Engadget:  Hands-on with the HTC Vive Cosmos VR headset, which ships on October 3 for $699 with a trial subscription to Viveport Infinity, HTC's unlimited game service
7:50 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Healthy.io, which helps patients analyze urine samples with a testing kit and smartphone app, raises $60M Series C led by Corner Ventures
7:15 AM  •
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:  Akeneo, which develops a product information service to manage all information about products in stores and online, raises $46M Series C led by Summit Partners
6:35 AM  •
Alex Konrad / Forbes:  Profile of Daniel Dines, the CEO of robotic process automation company UiPath, which has 3,000+ employees around the world and generated $155M revenue in 2018
2:30 AM  •
Blake Montgomery / The Daily Beast:  Filing: ICE will pay Cellebrite, an Israeli hacking tools vendor, between $30M to $35M over the next one to five years, more than ten times their 2017 contract

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