November 21, 2018, 8:00 AM

November 21, 2018

7:35 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Leaked memo: Foxconn aims to cut $2.9B from expenses in 2019 and eliminate ~10% of non-technical staff, as it faces “a very difficult and competitive year”
7:15 AM  •
Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch:  Berlin-based e-scooter rental service Wind Mobility, which operates in various cities in Spain, France, and the US, raises $22M in seed funding
4:50 AM  •
Daniel Funke / Poynter:  Analysis of 14M tweets from May 2016 and March 2017 found bots accounted for 34% of shares of articles from low-credibility sources but were only 6% of accounts
1:45 AM  •
James Vincent / The Verge:  Amazon is using “neural text-to-speech” (NTTS) tech to develop new speaking styles for Alexa, will launch a newscaster style to read articles in a few weeks

November 20, 2018

11:10 PM  •
Crystal Tse / Bloomberg:  Tongcheng-eLong, a Tencent-backed online ticketing and travel booking site, raises $180M in its Hong Kong IPO after pricing sale near bottom of marketed range
10:32 PM  •
Seth Fiegerman / CNN:  In an interview, Mark Zuckerberg says he will stay on as Facebook's chairman, defends COO Sheryl Sandberg, reiterates Facebook's potential as a force for good
9:51 PM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  In a leaked internal memo, Facebook's outgoing head of public policy, Elliot Schrage, takes responsibility for the hiring of PR firm Definers
8:05 PM  •
Aaron Tilley / The Information:  Source: Apple quietly bought Silk Labs, a startup that makes lightweight AI software for consumer hardware, earlier this year; PitchBook: Silk Labs raised ~$4M
7:05 PM  •
Reuters:  While Facebook says human trafficking on its site is not allowed, it took weeks to remove a viral post that led to the auction of a child bride in South Sudan
6:30 PM  •
Megan Rose Dickey / TechCrunch:  Uber partners with MV Transportation, a paratransit service provider, to improve access to wheelchair-friendly rides in six North American markets
6:15 PM  •
Colin Lecher / The Verge:  Critics argue that the FCC should classify text messaging as a telecommunications service so that phone companies can't discriminate against messages
6:05 PM  •
Jon Fingas / Engadget:  To help block robocalls and spam texts, the FCC proposes classifying text messaging as an information service and making a database of reassigned phone numbers
5:26 PM  •
Kia Kokalitcheva / Axios:  Design software company Autodesk says it is acquiring PlanGrid, a provider of cloud-based construction software, for $875M
4:50 PM  •
Khari Johnson / VentureBeat:  Amazon opens up Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit to wearable makers, and Qualcomm debuts a $299 Smart Headset, an Amazon-approved reference design for Alexa on the go
4:30 PM  •
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:  US cyber-security firm Recorded Future claims to have doxxed Tessa88, the hacker who sold MySpace and Dropbox databases in 2016, as a 29-year-old Russian
4:10 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Growing trade tensions between US and China could endanger Nvidia's access to its Chinese customers, who accounted for 20% of the company's revenue last year
4:06 PM  •
Jordan Crook / TechCrunch:  PlayVS, which brings esports infrastructure to high schools in the US, raises $30.5M Series B after raising a $15M Series A in June 2018
3:00 PM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  LinkedIn launches Student Voices, its take on Snapchat Stories, for US colleges, and says it plans Stories-like features aimed at other sets of users too
2:05 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Microsoft now supports standards-based FIDO2 security key devices, letting Windows 10 users access their Microsoft Account without entering username or password
1:55 PM  •
Catherine Shu / TechCrunch:  Agora, which helps developers integrate voice and video into their apps via APIs, raises $70M Series C led by Coatue Management
1:30 PM  •
Eric Newcomer / Bloomberg:  Uber has shifted strategies in Germany, Japan, and Argentina by working within regulations and launching non-ride-hailing businesses
12:55 PM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  After announcing it four months ago, Facebook is rolling out its “how long do I spend on Facebook” dashboard, but its insights are not very specific
12:00 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: US DOJ probe into cryptocurrency manipulation has homed in on Bitcoin, Tether, and Bitfinex, and whether traders artificially inflated Bitcoin's price
11:45 AM  •
Jon Porter / The Verge:  In an updated statement, Tumblr says an audit found child porn images were slipping through detection tools, leading to removal from App Store
11:40 AM  •
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:  From 2011 to 2016, the FCC released an annual report comparing advertised broadband speeds with actual speeds but has not released one in two years
11:15 AM  •
Timothy W. Martin / Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Samsung plans to release a variant of the Galaxy S10 next spring that will have six cameras, 5G, and a 6.7" screen
10:20 AM  •
Alex Heath / Cheddar:  Sources: Snap is planning to release new Spectacles with two cameras and an aluminum frame for $350 by the year's end
9:50 AM  •
Sean Hollister / The Verge:  Valve is discontinuing its Steam Link hardware, which let users stream games from PCs to other devices like a TV
9:05 AM  •
Reuters:  SoftBank invests $2B in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang, source says at a ~$9B valuation
7:55 AM  •
Tom Simonite / Wired:  As AI-building frameworks get open-sourced, DIY tinkerers use them for tasks like identifying plant diseases, automating dry-cleaning, making art, and more
5:55 AM  •
Frederic Filloux / Monday Note:  By pushing the “link tax” in the EU, publishers are shooting themselves in the foot because better options exist by working with Google to drive traffic
4:15 AM  •
Reuters:  Palantir to set up a joint venture called Syntropy with German lab supplies company Merck KGaA to offer cancer data analytics tools to research centers
1:45 AM  •
Axios:  Survey: in the past year there's been a 15% spike in the number of US adults who fear big tech won't be regulated sufficiently with 55% now sharing this concern

November 19, 2018

11:30 PM  •
Raini Hamdi / Skift:  Grab launches travel services in Singapore after partnering with Indonesia's tourism ministry, will train drivers in Indonesia on tourism, events, and festivals
11:00 PM  •
Shaun Nichols / The Register:  Microsoft says Azure users globally were unable to log in using MFA on Monday due to the weight of login requests, is still working on fix for Office 365 logins
10:30 PM  •
Kate Rooney / CNBC:  Bitcoin hit its lowest level in more than a year on Monday, falling under $5,000, with the entire cryptocurrency market cap losing roughly $40B in the past week
7:20 PM  •
Kevin Kelleher / Fortune:  The stocks of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Netflix have all declined 20% or more in recent months, pushing them into bear market territory
7:10 PM  •
Elizabeth Schulze / CNBC:  Ping An, one of China's biggest financial conglomerates, takes its first step into the EU, leading a €41.5M round for Finleap, a Berlin-based fintech incubator
6:10 PM  •
Natalie Gagliordi / ZDNet:  Nuance to spin off its automotive unit, which generated $279M in 2018, into a publicly traded company called Nuance Auto with a focus on conversational AI
5:40 PM  •
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:  After a man was spotted last month wearing an Apple Maps backpack with LiDAR equipment, Apple confirms it will be collecting pedestrian data in six CA counties
5:25 PM  •
Khari Johnson / VentureBeat:  Google says Chromecasts can now sync audio with Google Home speakers and similar integrations are planned for Google Home Hub and LG Xboom WK9 in coming weeks
5:15 PM  •
Julie Bort / Business Insider:  Inside Uber before its self-driving car killed a pedestrian: sources describe infighting, “perverse” incentives, and questionable decisions
5:00 PM  •
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:  Zuckerberg should give up his dual role as Facebook CEO and chairman, stepping down as chairman and appointing an independent director to oversee the board
4:20 PM  •
BBC:  Two British men sentenced to twelve and eight months in jail for the 2015 hack of TalkTalk, which affected 1.6M accounts
3:40 PM  •
Caroline O'Donovan / BuzzFeed News:  Airbnb deactivates ~200 listings in Israeli settlements in West Bank ahead of a Human Rights Watch report; Israel reportedly moves to restrict Airbnb operations
3:20 PM  •
New York Times:  The ruling party in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh is giving out smartphones preloaded with two campaign apps to voters as “gifts” but also to target them
2:55 PM  •
Erica Pandey / Axios: founder reduces responsibilities amid rape allegation
2:15 PM  •
Ina Fried / Axios:  Tim Cook says some government regulation of Silicon Valley is inevitable, defends deal to make Google Apple's default search engine despite privacy concerns
2:00 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Microsoft acquires Atlanta-based app provisioning and virtualization startup FSLogix, to improve Office 365 performance in “multi-user virtual environments”
1:30 PM  •
Tom Dotan / The Information:  Sources: Evan Spiegel spends most board meetings looking at his phone and messaging on Snapchat, seemingly dismissive of some members' “short term” concerns
1:20 PM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  Instagram says it will use machine learning to find and remove inauthentic likes, follows, and comments from accounts using third-party apps to boost popularity
12:50 PM  •
Edmund Lee / New York Times:  BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti suggests the site could eventually merge with rival publishers to negotiate better terms with companies like Facebook and Google
12:30 PM  •
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:  Eight parliaments are now demanding Zuckerberg answer questions about fake news and more, as Brazil, Latvia, and Singapore join a UK-led grand committee
11:05 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Lightricks, creator of Facetune and Enlight apps, raises $60M, and says Enlight Pixaloop, which launched in September, now has 6M users and 200,000 subscribers
10:30 AM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft says it is bringing Skype calling to Alexa-enabled devices this week, including SkypeOut which lets users call mobile and landline phones
10:15 AM  •
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:  Snap launches Lens Creative Partners, a certification program for AR lens makers to craft branded lenses, in US, UK, Canada, and Australia
10:00 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  AEye, a California-based maker of Lidar and computer vision tech, raises $40M Series B led by Taiwania Capital, bringing the total raised to over $61M
9:05 AM  •
Anna Hensel / VentureBeat:  Wonolo, an online staffing marketplace for underemployed workers, raises $32M Series C, says revenue more than doubled in the past year
8:30 AM  •
Sam Byford / The Verge:  Xiaomi announces a partnership with Meitu to sell Xiaomi phones under the Chinese selfie app maker's brand with Meitu providing camera software
8:10 AM  •
Reuters: reports Q3 revenues of $15.09B, up 25.1% YoY, but posts $94.7M loss, says it will move its warehouse business into a separate unit to boost income
7:55 AM  •
Jon Porter / The Verge:  Tim Cook defends multibillion-dollar Google search deal despite Apple's privacy focus
7:25 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Apple reduced production orders for all new iPhone models in recent weeks; iPhone XR production was slashed by up to one third of the initial 70M
7:05 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Hippo, an insurance startup that uses sources like satellite imagery and smart home sensors to simplify signups and policy management, raises $70M Series C
4:55 AM  •
Rebecca Keegan / Hollywood Reporter:  The Criterion Collection says it will launch a streaming service of classic films in the spring, after outcry over WarnerMedia's decision to shut FilmStruck
2:35 AM  •
Kerry Flynn / Digiday:  Inside Reddit's brand and agency roadshow to lure more ad dollars

November 18, 2018

11:15 PM  •
Ian Sherr / CNET:  Mojo Vision exits stealth and says it has raised $50M for its “invisible computing” AR platform; sources say Mojo Vision is aiming to develop AR contact lenses
10:10 PM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  San Francisco-based travel marketing platform Sojern raises $120M Series D led by TCV at a valuation of $300M+, says it's been profitable for last 13 quarters
9:05 PM  •
Carl Miller / WIRED UK:  Profile of British Army's 77th Brigade, staffed with experts in graphic design, social media, and data analytics to conduct online influence operations
8:00 PM  •
Megan Rose Dickey / TechCrunch:  Apex.AI raises $15.5M Series A from Canaan, Lightspeed, others for the enterprise version of the Robot Operating System, an open-source middleware for robotics
6:55 PM  •
Anne Casselman / National Geographic:  AI is transforming wildlife research by automating some tasks typically done manually by researchers, like identifying individual animals from photos
6:50 PM  •
Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch:  Swedish scooter-sharing startup VOI Technology raises $50M Series A led by Balderton Capital with Spencer Rascoff, Justin Mateen, Jeff Wilkes among investors
6:41 PM  •
Deepa Seetharaman / Wall Street Journal:  Sources: this June, Zuckerberg told ~50 execs that Facebook was at war and he'd act more decisively, leading to reorgs, key departures, tension with Sandberg
6:00 PM  •
Aaron van Wirdum / Bitcoin Magazine:  Bitcoin Cash has forked, with Bitcoin Cash ABC as an apparent early winner, but Bitcoin Cash SV camp is still threatening 51% attacks, spam, and more
4:40 PM  •
Andrew Liptak / The Verge:  Tumblr says it is working to resolve an issue with iOS app after it disappeared from the App Store amid speculation it was removed due to inappropriate content
4:00 PM  •
Charlotte Graham-McLay / New York Times:  Profile of Mike Dickison, New Zealand's first Wikipedian-at-Large, who wants to boost the country's representation on the site by pushing New Zealanders to edit
1:25 PM  •
Pew Research Center:  Survey: majority of US adults say it is unacceptable to use algorithms for criminal risk assessments, resume and job interview analysis, personal finance scores
11:50 AM  •
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:  Google's VP of News points to 2014 shutdown of Google News in Spain, says “We would not like to see that happen in Europe”, due to the proposed EU “link tax”
11:05 AM  •
Jessi Hempel / Wired:  Profile of former chief AI scientist at Google Cloud Fei-Fei Li, a Stanford professor and co-founder of AI4All nonprofit, which aims to make AI more inclusive
7:00 AM  •
Taylor Lorenz / The Atlantic:  Hackers are stealing the accounts of Instagram influencers via sponsored content offers, sending a phishing link to get access, then posting affiliate link spam
1:55 AM  •
Kelsey D. Atherton / New York Times:  A look at autonomous weapons systems being developed by the US and the arguments for and against imbuing autonomous robots with lethal decision-making
12:50 AM  •
Tony Peng / Synced:  Jia Li, R&D head of Google Cloud AI who also co-led Google's China AI Center in Beijing, has left the company to work full-time at Stanford University's AIMI

November 17, 2018

9:05 PM  •
Erica X Eisen / Slate:  How a website, Civil War Photo Sleuth, is helping historians and enthusiasts use facial recognition software to identify people in Civil War photographs
6:40 PM  •
New York Times:  Silicon Valley's alliance with Democrats, already strained by issues like fake news and Cambridge Analytica, is at a breaking point after NYT's Facebook exposé
4:40 PM  •
Alex Stamos / Washington Post:  Ex-CSO Alex Stamos says no one at Facebook ever told him not to examine Russian interference, but company's comms strategy of minimization and denial was wrong
4:30 PM  •
Mike Fleming / Deadline:  Mythical Games has raised $16M Series A to build out its blockchain-based player-owned economies starting on an EOS blockchain
3:40 PM  •
Trustnodes:  Crypto startup Amun says it has been given the green light to list the first crypto Exchange Traded Product on Switzerland's SIX Swiss Exchange
1:40 PM  •
Paul Thurrott /  Microsoft is now selling Amazon's Echo smart speakers from its retail and online stores
11:45 AM  •
Richard Lawler / Engadget:  Report: Facebook notified some Instagram users that a now-fixed bug in its data download tool sent their passwords in plaintext in a URL that the users received
10:22 AM  •
Garett Sloane / Ad Age:  YouTube quietly began showing ad-supported free feature-length movies in October, giving users access to around 100 titles including “The Terminator”
8:10 AM  •
eMarketer Retail:  eMarketer forecast: Walmart to overtake Apple as No. 3 US online retailer by the end of 2018, after capturing 4% of all online retail spending, up 39.4% YoY
5:05 AM  •
BBC:  An in-depth look at how misinformation and incendiary images on Facebook are spreading in Nigeria, where police say they contributed to a dozen recent killings
2:00 AM  •
Rebecca Mead / New Yorker:  How podcasts, whose audio narratives offer a rare opportunity for slow immersion, became a seductive mode of storytelling that can sometimes be manipulative
1:10 AM  •
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:  Microsoft says HockeyApp, the beta-testing service for app developers it acquired in 2014, will fully transition to Visual Studio App Center on Nov. 16, 2019
12:15 AM  •
BuzzFeed News:  A look at the incentives cities offered to Amazon in their HQ2 bids, including an exclusive airport lounge, relocation expenses for employees, and more

November 16, 2018

9:45 PM  •
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:  A look at the progress of Ford's autonomous driving tech and how one of its cars navigated a complex environment and challenging scenarios in a test ride
7:45 PM  •
John Herrman / New York Times:  Amazon is stealthily launching numerous brands on Amazon, from Amazon-owned and Amazon-exclusive to Amazon-affiliated, a classic retailer strategy
6:15 PM  •
Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch:  Pirate Studios raises $20M for its self-service music studios that offer recording, live streaming, and cloud software that handles mixing and mastering
5:25 PM  •
Christina Farr / CNBC:  Alphabet's Verily says it's pausing its glucose-sensing contact lens project because, after four years of study, lenses didn't gauge blood sugar levels reliably
4:30 PM  •
Patpicha Tanakasempipat / Reuters:  Thailand's proposed new law will grant government power to spy on internet traffic, order the removal of content, and seize computers without judicial oversight
3:45 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Israel-based AdaSky raises $20M from South Korean automotive components manufacturer Sungwoo Hitech for its far-infrared thermal cameras used in autonomous cars
3:05 PM  •
Reuters:  Canaan, a maker of bitcoin mining hardware, let its application for a Hong Kong IPO to raise at least $400M lapse
2:20 PM  •
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:  Amazon will now allow AWS account owners to set the default access setting for all of their account's S3 buckets as non-public to prevent accidental data leaks
2:05 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Amazon announces Wake-on-Lan Controller, which enables Alexa to switch on devices over Wi-Fi or ethernet when they can not be woken up via the cloud
1:42 PM  •
Mehedi Hassan /  Microsoft is testing ads in the Windows 10 Mail app; Microsoft says it's an experimental feature never intended to be tested broadly and is being turned off
1:30 PM  •
Julie Verhage / Bloomberg:  Startup Acorns Is in Talks to Seek Funding at $700 Million Valuation
1:15 PM  •
Brad Sams /  Sources: Microsoft to release a disc-less Xbox in 2019 that will cost $200 or less, will let users trade in discs for digital game downloads
12:57 PM  •
CNBC:  Google says Diane Greene will step down as Google Cloud CEO in early 2019, will be replaced by Oracle's former president of product development Thomas Kurian
12:35 PM  •
Makena Kelly / The Verge:  Verizon's My Numbers app lets users add up to four additional numbers with separate voicemail and text messaging boxes on a single phone for $15/mo per number
12:20 PM  •
Dave Michaels / Wall Street Journal:  SEC settles with Paragon Coin and CarrierEQ, which agree to start filing audited financial reports and refund investors of 2017 ICOs who want their money back
12:02 PM  •
Deirdre Bosa / CNBC:  Sources: Airbnb recognized “substantially more” than $1B in Q3 revenue, on track to report EBITDA profits for 2018, and earned $100M on $2.6B in revenue in 2017
11:40 AM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  Code reveals Facebook is testing a new feature that would let users watch videos together on Messenger and chat about them
11:20 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  MapAnything raises $42.5M Series C led by GM Ventures to expand its mapping platform for businesses to new markets
10:30 AM  •
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:  MailChimp partners with Square to let its users create landing pages with built-in e-commerce features, says 50% of its revenue now comes from e-commerce
9:35 AM  •
Liam Tung / ZDNet:  Microsoft is now accepting 64-bit ARM apps for the Microsoft Store, updates Visual Studio to support recompiling Win32 apps to run natively on ARM devices
8:45 AM  •
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:  Facebook publishes 13 NSLs between 2014 and 2017 for several Facebook and Instagram accounts, says number of worldwide government requests for data rose 26% YoY