Techmeme
September 18, 2019, 12:30 PM
 

September 18, 2019

12:10 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Amazon says it is bringing Amazon PayCode, which allows customers to checkout using cash at Western Union locations, to the US
12:05 PM  •
Lauren Smiley / Wired:  How data from the victim's Fitbit and a neighbor's Ring surveillance camera played a crucial role in the arrest of a 90-year-old suspect in a murder trial in CA
11:50 AM  •
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:  Documents found on an unprotected backup drive of a Nokia Networks employee shed light on Russia's secret network surveillance system, known as SORM
11:35 AM  •
Madhumita Murgia / Financial Times:  Researchers: many streaming dongles and TVs, including those made Amazon, Roku, Samsung, and LG, are sending user data to firms such as Netflix and Facebook
11:25 AM  •
Jordan Crook / TechCrunch:  PlayVS, a platform that provides esports infrastructure for US schools, raises $50M Series C led by NEA, bringing its total raised to $96M
11:15 AM  •
Lukas I. Alpert / Wall Street Journal:  Facing mounting antitrust pressure, Google and Facebook have been cozying up to publishers, offering oft-requested fees and news-ranking changes
11:00 AM  •
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:  Researchers discover a weakness in the WS-Discovery protocol, found in over 800,000 IoT devices, that lets hackers amplify DDoS attacks
10:55 AM  •
Sean Silcoff / Globe and Mail:  Toronto-based TouchBistro, which offers a payments platform and more for restaurants globally, raises $158M Series E led by OMERS Growth Equity
10:50 AM  •
Justine Calma / The Verge:  Salesforce announces Sustainability Cloud, a platform that helps companies track and analyze their environmental footprint, which began as an in-house tool
10:40 AM  •
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:  IBM unveils a 53-qubit quantum computer, scheduled to arrive next month, making it the largest universal quantum computer available for external use
10:20 AM  •
Kaitlyn Tiffany / The Atlantic:  Instagram's Close Friends feature proves controversial as both an influencer revenue stream and superficial gateway to intimacy
9:50 AM  •
Dan Seifert / The Verge:  Sonos Move review: loud and full sound that is great indoors or out, reliable wireless connectivity, but too big and heavy for travel, significant setup bugs
9:30 AM  •
Katrina Brooker / Fast Company:  As Google develops more powerful AI and proliferates it across the tech world, its real-world ethical ramifications become more consequential and murky
9:10 AM  •
Ryan Tracy / Wall Street Journal:  Report: ~75 countries are using AI for surveillance and Huawei is providing surveillance tech in 50 countries, far more than its nearest competitor Hikvision
8:45 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Facebook confirms it was collecting Portal audio clips, some of which were transcribed by contractors, says 2nd-gen Portal devices will offer an opt-out option
8:30 AM  •
Nick Statt / The Verge:  Facebook unveils second-gen 10-inch Portal for $179, and 8-inch Portal Mini for $129, with WhatsApp call support, picture-in-picture viewing, and Prime Video
8:25 AM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  Facebook debuts Portal TV, a TV accessory for video calling, streaming, AR gaming, and co-viewing Facebook Watch shows, shipping November 5 for $149
7:40 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Acronis, which provides backup software and data protection tools, raises $147M round led by Goldman Sachs at a $1B+ valuation
7:25 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Descript, which offers tools for creating podcasts, raises $15M Series A from a16z and Redpoint, and acquires Lyrebird, which built audio transcription tools
7:05 AM  •
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:  Apple Watch Series 5 review: the best smartwatch with an always-on screen, a beautiful display, and new apps, but its battery life hasn't improved
6:45 AM  •
Mark Sullivan / Fast Company:  A look at how Facebook's AI researchers are trying to build smart chatbots using unsupervised training of neural networks for natural language processing
5:15 AM  •
Will Oremus / OneZero:  Studies that try to place a monetary value on consumer privacy have such varying results that researchers are beginning to conclude that it's the wrong approach
4:30 AM  •
Leo Kelion / BBC:  London's Gatwick to become the UK's first airport to use facial recognition cameras on a permanent basis for ID checks for passenger boarding
3:01 AM  •
Cherlynn Low / Engadget:  HP debuts 13" Elitebook Dragonfly ultra-light business convertible with Intel Core vPro processor, 2TB storage, 16GB RAM, available Oct. 25, starting at $1,549
2:45 AM  •
Tavi Gevinson / The Cut:  Founder of the Rookie mag reflects on being an early influencer and the effect that Instagram had on her life and career as Instagram's aesthetic keeps evolving
1:30 AM  •
Amy Thomson / Bloomberg:  Mike Muller, who has served as ARM's CTO for nearly 20 years and was one of about 16 founders, is retiring at the end of the month
12:25 AM  •
Steve Dent / Engadget:  HTC names former Orange exec Yves Maitre as its new CEO; HTC had $770M in revenue in 2018, the first time its annual revenue fell below $1B as a public company

September 17, 2019

11:10 PM  •
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch:  FarmWise, which is developing autonomous farming robots for removing weeds, raises $14.5M Series A, following a $5.7M seed round in 2017
10:45 PM  •
Juli Clover / MacRumors:  Judge in California certifies lawsuit against Apple for offering refurbished replacement devices under AppleCare and AppleCare+, as a class action
10:25 PM  •
Reuters:  Adobe beats with Q3 revenue of $2.83B, up 24% YoY, and Digital Media revenue of $1.96B, up 22% YoY, forecasts $2.97B Q4 revenue, vs. $3.03B expected by analysts
9:30 PM  •
Tim Peterson / Digiday:  Sources: as Amazon gets ready to add linear TV channels to IMDb TV, partners push back against its plans to sell all ads with 55% revenue share to publishers
8:02 PM  •
Financial Times:  Facebook to give body cameras to UK Met for firearms training exercises and will use the footage to train algorithms on real-life first person shooter incidents
6:55 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Trulioo, a Vancouver-based electronic identity and address verification startup, raises ~$53M Series C led by Goldman Sachs, bringing its total raised to $96.6M
6:00 PM  •
Janko Roettgers / Variety:  VENN, a Cheddar-like TV network that wants to mix esports with Twitch-like game streaming, raises $17M seed round, plans to launch in 2020
5:05 PM  •
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:  As Amazon's spend on One Day shipping aligns with its customer-centric focus, its product selection policies stressing profitability risk its “Day One” culture
4:06 PM  •
Makena Kelly / The Verge:  Facebook shares more on its upcoming Oversight Board for content decisions and how members are picked, says decisions will be binding even if Facebook disagrees
3:40 PM  •
Harriet Agnew / Financial Times:  France says it has received €5B from institutional investors to invest in tech startups over the next three years, as it seeks to grow more unicorns
2:56 PM  •
Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC:  Sources: after setbacks, Facebook partners with Luxottica to help make “Orion” AR smart glasses designed to replace smartphones, with 2023-2025 launch timeframe
2:40 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Facebook says it has updated its definition of “terrorist organizations” and changed its counterterrorism team's structure to curb white supremacist violence
2:30 PM  •
Stephen Hall / 9to5Google:  Sources: Google plans “Nest Wifi” with a different design from Google's routers, featuring Eero-like satellite units with built-in Assistant-enabled speakers
2:05 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Trump to visit Silicon Valley for a fundraiser on Tuesday, but its location is a mystery, even to donors; ex-Sun CEO Scott McNealy is the likely host
2:00 PM  •
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:  Google will start surfacing key moments from videos in search results, highlighting them with direct links to timestamps provided by creators
1:50 PM  •
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:  Google Fi debuts a more traditional unlimited plan for $70/mo. for a single line, but “may optimize” video to 480p and will throttle data past 22GB per month
1:25 PM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  LinkedIn begins the global roll out of Skills Assessments, multiple-choice tests for users to verify their expertise across ~75 skills like coding
1:21 PM  •
U.S. Department of Justice:  US files civil lawsuit against Edward Snowden after the publication of his book Permanent Record, alleging he violated NDA agreements with the CIA and NSA
1:00 PM  •
Carolina Mandl / Reuters:  Brazilian home goods retail platform MadeiraMadeira, which offers around 1M products, raises $110M led by SoftBank's $5B Latin America fund
12:55 PM  •
Ron Miller / TechCrunch:  Boston-based DataRobot, which helps companies train and deploy ML models, raises $206M Series E led by Sapphire Ventures, bringing its total raised to $431M
12:30 PM  •
Bijan Stephen / The Verge:  Microsoft has started testing ads on Mixer, including on some partnered channels like Ninja's, but says creators are not getting a cut of ad revenue for now
12:05 PM  •
Brian X. Chen / New York Times:  The new iPhones' improvements, while nice, do not warrant upgrading for those with an iPhone X or later and aren't even must-haves for iPhone 6s owners
11:40 AM  •
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:  Uber says RideCheck, its tool that uses GPS and other sensors to detect abnormalities with the ride, such as a crash, is now live across the US
11:30 AM  •
Lesley Goldberg / Hollywood Reporter:  NBCUniversal says its ad- and subscription-supported streaming service will be called Peacock and will launch in April 2020 with over 15,000 hours of content
11:25 AM  •
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:  Despite saying he was leaving 15 months ago, Facebook's former policy chief Elliot Schrage is still working as a full time employee with a new title
10:55 AM  •
Daniel Palmer / CoinDesk:  Following JPMorgan's JPM Coin, Wells Fargo announces plans to pilot a US dollar-linked stablecoin for internal settlement beginning next year
10:35 AM  •
Nilay Patel / The Verge:  iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max review: its camera system outperforms the Pixel 3 and Note10 in bright light and, with Night mode, usually beats Pixel 3 in low light
10:00 AM  •
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:  Ironclad, a platform for legal teams to manage their contracts workflow, raises $50M Series C led by Y Combinator Continuity, bringing its total raised to $83M
9:20 AM  •
Alex Konrad / Forbes:  DevOps platform GitLab raises $268M Series E co-led by Iconiq Capital and Goldman Sachs at a $2.75B valuation, says its annualized revenue is growing 143% YoY
9:15 AM  •
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:  Amazon launches Amazon Music HD, offering lossless audio for streaming or downloading, for $14.99/month or $12.99/month for Prime customers
9:00 AM  •
Apple:  Apple awards an additional $250M from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to Corning, bringing its total investment in the precision glass maker to $450M
8:45 AM  •
ProPublica:  Medical images and health data, including X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, with names and birthdates, from 16M scans worldwide are available unprotected online
8:30 AM  •
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:  Crypto-exchange giant Binance makes a strategic investment in Chinese crypto media firm Mars Finance, at a post-money valuation of ~$200M
8:15 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Snapchat adds a 3D camera mode with 3D effects, lenses, and filters, which can be used by those with iPhone X and above, and viewed by users with other phones
8:05 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Autonomous truck startup TuSimple adds a $120M extension to its Series D round led by Sina, at a $1B valuation, bringing its total raised to $298M
7:45 AM  •
Mary Loritz / EU-Startups:  Munich-based Holidu, a price comparison and booking site for vacation rentals active in 21 markets, raises €40M Series C led by Prime Ventures
7:30 AM  •
Joshua Franklin / Reuters:  WeWork parent says it expects to complete its IPO by the end of the year after shelving plans to launch an investor road show this week
7:10 AM  •
Nicole Sperling / New York Times:  A new memoir by Marc Randolph, Netflix's co-founder and first CEO, recounts the entertainment giant's startup days, when DVDs in red envelopes were all the rage
6:25 AM  •
Chris Velazco / Engadget:  iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max review: improved battery life, flexible triple camera system, and great performance, but ultra-wide camera sometimes lacks detail
6:20 AM  •
Nilay Patel / The Verge:  iPhone 11 review: has a terrific battery life and excellent camera, and is the best phone for the average consumer, but iOS 13 is buggy
4:35 AM  •
Gregory Barber / Wired:  AI researchers are beginning to acknowledge and confront the “reproducibility” crisis, which makes it hard for others to replicate the results of AI systems
3:50 AM  •
Nathaniel Gleicher / Facebook:  Facebook removes accounts for spreading disinformation on Instagram and FB, hundreds from Ukraine, linked to PR firm, and from Iraq, posting on societal issues
3:00 AM  •
Adam Satariano / New York Times:  A new generation of cameras in the UK that feed into facial recognition software, enabling real-time identity checks, raises new privacy concerns among citizens
1:40 AM  •
Amanda / Prime Unicorn Index:  Filing: DevOps platform Gitlab has authorized a Series E round that could raise up to $268M at a $2.55B valuation

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”

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