June 2, 2020, 7:25 PM

June 2, 2020

7:10 PM  •
Filipe Espósito / 9to5Mac:  Early build of iOS 14 points to the addition of an offline, built-in translator in Safari and possible full support of Apple Pencil input on websites
6:10 PM  •
Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC:  Twitter appoints board member Patrick Pichette as chairman of Twitter, replacing Omid Kordestani; Pichette previously served as Google CFO from 2008 to 2015
5:05 PM  •
Kate Conger / New York Times:  Trump's executive order on social media is facing its first legal challenge, from the Center for Democracy and Technology, filed in DC's US District Court
4:32 PM  •
Jordan Novet / CNBC:  Zoom Q1: revenue of $328.2M, up 169% YoY, 265K customers with 10+ employees, up 354% YoY, projected Q2 revenue nearly double expectations, down 3% after hours
4:00 PM  •
Malathi Nayak / Bloomberg:  In an ongoing censorship case filed against YouTube by LGBTQ creators, Trump's DOJ asked a judge not to declare Section 230 unconstitutional
3:30 PM  •
New York Times:  The Trump administration says it will open an investigation into taxes on digital commerce that have been adopted or proposed in nine countries and the EU
3:27 PM  •
Aaron Tilley / Wall Street Journal:  Rivals say Microsoft used sharp-elbowed tactics to push Teams during the pandemic, deploying 50 staffers to work with NYC's school district to replace Zoom
3:10 PM  •
New York Times:  On a call with Facebook employees Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg stood firmly behind his decision to leave up President Trump's inflammatory posts
2:05 PM  •
Rick Edmonds / Poynter:  Blockchain journalism startup Civil is shutting down following its failure to find substitute financing after losing its major source of funding, ConsenSys
1:05 PM  •
Dave Gershgorn / OneZero :  Analysis of NIST-submitted vendors shows at least 45 companies now advertise real-time facial recognition services, from RealNetworks to Toshiba
1:00 PM  •
Ina Fried / Axios:  After discussing the lack of action on Trump's posts with Mark Zuckerberg, civil rights leaders say they are “stunned by Mark's incomprehensible explanations”
12:55 PM  •
James Vincent / The Verge:  As Blackout Tuesday posts fill Instagram feeds, many say they are drowning out vital information shared under the BLM and BlackLivesMatter hashtags
12:30 PM  •
Bloomberg:  India announces ~$6.6B in incentives to woo smartphone makers, in a bid to make the country a global hub for mobile phone production
12:00 PM  •
Reuters:  Hong Kong-listed Chinese chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International aims to raise ~$2.8B via a Shanghai listing
11:30 AM  •
Nilay Patel / The Verge:  AT&T says HBO Max will be excused from AT&T's mobile data caps via its “sponsored data” program, while competing services like Netflix and Disney+ will not
11:15 AM  •
Taylor Hatmaker / TechCrunch:  Facebook introduces its Manage Activity tool, an easier way to delete or archive old posts in bulk
10:45 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Locus Robotics, which makes autonomous warehouse robots, raises $40M Series D led by Zebra Technologies, bringing its total raised to $105M+
9:45 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Appway, which develops customer management tools for financial services companies, raises $37M in its first-ever funding from Summit Partners
7:55 AM  •
Gretchen McCulloch / Wired:  The pandemic presents the biggest language translation challenge for COVID-19 info, as Wikipedia supports 309 languages, Google Translate 109, and Bing 71
7:20 AM  •
Financial Times:  Chinese gaming company NetEase seeks to raise between $2.6B to $3B in a Hong Kong secondary offering, amid tensions between Beijing and Washington
6:15 AM  •
Jon Porter / The Verge:  Samsung's Sero TV, which rotates between landscape and portrait depending on the kind of content, is now available in the US and UK for $1,999
4:30 AM  •
Ina Fried / Axios:  Cisco says it is postponing the online version of Cisco Live, its major customer event that was scheduled to start Tuesday, amid ongoing protests across the US
2:05 AM  •
Sarah Frier / Bloomberg:  Trump's fury at Twitter might end up being good for the service by increasing engagement, and thus ad sales, while highlighting its anti-misinformation efforts
1:31 AM  •
Casey Newton / The Verge:  In leaked audio from an internal meeting, Mark Zuckerberg says they will re-examine policies around politicians discussing the use of state force on Facebook

June 1, 2020

11:10 PM  •
Sahil Patel / Wall Street Journal:  Google says YouTube and YouTube TV have more than 100M people in the US watching on TV screens each month, rising 80% YoY in March
9:55 PM  •
NBC News:  Twitter suspended the account of a white nationalist group claiming to be an Antifa organization that pushed violent rhetoric related to ongoing protests
9:05 PM  •
Khari Johnson / VentureBeat:  OpenAI researchers debut GPT-3 language model trained with 175B parameters, far more than GPT-2's biggest version with 1.5B parameters
8:10 PM  •
Jeff Benson / Decrypt:  ConsenSys has helped North American Collegiate League build an Ethereum-based service to make reporting smoother, automate payments for its esports tournaments
7:10 PM  •
Makena Kelly / The Verge:  Twitter restricts a tweet from US House Rep. Matt Gaetz for violating its policy against glorifying violence, after it had been retweeted over 12,000 times
6:20 PM  •
Gartner:  Gartner says global sales of smartphones to end users declined 20.2% YoY in Q1'20, with Huawei performing the worst out of the top five vendors, down 27.3% YoY
5:20 PM  •
Tony Romm / Washington Post:  A bipartisan group of Senators say they plan to introduce a bill regulating contact-tracing and exposure-notification apps
3:55 PM  •
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:  Apple pushes iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1, saying it patches the flaw used by the Unc0ver jailbreak, and also pushes updates for watchOS, tvOS, HomePod, and macOS
3:30 PM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Sony postpones a PlayStation 5 event scheduled for June 4 “to allow more important voices to be heard”, following similar moves by EA and Google amid protests
3:15 PM  •
TechCrunch:  Google adds a suite of Bedtime tools to Android, building on its Wind Down feature, to turn on Do Not Disturb and enable grayscale effect, for Pixels first
2:15 PM  •
Elizabeth A. Harris / New York Times:  Hachette, Penguin Random House, Wiley, HarperCollins sue Internet Archive, saying its project to let users borrow ebooks scanned from books violates copyrights
1:40 PM  •
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:  Google pushes an update for its Pixel line, with improved Adaptive Battery, Google Assistant integration with Recorder, a personal safety check scheduler, more
12:40 PM  •
New York Times:  In a rare public protest at Facebook, hundreds of staff staged a virtual walkout, pushing back on Zuckerberg's choice to let Trump's inflammatory posts stand
12:15 PM  •
Meagan Simpson / BetaKit:  Clearpath Robotics raises ~$29M Series C led by Kensington Capital Partners to expand Otto Motors, its autonomous industrial robots division
10:55 AM  •
Damien Wilde / 9to5Google:  Samsung launches Access, a new service for US users offering an S20 handset, Microsoft 365, 1TB OneDrive, and more, starting at $37/month
10:40 AM  •
Ina Fried / Axios:  Survey: 54% of Americans agree with adding fact-checking labels to Trump tweets; 60%+ say politicians' lies are a bigger threat than censorship on social media
9:45 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Global Disinformation Index report examining 49 sites with COVID-19 disinformation says Google placed ads on 84% of them
9:10 AM  •
Michael Pelly / Australian Financial Review:  Australian appeals court rules that media companies can be held responsible for defamatory comments posted under stories on their Facebook Pages
8:55 AM  •
Matthew Hutson / Science:  Researchers: new algorithms aimed at making neural networks more efficient perform as well as old algorithms, suggesting little improvement over 10-year period
8:20 AM  •
Igor Bosilkovski / Forbes:  Accern, which uses NLP and predictive analytics to create workflow automation and risk management software for financial services industry, raises $13M Series A
7:45 AM  •
Sam Shead / CNBC:  As some Facebook employees publicly express anger, Mark Zuckerberg announces Facebook is committing $10M to groups working on racial injustice
7:35 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Zynga says it will buy Turkish mobile game developer Peak for $1.8B, its biggest acquisition yet; the deal is $900M in cash and $900M in Zynga stock
6:55 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Singapore-based Beam, which offers shared electric scooters in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Taiwan, raises $26M Series A
4:35 AM  •
Noah Kirsch / Forbes:  StubHub's co-founder Eric Baker bought back the company for $4B just days before the pandemic brought the live events business to a halt
2:56 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Indian government rejects Walmart-owned Flipkart's proposal to enter the food retail business in the country
1:35 AM  •
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:  Alibaba debuts AliExpress Connect, a service to pair influencers with brands and merchants, hoping to attract 100,000+ creators this year with a focus on Europe

May 31, 2020

11:20 PM  •
Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch:  Tia Health, the developer of a network of digital wellness apps, clinics, and telehealth services focused on women's health, raises $24M Series A
9:30 PM  •
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:  Facebook Shops integration with Shopify is good for Shopify merchants, but using Facebook Checkout limits the upside of Shopify's own payments offering
9:05 PM  •
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:  A look at recent statements by tech companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce, regarding racism in America after George Floyd's death
7:55 PM  •
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:  Tim Cook, in a memo to staff addressing racism in US, says Apple will give to non-profits like Equal Justice Initiative, match staff donations 2-to-1 in June
6:10 PM  •
Kim Lyons / The Verge:  YouTube says it will donate $1M to the Center for Policing Equity, a nonprofit think tank that works with police departments to change discriminatory practices
6:10 PM  •
Mark Kleinman / Sky News:  London-based freight forwarding and supply chain finance startup Beacon raises $15M Series A from investors including 8VC and Jeff Bezos
4:30 PM  •
Louise Matsakis / Wired:  Some Walmart staff claim AI-based tech used in stores to prevent shoplifting misidentifies innocuous behavior as theft and often fails to flag actual stealing
2:20 PM  •
Stitcher Blog:  Stitcher releases its first podcasting report, with 10 years of data trends; a pandemic update shows a dip in listening at commute times and a lunchtime rise
12:14 PM  •
Mike Allen / Axios:  Sources: President Trump and Mark Zuckerberg had a phone conversation on Friday that was described by both sides as productive
10:20 AM  •
Amy Feldman / Forbes:  Benchling, which makes software for tracking and managing data from biotech research, raises $50M at a $850M valuation, bringing its total raised to $114M
8:15 AM  •
Andy Greenberg / Wired:  US is taking a state-by-state approach to COVID-19 contact tracing apps, which could cause security and privacy issues in addition to hindering interoperability
6:10 AM  •
Ian Allison / CoinDesk:  Experts discuss plans announced by Coinbase, Genesis Trading, and BitGo to become crypto's “prime brokers” and what that reveals about the state of the industry
4:05 AM  •
Lily Hay Newman / Wired:  Internet security group Shadowserver receives $600K over 3 years from Trend Micro and a $400K donation from Internet Society, says it can now operate into 2021
2:00 AM  •
Kirsten Grind / Wall Street Journal:  COVID-19 Technology Task Force, an effort to let big tech companies assist White House's pandemic response, beset by disagreements over privacy and other issues
1:15 AM  •
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:  Spain-based Freepik, a freemium vector graphics and stock photos marketplace, acquired by PE firm EQT; local news report says deal values Freepik at €250M
1:00 AM  •
Annie Musgrove /  Berlin-based smava, an online portal that helps consumers compare loans offered by over 20 banks and lending partners, raises €57M in debt and equity
12:45 AM  •
Mary Ann Azevedo / Crunchbase News:  Pie Insurance, a startup offering an automated online service that provides small businesses with workers' compensation insurance, announces $127M raise

May 30, 2020

11:25 PM  •
John Herman / New York Times:  The pandemic pushed Amazon to its breaking point, prematurely delivering a future it has been planning for, where whole categories of physical retail are closed
11:25 PM  •
Max Chafkin / Bloomberg:  US to join Global Partnership on AI, set up to counter China's influence in development of AI technologies, becoming the last of the G-7 countries to sign on
9:20 PM  •
Adrianne Jeffries / The Markup:  Grubhub should be thriving during the pandemic; instead, delivery apps' unworkable business model, charging high fees to small restaurants, creates huge losses
7:15 PM  •
Nikkei Asian Review:  Sources say Huawei has stockpiled up to two years' worth of crucial US chips, focusing on Intel CPUs, to shield its operations from US crackdowns
5:10 PM  •
The Hacker News:  Apple paid a researcher $100K for reporting a flaw in “Sign in with Apple” in April that could have let attackers hijack any user's account on third-party apps
4:15 PM  •
Kate Conger / New York Times:  How, after years of internal deliberations, Twitter finally came to the decision to begin labeling Trump's misleading and violence-glorifying tweets
2:15 PM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft lays off editorial staff at its News and MSN divisions, reportedly affecting around 50 US and 27 UK jobs, as it increases use of AI for news curation
1:38 PM  •
Oversight Board / @oversightboard:  [Thread] Facebook Oversight Board says it is “working hard to set the Board up to begin operating later this year”
12:20 PM  •
Patience Haggin / Wall Street Journal:  Comcast is spinning off Blockgraph, its cable TV ad-targeting service, to create a three-way joint venture with ViacomCBS and Charter Communications
11:00 AM  •
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:  Waymo to return its fleet to service in Bay Area starting June 8th delivering packages for two non-profits, thus sidestepping “shelter-in-place” regulations
8:55 AM  •
Parimal Satyal /  A look at the small and independent web, why it's different from the sites that dominate web traffic today, and why it's worth exploring
6:50 AM  •
Bryce Covert / Wired:  A behind-the-scenes account of how Kickstarter workers came together to become the first white-collar technology workforce to unionize in US history
4:45 AM  •
Chris Stokel-Walker / Increment:  A look at the rise of React, an open-source JavaScript library for building user interfaces, led by a small team of developers at Facebook
2:40 AM  •
Abner Li / 9to5Google:  Google says it is delaying the Android 11 beta release and virtual launch event that was scheduled for June 3, but the final release is still on track for Q3
2:00 AM  •
Brandon Vigliarolo / TechRepublic:  Stack Overflow's annual survey, taken by 65K+ developers: Rust remains most loved language at 86.1%, followed by TypeScript at 67.1%, Python dropped to third
1:35 AM  •
Kaitlyn Tiffany / The Atlantic:  Mutual aid groups across the US are organizing online via productivity tools like Airtable and Slack to exchange info, coordinate grocery distribution, and more
1:00 AM  •
Josh Dzieza / The Verge:  Third-party Amazon sellers are marking products as “collectible” to get around price gouging rules; sellers say the loophole was rarely used before the pandemic
12:35 AM  •
Peter Kafka / Vox:  Executives at big tech companies have publicly stayed silent on Trump's social media executive order, with many executives thinking it's really aimed at Twitter
12:15 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Analysis of data: tech companies have cut over 40,000 jobs during the pandemic, led by the travel and transportation sector with 14,250 layoffs

May 29, 2020

9:45 PM  •
Jim Motavalli / New York Times:  More questions loom for self-driving cars as the pandemic raises concerns over consumer hygiene tolerance in shared vehicles
8:50 PM  •
Ashley Carman / The Verge:  Interview with Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan on the future of crowdfunding and how the pandemic has impacted the number and types of projects on the site
8:00 PM  •
Casey Newton / The Verge:  Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook won't remove Trump's post on Minnesota protests to “enable as much expression as possible”, says it doesn't violate its policies
6:35 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Tencent is in talks to buy a $200M stake in Warner Music Group in advance of Warner's IPO; the offering is expected to value WMG around $11.7B- $13.3B
5:30 PM  •
Casey Newton / The Verge:  Leaked posts show Facebook's decision not to remove Trump's threat of violence is roiling employees, some of whom are calling on execs to reconsider the stance
5:05 PM  •
NBC News:  Facebook says it banned anti-vaccination news site Natural News for using content farms from Macedonia and the Philippines, not for the content it posted
4:50 PM  •
Margaret Harding McGill / Axios:  Sen. Ted Cruz calls for criminal investigation of Twitter, alleging it is violating US sanctions against Iran by letting Iranian leaders maintain accounts
3:10 PM  •
Makena Kelly / The Verge:  Biden campaign says he still wants to repeal Section 230, but emphasizes key differences from Trump's EO, like policies for more moderation, rather than less
2:25 PM  •
Zac Hall / 9to5Mac:  Apple announces Powerbeats Pro in four new colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue, available June 9 for $249
1:40 PM  •
Kevin Roose / New York Times:  Trump's war on social media is today's version of the fights between internet message board moderators and aggrieved trolls in the early 2000s
1:10 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Amazon confirms Echo Look devices will stop working from July after pulling the Alexa-powered camera in Dec. 2019, offers discounts on Echo Show for Look users
12:40 PM  •
Tim Bradshaw / Financial Times:  Sony says it is on track to launch PlayStation 5 this year and has begun manufacturing the console, announces a games-focused event on June 4
12:10 PM  •
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:  Twitter and Reddit file an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit challenging a State Department rule that visa applicants must disclose social media handles
11:30 AM  •
Dara Kerr / CNET:  Uber announces an hourly booking feature that lets people book trips for up to seven hours at a time, for $50 an hour
10:35 AM  •
Javier Espinoza / Financial Times:  Tile sends letter to European Commission arguing that recent changes in iOS hinder its product as Apple prepares to launch a competing tracker
10:00 AM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Facebook's NPE launches Venue, a “second screen” app where selected well-known personalities will provide commentary and engage with fans during live events
9:20 AM  •
Andrew Hutchinson / Social Media Today:  Zynn, a TikTok clone from ByteDance Chinese rival Kuaishou, pays users to watch videos and has now hit the top of the US iOS App Store following its May debut
8:45 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Google's concept of federated analytics shows users' privacy can be protected by analyzing a device's data locally and collecting only aggregated results
8:25 AM  •
Daisuke Wakabayashi / New York Times:  Facing an advertising slump, Google rescinds job offers to temporary and contract workers; sources say around 2,000 people are affected globally
8:05 AM  •
Duncan Riley / SiliconANGLE:  Crowdsourced security testing service Synack raises $52M Series D from C5 Capital, B Capital, and others, report says at a nearly $500M valuation
7:25 AM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft details work with Google to improve spellcheck in Chrome and Edge, both of which now use Windows Spellcheck, with better support for URLs, acronyms
6:35 AM  •
Todd Spangler / Variety:  As Twitter adds a warning to Trump's tweet advocating violence against Minneapolis protesters, so far Facebook and Instagram have left similar posts unchanged
5:45 AM  •
New York Times:  Trump's social media EO, if enacted, would create problems for him, attacking the legal provision that allows inflammatory, harassing, and untruthful messages
5:05 AM  •
Lulu Yilun Chen / Bloomberg:  Didi Chuxing raises $500M led by SoftBank for its autonomous driving division, the first external investment for the fledgling self-driving subsidiary
4:05 AM  •
Ina Fried / Axios:  Twitter determines two tweets about protesters from Trump and White House violate its rules on glorifying violence; users must click to see the labeled tweets
2:05 AM  •
IDC:  Global shipments of wearable devices reached 72.6M units in Q1, growing 29.7% YoY, with Apple shipping 21.2M units for a 29.3% market share
12:30 AM  •
Kyle Bradshaw / 9to5Google:  Google releases Android Studio 4.0, with Motion Editor for making MotionLayout animations and tools to allow previewing apps in 3D and in multiple screen sizes

May 28, 2020

11:40 PM  •
Olga Kharif / Bloomberg:  Samsung is partnering with Winklevoss' crypto exchange Gemini to allow users to more easily trade and store digital assets on mobile phones
10:55 PM  •
Nick Statt / The Verge:  ACLU sues Clearview AI in Illinois alleging the facial recognition startup violated residents' privacy by scraping, selling their online photos without consent
10:20 PM  •
João Carrasqueira / Neowin:  Twitter now lets users schedule tweets in advance, up to 18 months, and gives users the option to save tweet drafts from its web app
9:45 PM  •
Electronic Frontier Foundation:  Trump EO misreads Section 230 by conflating two independent subsections and asking the FCC to link the two provisions together, despite previous rulings
9:00 PM  •
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:  Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz is stepping down as CEO, says the company has raised “significant” funding and pivoted to spatial computing for enterprise
8:00 PM  •
Sergiu Gatlan / BleepingComputer:  NSA warns Russia-linked Sandworm hacking group has been actively exploiting a now-patched flaw in Exim mail transfer agent since Aug., exposing ~2.5M servers
7:30 PM  •
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:  Trump's EO has limited power, as content created by a platform, like Twitter's labels, is not covered by Section 230 and the FCC lacks authority to enforce EO

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