Techmeme
May 24, 2022, 7:40 AM
 

May 24, 2022

6:50 AM  •
Issie Lapowsky / Protocol:  How Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's $419M donation to US local and state election officials in 2020 has become a target of right-wing conspiracies
6:05 AM  •
Financial Times:  At Andy Jassy's first Amazon shareholder meeting this Wednesday, filings show the company will oppose all 15 proposals, the most it has faced since 2010
6:01 AM  •
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch:  Google Research details Imagen, an AI-based text-to-image generator to rival OpenAI's DALL-E 2
5:55 AM  •
Nathan Ingraham / Engadget:  As Street View turns 15, Google announces several updates, including historical imagery on iOS and Android and a smaller camera system for its cars
5:50 AM  •
James Vincent / The Verge:  Delivery startup Gorillas lays off half its “global office workforce”, around 300 people, and will reassess its operations in Italy, Spain, Denmark, and Belgium
2:15 AM  •
Cade Metz / New York Times:  A look at a San Francisco townhouse that became a hub for Ukrainian tech workers fleeing the war and entrepreneurs from Russia and Belarus that oppose the war

May 23, 2022

11:20 PM  •
Adam Beam / Associated Press:  CA State Assembly approves a bill letting parents sue social media companies if children become “addicted” to the companies' products; bill needs a final vote
9:10 PM  •
Kate Park / TechCrunch:  SwipeRx, a digital platform for pharmacists in Southeast Asia for daily tasks like purchasing or inventory financing, raises a $27M Series B led by MDI Ventures
6:40 PM  •
Issie Lapowsky / Protocol:  Spotify is slowly bringing back political ads on podcasts after pausing them in early 2020, and says it has strengthened its advertiser verification system
6:05 PM  •
Riley de León / CNBC:  eBay partners with NFT startup OneOf to launch 13 digital collectibles featuring Wayne Gretzky, and plans more sports NFTs throughout 2022, starting at $10 each
5:22 PM  •
Kif Leswing / CNBC:  Snap CEO warns employees the company will miss its Q2 revenue and earnings targets as its growth weakens, and plans to slow hiring; stock drops 29%+
5:05 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  TikTok plans to roll out Live subscriptions, to let creators generate recurring revenue via payments from their top fans, in beta on May 26 with select creators
4:40 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Broadcom is in talks to pay ~$140 per share, or about $60B, for VMware, and the companies are aiming to announce the cash-and-stock deal on Thursday
4:27 PM  •
CNBC:  Zoom reports Q1 revenue of $1.07B, up 12% YoY, vs. $1.07B est., ~199K Enterprise customers, up 24% YoY, and raises forecasted Q2 and full fiscal year earnings
3:53 PM  •
Patrick Klepek / VICE:  The QA team at Activision Blizzard's Raven Software votes 19-3 to unionize, as US labor board prosecutors determined the company “illegally threatened staff”
3:40 PM  •
The Information:  Sources: Coinbase is testing an app from Ray Dalio's company Principles that lets staff rate each other on how well they exemplify Coinbase's 10 cultural tenets
2:35 PM  •
CTech:  Sources: eToro is in the advanced stages of raising $800M to $1B at a $5B to $6B valuation, while its SPAC deadline has been extended to June 30, 2022
2:25 PM  •
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:  The UK's data protection watchdog fines Clearview AI £7.5M+ for violating privacy laws and orders the company to delete UK citizen information from its systems
2:17 PM  •
Deirdre Bosa / CNBC:  Sources: Airbnb plans to remove all mainland China listings for homes and experiences by this summer, but will keep a Beijing office focusing on outbound travel
2:00 PM  •
Stephen Wright / Wall Street Journal:  The Buffalo shooting live stream demonstrated the strengths and limitations of the Christchurch Call accord, created in 2019 to counter online terrorist content
1:10 PM  •
TechCrunch:  Sources: MainStreet, which helps SMBs find tax credits, is raising at a $200M valuation, down from $500M in March 2021, weeks after laying off ~30% of its staff
12:55 PM  •
Issie Lapowsky / Protocol:  The 11th Circuit federal court upholds blocking Florida's social media “censorship” law to protect First Amendment rights, as SCOTUS weighs Texas' similar law
12:40 PM  •
Financial Times:  On April 6, weeks before UST collapsed, Binance promoted the stablecoin on Telegram as a “High Yield, Safe & Happy Earn” investment with an annual 19.63% yield
11:55 AM  •
Mimi Billing / Sifted:  Klarna tells employees it plans to lay off 10% of its workforce, after reports of raising money at a reduced $30B valuation; LinkedIn shows it has 6,500+ staff
10:15 AM  •
New York Times:  A look at efforts by 50+ countries to control the data produced by their citizens, governments, and businesses, driven by privacy concerns, economics, and more
10:05 AM  •
Matt Burgess / Wired:  As GDPR turns four, despite some positives, regulators struggle to keep up with complaints, the ad industry remains littered with potential abuses, and more
9:45 AM  •
Ryan Weeks / The Block:  Sources: Seattle-based Protego Trust Bank, which provides digital asset custody and trading services for institutional investors, raised a $70M Series A in 2021
9:25 AM  •
Coco Liu / Bloomberg:  Didi shareholders vote to delist from the NYSE, clearing the way for Didi to work with Chinese regulators to revamp its data systems and prepare a Hong Kong IPO
9:10 AM  •
Eva Szalay / Financial Times:  BNP Paribas joins JPMorgan's blockchain-based Onyx Digital Assets network, which has facilitated $300B+ in intraday repurchase market deals since December 2020
8:55 AM  •
Tage Kene-Okafor / TechCrunch:  Cairo-based Sylndr, which is building an online used car marketplace, raises a $12.6M pre-seed led by RAED Ventures and plans to launch in Q4 2022 or Q1 2023
8:45 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Chat logs: Twitter employees are bewildered about what their jobs are and will be after Elon Musk takes over; VP Jay Sullivan expects a “chaos tax” to continue
8:40 AM  •
Spencer Soper / Bloomberg:  Sources: Amazon, which has too much warehouse capacity now that pandemic-era shopping has faded, is looking to sublet at least 10M square feet across the US
8:25 AM  •
Mike Isaac / New York Times:  Meta plans to give outside researchers more info on political ad targeting on Facebook and Instagram and to update Ad Library with more info starting in July
8:15 AM  •
Damien Wilde / 9to5Google:  Xiaomi signs a long-term partnership with Leica and announces a jointly developed smartphone launching in July 2022, which is likely to be the Xiaomi 12 Ultra
7:55 AM  •
Financial Times:  IT services group Atos sues the UK over a £854M meteorology supercomputer contract, awarded to Microsoft in 2021; a High Court trial is expected in June 2022
7:35 AM  •
Saritha Rai / Bloomberg:  Singapore-based MatchMove, which helps businesses embed financial services, acquires e-commerce startup Shopmatic for $200M; Shopmatic has 1M+ customers
7:15 AM  •
Rita Liao / TechCrunch:  StepN, a Solana-based app that lets users earn tokens by walking and running, says it has 2M-3M MAUs and makes $3M-5M per day in net profit from trading fees
6:10 AM  •
Tripp Mickle / New York Times:  Meta, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are positioned to emerge stronger from this downturn; Refinitiv: from 2008 to 2010, the companies acquired 100+ firms
4:30 AM  •
Kamaron Leach / Bloomberg:  Denver-based Velocity Global, which helps companies hire remote and international workers, raises a $400M Series B, and says it generated $125M in 2021 revenue
3:05 AM  •
Gavin Bonshor / AnandTech:  AMD announces the Ryzen 7000 CPU series with up to 16 Zen 4 cores based on TSMC's 5nm process, PCIe 5.0 support, and DDR5 on the AM5 socket, coming in fall 2022
2:55 AM  •
Chris J. Preimesberger / VentureBeat:  Toronto-based Forma.ai, which helps companies manage and optimize sales compensation plans, raises a $45M Series B led by ACME Capital
2:35 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: Broadcom is in talks to acquire VMware, which has a ~$40B market cap; the discussions are ongoing and there's no guarantee they will lead to a purchase
12:20 AM  •
Aditya Kalra / Reuters:  General Atlantic plans to invest $2B in India and Southeast Asia over the next two years, and is currently in early-stage funding talks with ~15 startups

May 22, 2022

10:45 PM  •
Rita Liao / TechCrunch:  Singapore-based BUD, which offers a metaverse for Gen Z consumers and plans to launch an NFT marketplace, raises a $36.8M Series B led by Sequoia Capital India
8:01 PM  •
Greg Roumeliotis / Reuters:  Broadcom in talks to acquire VMware -sources
6:25 PM  •
Reuters:  Paytm's parent One 97, whose share price is down 57% in 2022, reports Q4 revenue up 89% YoY to ~$200M and a net loss up 72% YoY to ~$98M due to higher expenses
2:50 PM  •
Dan Milmo / The Guardian:  YouTube takes down 70K+ videos and 9K+ channels covering the Ukraine war for violating content guidelines, including videos referring to a “liberation mission”
11:55 AM  •
Rebecca Fannin / CNBC:  A look at the autonomous vehicle industry, as CB Insights says equity funding for startups developing autonomous vehicles passed $12B in 2021, up 50%+ YoY
8:45 AM  •
Lily Hay Newman / Wired:  Google details three campaigns that used Predator spyware, developed by North Macedonia's Cytrox, that exploited five Android vulnerabilities found in 2021
2:00 AM  •
Max A. Cherney / Protocol:  Q&A with Arm CEO Rene Haas on the company's plans, business model, open-source competitor RISC-V, Intel relationship, need to invest more in R&D, and more
12:55 AM  •
Silicon Canals:  London-based Vertice, which helps businesses streamline SaaS purchases and reduce their annual spend by 20%-30%, emerges from stealth with a $26M Series A

May 21, 2022

7:20 PM  •
Sean Hollister / The Verge:  iFixit will sell nearly every part of Valve's Steam Deck, including its $350 motherboard with the AMD Aerith chip, and upgrades to the fan and the screen
4:45 PM  •
Cagan Koc / Bloomberg:  European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde says crypto “should be regulated” to deter people from speculating on assets that are “based on nothing”
3:05 PM  •
Sara Morrison / Vox:  A look at the antitrust woes of Google, which is potentially in more trouble than other Big Tech companies as multiple bills and lawsuits target its businesses
1:10 PM  •
Sean Hollister / The Verge:  Hands-on with Apple's Self-Service Repair kit to swap iPhone batteries: users rent 79 pounds of tools including a heat station for a seven-day $1,200 card hold
11:40 AM  •
Yang Jie / Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Apple told some suppliers that it wants to boost production outside China, such as in India and Vietnam, citing Beijing's strict anti-COVID-19 policy
10:00 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Analysis: 46 wallets bought a combined $17.3M worth of tokens that were listed shortly after on Coinbase, Binance, and FTX, and sold to make $1.7M+ in profit
9:35 AM  •
Reuters:  Netflix agrees to settle a tax dispute in Italy for $59M; prosecutors argued cables and servers used by Netflix amounted to a physical presence in the country
7:05 AM  •
Christopher Beam / Bloomberg:  A look at the tricky blockchain code questions raised by Indexed Finance's legal fight with an 18-year-old Canadian who exploited the DeFi platform for $16M
2:00 AM  •
Jonathan Greig / The Record:  Pwn2Own Vancouver 2022: hackers exploit several bugs in Microsoft, Ubuntu, and Tesla products; winners were awarded $800K+ for 16 zero-day bugs on the first day
1:35 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:  Heartex, an AI-focused data labeling and annotation service, raises a $25M Series A led by Redpoint Ventures, bringing its total funding to $30M
12:10 AM  •
Omar Faridi / Crowdfund Insider:  London-based Modulr, an API payments infrastructure provider that lets businesses automate and embed payments, raises a $108M Series C led by General Atlantic

May 20, 2022

9:55 PM  •
Anushree Dave / The Block:  OpenSea launches Seaport, an open marketplace protocol that lets users bundle different digital assets in exchange for an NFT, barter for NFTs, tip, and more
7:10 PM  •
Ethan Gach / Kotaku:  Report: Electronic Arts is looking to sell or merge; sources say EA pursued an NBCUniversal merger and held acquisition talks with Disney, Apple, and Amazon
6:45 PM  •
Loni Prinsloo / Bloomberg:  Dutch e-commerce company Prosus plans to exit Russia and is looking to sell Avito, its classifieds ads business in the country that analysts have valued at ~$6B
6:05 PM  •
Reuters:  Singapore-based online fashion marketplace Zilingo fires CEO Ankiti Bose after a probe found “serious financial irregularities”; Bose was suspended in April
5:05 PM  •
Juli Clover / MacRumors:  Kuo: Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod for release in Q4 2022 or Q1 2023, and there “may not be much innovation in hardware design”
3:50 PM  •
Washington Post:  Court docs and a source: Larry Ellison participated in a November 14, 2020 call that focused on strategies for contesting the legitimacy of the 2020 US election
3:30 PM  •
Sophia Kunthara / Crunchbase News:  Bravado, a networking service and jobs marketplace for sales professionals, raises a $26M Series B led by Tiger Global
2:35 PM  •
Murray Stassen / Music Business Worldwide:  Google agrees to keep Bandcamp in the Play Store even if it doesn't adopt Google's in-app payment system; Epic will keep 10% of Bandcamp's IAP revenue in escrow
2:20 PM  •
Jay Bonggolto / Android Central:  Google agrees to let Match Group offer alternative billing to Android users; the Tinder owner drops its request for a temporary restraining order against Google
1:50 PM  •
Aaron Tilley / Wall Street Journal:  Report: Microsoft hid Bing autofill in the US for politically sensitive Chinese names, affecting Windows search; Microsoft blames a technical error
1:00 PM  •
FinSMEs:  Noyo, which provides APIs to help companies offer health insurance and other employee benefits, raises a $45M Series B led by Norwest Venture Partners
12:15 PM  •
TechCrunch:  Seoul prosecutors open an investigation into Terraform Labs, creator of the UST stablecoin and the LUNA token, as its co-founder Do Kwon faces a $78M tax fine
11:45 AM  •
Carly Page / TechCrunch:  Conti urges Costa Rican citizens to pressure their government to pay a ransom, now doubled to $20M, and says it is “determined to overthrow the government”
11:00 AM  •
Kishan Vyas / XDA Developers:  Google says an upcoming Android 13 beta will provide native support for braille displays, letting users access Talkback without downloading a separate app
10:30 AM  •
Matt Day / Bloomberg:  Amazon is testing a service that uses its Flex drivers to deliver packages from mall-based retailers, expanding the variety of goods available for fast shipment
10:05 AM  •
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:  Report details the development of Apple's MR headset as sources say Jony Ive remains involved as an external consultant and the device is not focused on gaming
9:25 AM  •
Adi Robertson / The Verge:  Qualcomm updates its AR Smart Viewer reference design with a higher-powered chipset, a Wi-Fi 6 / 6E and Bluetooth tethering system instead of USB-C, and more
9:00 AM  •
Scharon Harding / Ars Technica:  HP refreshes its Spectre x360 laptop with Intel 12th Gen and AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs, an Intel Arc GPU, a beefed-up webcam, and a quieter fan, starting at $1,650
8:10 AM  •
Sean Hollister / The Verge:  Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, promising 10% faster CPU performance, 10% faster GPU clocks, and up to 30% better CPU and GPU power efficiency
7:25 AM  •
Jay Peters / The Verge:  In its annual diversity report, Google saw its “largest increases in representation of Black and Latinx Googlers in the US” at 20% YoY and 8% YoY, respectively
5:55 AM  •
Nilesh Christopher / Rest of World:  Bengaluru-based Koo, an app touted as India's answer to Twitter, offers a self-verification feature that highlights the risks of giving data to the government
4:30 AM  •
Timothy Craig / Crypto Briefing:  YC-backed DeFi startup Stablegains faces a lawsuit after losing $44M+ of users' funds by investing them in UST, despite previously claiming it was using USDC
2:30 AM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Snapchat is working on Family Center, to let parents see who their teens are friends with and whom they are messaging; teens have the option to not participate

May 19, 2022

11:30 PM  •
Tonya Riley / CyberScoop:  The FTC warns edtech companies to not use children's data for ads and other commercial purposes without parental consent, as it will “vigilantly enforce” COPPA
10:36 PM  •
Alex Heath / The Verge:  A Meta executive told employees they cannot discuss abortion on Workplace, citing “an increased risk” that the company is seen as a “hostile work environment”
9:50 PM  •
Lawrence Abrams / BleepingComputer:  AdvIntel: the Conti ransomware group has taken its infrastructure offline and its leaders are partnering with other smaller ransomware groups to conduct attacks
7:45 PM  •
Rich McHugh / Insider:  Docs: SpaceX paid $250K to settle a flight attendant's allegation that Elon Musk exposed himself and offered a horse in exchange for an erotic massage in 2016
7:10 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Analysis: insurers significantly raised cyber coverage premiums in 2021, after high profile hacks; direct-written premiums by the largest insurers rose 92% YoY
5:55 PM  •
MK Manoylov / The Block:  Sacramento-based Azra Games, a blockchain gaming startup developing a sci-fi fantasy game with virtual collectibles, raises a $15M seed led by a16z
5:20 PM  •
Robert Gillies / Associated Press:  Canada joins its intelligence allies in banning carriers from using Huawei and ZTE equipment for the country's 5G network, after a delay of over three years
4:20 PM  •
The Information:  Sources: Coinbase is pausing new projects, freezing hiring, cutting costs, and giving staff more stock grants after its stock fell 75%+ in the past six months
4:10 PM  •
Canalys:  North American smartphone shipments grew 3.7% YoY to 39M units in Q1 2022; Apple grew its market share to 51% with 19.9M units as Google grew 380% to 1.2M units
2:45 PM  •
Washington Post:  Republicans, who opposed common carrier status for ISPs in the net neutrality debate, now want social media platforms to be treated like “public utilities”
2:00 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: at an all-hands, Twitter's top lawyer Vijaya Gadde said there is “no such thing as a deal being on hold” and execs said Musk's deal is moving forward
1:40 PM  •
Emily Nicolle / Bloomberg:  Tether's accounting firm says Tether holds $20.1B in commercial paper, down 17% QoQ; Tether had $82.4B+ in total assets on March 31 and $82.2B in liabilities
1:25 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Meta launches its free WhatsApp Cloud API, aimed at SMBs, to all businesses worldwide, and announces paid features for its WhatsApp Business app coming later
12:55 PM  •
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:  Sources: Apple executives previewed the upcoming mixed reality headset to the company's board last week; Apple ramped up reality OS development in recent weeks
12:45 PM  •
Joseph Cox / VICE:  In a policy shift, the US Department of Justice plans to stop prosecuting good-faith security research that would have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
12:15 PM  •
Twitter:  Twitter announces a crisis misinformation policy, including adding a warning to highly visible tweets with misleading information and disabling engagement
12:01 PM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  In a letter to portfolio founders, Y Combinator advises to “plan for the worst” by cutting expenses and focusing on extending runways amid the economic downturn
11:45 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Near, a data intelligence company that claims to have 1.6B anonymized user profiles, raises $100M and goes public via a SPAC merger at a “near” $1B valuation
10:40 AM  •
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:  Fastly acquires Glitch, the web coding service formerly called Fog Creek Software; Glitch CEO Anil Dash will join Fastly as its VP of developer experience
10:30 AM  •
Keach Hagey / Wall Street Journal:  A new bipartisan Senate bill would prohibit companies with $20B+ in annual digital ad transactions from participating in more than one part of the ad ecosystem
9:45 AM  •
Jan Hoffman / New York Times:  As US drug overdoses soar, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Discord, and Telegram are a quick and easy conduit for illicit prescription drugs
9:30 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Indian used car marketplace Cars24 lays off ~600 people, which a source says is ~6% of its workforce across many divisions, after raising $400M in December 2021
9:20 AM  •
Gené Teare / Crunchbase News:  Jakarta-based payments infrastructure startup Xendit raises a $300M Series D led by Coatue and Insight Partners after raising a $150M Series C in September 2021
9:05 AM  •
Henry Grabar / Slate:  As Uber starts to cut costs, having lost $30B+ in five-odd years, a look at the impact of subsidized rides on cities, the decline in public transit, and more
8:30 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:  Everstream Analytics, which uses AI to offer supply chain insights and risk analytics, raises a $24M Series A led by Morgan Stanley
8:20 AM  •
David Pierce / The Verge:  Framework refreshes its 13.5" modular Framework Laptop with 12th Gen Intel CPUs, starting at $1,049 in July; owners can upgrade existing laptops with a $538 kit
8:05 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Grab reports Q1 revenue rose 6% YoY to $228M, vs. 139.2M est., as its net loss narrowed to $435M; Grab's stock closes up 24.11%, but down 70%+ from its IPO

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