Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
US Court of Appeals rules Charter can charge Netflix, other streaming services for network interconnection, despite merger conditions prohibiting the practice  —  Court kills ban on interconnection fees because FCC didn't defend merger condition.  —  Charter can charge Netflix …

Marge Simpson has something to say.

Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Sources: Google is planning to eventually replace Duo with Meet, after placing its consumer communication services under G Suite head Javier Soltero  —  With classic Hangouts on the way out, Google today has two video calling apps.  However, that is one too many for the company …

Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
São Paulo-based mobile game maker Wildlife Studios raises $120M at a valuation of $3B, bringing its total raised to $250M  —  Brazil's Wildlife Studios has raised $120 million in a new round of funding for its casual games across multiple genres.  —  Wildlife Studio's mobile game …

VC firm Initialized raises $230M for its fifth fund and says the fund was “heavily oversubscribed” despite the departure of co-founder Alexis Ohanian  —  - Existing portfolio includes unicorns Instacart, Coinbase, Ro  — Fifth fund “heavily oversubscribed” despite co-founder exit

Will the DNC feel like a DNC?

Saying people are toxic is pretty close to genocide.

Ryan Browne / CNBC:
Staff at the Berlin-based digital bank N26 held two votes this week to elect a board for a works council, despite N26 filing two court orders to stop them  —  - Staff at the Berlin-headquartered fintech company held two votes this week to elect a board for a works council.

Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Facebook confirms it is testing TikTok-style short videos in its main app in India, with a dedicated Short Videos section in the news feed  —  Facebook is going all in on short-form videos.  After flirting with the idea in Lasso, a TikTok-clone it tested in select markets …

Mike Didymus / AltAssets Private Equity News:
Financial wellness and budgeting app PayActiv, which also enables employees to get early access to their earned wages, raises $100M Series C led by Eldridge  —  Financial wellness platform PayActiv has bagged $100m in its Series C funding round to increase its customer base.

Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Facebook launches paid online events in 20 countries with waived fees during COVID-19, says Apple is hurting SMBs by refusing to waive its 30% cut on iOS  —  Facebook Inc. joined a growing list of developers to publicly criticize Apple Inc. over its revenue-sharing policy for in-app purchases …

BuzzFeed News:
Facebook's employees and third-party fact-checkers say Facebook has sometimes overruled decisions on divisive content with little transparency  —  On May 8, Prager University, a nonprofit conservative media outlet, published a video on Facebook that incorrectly claimed “there is no evidence …

Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Facebook didn't apply hate speech rules to at least four flagged individuals and groups in India, showing a pattern of favoritism to Modi's party  —  Company executive in vital market opposed move to ban controversial politician; some employees allege favoritism to ruling party

Kim Lyons / The Verge:
ICE signed a contract with facial recognition company Clearview AI this week for “mission support”, government contracting records show  —  The contract comes after months of scrutiny of Clearview's privacy practices  —  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) …

Tom Warren / The Verge:
By weaponizing Fortnite and with Apple as its primary target, Epic Games is well positioned to lead the fight for a change in app store policies  —  Epic Games executed its most ambitious Fortnite live event yesterday, leading both Apple and Google to remove one of the world's most popular games from their app stores.

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Warner Music acquires IMGN, which creates and tracks viral social media content in categories like e-sports, gaming, and ASMR, source says for just under $100M  —  It's a whole new playing field these days for music labels and publishers, and today one of the big three made an acquisition …

BTW, I'd bet Trump and team have anticipated people going to their polling places to vote. They probably will have storm troopers at polling places in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Miami, Phoenix, Atlanta, etc. Snatch a few people off the streets, should do it.

Jason Schreier / Bloomberg:
Ubisoft fires Ashraf Ismail, the creative director of its newest Assassin's Creed game, following an investigation into misconduct allegations  —  Ubisoft Entertainment SA has dismissed the creative director of the newest Assassin's Creed game, the latest result of a MeToo reckoning …

Katyanna Quach / The Register:
Mozilla confirms a deal to keep Google as the default search provider in Firefox; source says the deal is worth $400M to $450M a year between now and 2023  —  $2.5m-a-year CEO set to take a pay cut, so that's all right, then  —  Mozilla has renewed its lucrative nine-figure deal with Google …

Larry David discovers the power of a MAGA hat.

Can't wait.

If you have a million followers only because @ev likes you, and you want my respect, you should delete your twitter account and start over. Twitter used to gift fake followers to journalists who wrote nice things about them. Open corruption. These accounts still are out there.

Poll: I will vote in person on November 3, earlier if I can. I will not rely on the USPS. Do you agree? Americans only please.

Journalism has a simple question to answer. Are we just going to report on what Trump is doing or should we organize the opposition. They're coming for the election. The First Amendment is next. Succinctly, do you fight when you've lost, or when you still have a chance.

A fair analysis of the reason Mozilla is adrift. Lots of extra agendas, often personal, no discipline, professional values, or much connection with users. The mean petty behavior has no place at a customer driven venture, which Mozilla never has been. Another takeaway is that the fire hose of money was wasted hiring more than a few employees to maintain Firefox. The rest of the windfall could have been invested in the S&P 500, held in reserve for the next Firefox, a product developed speculatively by entrepreneurial devs, after it achieves market acceptance. They would have billions in reserve by now. Could have changed the way we develop networks, with emphasis on user choice and no reliance on lock-in. But no one was ever empowered at Mozilla to do that, or no one had the vision or ability to lead.

I'm in a funny place with the new BingeWorthy. Started testing it with people who had rated a lot of programs in the previous version, and am getting good feedback. I'm getting ideas other than bug fixes and tweaks, and today I implemented one of them, which leads me to believe I should just make the new version public and start rolling out the new stuff here on the blog in public view. If you want to see what the new feature is, here's a video. Have a look. And if you think you could contribute to the testing, send me a message on Twitter.

I got a late start today. Oy.