Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
YouTube revamps its mobile apps with gestures like swiping up for fullscreen and expands video chapters by adding lists with chapter preview images  —  YouTube today is rolling out a series of updates to its player page on mobile devices.  The changes relocate some elements, add new features …

New York Times:
Jack Ma's Ant Group set out to disrupt China's banks but now partners with many of them while counting huge Chinese institutions as shareholders  —  The tech giant, which is preparing for a mega I.P.O., has transformed personal finance in China.  Regulators have taken notice.

New York Times:
As tourism dries up, Portugal, Spain, France, and other European countries are moving to use Airbnb rentals for long-term use by citizens  —  Platforms like Airbnb have been criticized for raising living costs in popular cities.  Now, officials are trying to move properties aimed at tourists to long-term leases.

Lauren Kaori Gurley / VICE:
Sources: staff at Verkada, a facial recognition and security camera startup, abused the company's own surveillance cameras to monitor and harass women coworkers  —  Employees at Verkada accessed the company's facial recognition system to take photos of women colleagues and make sexually explicit jokes.

David Ingram / NBC News:
Twitter says it will place messages it calls “pre-bunks” at the top of users' feeds to pre-emptively debunk false info about voting by mail and election results  —  Twitter said Monday it would begin placing messages at the top of users' feeds to pre-emptively debunk false information …

Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
TechSee, which offers AR and computer vision tools to streamline field service work, raises $30M co-led by OurCrowd, Salesforce Ventures, and TELUS Ventures  —  TechSee, which describes itself as an “intelligent visual assistance” company, today closed a $30 million investment round co-led by OurCrowd …

Thomas Brewster / Forbes:
Grayshift, the maker of phone hacking tool GrayKey that's popular with law enforcement, raises $47M led by PeakEquity Partners  —  Grayshift, the startup behind one of the U.S. government's favourite iPhone hacking technologies, has raised $47 million in funding.

Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
Melbourne-based Linktree, a social media platform with lightweight, link-centric user profiles, raises $10.7M Series A and says it has 8M+ users  —  Simple, link-centric user profiles might seem might not seem like a particularly ambitious idea, but it's been big enough for Linktree.

I have the Apple credit card. It's so incredibly easy to pay the bill, because the UI is right there on your iPhone. I also now have an Amazon card, and two traditional bank cards. So I know from what I'm talking about.

If there's no cancel culture, what happened to Al Franken?

Natalia Drozdiak / Bloomberg:
Group representing Facebook, TikTok, Google, and others calls on EU to protect them from legal liabilities for removing hate speech and illegal content  —  - Companies risk legal liability for actively removing content  — Call comes as European Commission prepares digital policy

It's not often you know that next Tuesday the world is going to change in a profound way. There's still a chance the world will fall apart before then, as a programmer I am trained to think of all that can go wrong. But barring that, one way or the other everything will change a week from today.

Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:
China-based esports platform Versus Programming Network (VSPN) raises $100M Series B led by Tencent  —  Further confirmation that the esports market is booming amid the pandemic comes today with the news that esports ‘total solutions provider’ VSPN (Versus Programming Network) …

Sources: Apple TV+, Netflix, and others explored buying the rights for “No Time to Die”, but balked at MGM's $600M price tag  —  Apple, Netflix and other streaming services explored the possibility of acquiring “No Time to Die,” the upcoming James Bond movie that was originally slated to debut last April.

Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
As part of its plans to deprecate Internet Explorer, Microsoft will force certain URLs to open in Edge instead of IE, starting next month for most users  —  Here's the list of 1,156 sites you won't be able to open in Internet Explorer anymore.  —  Big changes are coming to Internet Explorer.

Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Ketos, a hybrid device- and cloud-based service for monitoring drinking water quality, raises $18M Series B led by Motley Fool Ventures  —  Water analytics startup Ketos today announced it raised $18 million in funding.  The capital will be put toward further advancing the company's cloud …

Stephanie Clifford / New York Times:
Seesaw, a remote learning startup with just 60 employees in February, saw rapid growth during the pandemic and is now used in over 75% of American schools  —  It wasn't simple to become a do-it-all education tool almost overnight.  —  The first requests that upended Seesaw, a popular classroom app …

Yoolim Lee / Bloomberg:
Sources: Google and Singapore's state investment firm Temasek have agreed to invest $350M in Indonesia's largest e-commerce marketplace Tokopedia  —  Google and Temasek Holdings Pte have agreed to invest about $350 million in PT Tokopedia, people familiar with the matter said …

Poll: Anyone who votes for Trump after they said they aren't going to control the virus is..

A friend is starting to use the outliner to narrate his work. He writes about an "impenetrable wall of text." I wrote up some tips, and of course felt they should be public.

  • Re the impenetrable wall of text -- try collapsing things, where the detail isn't of immediate concern, so you can see the structure. It would help me too as a reader, to see the old stuff collapsed, and be able to expand it as I need to.
  • Also hoist and dehoist are there to help manage complexity. You can hoist a section, by placing the cursor on a head with subs, and click on the pushpin icon in the left margin. It'll be the one that's enabled. Then when you want to return, click the other one. It's like a stack (it actually is a stack, of course).

Imagine a bookshelf of notebooks. You don't have every notebook open to all pages at the same time. It doesn't even make sense. You'd go crazy trying to find something. Same idea here. You've got tools to manage clutter, they take time to learn to use.

Here's what my blog outline looks like as I'm writing today's notes.

I've now made it through the first two episodes of The Queen's Gambit, and it is really good. If the quality in the first two episodes carries through, this is going to be one of my favorite binges.

New Coke was "the unofficial name for the reformulation of Coca-Cola introduced in April 1985. It was renamed Coke II in 1992, and was discontinued in July 2002."

Have you experienced 5G yet? Is it wonderful? Worth it?

HBO Max is like New Coke. HBO was the #1 brand. Needed to be a little more like Netflix, but really it was pretty good as it was. Now the max part has coincided with it being a lot harder to use, virtually impossible if you use the popular Roku platform. At least for me. Looks like an epic mistake. At a time when the market is overloaded with lots of big brands (Disney, Apple etc) trying to diversity into a market already dominated by HBO, it's a really curious time for them to knock out their own legs.

One thing that's so disappointing about the people I've met in tech is that they are mostly motivated by what they can take from others, rather than what they can build working with others. So often they could make so much more money by doing the latter. Stupid. (And of course money is far from the most motivating motive.)

In a sane world "We're not going to control the virus" is what you say as you resign. It literally is a resignation.