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Science/Tech / Techmeme

India's Unified Payments Interface eliminated most of the fees apps like Paytm charged for transactions, forcing them to search for other sources of income (Manish Singh/TechCrunch)

TechCrunch : India's Unified Payments Interface eliminated most of the fees apps like Paytm charged for transactions, forcing them to search for other sources of income   —  After signing up hundreds of millions of users, startups switch to lending and lean on merchants in search of revenues

5 Apr 2020 2:30 pm
How Silicon Valley food caterers, event planners, venue owners, models, DJs, and others who relied on tech parties and events are coping with the loss of income (Salvador Rodriguez/CNBC)

CNBC : How Silicon Valley food caterers, event planners, venue owners, models, DJs, and others who relied on tech parties and events are coping with the loss of income   —  - Performers, food caterers, event planners, venue owners, models, DJs and others that rely on the tech industry's parties …

5 Apr 2020 11:25 am
Washington state's facial recognition law, which is championed by Microsoft, was sponsored by State Sen. Joe Nguyen, who also is a program manager at Microsoft (Dave Gershgorn/OneZero )

OneZero  : Washington state's facial recognition law, which is championed by Microsoft, was sponsored by State Sen. Joe Nguyen, who also is a program manager at Microsoft   —  Plus, live facial recognition updates and the week's A.I. research  —  Welcome to General Intelligence, your weekly dive into the A.I. news and research that matters.

5 Apr 2020 10:55 am
Uber Eats waived delivery fees in the name of supporting local restaurants, but some restaurants say Uber's 25% commission for take-out orders is too high (Sidney Fussell/Wired)

Wired : Uber Eats waived delivery fees in the name of supporting local restaurants, but some restaurants say Uber's 25% commission for take-out orders is too high   —  Social distancing rules have reduced many eateries to delivery and take out.  But apps like Uber Eats exact a 25 percent toll on their shrinking revenue.

5 Apr 2020 9:55 am
Zoom is being banned over security concerns by some US school districts, including NYC, which is directing teachers to switch to Microsoft Teams (Valerie Strauss/Washington Post)

Washington Post : Zoom is being banned over security concerns by some US school districts, including NYC, which is directing teachers to switch to Microsoft Teams   —  Some school districts around the country have started to ban the use of Zoom for online learning from home during the coronavirus crisis …

5 Apr 2020 9:10 am
Critics say bug bounty programs buy researcher silence, may violate labor law, and are less effective when they are closed and have NDAs placed on them (J.M. Porup/CSO)

CSO : Critics say bug bounty programs buy researcher silence, may violate labor law, and are less effective when they are closed and have NDAs placed on them   —  When Jonathan Leitschuh found a catastrophic security vulnerability in Zoom, the popular videoconferencing platform …

5 Apr 2020 8:25 am
Apple's deal with Amazon to allow the Prime Video app to process some in-app payments on its own shows how arbitrary, unfair, and outdated App Store rules are (Dieter Bohn/The Verge)

The Verge : Apple's deal with Amazon to allow the Prime Video app to process some in-app payments on its own shows how arbitrary, unfair, and outdated App Store rules are   —  Apple and Amazon very, very quietly unveiled a monumental app deal this week, without fanfare or, sadly, much in the way of transparency.

5 Apr 2020 5:20 am
US Small Business Administration issues new guidance for the $350B stimulus program that still seems to exclude most VC-backed startups (Jonathan Shieber/TechCrunch)

TechCrunch : US Small Business Administration issues new guidance for the $350B stimulus program that still seems to exclude most VC-backed startups   —  Under new guidance issued by the Small Business Administration it seems non-profits and faith-based groups can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program loans designed …

5 Apr 2020 1:30 am
Sources: Apple is in the process of acquiring the California-based VR startup NextVR in a deal valued around $100M (Zac Hall/9to5Mac)

9to5Mac : Sources: Apple is in the process of acquiring the California-based VR startup NextVR in a deal valued around $100M   —  It's no secret that Apple has ambitious plans for augmented reality and a future AR-focused headset.  Apple is practically building the platform for its future headset out in the open with ARKit.

5 Apr 2020 12:20 am
China's efforts to track COVID-19 cases using personal data has been messy, partly due to sporadic coordination between different agencies and local governments (Financial Times)

Financial Times : China's efforts to track COVID-19 cases using personal data has been messy, partly due to sporadic coordination between different agencies and local governments   —  Efforts to track cases have been haphazard but technology companies face pressure to hand over information

4 Apr 2020 11:05 pm
Report: Russia delays the implementation of a law banning devices not pre-installed with Russian software, by six months until January 1, 2021 (Andrey Kuzmin/Reuters)

Reuters : Report: Russia delays the implementation of a law banning devices not pre-installed with Russian software, by six months until January 1, 2021   —  MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Tuesday pushed back legislation that would require all smartphones, computers and smart TV sets sold in Russia …

4 Apr 2020 9:25 pm
Telecom engineers, considered essential workers in the UK, are facing harassment from anti-5G conspiracy mongers, linking the deployment of 5G to coronavirus (Jim Waterson/The Guardian)

The Guardian : Telecom engineers, considered essential workers in the UK, are facing harassment from anti-5G conspiracy mongers, linking the deployment of 5G to coronavirus   —  EE suspects telephone mast engulfed by fire in Birmingham was an arson attack as celebrities claim Covid-19 caused by new network

4 Apr 2020 4:40 pm
4Paradigm, a China-based startup providing AI-powered real-time data analytics, raises $230M from Cisco, Lenovo, and others, at a post-money valuation of ~$2B (Jane Zhang/South China Morning Post)

South China Morning Post : 4Paradigm, a China-based startup providing AI-powered real-time data analytics, raises $230M from Cisco, Lenovo, and others, at a post-money valuation of ~$2B   —  The funding round has attracted new strategic investors including American technology conglomerate Cisco and the world's largest …

4 Apr 2020 2:05 pm
Profile of Larry Ellison, who has turned the Hawaiian island of Lanai into a data-powered wellness lab and is building a COVID-19 database for the White House (Angel Au-Yeung/Forbes)

Forbes : Profile of Larry Ellison, who has turned the Hawaiian island of Lanai into a data-powered wellness lab and is building a COVID-19 database for the White House   —  As Larry Ellison sits in one of several idyllic bubbles he has created for himself, a lush 249-acre estate in Rancho Mirage …

4 Apr 2020 11:30 am
A look at how tech's lobbying efforts in the US are quietly pushing for long-held goals in the frantic political and economic environment amid COVID-19 outbreak (David McCabe/New York Times)

New York Times : A look at how tech's lobbying efforts in the US are quietly pushing for long-held goals in the frantic political and economic environment amid COVID-19 outbreak   —  Silicon Valley hasn't suffered from the same financial devastation as other industries.  Tech companies still have an agenda to push.

4 Apr 2020 9:35 am
UK researchers are using Google's mobile location data collected from apps like Google Maps to help track and predict the spread of COVID-19 across Europe (Ryan Gallagher/Bloomberg)

Bloomberg : UK researchers are using Google's mobile location data collected from apps like Google Maps to help track and predict the spread of COVID-19 across Europe   —  - Data is anonymized and aggregated, can't track individuals  — Effort is one of many to use mobile phone data to track virus

4 Apr 2020 8:35 am
Zoom will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID and will turn on Waiting Rooms by default to prevent trolls from disrupting calls, starting April 5 (Josh Constine/TechCrunch)

TechCrunch : Zoom will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID and will turn on Waiting Rooms by default to prevent trolls from disrupting calls, starting April 5   —  Zoom is making some drastic changes to prevent rampant abuse as trolls attack publicly shared video calls.

4 Apr 2020 7:35 am
Global online music streaming grew 32% YoY in 2019, reaching 358M total subs; Spotify led with 31% market share of paid subs, followed by Apple Music at 19% (Abhilash Kumar/Counterpoint Research)

Counterpoint Research : Global online music streaming grew 32% YoY in 2019, reaching 358M total subs; Spotify led with 31% market share of paid subs, followed by Apple Music at 19%   —  - Spotify continues to be the market leader and recorded a 23% YoY growth in total revenue during CY 2019.

4 Apr 2020 5:45 am
Google temporarily rolls back its SameSite policy in Chrome, to allow stability for essential service websites that may not meet third party cookie requirements (Aliya Chaudhry/The Verge)

The Verge : Google temporarily rolls back its SameSite policy in Chrome, to allow stability for essential service websites that may not meet third party cookie requirements   —  Google says it wants to provide stability during the COVID-19 outbreak  —  With the launch of Chrome 80 in February …

4 Apr 2020 4:25 am
Apple has acquired Dublin-based AI startup Voysis, which developed a platform for digital assistants to better understand people's natural language (Mark Gurman/Bloomberg)

Bloomberg : Apple has acquired Dublin-based AI startup Voysis, which developed a platform for digital assistants to better understand people's natural language   —  - Company continues to buy AI, voice startups to improve Siri  — Dublin-based Voysis focused on adding AI to online shopping

4 Apr 2020 3:25 am
Apptopia and Braze study: with 59M global installs, Netflix led rivals YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ in Q1, but more time was spent on YouTube Kids (Anthony Ha/TechCrunch)

TechCrunch : Apptopia and Braze study: with 59M global installs, Netflix led rivals YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ in Q1, but more time was spent on YouTube Kids   —  Netflix may still dominate global streaming, but Disney+ has made a huge splash in the United States, where it launched in November.

4 Apr 2020 2:35 am
Four democratic senators send a letter to Apple, asking whether its COVID-19 app and website comply with HIPAA and seeking info on its agreements with the govt (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg : Four democratic senators send a letter to Apple, asking whether its COVID-19 app and website comply with HIPAA and seeking info on its agreements with the govt   —  - Menendez, Harris, Booker, Blumenthal send letter to Cook  — Apple says it's not collecting answers from the screening tool

4 Apr 2020 12:50 am
Internal docs: Amazon to postpone Prime Day at least until August, expects a potential $100M hit from excess devices it may now have to sell at a discount (Reuters)

Reuters : Internal docs: Amazon to postpone Prime Day at least until August, expects a potential $100M hit from excess devices it may now have to sell at a discount   —  (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) is postponing its major summer shopping event Prime Day at least until August and expects potentially …

3 Apr 2020 11:45 pm
Justin Trudeau says Canada has signed an agreement with Amazon to distribute critical medical supplies across the country (Alicja Siekierska/Yahoo Finance)

Yahoo Finance : Justin Trudeau says Canada has signed an agreement with Amazon to distribute critical medical supplies across the country   —  Canada has signed an agreement with Amazon (  —  AMZN) to distribute critical medical supplies across the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.

3 Apr 2020 11:15 pm
Thousands of Zoom calls found via web search using Zoom's default file naming scheme after users saved them in unprotected spaces like open AWS S3 buckets (Drew Harwell/Washington Post)

Washington Post : Thousands of Zoom calls found via web search using Zoom's default file naming scheme after users saved them in unprotected spaces like open AWS S3 buckets   —  Many of the videos include personally identifiable information and deeply intimate conversations, recorded in people's homes.

3 Apr 2020 10:20 pm
OctoML, which wants to use ML to make machine learning models run more efficiently on different types of hardware, raises $15M Series A led by Amplify (Frederic Lardinois/TechCrunch)

TechCrunch : OctoML, which wants to use ML to make machine learning models run more efficiently on different types of hardware, raises $15M Series A led by Amplify   —  OctoML, a startup founded by the team behind the Apache TVM machine learning compiler stack project, today announced that it has raised …

3 Apr 2020 9:15 pm
Apple Arcade launches new RPG Legend of the Skyfish 2 (Shelby Brown/CNET)

CNET : Apple Arcade launches new RPG Legend of the Skyfish 2   —  The game will be available to play on Apple Arcade today.  —  Apple Arcade added the new action RPG Legend of the Skyfish 2 from Crescent Moon Games and Mother Gaia Studio to its growing catalog of over 100 games on Friday.

3 Apr 2020 9:15 pm
In a court filing, CEO of NSO Group says Facebook representatives approached NSO in 2017 to buy parts of Pegasus to monitor phones of users who installed Onavo (Joseph Cox/VICE)

VICE : In a court filing, CEO of NSO Group says Facebook representatives approached NSO in 2017 to buy parts of Pegasus to monitor phones of users who installed Onavo   —  Facebook representatives approached controversial surveillance vendor NSO Group to try and buy a tool that could help Facebook better monitor …

3 Apr 2020 8:13 pm
The new iPad Pro gets a privacy feature, first introduced on 2018 MacBooks, that disconnects hardware microphones when an attached MFi compliant case is closed (Zac Hall/9to5Mac)

9to5Mac : The new iPad Pro gets a privacy feature, first introduced on 2018 MacBooks, that disconnects hardware microphones when an attached MFi compliant case is closed   —  Recent Apple MacBooks have included an aggressive security feature that disconnects hardware microphones when the lid is physically closed.

3 Apr 2020 7:05 pm
Civil liberties advocates say a data-driven approach to pandemic response is compatible with individual rights, but with limits and justifications at every step (Sam Biddle/The Intercept)

The Intercept : Civil liberties advocates say a data-driven approach to pandemic response is compatible with individual rights, but with limits and justifications at every step   —  In less than a decade, whistleblowers like the NSA's Edward Snowden and Cambridge Analytica's Christopher Wylie helped spur …

3 Apr 2020 6:30 pm
Airbnb lowers its internal valuation to $26B, a 16% drop since its last funding round; the company faces as much as an estimated 90% drop in bookings (Dave Lee/Financial Times)

Financial Times : Airbnb lowers its internal valuation to $26B, a 16% drop since its last funding round; the company faces as much as an estimated 90% drop in bookings   —  Exclusive: short-term rental site hit by sharp drop in bookings because of coronavirus outbreak  —  The short-term rental site Airbnb …

3 Apr 2020 5:40 pm
Researchers: Zoom sometimes uses encryption keys issued by servers in China, uses a flawed encryption method, and hence is not suited to communicate secrets (Micah Lee/The Intercept)

The Intercept : Researchers: Zoom sometimes uses encryption keys issued by servers in China, uses a flawed encryption method, and hence is not suited to communicate secrets   —  Meetings on Zoom, the increasingly popular video conferencing service, are encrypted using an algorithm with serious …

3 Apr 2020 4:55 pm
Pinterest CEO and a team of multi-disciplinary scientists launch How We Feel app to collect global COVID-19 data daily while respecting user privacy (Darrell Etherington/TechCrunch)

TechCrunch : Pinterest CEO and a team of multi-disciplinary scientists launch How We Feel app to collect global COVID-19 data daily while respecting user privacy   —  There have been a few scattered efforts to leverage crowd-sourced self-reporting of symptoms as a way to potentially predict and chart …

3 Apr 2020 4:30 pm
Microsoft's Azure Cognitive Services gets new voice styles designed to help developers tailor the voice of their apps and services to their brand or scenario (Mike Wheatley/SiliconANGLE)

SiliconANGLE : Microsoft's Azure Cognitive Services gets new voice styles designed to help developers tailor the voice of their apps and services to their brand or scenario   —  Microsoft Corp. today added new “voice styles” to Azure Cognitive Services, its cloud-based suite of application programming interfaces …

3 Apr 2020 2:10 pm
Google uses aggregated anonymized location data from 131 countries to show which places are complying with social distancing and which aren't (Casey Newton/The Verge)

The Verge : Google uses aggregated anonymized location data from 131 countries to show which places are complying with social distancing and which aren't   —  New COVID-19 mobility reports show changes in traffic to stores, parks, transit stations, and more  —  Google is using location data gathered …

3 Apr 2020 12:33 pm
Researchers are using Facebook's location data to provide daily updates to US cities and states evaluating the effectiveness of social distancing amid COVID-19 (Reuters)

Reuters : Researchers are using Facebook's location data to provide daily updates to US cities and states evaluating the effectiveness of social distancing amid COVID-19   —  SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Infectious disease researchers are using Facebook Inc mobile location data to provide daily updates …

3 Apr 2020 10:35 am
Leaked memo: Apple told employees that its retail stores in the US will remain closed and work-from-home procedures will remain in place till early May (Mark Gurman/Bloomberg)

Bloomberg : Leaked memo: Apple told employees that its retail stores in the US will remain closed and work-from-home procedures will remain in place till early May   —  - Apple's top retail, human resources exec sends memo to workers  — Work from home to also remain in place in U.S. on Covid-19

3 Apr 2020 9:33 am
Facebook announces new measures to help businesses including a gift card registry, says applications for its $100M SMB grant program will open next week (Andrew Hutchinson/Social Media Today)

Social Media Today : Facebook announces new measures to help businesses including a gift card registry, says applications for its $100M SMB grant program will open next week   —  Facebook is rolling out some new measures to assist businesses dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 shutdowns …

3 Apr 2020 8:45 am
FCC approves $200M COVID-19 Telehealth Program to help cover the cost of new telehealth services and devices with up to $1M in funding for medical providers (Devin Coldewey/TechCrunch)

TechCrunch : FCC approves $200M COVID-19 Telehealth Program to help cover the cost of new telehealth services and devices with up to $1M in funding for medical providers   —  The FCC has developed and approved a $200 million program to fund telehealth services and devices for medical providers, just a week or so after the funding was announced.

3 Apr 2020 6:00 am
Source: Apple's new entry level iPhone will be called iPhone SE, available in white, black, and red, with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB storage options (Zac Hall/9to5Mac)

9to5Mac : Source: Apple's new entry level iPhone will be called iPhone SE, available in white, black, and red, with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB storage options   —  9to5Mac has learned new information about Apple's long-rumored, entry-level iPhone model, including the marketing name, product colors …

3 Apr 2020 5:30 am
Zoom has issued a patch for a vulnerability in its Windows client that let attackers steal Windows login credentials from malicious chat links (Mark Hachman/PCWorld)

PCWorld : Zoom has issued a patch for a vulnerability in its Windows client that let attackers steal Windows login credentials from malicious chat links   —  Update: After this story and others went live April 1, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan addressed Zoom security and other issues in a blog post.

3 Apr 2020 4:20 am
A deep dive into the deal between Apple and Amazon which lets the retail giant process some payments in Prime Video app, and the motivations of both companies (John Gruber/Daring Fireball)

Daring Fireball : A deep dive into the deal between Apple and Amazon which lets the retail giant process some payments in Prime Video app, and the motivations of both companies   —  Benjamin Mayo, writing for 9to5Mac yesterday: … I've been digging into this since the news broke, and I think it's even more significant than Mayo suggests.

3 Apr 2020 3:50 am
European countries, including France and Germany, are offering billions of euros to support tech startups during COVID-19; the UK is facing calls to do similar (Ryan Browne/CNBC)

CNBC : European countries, including France and Germany, are offering billions of euros to support tech startups during COVID-19; the UK is facing calls to do similar   —  - France and Germany have said they will provide billions of euros in financial support for their tech start-ups.

3 Apr 2020 3:10 am
Instacart says it will start providing free health and safety kits with a face mask, hand sanitizer, and a thermometer to its full-service shoppers (Megan Rose Dickey/TechCrunch)

TechCrunch : Instacart says it will start providing free health and safety kits with a face mask, hand sanitizer, and a thermometer to its full-service shoppers   —  Instacart will start providing health and safety kits to its full-service shoppers.  These kits will include a face mask, hand sanitizer and a thermometer, the company announced today.

3 Apr 2020 2:05 am
Apple references its rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube (Pururaj Dutta/Appleosophy)

Appleosophy : Apple references its rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube   —  Apple just uploaded a video on their Apple Support YouTube channel titled “How to erase your iPhone”.  This tutorial tells us about the process of erasing an iPhone …

3 Apr 2020 1:50 am
Leaked notes from an internal meeting attended by Jeff Bezos reveal Amazon execs discussed a plan to smear fired warehouse employee Christian Smalls (Paul Blest/VICE)

VICE : Leaked notes from an internal meeting attended by Jeff Bezos reveal Amazon execs discussed a plan to smear fired warehouse employee Christian Smalls   —  Leaked notes from an internal meeting of Amazon leadership obtained by VICE News reveal company executives discussed a plan …

3 Apr 2020 1:45 am
eBay says it will waive seller fees for new businesses through June 30 as part of a new Up & Running program to help owners of shuttered physical stores (Chaim Gartenberg/The Verge)

The Verge : eBay says it will waive seller fees for new businesses through June 30 as part of a new Up & Running program to help owners of shuttered physical stores   —  The company's new ‘Up & Running’ program waives seller fees through June 30th  —  eBay is launching a new “Up & Running” …

3 Apr 2020 12:40 am
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says VC-backed startups will become eligible for $350B in small business loans guaranteed via the CARES Act (Dan Primack/Axios)

Axios : House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says VC-backed startups will become eligible for $350B in small business loans guaranteed via the CARES Act   —  Venture capital-backed startups will become eligible for $350 billion in small business loans guaranteed by the federal government …

2 Apr 2020 11:35 pm
App Annie: consumers spent a record $23.4B+ globally through Google and Apple app stores in Q1 2020, with average weekly time spent in apps and games up 20% YoY (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)

TechCrunch : App Annie: consumers spent a record $23.4B+ globally through Google and Apple app stores in Q1 2020, with average weekly time spent in apps and games up 20% YoY   —  Time spent in mobile apps has been surging, as people stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak have been turning to apps …

2 Apr 2020 9:55 pm
Amazon bans the sale of some medical supplies, like N95 and surgical masks, to the general public and will only allow hospitals and government orgs to buy them (Jason Del Rey/Vox)

Vox : Amazon bans the sale of some medical supplies, like N95 and surgical masks, to the general public and will only allow hospitals and government orgs to buy them   —  The online retailer will only allow hospitals and government organizations to purchase certain medical supplies

2 Apr 2020 9:05 pm