Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Juro Osawa / The Information:
Sources: Indonesia's Gojek and Tokopedia are finalizing an $18B merger, creating a combined company called Goto, in a deal expected to close as early as April  —  Gojek and Tokopedia, two of Indonesia's biggest internet companies, are finalizing their $18 billion merger to create a giant in ride-hailing, food delivery and e-commerce.

Stephanie Yang / Wall Street Journal:
China's antitrust watchdog publishes strikingly similar statements from 12 companies, including ByteDance and, pledging compliance with antimonopoly laws  —  Days after a record fine against Alibaba, China's tech companies have pledged to adhere to antimonopoly regulations

Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
Ireland's Data Protection Commission says it is investigating Facebook's recently-discovered data leak that affected 533M accounts  —  Facebook's lead data supervisor in the European Union has opened an investigation into whether the tech giant violated data protection rules vis-a-vis the leak of data reported earlier this month.

BTW, if someone is looking for an interesting not-too-huge project, hooking up the JavaScript XML-RPC package to WordPress via the MetaWeblog API is a totally self-contained project and would be very helpful.

Miriam Gottfried / Wall Street Journal:
Abu Dhabi's Group 42, which offers AI and cloud computing products aimed at digitizing enterprises, raises ~$800M from Silver Lake for a minority stake  —  Private-equity firm will be technology company's first Western investor  —  Silver Lake is investing about $800 million to take a minority stake …

Amy Feldman / Forbes:
Groq, which makes chips for data centers and autonomous vehicles, raises $300M Series C, led by Tiger Global and D1 Capital, at a $1B+ valuation  —  Jonathan Ross left Google to launch next-generation semiconductor startup Groq in 2016.  Today, the Mountain View, California-based firm …

Follow-up to yesterday's braintrust query. Apparently WordPress still has an API, there's a Node package to interface to it, and even better, they still have the XML-RPC interface and support the Metaweblog API. So it should be possible to have WordPress support in Drummer and use the outliner to create and edit posts on a WordPress website, and who knows where that goes. What's especially cool about it is that in December 2019 I released a new reference implementation of XML-RPC in the form of a client and server for Node, in JavaScript of course, and a client that runs in the browser. So now there's a good reason to add XML-RPC support to Drummer, which I totally want to do.

New York Times:
Hundreds of executives and companies, including Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon, sign a statement opposing “any discriminatory legislation” around voting  —  Amazon, Google, G.M. and Starbucks were among those joining the biggest show of solidarity by businesses over legislation in numerous states.

William Gallagher / AppleInsider:
University of Washington researchers partner with Apple to study how Apple Watch may be used to predict respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 or flu  —  Researchers at the University of Washington have partnered with Apple to study how Apple Watch may be used to predict illnesses such as coronavirus, or flu.

Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:
Wire, an enterprise-focused end-to-end encrypted messaging app raises $21M Series B led by UVC Partners  —  Wire, the end-to-end encrypted messaging app and service, has raised a $21 million Series B funding round led by UVC Partners.  As the company said a couple of years ago …

Ian Hamilton / UploadVR:
Oculus says v28 software update to Quest 2 will add an Air Link mode to play PC VR games wirelessly, a 120Hz refresh rate, and improvements to Infinite Office  —  Facebook's latest update to the Oculus Quest 2 software will add an Air Link mode to play PC VR games wirelessly.

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Upstack, which helps businesses choose better cloud and other digital services, raises $50M, bringing its total raised to ~$85M  —  Digital transformation has been one of the biggest catchphrases of the past year, with many an organization forced to reckon with aging IT, a lack of digital strategy …

Mishaal Rahman / XDA Developers:
Leaked Android 12 build gives a look at upcoming features, including quick settings, volume panel UI, location permissions, and clipboard access notification  —  It's been nearly 2 months since Google released the first Android 12 developer preview, and we're expecting the third developer preview to drop at any moment.

Todd Spangler / Variety:
Plex raises $50M+ Series C from existing investor Intercap, bringing its total raised to $60M, and says it has more than 25M registered users globally  —  Streaming media service Plex, looking to grow its free, ad-supported video business, announced that it raised more than $50 million …

Chris Welch / The Verge:
Amazon unveils second-gen Echo Buds with a 20% smaller design and enhanced noise cancellation for $120 and a USB-C wireless charging case for $140  —  The second-gen Echo Buds are 20 percent smaller and priced very aggressively  —  Amazon is today introducing its second-generation pair of Echo Buds.

James Vincent / The Verge:
Google's decision to fire two of its top AI ethics researchers has triggered waves of protest from academics, as some say its research can't be trusted any more  —  Google has worked for years to position itself as a responsible steward of AI.  Its research lab hires respected academics …

Washington Post:
Sources: Australian company Azimuth unlocked San Bernardino shooter's iPhone for FBI, using a flaw in Mozilla's open source code used for lightning accessories  —  Azimuth unlocked the iPhone at the center of an epic legal battle between the FBI and Apple.  Now, Apple is suing the company co-founded …

I'm glad the Free Software Foundation is standing with Richard Stallman. You don't get to destroy someone's life because you don't like him, or the questions he asks, or the things he says. This really is a question of freedom.

Braintrust query: Is there a way to post to WordPress from an external app? If it has an API, I'd like to get support in the first release of Drummer. It's an important connection. For years they had an XML-RPC interface. I think that's gone now. Has something replaced it yet? (Update: This looks promising.)