Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
ActiveFence, whose tech proactively detects disinformation and other malicious content, raises $100M in a combined Series A and Series B  —  Online abuse, disinformation, fraud and other malicious content is growing and getting more complex to track.  Today, a startup called ActiveFence …

Christine Hall / TechCrunch:
Nium, a Singapore-based B2B payments company, raises $200M Series D at a $1B+ valuation led by Riverwood Capital, with Temasek, Visa, and others participating  —  Business-to-business payments platform Nium announced Monday that it raised more than $200 million in Series D funding and saw its valuation rise above $1 billion.

The Cloudflare Blog:
Cloudflare announces Project Pangea, an initiative to offer its suite of network services to local underserved communities for free  —  Loading...  Half of the world's population has no access to the Internet, with many more limited to poor, expensive, and unreliable connectivity.

Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Samsung confirms that it won't launch Galaxy Note at its Unpacked event on Aug. 11, says it will launch new Galaxy Z phones and an S Pen designed for foldables  —  The company also promises ‘enhanced durability’  —  Samsung isn't looking to have many surprises at its August 11th Unpacked event.

Jason Schreier / Bloomberg:
About 1,000 current and former Activision Blizzard employees say the company's response to its recent lawsuit is “insulting”, in a letter to leadership  —  Nearly 1,000 current and former Activision Blizzard Inc. employees have signed a letter calling the company's responses …

Stephen Nellis / Reuters:
Intel says its Foundry Services will build chips for Qualcomm and AWS and lays out a roadmap to catch up with TSMC and Samsung by 2025  —  Intel Corp (INTC.O) said on Monday its factories will start building Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) chips and laid out a roadmap to expand its new foundry business …

Janko Roettgers / Protocol:
Facebook announces a new Metaverse product group, with plans to hire hundreds of staff, led by Instagram VP Vishal Shah, reporting to VR/AR VP Andrew Bosworth  —  The company plans to hire hundreds of new staffers for the group.  —  Facebook is all in on the Metaverse …

Tom Krazit / Protocol:
Google issues a new Enterprise APIs policy, promising that APIs will remain available far into the future, aiming to move past a reputation for killing services  —  Google Cloud issued a promise Monday to current and potential customers that it's safe to build a business around its core technologies …

Rebecca Szkutak / Forbes:
Teamflow, which provides 2D virtual offices to promote informal collaboration among remote staff, raises $35M Series B at a $225M valuation led by Coatue  —  In 2019, Flo Crivello was working as the head of product for Uber's JUMP Starter division and found himself completely exhausted, on the verge of tears.

Catalin Cimpanu / The Record:
Apple updates iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to address a zero-day flaw that was reportedly actively exploited, making it the 13th zero-day Apple has patched this year  —  Apple has released patches today for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to address a zero-day vulnerability that the company says has been exploited in the wild.

New tagging feature. Click here to open the tagref dialog for "NYT." So now I can post tagrefs to Twitter. Heh.

Nico Grant / Bloomberg:
Profile of Google Cloud boss Thomas Kurian, an Oracle veteran who oversees 37,000 employees and has focused on improving Google's sales teams  —  Google Cloud employees were baffled when they learned that their next boss would be Thomas Kurian, an executive who struggled …

At Living Videotext, we worked with Data General on the DG/One. A 9-pound battery powered luggable. 1984, ran MS-DOS. It was a real portable, you could use it on a plane, in a restaurant, at a meeting.

It was rolled out in a huge expensive press conf at a Los Gatos winery. Everything the best. Hundreds of people, great party and a great breakthrough product.

But you couldn't read the screen.

And they didn't light the demo room.

So that's all anyone talked about.

They were really good people, spent a lot of money on the product, and it should have changed the world more than it did. But they had the same problem many product people have, they didn't know how to listen.

Listening is hard.

One of the perks of being on Guy's podcast is you get a reMarkable tablet to play with. I tried using it, and sent him an email which he has forwarded to the development team at the company. Here's the email.

  • I have two physical issues that make it hard for me to use.
    • My eyesight sucks, and if I'm not mistaken the screen isn't backlit. I was going to keep it near my tv-watching chair, I usually watch the news in the evening, and I thought this would be a good time, but the light isn't good, and as it got darker, I had to give up, I just couldn't read the screen.
    • My handwriting, which used to be great, is now a pretty slow way for me to record my ideas. Obviously the reason is I've spent the last 40 years using a keyboard all day every day.
  • Now, as a user -- I found your pitch, on the podcast, compelling. It was a very familiar one. ;-)
  • If I could have quickly found that model, take notes, quickly send it to my desktop somehow, I would overcome the other two problems.
  • In reMarkable, the path to success is cluttered with lots of tutorials that show me how to be an expert user, but I haven't become a newbie yet. A lot of software devs do this. They don't set up their product so it quickly hooks you. And therefore it doesn't get hooked.
  • I learned this over years, the hard way, by failing. It started with the first internal release of what became ThinkTank at the Visicalc company, which I was part of. No one would use my product. I never did figure out how to get them to do that. But by the time the product got those fabulous reviews in the NYT and Infoworld, the software did present itself with the minimum info, and clear clues as to how to be successful.
  • There are engineering techniques to getting a product set up for new users. It involves making lists of steps, and finding ways to eliminate them one at a time. So when you turn the tablet on, the first thing it presents is a wifi login, then immediately, a box you write in (the prompt makes that obvious), and a big button that says "send it to me" where you enter your email address and off you go. Nothing else on the screen, no other "important" information. Give me success, and give me something I can repeat, and later when I decide to use it regularly, I can go looking for other things to do. That should be easy too, but at the right time.
  • The hardware is good Guy. The pencil has a nice feel. I'm sure inside the software it has all the functionality I just described, but it has to be presented in the right way in the right order.

Medallia, which offers customer experience management tools, says PE firm Thoma Bravo will take the company private for $6.4B, after going public in 2019  —  Enterprise software firm Medallia Inc (MDLA.N) said on Monday private equity firm Thoma Bravo would take the company private for $6.4 billion in cash.

Todd Feathers / VICE:
A look at ShotSpotter, which uses sensors to “detect gunshots”, as court filings suggest it frequently alters evidence at the request of police departments  —  Prosecutors in Chicago are being forced to withdraw evidence generated by the technology, which led to the police killing …

The Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks the 30 biggest Hong Kong-listed tech companies, including Tencent and Alibaba, is down $551B+ since its February peak  —  - Gauge has lost about $551 billion in market value from peak  — Still, ETFs tracking it have recorded rising inflows this year

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Solarisbank raises $224M at a $1.65B valuation to acquire rival banking-as-a-service company Contis and expand its API-based embedded banking tech in Europe  —  Embedded finance — the process by which some of the more complicated, but also commoditized, aspects of financial services are built …

Something they don’t teach us in school in my country is that when we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, we are really pledging allegiance to each other. Because that’s all there is, the people. No dear leader, no state church, just us.

Rand Paul, taking calls from Kentucky voters, is surprised at the passion of the support he's getting. I found it quite illuminating.

A new PagePark feature makes it possible to serve an OPML file as the home page of a site, even if the file is on another server.