Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Tony Romm / Washington Post:
Tile accused Apple of acting anti-competitively at a House antitrust hearing on Friday, while Sonos testified against Google, and PopSockets against Amazon  —  BOULDER, Colo. — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google took a public lashing at a congressional hearing here Friday …

Mary Ann Azevedo / Crunchbase News:
Payments processing and automation company AvidXchange raises $260M Series F from TPG Sixth Street Partners and others  —  Another day, another big raise by a SaaS company.  This time in a state that is increasing its profile as a startup hub as of late.  —  Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

Doc has been outlining his podcast, so I started outlining mine. I have not recorded it yet.

The best way to experience my blog these days is via email, not RSS. That's not the last word, but right now that's where we're at. That goes for my podcasts too believe it or not.

If I ask you to post something you wrote on Facebook on your blog, so I can point to it, it's because I thought you said something interesting, and I'd like to share it through my blog and feed, but I can't share Facebook posts outside of Facebook. I have a rule about that, and I rarely break the rule. Lots of reasons for it.

Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
Phenom People, which helps customers like Microsoft build career websites with personalized job recommendations and chatbots, raises $30M Series C  —  Phenom People, a human resources (HR) platform that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to help companies attract new talent …

Tom Warren / The Verge:
BT, the biggest ISP in the UK, partners with Google to offer a free Stadia Premiere Edition with some of its broadband plans  —  A boost for Stadia game streaming in Europe  —  BT is partnering with Google to launch broadband plans in the UK that come with access to the Stadia cloud gaming service.

Samuel Stolton /
Leaked white paper: European Commission is considering a 3-5 year ban on the use of facial recognition technology by private or public actors in public spaces  —  Languages: Ελλην ικά … The European Commission is considering measures to impose …

My great-uncle, Arno Schmidt, a German author, died in 1979.

Rainer Maria Rilke: β€œLet everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”

Amy Chozick / New York Times:
Profile of Adam Mosseri, who sees Project Daisy, which will eliminate public display of Instagram Likes later this year, as a way to “depressurize the app”  —  Adam Mosseri, chieftain of Instagram, wants to keep the platform a safe, special space.  That means learning from the mistakes of its parent company: Facebook.

I really liked Jojo Rabbit, even though it got mixed reviews. You start out wondering what the hell they're doing, but in the end it's a good simple little story that has a lot of meaning. A sort of lite version of Handmaid's Tale. I really liked that Rebel Wilson was in it, a good fit, as was the chief Gestapo guy, and Jojo's best friend. What's not to like?

Laura Pitel / Financial Times:
Istanbul-based Getir, which promises an average grocery delivery time of 10 minutes, raises $38M Series A led by Michael Moritz, starts raising $100M Series B  —  A Turkish start-up offering ultrafast deliveries has secured almost $40m in funding from a group of investors led …

Kia Kokalitcheva / Axios:
Cargo, which sold snack boxes and other amenities to ride-hail passengers, lays off “fewer than 30” employees and pivots to car-top advertising  —  Cargo, a New York-based startup that sells snack-boxes and other amenities to ride-hail passengers, has laid off around two dozen employees …

Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
Cyral, which helps protect data stored in cloud repositories, announces $11M Series A and reveals a previously undisclosed $4.1M angel investment  —  Cyral, an early stage startup that helps protect data stored in cloud repositories, announced an $11 million Series A today.

Doc's podcast for the day. This time he has a public outline with notes. I'm going to do some work on the outline reader. Creating a groove. I updated the outline reader software to hot-up his links, to make it a bit more readable on a big screen, and a lot more readable on mobile devices. It's been a long time since I touched that code, I actually had a hard time finding it. πŸ˜„

Dan MacTough answers yesterday's query. Add disown -a after the nohup call. I'm testing it and so far it works.

Wall Street Journal:
Sources: some FBI officials were stunned by AG Barr's use of the Pensacola case to rebuke Apple as they believe Apple had already provided ample assistance  —  Attorney general's earlier service, telecom experience shaped his views; some bureau officials were stunned by his rebuke of Apple over Pensacola shooter's iPhones

Investigation finds illicit THC products are being openly hawked on Instagram and Facebook; Facebook removed 19 groups and Instagram removed posts and hashtags  —  - NBC News found that countless purveyors of illicit THC products are hawking their wares in plain sight on social media pages, especially Instagram and Facebook.

Who ever thought that titles, or the lack thereof, would be the end of blogging? As they say god works in mysterious ways. Also, it's even worse than it appears. πŸ’₯

I must've done something terribly wrong because there's a symposium in NYC in February about how to keep the silos from taking ownership of podcasting, and I don't know any of the speakers. How are we ever going to get anywhere if we don't work together? Oy.

Neat new trick in my blog. When I generate links to titled posts, I put the title in the link, after the question mark in the URL. Example. The browser ignores it, as does the JavaScript code in the page. It's there to provide a human-readable title for the post. You might ask, why not just make the title the link? We did that, for many years, but then you couldn't change the title, or the URL would get out of sync with the title. It's more honest imho to just give each post a URL that is not a function of the title. But it's still nice to have the title present. So there you go, a neat solution and an honorable tradeoff.

New York Times:
In a Q&A, Joe Biden says Section 230 should be immediately revoked for Facebook and other platforms and that Zuckerberg should be submitted to civil liability  —  The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.

Speaking as an authority on the subject of bagels, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a toasted bagel. In fact unless I'm eating a freshly baked bagel, and that's pretty rare these days, I toast them. The warmth of toasting brings out some of the flavor of the bagel when it was fresh.

However I cannot sanction whole wheat bagels. Why? Bagels are not hippie food. Sesame, onion, everything, these are my go-to flavors. The only thing worse than whole wheat is a cinnamon raisin breakfast bagel. Please.

My favorite bagel place is on Utopia Parkway in Whitestone, near where I grew up in Flushing. Neighborhood bagel stores are best. I've tried all the famous supposedly best bagels in NYC and imho they aren't bagels, they have more in common with loaves of bread. A bagel shouldn't be so large. Worst offender -- Ess-A-Bagel.

Give me a fresh bagel with cream cheese and lox and maybe a slice of cucumber and bit of onion, capers on the side, with a cup of fresh coffee and Uncle Davey is a happy camper.

David Ruddock / Android Police:
Kan Liu, the Director of Product Management for Chrome OS, says Google is working to bring Steam support to Chrome OS  —  Last week at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, I spoke with Kan Liu, Director of Product Management for Google's Chrome OS.  In a wide-ranging discussion about the Chrome platform …

Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch:
Funnel, which offers tools to help businesses prepare their marketing data for better reporting and analysis, raises $47M Series B led by Eight Roads Ventures  —  Funnel, the Stockholm-based startup that offers technology to help businesses prepare — or make “business-ready” …

Alex Hern / The Guardian:
Study finds the world's biggest brands, including Samsung and L'Oreal, are unwittingly running ads alongside climate misinformation videos on YouTube  —  Avaaz says firms are unaware commercials being played alongside misleading videos  —  Some of the biggest companies in the world …

Serious weather headed our way.

Now is the time for me to respond via podcast to Doc. 28 minutes which seems to be the default length of one of these voicemailcasts. I don't mind vacuous platitudes. Wilt Chamberlain. My first winter in the country. There was no 3-point play when WC was playing. Here's the epic James Harden 3-pointer. If you shove the microphone into someone's face they don't have time to get nervous. Maps. I loved maps when I was a kid, and miss them terribly because of iPhones. Hillary's Emails and how the know-how of literally millions of people didn't influence journalism. Any one of these people could have helped, but journalism somehow didn't figure it out. Why can't universities do things? University is a 7-by-24 conference center. Fargo. Alex Jones and Shorenstein. The speaker whose name I couldn't remember was Bruce Sterling. Sorry man. More about creating a groove. First you become a habit, then you become an example, and that's a groove.

BTW no one or anything is going to "awaken" the Trump base. That's not how it works. When friends are in a bad marriage, one day you hear they're breaking up, you saw it coming but if you had tried to "awaken" them, they would have kicked your ass for butting in.

There ought to be a TV show entitled What's The Scam!? Contestants compete to design a scam that explains mysterious Trump behavior. For example, Mnuchin gets to loot the Secret Service in return for not disclosing Trump's travel expenses.

Braintrust query: I thought that if I run an app detached using nohup, that if I quit the terminal window, or my desktop system powers off, the app would continue to run. It doesn't.

I finished watching all three seasons of the Fargo TV series. I can't recommend it highly enough. I started to talk about it in the podcast coming out later today, but didn't finish the analogy. The hottest place in the US is always Death Valley. Every day. So when they report the highest temperature on weather reports, they're telling you the place with the second highest temperature because it would just get boring to always say Death Valley. I think that may be how it works for TV series. Fargo is the best, hands down, nothing compares. It's incredibly funny the way Quentin Taratino movies are, or Itchy and Scratchy, it's filled with Easter eggs, and until you watch it twice (at least) you won't see the connections between the characters. For example, in Season 1, two of the main characters were also in Season 2, but it took place 25 years earlier. And there are echoes of the Fargo movie. So I often say The Wire is the best. What I really mean is it's second best. Fargo is, until further notice, the best thing on TV.

I should do a piece on how to use my RSS feeds.

Every once in a while I put out a tweet that gets forwarded a lot. This might be one of them. Trump has always reminded me of famous Jewish comedians. He borrows bits from Joan Rivers, Don Rickles and this clip reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield, with his self-deprecating humor. He talks about his hair as being magnificent. Everyone in the room must realize his hair is bizarre and ugly. He'd look a lot better if he just got a normal haircut for a bald 73-year-old guy. What does he see when he looks in the mirror? Does he still see the young Donald, or does he see the old fool the rest of us see. Of course the press helps sell his buffoonery. It's our way of laughing at ourselves. Look what the great USA has been reduced to. We used to see ourselves as Uncle Sam, now we look in the mirror and see Bozo the Clown.