Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Sam Nussey / Reuters:
SoftBank Vision Fund posts a ~$17.23B loss in the April-June quarter as the value of its tech portfolio, including SenseTime Group and Uber, fell  —  SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) on Monday posted a 2.33 trillion yen ($17.23 billion) loss at its Vision Fund unit in the April-June quarter as the value of its tech portfolio slid.

Rebecca Bellan / TechCrunch:
China's Baidu secures permits for Apollo Go, a fully driverless commercial robotaxi service in Chongqing and Wuhan operating mainly in zones with revamped roads  —  Chinese internet giant Baidu has secured permits to offer a fully driverless commercial robotaxi service, with no human driver present …

Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Fitbit plans to end PC and macOS syncing on October 13, 2022, moving file transfers to its smartphone app, and local music and playlists to Deezer and Pandora  —  One way you synced the very first Fitbit devices was by connecting a dock to your desktop computer and plugging in the tracker.

Mark Harris / IEEE Spectrum:
A look at the data Tesla collects from its 3M vehicles: breadcrumb GPS trails and gateway log files, using the data to develop Autopilot, and who owns the data  —  Logs and records of its customers' journeys fill out petabytes—and court case dockets  —  You won't see a single Tesla cruising …

But what do I know. Heh. Every poll has Rubio far ahead of Demings.

It seems Marco Rubio is beatable. Wouldn't it be something if the listenters to Keith Olbermann's fantastic podcast could make it happen? I think it's possible.

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: many Apple store employees continue to discuss unionizing; Apple has started to record its September event; opinion: iPadOS delay was probably worth it  —  Apple made the right call to push back iPadOS 16, but the move could create new issues for users and developers.

We should write a book on bug reports. There's so much to say. A case study.

A user is testing a fresh new feature. Released seconds before. He tries it out on his iPad and gets a blank screen. Tries it on his desktop machine, it works. He concludes there's an incompatibility with iPads and reports it as such, in great detail with screen shots. He follows the 1. 2. 3. format.

But as the developer reads the report, right from the start, he's pretty sure that the user's theory is incorrect, that it has nothing to do with an incompatibility with iPads. He has strong reasons to believe this, because:

  • The new feature reuses already tested display code, there was nothing new there in this release. Almost all browser incompatibilities are display problems.
  • He had just seen the same behavior on his own machine, and the problem was that he hadn't done a hard reload, so some code files updated, others didn't.

The developer would like to know if there are any error messagess in the JavaScript console, being 99 percent sure there are. The user's report didn't include any info on this. They error messages are in the software for a reason, to help figure out what went wrong, to take the load off the user and the developer. To make these puzzles resolve faster.

They're not in a good place, because the developer is going to have to first convince the user to look elsewhere first, and users like everyone else, don't like to be told they're wrong. That's why we have to slow down. Don't rush to write a bug report. At least try it again, to be sure it reproduces. Think about what else can go wrong.Like it or not, the user has to participate in the debugging process, if they want the problem resolved reasonably efficiently in time, for everyone.

The best bug reports are short. A bug report and lab notes are different things. By digesting your report into simple statements of fact, you get to challenge your own assumptions and might cause you to change your thinking.

You have to think about it as likely your problem, not the software's because in my experience that's what's usually going on. In almost 50 years of being a programmer only once did I find a bug in a compiler, yet in my early years, I often stopped looking because I thought I had, only to find the bug later, in my own code.

I usually exercise in the afternoon, but it's been so hot, so I did my Peloton ride first thing this morning. Then swimming, a nice breakfast with a tall glass of delicious ice coffee. The sense of well-being is overwhelming. I used to have this feeling all the time after working out when I was younger. Now it's harder to get there. It's nice to see if I do everything well, I can still do it.

Zeyi Yang / MIT Technology Review:
At least four top executives associated with a Chinese state-owned semiconductor fund, which has invested $30B to date, have been arrested on corruption charges  —  The arrests of several top semiconductor fund executives could force the government to rethink how it invests in the sector.

Cecilia D'Anastasio / Bloomberg:
Online crypto casinos like Stake are luring gamers into gambling, sometimes to the point of bankruptcy, with celebrity endorsements and sponsored Twitch streams  —  Enneric Chabot, 26, didn't start gambling until he saw his favorite gamers doing it online.  —  Three years ago …

Todd Spangler / Variety:
On its Q2 2022 earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery announced plans to launch a combined HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming service in the US in summer 2023  —  The media company announced a timeline for the two services to be fused together: HBO Max and Discovery+ will launch in the U.S …

Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:
London-based Cera, whose app uses data analytics and AI to manage at-home health care, has raised $320M split equally between debt and equity led by Kairos HQ  —  Cera, a UK provider of healthcare inside people's homes augmented by a platform that allows carers to monitor a patient's health …
Seamless, which provides cross-border digital remittances and cashless payment services, agrees to go public via a SPAC merger at an implied $400M valuation  —  Global FinTech platform Seamless Group will become publicly traded through a combination with special purpose acquisition company …

Sean Whooley / MassDevice:
Illinois-based Sibel Health, which offers wearable sensors, AI-enabled data analytics, and cloud software for remote patient monitoring, raised a $33M Series B  —  IN CASE YOU MISSED IT  —  FROM MEDICAL DESIGN & OUTSOURCING  — Blue Spark's TempTraq catches fevers faster.  Fever prediction is next.

Tom Alberg, an early Amazon investor and Madrona Venture Group co-founder, who was a key figure in shaping the Pacific Northwest's tech economy, dies at 82  —  Tom Alberg, co-founder of the venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group and an early investor in Inc., has died.  He was 82.

Wall Street Journal:
A look at Netflix scrambling to build an ad business and revive its subscriber growth; sources: Reed Hastings expects Netflix could charge ~$80 per 1,000 views  —  Reed Hastings insisted on focusing on subscriptions until competitors started nibbling away at his business model

Eric Seufert / @eric_seufert:
[Thread] How Apple's App Tracking Transparency blew up the digital ad ecosystem, bolstering the company's ad business while positioning it as a privacy champion  —  APPLE ROBBED THE MOB'S BANK: How Apple's App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy blew up the digital advertising ecosystem, bolstering its ads business while positioning itself as a champion of consumer privacy. A masterclass in corporate strategy. (1/X)

Nico Grant / New York Times:
Inside the “YouTube automation” cottage industry that is persuading people to spend thousands of dollars on tutorials for creating video businesses on YouTube  —  A cottage industry is persuading people to spend thousands to create video businesses on YouTube.  Disclaimer: It is harder than it looks.

You don't have to be Jewish.

When I wrote about Utopia Bagels yesterday, I forgot to mention that Whitestone is part of Queens. It's a weird thing, of the five boroughs of NYC, the oddball is Queens, where each neighborhood was once a town, and they kept it that way even when they all became part of Queens. So my parents' address was in Flushing, NY -- not Queens, NY as it would have been if we were in Brooklyn, The Bronx or Staten Island (actually not sure about Staten Island, it's the forgotten borough, more part of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy than the greatest city in the world). Manhattan is the other weird case for a different reason. You send your mail to Manhattanites to New York, NY -- in other words fuck the other boroughs, Manhattan is the real New York. In a city that's known for its self-centered arrogance, Manhattanites take it to the next level. Not only don't they acknowledge that the rest of the country exists, they don't even credit their fellow NYers. Gotta love it. 😄

Wow I miss Summer Streets. On three Saturdays in August, in NYC, they close Park Avenue and 4th Avenue below it, all the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge -- and it's just for bikes and pedestrians. It's what NYC would be like if there were no cars.

A reader thanked me for the tip about Olbermann. "With Maddow only one day a week, it's nice to know there is still a good, daily source of my kind of Snark and News available." My response: You're very welcome. But I think when you listen to Olbermann you'll realize as I did that Maddow wasn't cutting it. She stepped back because she lost her edge, she must've known it. I also think the MSNBC management must have been forcing her to not say the whole truth. Olbermann for now at least is unchained. But his show is owned by a big corporation so he'll probably eventually go stale too. But for now -- he's got it.