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Before suing NSO Group, Facebook allegedly sought their software to better spy on users

Facebook‘s WhatsApp is in the midst of a lawsuit against Israeli mobile surveillance outfit NSO Group. But before complaining about the company‘s methods, Facebook seems to have wanted to use them for its own purposes, according to testimony from NSO founder Shalev Hulio.

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Zoom admits some calls were routed through China by mistake

Hours after security researchers at Citizen Lab reported that some Zoom calls were routed through China, the video conferencing platform has offered an apology and a partial explanation. To recap, Zoom has faced a barrage of headlines this week over its security policies and privacy practices, as hundreds of millions forced to work from home []

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As tech layoffs surge, some support emerges for those without a job

The massive surge of COVID-19-related layoffs has put tech in a unique position. While the startup world is facing layoffs itself, it is also trying to help get people back to work. Back at the end of 2019, the SoftBank-backed belt-tightening period led to a flurry of crowdsourced spreadsheets with employee names from companies like []

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Zelos is like a cross-game battle pass, rewarding you for completing challenges in games you already play

People seem to love the concept of the battle pass. Largely popularized by Fortnite, battle passes reward players for playing well, and playing often. The better you do, the more XP you earn; the more XP you earn, the more stuff (new looks for your character, or victory dances to fire off at the end []

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Google research makes for an effortless robotic dog trot

As capable as robots are, the original animals after which they tend to be designed are always much, much better. That‘s partly because it‘s difficult to learn how to walk like a dog directly from a dog - but this research from Google‘s AI labs make it considerably easier.

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ZmURL customizes Zoom link previews with images & event sites

Sick of sharing those generic Zoom video call invites that all look the same? Wish your Zoom link preview‘s headline and image actually described your meeting? Want to protect your Zoom calls from trolls by making attendees RSVP to get your link? ZmURL.com has you covered. Launching today, ZmURL is a free tool that lets []

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Want to survive the downturn? Better build a platform

When you look at the most successful companies in the world, they are almost never just one simple service. Instead, they offer a platform with a range of services and an ability to connect to it to allow external partners and developers to extend the base functionality that the company provides. Aspiring to be a []

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Pandemic puts the brakes on micromobility

As of this writing, nearly a million people globally have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 50,322 have died. Healthcare systems are overwhelmed, consumers and profiteers are hoarding supplies and some service workers have launched strikes while many others have been let go. In the world of micromobility, we‘ve seen Bird lay off hundreds []

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Zoom will enable waiting rooms by default to stop Zoombombing

Zoom is making some drastic changes to prevent rampant abuse as trolls attack publicly-shared video calls. Starting April 5th, it will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID, since these may be guessed or reused. Meanwhile, it will change virtual waiting rooms to be on by default so hosts have to manually admit attendees. []

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Insight closes 9.5B fund to help support portfolio companies through the pandemic

We‘re now several weeks into what has become a very big dip for the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, but amidst that, we are seeing are some notable pockets of investment activity emerging that will help shape how the future startup landscape will look. Today, one of the biggest venture capital firms in []

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Stocks drop as unemployment spikes

Stocks fell in regular trading Friday, as all major American indices fell in the wake of a broadly negative jobs report. With more than 700,000 jobs lost in the March data, unemployment in the United States rose from 3.5% to 4.4%. The markets have been bracing for widespread job losses due to the continued fallout []

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‘Artemis Fowl‘ is skipping theaters for Disney+

With movie theaters largely closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney is pushing back its slate of upcoming films. And at least one movie won‘t be making it into theaters at all, with Artemis Fowl heading straight to streaming instead. The company announced today that that the film will debut exclusively on Disney+, and that []

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The pandemic is already reshaping tech‘s misinformation crisis

Since 2016, social media companies have faced an endless barrage of bad press and public criticism for failing to anticipate how their platforms could be used for dark purposes at the scale of populations-undermining democracies around the world, say, or sowing social division and even fueling genocide. As COVID-19 plunges the world into chaos and []

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Google rolls back SameSite cookie changes to keep essential online services from breaking

Google today announced that it will temporarily roll back the changes it recently made to how its Chrome browser handles cookies in order to ensure that sites that perform essential services like banking, online grocery, government services and healthcare won‘t become inaccessible to Chrome users during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The new SameSite rules, which []

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GM and Honda are co-developing two new electric vehicles due to arrive in 2024

GM and Honda will jointly develop two new electric vehicles slated for 2024, the latest move by the two automakers to deepen their existing partnership. Under the plan, the automakers will focus on their respective areas of expertise. Honda will design the exterior and interiors of the new electric vehicles. GM will contribute its new []

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How Homage is tackling Southeast Asia‘s growing eldercare need

The world‘s population is aging, but the needs of elderly people are still being underserved. A United Nations report found that older people make up more than one-fifth of the population in 17 countries, and by 2100, a majority of the world‘s population, or 61%, will be aged 60 and above. One of the most []

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Insight closes 9.5B fund to help support portfolio companies through the pandemic crunch

We‘re now several weeks into what is has become a very big dip for the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, but amidst that, we are seeing are some notable pockets of investment activity emerging that will help shape how the future startup landscape will look. Today one of the biggest venture capital firms []

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Bustle Digital Group lays off staff of The Outline as part of broader cuts

Bustle Digital Group, owner of a portfolio of digital media properties including Bustle itself, says it laid off two dozen staffers today. That includes eliminating the entire staff ofThe Outline, a culture site that it acquired a year ago. In a statement, a BDG spokesperson said the company will continue to host The Outline‘s archives, []

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Sleep apnea retrofit designed by doctors and engineers could help address ventilator shortage

The FDA has been working to adapt its policies and restrictions to respond to the growing need for unconventional solutions like shortages of medical equipment needed for treating COVID-19 patients. A group of doctors, engineers and medical researchers from UC Berkeley, UCSF and working hospitals has devised a creative solution to the ventilator shortage they‘re []

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Germany‘s Xpension pension platform raises 25M in A Series C growth round

The German pension and insurance industry was a laggard in the word of online a few years ago, but in recent times it‘s quickly caught up. There‘s further evidence of this trend with the news that Xpension (trading as xbAV), an online platform for pensions and life insurance, has raised 25m in its Series C []

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Daily Crunch: Google publishes coronavirus mobility reports

Google uses its ad-tracking data to provide a glimpse at how the world is responding to coronavirus, the CDC changes its tune on face masks and Apple accidentally reveals that AirTags are coming. Here‘s your Daily Crunch for April 3, 2020. 1. Google is now publishing coronavirus mobility reports, feeding off users‘ location history Google []

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Bustle Digital Group shuts down The Outline as part of broader layoffs

Bustle Digital Group, owner of a portfolio of digital media properties including Bustle itself, says it laid off two dozen staffers today. That includes eliminating the entire staff ofThe Outline, a culture site that it acquired a year ago. In a statement, a BDG spokesperson said the company will continue to host The Outline‘s archives, []

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Emergent BioSolutions gets 14.5M in federal funding to expedite COVID-19 plasma therapy development

Last week, we spoke to the Head of Emergent BioSolutions‘ Therapeutics Business Unit Dr. Laura Saward about her company‘s work developing plasma-based potential treatments for COVID-19. Now, the company announced that it has received 14.5 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the U.S. Department of []

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Join prolific enterprise/SaaS seed investor Jonathan Lehr April 6 at 2pm EDT for a live conference call

It‘s a tough fundraising environment out there, but one of the few glimmers of hope lies in the enterprise and SaaS markets. Critical customer problems + recurring revenues is probably where you want to be right now to weather out the storm that‘s hitting the startup world these days. That‘s why we are excited to []

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