CFIUS Cometh: What this Obscure Agency Does and Why It Matters to Your Fund or Startup


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On January 12, 2016, Grindr announced it had sold a 60% controlling stake in the company to Beijing Kunlun Tech, a Chinese gaming firm, valuing the company at $155 million. Champagne bottles were surely popped at the small-ish firm.

Though not at a unicorn-level valuation, the 9-figure exit was still respectable and signaled a bright future for the gay hookup app. Indeed, two years later, Kunlun bought the rest of the firm at more than double the valuation and was planning a public offering for Grindr.

On March 27, 2019, it all fell apart. Kunlun was putting Grindr up

Continue reading “CFIUS Cometh: What this Obscure Agency Does and Why It Matters to Your Fund or Startup”

CFIUS Cometh: What this Obscure Agency Does and Why It Matters to Your Fund or Startup


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




On January 12, 2016, Grindr announced it had sold a 60% controlling stake in the company to Beijing Kunlun Tech, a Chinese gaming firm, valuing the company at $155 million. Champagne bottles were surely popped at the small-ish firm.

Though not at a unicorn-level valuation, the 9-figure exit was still respectable and signaled a bright future for the gay hookup app. Indeed, two years later, Kunlun bought the rest of the firm at more than double the valuation and was planning a public offering for Grindr.

On March 27, 2019, it all fell apart. Kunlun was putting Grindr up

Continue reading “CFIUS Cometh: What this Obscure Agency Does and Why It Matters to Your Fund or Startup”

CFIUS Cometh: What this Obscure Agency Does and Why It Matters to Your Fund or Startup


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




On January 12, 2016, Grindr announced it had sold a 60% controlling stake in the company to Beijing Kunlun Tech, a Chinese gaming firm, valuing the company at $155 million. Champagne bottles were surely popped at the small-ish firm.

Though not at a unicorn-level valuation, the 9-figure exit was still respectable and signaled a bright future for the gay hookup app. Indeed, two years later, Kunlun bought the rest of the firm at more than double the valuation and was planning a public offering for Grindr.

On March 27, 2019, it all fell apart. Kunlun was putting Grindr up

Continue reading “CFIUS Cometh: What this Obscure Agency Does and Why It Matters to Your Fund or Startup”

Facebook staff raised concerns about Cambridge Analytica in September 2015, per court filing


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Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Further details have emerged about when and how much Facebook knew about data-scraping by the disgraced and now defunct Cambridge Analytica political data firm.

Last year a major privacy scandal hit Facebook after it emerged CA had paid GSR, a developer with access to Facebook’s platform, to extract personal data on as many as 87M Facebook users without proper consents.

Cambridge Analytica’s intention was to use the data to build psychographic profiles of American voters to target political messages — with the company initially working for the Ted Cruz and later the Donald Trump presidential candidate campaigns.

But employees at Facebook appear to have raised internal concerns about CA scraping user data in September 2015 — i.e. months earlier than Facebook previously told lawmakers it became aware of the GSR/CA breach (December 2015).

The latest twist in the privacy scandal has emerged via a redacted court filing in the

Continue reading “Facebook staff raised concerns about Cambridge Analytica in September 2015, per court filing”

Facebook staff raised concerns about Cambridge Analytica in September 2015, per court filing


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Further details have emerged about when and how much Facebook knew about data-scraping by the disgraced and now defunct Cambridge Analytica political data firm.

Last year a major privacy scandal hit Facebook after it emerged CA had paid GSR, a developer with access to Facebook’s platform, to extract personal data on as many as 87M Facebook users without proper consents.

Cambridge Analytica’s intention was to use the data to build psychographic profiles of American voters to target political messages — with the company initially working for the Ted Cruz and later the Donald Trump presidential candidate campaigns.

But employees at Facebook appear to have raised internal concerns about CA scraping user data in September 2015 — i.e. months earlier than Facebook previously told lawmakers it became aware of the GSR/CA breach (December 2015).

The latest twist in the privacy scandal has emerged via a redacted court filing in the

Continue reading “Facebook staff raised concerns about Cambridge Analytica in September 2015, per court filing”

Facebook staff raised concerns about Cambridge Analytica in September 2015, per court filing


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Further details have emerged about when and how much Facebook knew about data-scraping by the disgraced and now defunct Cambridge Analytica political data firm.

Last year a major privacy scandal hit Facebook after it emerged CA had paid GSR, a developer with access to Facebook’s platform, to extract personal data on as many as 87M Facebook users without proper consents.

Cambridge Analytica’s intention was to use the data to build psychographic profiles of American voters to target political messages — with the company initially working for the Ted Cruz and later the Donald Trump presidential candidate campaigns.

But employees at Facebook appear to have raised internal concerns about CA scraping user data in September 2015 — i.e. months earlier than Facebook previously told lawmakers it became aware of the GSR/CA breach (December 2015).

The latest twist in the privacy scandal has emerged via a redacted court filing in the

Continue reading “Facebook staff raised concerns about Cambridge Analytica in September 2015, per court filing”

Paris to tax scooter and bike services


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




According to the City of Paris, there are 15,000 free-floating vehicles of all forms and shapes in the city, from electric scooters to fluorescent bikes and motorcycle-like scooters. And the City of Paris announced today that companies that operate free-floating services will have to pay a tax depending on the size of their fleet.

If the plan goes through and if you’re running a bike-sharing service, you’ll have to pay €20 per bike per year. For scooter companies, they’ll pay €50 per scooter per year. Motorcycle scooters will be taxed €60 per scooter per year.

According to Le Parisien, it will be a tier system. Every time you go over the basic tier, you’ll have to pay more. Companies will pay 10 percent more for vehicle #500 to vehicle #999, 20 percent more for vehicle #1,000 to vehicle #2,999, and 30 percent more for any vehicle after #3,000.

Paris

Continue reading “Paris to tax scooter and bike services”

Paris to tax scooter and bike services


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




According to the City of Paris, there are 15,000 free-floating vehicles of all forms and shapes in the city, from electric scooters to fluorescent bikes and motorcycle-like scooters. And the City of Paris announced today that companies that operate free-floating services will have to pay a tax depending on the size of their fleet.

If the plan goes through and if you’re running a bike-sharing service, you’ll have to pay €20 per bike per year. For scooter companies, they’ll pay €50 per scooter per year. Motorcycle scooters will be taxed €60 per scooter per year.

According to Le Parisien, it will be a tier system. Every time you go over the basic tier, you’ll have to pay more. Companies will pay 10 percent more for vehicle #500 to vehicle #999, 20 percent more for vehicle #1,000 to vehicle #2,999, and 30 percent more for any vehicle after #3,000.

Paris

Continue reading “Paris to tax scooter and bike services”

Uber to resume autonomous vehicle testing months after fatal accident


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Uber has been granted permission by the state of Pennsylvania to reinstate tests of its autonomous vehicles, as first reported by Reuters.

A spokesperson for Uber confirmed to TechCrunch that the ride-hailing giant received a letter of authorization from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and clarified that the company has not yet resumed self-driving operations.

Uber halted testing of its self-driving cars following a fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona this March that left a pedestrian dead. An autonomous Uber SUV accompanied by a safety driver was driving northbound when it struck a woman, who was taken to the hospital where she later died as a result of her injuries.

Investigators later determined the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, had looked down at a phone 204 times during a 43-minute test drive, according to a 318-page police report released by the Tempe Police Department.

In the aftermath of the accident, Uber paused all of

Continue reading “Uber to resume autonomous vehicle testing months after fatal accident”

Uber to resume autonomous vehicle testing months after fatal accident


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Uber has been granted permission by the state of Pennsylvania to reinstate tests of its autonomous vehicles, as first reported by Reuters.

A spokesperson for Uber confirmed to TechCrunch that the ride-hailing giant received a letter of authorization from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and clarified that the company has not yet resumed self-driving operations.

Uber halted testing of its self-driving cars following a fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona this March that left a pedestrian dead. An autonomous Uber SUV accompanied by a safety driver was driving northbound when it struck a woman, who was taken to the hospital where she later died as a result of her injuries.

Investigators later determined the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, had looked down at a phone 204 times during a 43-minute test drive, according to a 318-page police report released by the Tempe Police Department.

In the aftermath of the accident, Uber paused all of

Continue reading “Uber to resume autonomous vehicle testing months after fatal accident”

Smart security camera maker Lighthouse AI shuts down


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Smart security camera maker Lighthouse AI is calling it a day. The news, first reported by The Information, has since been confirmed by CEO Alex Teichman.

“I am incredibly proud of the groundbreaking work the Lighthouse team accomplished – delivering useful and accessible intelligence for our homes via advanced AI and 3D sensing,” the executive writes on the company’s homepage. “Unfortunately, we did not achieve the commercial success we were looking for and will be shutting down operations in the near future.”

Teichman also promises the company will provide refund details to those customers who have already bought into the product.

Lighthouse’s offering certainly showed promise. Andy Rubin’s Playground Global was among those companies throwing their support behind the device, helping the startup raise ~$17 million, by Crunchbase’s count.

I was given a demo at Playground’s offices earlier this year and was impressed by its implementation of 3D

Continue reading “Smart security camera maker Lighthouse AI shuts down”

Spam calls grew 300 percent worldwide in 2018, according to Truecaller


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Tk492oglLpJpmBCWwQcSNPBAXzg=/0x0:2040x1360/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62703911/akrales_180305_2355_0012.0.jpg" />

Spam calls grew by 300 percent worldwide this year, according to a new report from Truecaller, a caller ID service. But while the scourge continues to grow overall, some countries actually saw a slight decline — including the US.

The United States fell from the 2nd most spammed country to the 8th in one year, according to Truecaller. Truecaller users received about 17 calls per month, down from 21 in 2017. The bulk of calls purported to be about insurance or debt collection, according to the report.

While no reason was given for the drop, authorities have increasingly tried to crack down on illegal callers. The Federal Trade Commission has brought several lawsuits, while the Federal Communications Commission has considered various…

<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/18/18147077/spam-calls-grew-300-percent-worldwide-in-2018-according-to-truecaller">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

Tinder fires comms head and other employees who sued company


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Tinder has fired its vice president of marketing and communications Rosette Pambakian, as well as other employees who sued Tinder’s parent company Match Group and its controlling shareholder IAC earlier this year.

The Verge first broke the news of the firings. A Match Group spokesperson confirmed that a number of Tinder employees have been terminated, though they did not identify them or say how many were involved.

The lawsuit was filed by Tinder co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen and other executives. Some, like Rad, had already left Tinder, while others like Pambakian and Badeen, were still employed at the time.

In the suit, the group alleged that IAC and Match Group had manipulated financial data in order to lower the company’s valuation.They also alleged that Greg Blatt, who served as CEO of Match and Tinder, groped and sexually harassed Pambakian at the company’s 2016 holiday party.

Continue reading “Tinder fires comms head and other employees who sued company”

Oath officially becomes Verizon Media Group on January 8


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A year and a half after giving birth to Oath, Verizon’s officially rebranding its media group as… wait for it… Verizon Media Group. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it says what it does on the package — and most importantly, it makes a hell of a lot more sense than “Oath.”

Division head Guru Gowrappan confirmed that the changes will go into effect on January 8 — just in time for the kick-off of CES. The exec says the change is aimed at “representing our strong alignment as a core pillar of Verizon’s business.” Contrary to some initial reports spurred on by the (since changed) art accompanying the announcement blog post, Verizon tells me the big, purple Yahoo “Y” will (thankfully) not be the catchall logo for VZM.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that an official Verizon Media Group logo is launching alongside the official rebranding on

Continue reading “Oath officially becomes Verizon Media Group on January 8”

Oath officially becomes Verizon Media Group on January 8


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A year and a half after giving birth to Oath, Verizon’s officially rebranding its media group as… wait for it… Verizon Media Group. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it says what it does on the package — and most importantly, it makes a hell of a lot more sense than “Oath.”

Division head Guru Gowrappan confirmed that the changes will go into effect on January 8 — just in time for the kick-off of CES. The exec says the change is aimed at “representing our strong alignment as a core pillar of Verizon’s business.” Contrary to some initial reports spurred on by the (since changed) art accompanying the announcement blog post, Verizon tells me the big, purple Yahoo “Y” will (thankfully) not be the catchall logo for VZM.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that an official Verizon Media Group logo is launching alongside the official rebranding on

Continue reading “Oath officially becomes Verizon Media Group on January 8”

Oath officially becomes Verizon Media Group on January 8


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A year and a half after giving birth to Oath, Verizon’s officially rebranding its media group as… wait for it… Verizon Media Group. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it says what it does on the package — and most importantly, it makes a hell of a lot more sense than “Oath.”

Division head Guru Gowrappan confirmed that the changes will go into effect on January 8 — just in time for the kick-off of CES. The exec says the change is aimed at “representing our strong alignment as a core pillar of Verizon’s business.” Contrary to some initial reports spurred on by the (since changed) art accompanying the announcement blog post, Verizon tells me the big, purple Yahoo “Y” will (thankfully) not be the catchall logo for VZM.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that an official Verizon Media Group logo is launching alongside the official rebranding on

Continue reading “Oath officially becomes Verizon Media Group on January 8”

Oath officially becomes Verizon Media Group on January 8


This post is by from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A year and a half after giving birth to Oath, Verizon’s officially rebranding its media group as… wait for it… Verizon Media Group. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it says what it does on the package — and most importantly, it makes a hell of a lot more sense than “Oath.”

Division head Guru Gowrappan confirmed that the changes will go into effect on January 8 — just in time for the kick-off of CES. The exec says the change is aimed at “representing our strong alignment as a core pillar of Verizon’s business.” Contrary to some initial reports spurred on by the (since changed) art accompanying the announcement blog post, Verizon tells me the big, purple Yahoo “Y” will (thankfully) not be the catchall logo for VZM.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that an official Verizon Media Group logo is launching alongside the official rebranding on

Continue reading “Oath officially becomes Verizon Media Group on January 8”

[Podcast] Data, Privacy & Citizen rights.


This post is by from On my Om


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




I recently caught up with my former colleague Stacey Higginbotham, who is now running a successful independent media company and we ended up doing a podcast about humans and machines, and how the hybridization of the two is leading to difficult questions about privacy and data. During the conversation I proposed that perhaps it is time for our legislators to think about a constitutional amendment to account for the bigger shift in our society. Hope you get a chance to listen. As a footnote, I am really proud of the success Stacey is having as an individual journalist-turned-entrepreneur.

12/11: What I am reading today


This post is by from On my Om


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Here are some of the stories that caught my attention today. Some of them are about technology, but not all of them. Updated all through the day, and shared via email newsletter in the evening. You like the links, sign-up for the email newsletter.

  • Four Days trapped at sea with Crypto’s Nouveau Riche:  How many of you remember reading about The Predator’s Ball. This story of a Crypto cruise in the Mediterranean Sea has shades of that story and is livened up by writer Laurie Penny’s skills. There are so many good lines in here. I quite enjoyed it. (Read on Breaker Magazine)
  • Nike and Boeing are paying Sci-Fi writers to predict their futures. Read on Medium.
  • How Doug Engelbart pulled off the mother of all demos. One of the best pieces you can read today or for that matter anytime. Read on Wired.

Chinese government admits collection of deleted WeChat messages

Chinese authorities revealed over the weekend that they have the capability of retrieving deleted messages from the almost universally used WeChat app. The admission doesn’t come as a surprise to many, but it’s rare for this type of questionable data collection tactic to be acknowledged publicly.

As noted by the South China Morning Post, an anti-corruption commission in Hefei province posted Saturday to social media that it has “retrieved a series of deleted WeChat conversations from a subject” as part of an investigation.

The post was deleted Sunday, but not before many had seen it and understood the ramifications. Tencent, which operates the WeChat service used by nearly a billion people (including myself), explained in a statement that “WeChat does not store any chat histories — they are only stored on users’ phones and computers.”

The technical details of this storage were not disclosed, but it seems clear

Continue reading “Chinese government admits collection of deleted WeChat messages”