Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Daniela Hernandez / Wall Street Journal:
A look at technology's role in professional surfing, as ML-based wave forecasting and biomechanics data help improve riders' performance and prevent injuries  —  As surfing completes its first-ever Olympic ride, the sport is poised for another sea change thanks to artificial intelligence and big data

Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:
Matrixport, led by Bitmain founder Wu Jihan, which offers crypto financial services, raises $100M+ Series C, and says a second tranche is to come  —  - DST, Tiger are among the latest backers of Wu Jihan's firm  — Matrixport has raised $129 million since its 2019 founding

Greg Ahlstrand / CoinDesk:
Square reports Q2 revenue of $4.88B, up 143% YoY, while its Cash App service's bitcoin yearly revenue was $2.72B, up 200%  —  Cash App's bitcoin gross profit rose to $55 million, Square said in its Q2 letter to shareholders.  —  Jack Dorsey's Square said its Cash App service's bitcoin …

Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Indian online insurance aggregator Policybazaar files for IPO, seeks to raise $809M and says it may raise about $100M in a pre-IPO round  —  Indian online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar has filed for an initial public offering in which it is seeking to raise $809 million …

Brent Lang / Variety:
Profile of Netflix's head of movies Scott Stuber, who has grown original film output from 21 in 2016 to 70+ in 2021, as it makes deals with Spielberg and others  —  Two years ago, the legendary director reportedly opposed the idea that streaming films should qualify for Oscars.

Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Bangalore-based online learning startup Unacademy raises $440M round led by Temasek at a $3.44B valuation  —  Unacademy has raised $440 million in a new financing round as the Indian online learning startup looks to expand into multiple additional categories.

Francis Agustin / Insider:
Filings: Starlink has secured a license to build a satellite ground station on the Isle of Man, aiming to provide “blanket coverage” across Great Britain  —  - Elon Musk's Starlink will seek to provide high-speed internet across Great Britain, the Telegraph first reported.

Maya Wolfe-Robinson / The Guardian:
Report: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok failed to act on 84% of posts spreading anti-Semitism reported via their own complaint systems  —  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and TikTok failing to act on most reported anti-Jewish posts, says study

Square says it's buying Australia-based buy now, pay later service Afterpay for $29B in an all-stock deal, paying a 30% premium on Afterpay's last closing  —  U.S. fintech company Square Inc (SQ.N) said on Monday it had agreed to purchase Australian buy now/pay later giant Afterpay Ltd …

Stitch / The Verge:
Some K-pop stars are bypassing Twitter and Facebook to create platforms for fans, like Universe, which features AI-generated voice calls with the idols  —  Fandom has changed a lot since I was a kid.  As a tween, I had no hope of getting in touch with celebrities I adored like Britney Spears and Whitney Houston.

Something about tagging has been bugging me and I think I just figured it out. Suppose you have a topic that's starting to develop, and you want to hijack its links to redirect to a page that includes more information than just a scrolling list of references. Well I have the glossary for that, I just realized. I can override what double-square brackets means for a certain term, have it link to a page which also has a list of the references. Boom and bing. Do they have these overrides at LogSeq and other tools for thought products?

Drummer is coming along nicely. There's a small test group, that includes a couple of old friends who are experienced software developers. The focus in the first part of this process is Drummer as a programming environment. I don't want distractions from that at first, because I remember how important it is to review and re-review everything about a platform like this before trying to make it work for users. Programmers at this stage will understand breakage more than others. I'm doing what I've been doing for the last four--plus years, developing for myself, following my wants and intuition, not letting it be driven by others. Ouija boards yield a certain kind of software, the world is filled with it. You can only get so far if you have to reach consensus. I'm driving towards a place I've been before. And I know I'm doing it. 😄

I usually do my bike rides in the afternoon, but today I knew the park would be really crowded, I live in a place where people go to get away in the summer, so I went first thing in the morning. What they say is true, the exercise powers you through the day. It's now mid-afternoon and I'm still feeling the strength in my body from the workout. I think I may reorient my day.

Jonathan Stempel / Reuters:
Zoom agrees to pay $85M and bolster its security practices to settle a class action lawsuit over alleged user privacy violations and Zoombombing  —  Zoom Video Communications Inc (ZM.O) agreed to pay $85 million and bolster its security practices to settle a lawsuit claiming …

I watched The Color Purple on HBO last night. I'm looking for ways to learn what black people say about the black experience in America through history. It was a weird choice, because, even though the actors are black, it was a Steven Spielberg movie, like ET or Jaws. Always upbeat, even when a husband is raping his sister-in-law. The weirdest thing to have Indiana Jones type music playing while Oprah Winfrey is being beaten by a mob of white men. So bizarre. But I loved all the actors, esp of course Whoopi Goldberg, and there was at times a bit of suspension of disbelief, but the Spielbergishness of the movie was very awkard.

A number of years ago I wrote about the importance of submission. No point fighting some things. I also was learning at the time that there is nothing you think of, that has to do with values, that isn't projection. Science is different, using your senses and intellect to draw inferences. But opinions and values, is just you broadcasting everything you feel to everyone in the world. But really it's an audience of one, you. Combine the two, and years later I realize that submission to yourself must come before submission to another. Give up the struggles between who you feel you should be and who you actually are. If you submit to yourself, you can stop worrying about that. 😄

Kyle Chayka / New Yorker:
Profile of Bored Ape Yacht Club, an NFT collection that sold for $2M+ in April, spawned a collector community, and has since seen ~$100M in trading activity  —  N.F.T. clubs are all the rage among cryptocurrency enthusiasts.  Are they a get-rich-quick scheme or the future of culture?

Someone should write a book about the lost software ideas of the 70s and 80s. There's a lot of reinventing going on. Layers of reinvention. It'd be great if there was one book earnest devs could read, ones who want to build on what was learned in the past.

The monthly ritual is complete. Here's the OPML for July 2021. And just for fun, I zipped up an archive going back to May 2017, when I deployed my "new" content management system. It's all a matter of perspective I guess. 2017 seems to me like a short time ago, but then a lot has happened in the interim. Some of it is in the contents of the blog. I think some interesting apps could be built using this archive as a seed. So far there haven't been any takers that I know of, but I think we may be getting close with all the tools for thought activity.

Stephen K. Hirst / Ars Technica:
How the radical environmental themes of the game Final Fantasy VII, released in 1997 for the original PlayStation, influenced a generation of environmentalists  —  From activists to families, FFVII's cautionary, planetary tale still resonates.  —  In September of 1997 …

John Herrman / New York Times:
After a decade of online identities coming under increasingly centralized control, online anonymity is starting to look like a threatened privilege than a right  —  Reconsidering pseudonymity and what it means to “be yourself” online.  —  In early July, when England's soccer team lost …

Stephen Nellis / Reuters:
Qualtrics to acquire Virginia-based Clarabridge, which offers AI-powered customer experience management tools, for $1.125B in stock  —  Qualtrics International Inc on Thursday said it would acquire privately held Clarabridge for $1.1 billion in stock.  —  Qualtrics, which was spun …