Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web


In a sane world "We're not going to control the virus" is what you say as you resign. It literally is a resignation.





Alex Miller / Wired:
Video games are helping veterans struggling with PTSD, anxiety, and depression and those adjusting to civilian life after deployment in combat zones  —  Veterans with PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health challenges often find solace in gaming.  Research shows it's helpful—and could be used more broadly.



















Susan D'Agostino / Quanta Magazine:
Q&A with Vint Cerf, who has been working on building an internet for space, using disruption/delay-tolerant networking (DTN) protocol, an alternative to TCP/IP  —  Vinton Cerf helped create the internet 40 years ago, and he's still working to connect people around the world — and off it.














Shen Lu / Rest of World:
Weibo users describe how political discussions on the platform have become even more muted amid pervasive censorship, as some resort to using burner accounts  —  Thousands of Weibo accounts have been deleted as China's government cracks down on free speech.














Michael Steinberger / New York Times:
Profile of Palantir CEO Alex Karp and the controversies around Palantir's trustworthiness; Karp claims his progressivism offsets Thiel's relationship with Trump  —  The tech giant helps governments and law enforcement decipher vast amounts of data — to mysterious and, some say, dangerous ends.





Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Zest AI raises $15M for its AI-powered tech that it claims can help financial institutions reduce bias in loan portfolios, bringing its total VC funding to $87M  —  Zest AI, a company developing AI-powered loan decisioning products, today closed a $15 million funding round led by Insight Partners.


David Nicklaus / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
FinLocker, whose software helps consumers expedite the mortgage approval process, raises $19.8M Series A and announces a commercial agreement with TransUnion  —  FinLocker, a Clayton-based financial technology company, has raised $19.8 million in venture capital and reached a commercial agreement with a major credit bureau.





Jane Lytvynenko / BuzzFeed News:
Zoom deleted events planned for Oct. 23 on alleged censorship by the company after Zoom canceled an SFSU talk in Sept.; Zoom says the events violated its TOS  —  Zoom shut down a series of events meant to discuss what organizers called “censorship” by the company.




Raymond Zhong / New York Times:
Lee Kun-hee, who was chairman and chief executive of Samsung Electronics from 1998 to 2008 and its chairman since 2010, has died at age 78  —  Mr. Lee was convicted — and pardoned — twice for white-collar crimes, in a sign of the ills in South Korea's relationship with its business dynasties.






John D. Stoll / Wall Street Journal:
Fitbit CEO James Park says its app reached 500,000 paid subscribers this year and talks about expectations for life under Google, competing with Apple, more  —  Fitbit CEO James Park discusses the company's new products and competition as it prepares to close its acquisition by Google








Bloomberg:
Sources: Big data analytics service Databricks is planning an IPO in H1, 2021; the company raised about $900M and was valued in 2019 at $6.2B  —  - Big data company is preparing IPO for first half of year  — IPO plan comes on the heels of Snowflake's successful debut







Daniel Zuidijk / Bloomberg:
Patreon says it will remove accounts that actively spread QAnon's beliefs and will warn those that spread some QAnon ideas but are not dedicated to such content  —  - Accounts tied to QAnon-dedicated creators to be removed  — Followers of conspiracy theory complain of being censored


𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵. 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘹𝘵𝘺 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵 𝘢 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘌𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘉𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘥𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘚𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮.

Kim Lyons / The Verge:
Italy launches an investigation into Telegram bots that make fake nudes from women's photos, after researchers found 100K+ images shared on its public channels  —  The bots were found to be generating fake nude images of unsuspecting women  —  The Italian Data Protection Authority has started …



A couple of hours later, the thread is still peaceful. Thankfully. My friend from the past refers to Trump as a businessman, which causes me to write this screed, which I did not add to the thread. I was curious to know, how does this businessman see the retired people packed into his audience, no distancing, no masks. Are they his customers? His team? His employees? Competitors? Serfs? Prisoners? Slaves? What kind of animal do you treat the way Trump is treating these people? To Trump are they even people?

I wanted to send an MP3 of the Trailblazers podcast about podcasting to a friend, but couldn't easily find it, and then realized I'd better download a copy and upload it to my server, because who knows how easy it'll be to find in a year or more. The web is pretty ephemeral.

We may be, right now, as sure as we're ever going to be that Trump was removed by the people in the 2020 vote.

I don't want to jinx things, but when Biden takes office I assume the FBI will fully investigate what really happened in the 2016 election, without any interference from political appointees.

The new Attorney General will release the reports Barr wouldn't let us see. I assume that's going to happen too.

What if we determine that the election was a crime. That the Trump campaign didn't just collude with Russia, it was Russia. Recent revelations about Manafort say that pretty clearly. Everyone was looking for collusion, but it was actually much worse.

We were an occupied country for four years. Should we allow everything Trump did in those four years to stand? Or do we remove the three Supreme Court justices he nominated, tear up all his executive orders, remove all the regulations passed by his agencies. Undo anything that can be reasonably undone.



I realized Trump has killed a lot more Americans than Osama bin Laden.

I posted a very short question on Facebook. Do you know anyone like Trump? I asked because I do. I grew up in Queens, a couple of miles from where Trump grew up, only ten years after. So there were lots of Trump-like people in my area. I'm constantly reminded, by something Trump does, of someone I knew in childhood. Anyway, after a dozen or so predictable responses, a former Apple exec, one who did a very good thing for my troubled company back in 1986, said yes he's had golfed with Trump, voted for him in 2016, and was going to vote for him in 2020. He lives in California, so his vote is symbolic, as is mine (I live in NY). It was jarring. No debate has followed, thankfully, and I hope it doesn't. I'm just going to leave it there.

Early voting started in New York State today.



Murray Stassen / Music Business Worldwide:
Output, which develops software and virtual instruments for musicians, composers, producers, and sound designers, raises $45M Series A led by Summit Partners  —  Output, a tech company whose software has been used in songs by Drake, Coldplay, Justin Bieber and Rihanna and musical scores …






Takashi Nakano / Nikkei Asia:
Singapore now has 1,000+ B2B fintech startups, up 70%+ YoY, after the city-state started luring foreign entrepreneurs with special visas and monetary support  —  City-state lures foreign entrepreneurs with special visas and financial support  —  SINGAPORE — Singapore is striving to enhance …





Martin Mou / Wall Street Journal:
The number of telemedicine providers in China went from less than 150 to nearly 600 between late 2019 to summer 2020, as the government eased regulations  —  The effort could be a model for expansion in other countries  —  As the Covid-19 pandemic swept across China in late January …

















I like promoting other people's products when they're good. I am unhappy when I see bad products promoted by people I respect. If I think a product is not good, unless I think people will be hurt by it, or if the badness can be fixed and the product would then be useful, I'll generally say nothing.


I added a note to my status outline with an update on my work on pork.io, which is getting a new name.

When I was growing up, there was a purpose that even I, a kid, could understand. I think that's been missing ever since we got to the moon. Since then we haven't had a reason to be a country.