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Tue, Aug 11
Tomorrow's events:  Earnings: CSCO, Tencent, LYFT, Foxconn
top news
Google is partnering with USGS and creating a worldwide, Android phone-powered opt-in earthquake alert system using phone accelerometers (Dieter Bohn / The Verge)
Microsoft commits to launching the Xbox Series X in November and will delay Halo Infinite until 2021 (Tom Warren / The Verge)
Mozilla says it plans to lay off around 250 employees and is closing the company's current operations in Taipei, Taiwan (Joseph Cox / VICE)
Facebook says it removed 22.5M posts for violating hate speech policies in Q2, up 2x from Q1, and that 95% of the violations were caught using automated systems (Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg)
Clearview AI has hired pre-eminent First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, who plans to assert a free-speech right to disseminate publicly available photos (Kashmir Hill / New York Times)
Twitter says it is now letting anyone limit who can reply to their tweets to just those that follow the author or just the accounts that are tagged in the tweet (Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch)
Sources: Airbnb plans to confidentially file for IPO this month, a step toward a potential listing before the end of the year (Wall Street Journal)
MicroStrategy buys ~$250M in bitcoin, becoming the first publicly traded company to buy the currency as part of its capital allocation strategy (Yogita Khatri / The Block)
US appeals court throws out a 2019 antitrust ruling against Qualcomm and its licensing practices in a case brought by the FTC (Bloomberg Law)
Former Pinterest COO accuses the company of gender bias in a new lawsuit, alleges she was fired in April after complaining about sexist treatment (Erin Griffith / New York Times)
M&A
LinkedIn says it has sold presentation-sharing service SlideShare to Scribd, which will take over its operation on September 24 (Anthony Ha / TechCrunch)
CuriosityStream, a streaming service for documentaries on science and history, has agreed to go public through a ~$330M merger with Software Acquisition Group (Bloomberg)
Gogo says it's trying to sell its commercial in-flight internet business amid COVID-19, CEO says company has had “extensive discussions with multiple parties” (Sean O'Kane / The Verge)
Filing breaks down Microsoft's revenue by product line and shows it made 15 acquisitions for a total amount of $2.4B in FY 2020, down from $9B the previous year (Todd Bishop / GeekWire)
privacy
Analysis: TikTok used an Android security hole to collect MAC addresses, possibly for ad tracking, without an ability to opt out; the practice ended in November (Wall Street Journal)
France's privacy watchdog CNIL says it has opened a probe into TikTok, as part of an investigation into ByteDance's plans to open an EU HQ for data purposes (Bloomberg)
NJ Supreme Court ruled that compelling a suspect to unlock their cell phone doesn't violate Fifth Amendment, following opposite ruling by Indiana SC in June (Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica)
e-commerce
Walmart partners with Instacart to test offering same-day delivery, starting in four markets across California and Oklahoma (Jessica Bursztynsky / CNBC)
Kroger says it is working with Mirakl to develop an e-commerce marketplace for third-party vendors, in a bid to compete with Amazon and Walmart (Jonathan Roeder / Bloomberg)
funding deals
HMD Global, maker of Nokia-branded phones, raises $230M Series A2 from strategic investors including Google, Nokia, and Qualcomm (Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch)
Atomwise, which develops a machine learning-based drug discovery service, raises $123M Series B led by B Capital and Sanabil Investments (Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch)
Collaborative document editor Coda raises $80M led by Kleiner Perkins, valuing the company at $636M (David Jeans / Forbes)
K2View, whose “micro-database” tech helps automate enterprise data unification, raises $28M led by Forestay Capital (Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat)
Arevo, a 3D printing tech startup led by Sonny Vu, founder of wearable startup Misfit, raises $25M Series B co-led by Defy Partners and GGV Capital (Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch)
Parsable, whose digital interface helps increase safety and efficiency for industrial workers, raises $60M Series D, bringing its total raised to $133M (Amy Feldman / Forbes)
Pattern, a Utah-based reseller that offers brands a way to optimize their sales on marketplaces like Amazon, has raised $52M from Ainge Advisory and KSV Global (Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch)
Incomlend, which operates a trading platform to connect exporters and importers with investors, raises $20M Series A led by Sequoia Capital India (Manish Singh / TechCrunch)
more news
US judge sides with Google in a lawsuit brought by Genius, which alleged that Google scraped lyrics in violation of copyright law (Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter)
A Texas federal jury said Apple should pay PanOptis and related companies $506M+ for willfully infringing patents covering 4G LTE technology (Dani Kass / Law360)
Google rolls out virtual business cards for Google Search in India with links to user's website, social media profiles and, optionally, phone number and email (Lauren Clark / Official Google India Blog)
Parallels Desktop 16 adds support for Big Sur, 3D in Metal, and zoom and rotate gestures on multitouch trackpads, and claims 20% faster DirectX performance (Samuel Axon / Ars Technica)
SoftBank reports quarterly net profit of ~$12B, up 12% YoY, and a $2.8B gain in Vision Fund; by July, Vision Fund's $75.2B in investments was worth $71.5B (Sam Nussey / Reuters)
Report: since January, a group has been hijacking Tor exit relay nodes to perform SSL stripping attacks, peaking in May when the group ran 23.95% of all nodes (Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet)
Nreal, which fought off IP theft suit from Magic Leap, will start shipping AR glasses in S. Korea this month for ~$586 or $295 when bundled with Galaxy Note 20 (Adi Robertson / The Verge)
Pinterest says it is expanding its skin tone search tool, which debuted in US in 2018 and uses machine vision to sort beauty-related pins, to five more markets (James Vincent / The Verge)
Samsung Display reveals new generation of variable refresh rate mobile display panels, making its debut in the Note20 Ultra, helping lower device power usage (Andrei Frumusanu / AnandTech)
In an all-hands meeting last week, Reddit's CEO defended allowing Trump election ads including homepage takeovers, and said Reddit won't allow auctions (Megan Rose Dickey / TechCrunch)
Sources: about a month before BigCommerce's successful IPO, Intuit offered to buy the company for $1.5B (Ari Levy / CNBC)
Trump's executive order to ban TikTok by Sept. 20 is a gross abuse of power and sets an alarming precedent for the executive branch's control over software (Russell Brandom / The Verge)