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https://www.blackplanet.com/woolnickel3/message/22011398
https://telegra.ph/h1Feliz-Ano-Nuevo-Images-Stock-Photos–Vectorsh1-09-20
http://rayhead6.eklablog.com/h1-the-julian-calendar-takes-effect-for-the-first-time-on-new-year-s-d-a202149982
http://callesenmcleo.kazeo.com/h1-why-do-we-celebrate-new-year-s-on-jan-1-h1-a202149984
http://pillowtennis6.nation2.com/why-do-we-celebrate-new-years-on-jan-1
http://olivelute1.bravesites.com/entries/general/h1-holi-h1
https://zenwriting.net/weeknickel7/happy-new-year-messages-for-an-amazing-2019
http://b3.zcubes.com/v.aspx?mid=5168852
http://dogbobcat5.booklikes.com/post/3242113/feliz-ano-nuevo-images-stock-photos-vectors
https://colondesign4.livejournal.com/319.html
https://squareblogs.net/spacetext8/ninety-two-feliz-ano-nuevo-posters-and-art-prints
https://blogfreely.net/findwillow3/new-years-eve

https://crablute5.tumblr.com/post/629756153769967616/h1-17-feliz-ano-nuevo-balloon-h1


http://pillowtenor5.unblog.fr/2020/09/20/feliz-ano-nuevo/
https://glovemoon4.webgarden.cz/rubriky/glovemoon4-s-blog/h1-feliz-ano-nuevo-clip-art-h1
https://penzu.com/p/1ec381cd
https://pastemind2.over-blog.com/2020/09/h1-feliz-ano-nuevo/h1.html
https://gumroad.com/8549941439371/p/h1-feliz-ano-gifs-h1
https://pbase.com/topics/zebradeath6/h1feliz_ao_nuevoh1
https://weekskin8.bravejournal.net/post/2020/09/20/Feliz-Ano-Nuevo-Means-Something-Totally-Different-If-The-N-Doesn-T-Have-The-~#pings
https://www.openlearning.com/u/glovestove9/blog/H1HindiNewYearInHinduCalendarH1
https://pillowrun7.webgarden.at/kategorien/pillowrun7-s-blog/h1-happy-new-year-new-year-s-or
http://colonkick3.xtgem.com/__xt_blog/__xtblog_entry/__xtblog_entry/17461444-h1-feliz-ano-nuevo-clip-art-h1?__xtblog_block_id=1#xt_blog
http://flaxtennis7.jigsy.com/entries/general/h1Feliz-Ano-Nuevo-Free-Vector-Arth1
https://ourdoings.com/callesenmcleod78szmrsj/
https://mariabobcat7.doodlekit.com/blog/entry/10751407/h111-cultures-that-don8217t-celebrate-new-year8217s-day-on-jan-1h1
https://pillowtennis2.podbean.com/e/vikram-samvat-new-year-day-in-india-calendar/
https://csgrid.org/csg/team_display.php?teamid=586140
https://writeablog.net/slipgrey1/feliz-ano-gifs
http://gravgaardhead6319.fikket.com/
https://postheaven.net/yamfoam7/happy-new-year-messages-for-an-amazing-2019
https://pattersondowney766.shutterfly.com/21

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The gig economy, cannabis and car data are tech-election winners in 2020


Editor’s note: Get this free weekly recap of TechCrunch news that any startup can use by email every Saturday morning (7 a.m. PT). Subscribe here.

The US is settling in for some new form of national gridlock, but state and local propositions are busy defining how technology businesses will be allowed to work (legally) in the US. Policies on topics as broad as customer usage and employment or as narrow as a drug chemical got the vote across the country. The results provide a blueprint for what you might expect to see in many more places.

Perhaps the best example is Proposition 22 in California, where a majority of the voters approved of new rules that allow companies like Uber and Lyft to continue operating with drivers as independent contractors. A previous piece of state legislation and related lawsuit would have required the companies to classify many drivers as full-time employees. Here’s Megan Rose Dickey, on the impact of the result:

Throughout the case, Uber and Lyft have argued that reclassifying their drivers as employees would cause irreparable harm to the companies. In the ruling last month, the judge said neither company would suffer any “grave or irreparable harm by being prohibited from violating the law” and that their respective financial burdens “do not rise to the level of irreparable harm.”

But now that Prop 22 is projected to pass, this lawsuit has far less legal ground to stand on. It’s also worth noting that Uber has previously said it may pursue similar legislation in other states.

Naturally, the affected companies got a boost to their stock prices after the vote was called, and Uber is already working on taking the campaign global.

The US presidential election of 2020 has been the most technologically sophisticated ever, but I’m gonna skip because there are relatively few startup angles for us here. However, if you are trying to craft user policies about politics, consider this election-eve analysis from Taylor Hatmaker about how Facebook and Twitter have changed their approaches since 2016.

Other notable startup-y items from our election coverage:

Cannabis legalization measures set to pass in 5 states

Portland, Maine passes referendum banning facial surveillance

Massachusetts voters pass a right-to-repair measure, giving them unprecedented access to their car data

Calm’s hilarious CNN ad campaign sent the meditation app flying up App Store charts

YC-backed nonprofit VotingWorks wants to rebuild trust in election systems through open source

Something else happened in government this week that was not about the election — but may still be relevant to your startup. The SEC will now let companies raise up to $5 million per year in equity crowdfunding, up from a previous rule of $1.07 million. Lucas Matney has more for Extra Crunch.

The next billion-dollar e-commerce company will be a B2B marketplace

Business-to-business transactions are full of complexities beyond the consumer space, including four types of standard payment methods, sophisticated financing tools, bulk discounts, contractual pricing, delivery schedules, insurance and compliance. Merritt Hummer of Bain Capital Ventures breaks it down in a big guest post for Extra Crunch:

[I]t’s no wonder B2B e-commerce has been slower to digitize than B2C. From product discovery through the checkout process, a consumer buying a bag of licorice looks nothing like a retailer buying 100,000 bags of licorice from a distributor. The good news for B2B marketplace founders is that, based on the parameters above, there are many creative ways to extract value from transactions that go beyond the GMV take rate. Let’s explore some of the creative ways to monetize a B2B marketplace.

Instead of trying to take a cut of the gross merchandise value, like what Apple does with the App Store, successful startups have to be creative. These can include data monetization, embedded financial services, targeted advertising, private-label products, subscription fees and sampling fees. Here’s an excerpt from Hummer about that last one:

In most B2B verticals, individual transactions are so large that charging fees on a percentage basis means scaring potential customers away. In high-value markets with infrequent orders, charging a take rate on purchase orders will be perceived as unfair, especially when suppliers and buyers know each other already. But the fee-per-sample model is a unique wedge to aggregate suppliers and buyers, who often sample supplies before placing large orders.

One of our portfolio companies, Material Bank, has used this monetization strategy with success. Material Bank is a B2B marketplace for construction and interior design materials that warehouses samples (fabric swatches, paint chips, flooring materials, wall coverings, etc.) from hundreds of brands. Architects and interior designers can order free samples from Material Bank and receive them the next morning, and then ship samples back for free when they’re no longer needed. Material Bank charges the manufacturers a fee every time one of their samples is shipped out. Manufacturers receive new customer leads that require no effort to generate and are happy to outsource sample fulfillment, which was historically a cost center and not a core competency. Other B2B markets where sampling is well-established include chemicals, apparel and packaging materials.

How to start a VC fund without being rich already

Barriers to venture investing have been falling in recent years, as money has flowed into the asset class and as the opportunities for tech continue to grow. It is actually quite possible to raise your own fund if you don’t have much wealth to leverage — you’ll still have many things to figure out, though. Connie Loizos talks to limited partners and VCs who have been taking creative approaches for TechCrunch this week:

First, find investors, i.e. limited partners, who are willing to take less than 2% or 3% and maybe even less than 1% of the overall fund size being targeted. You’ll likely find fewer investors as that “commit” shrinks. But for example Joanna Rupp,  who runs the $1.1 billion private equity portfolio for the University of Chicago’s endowment, suggests that both she and other managers she knows are willing to be flexible based on the “specific situation of the GP.”

Says Rupp, “I think there are industry ‘norms,’ but we haven’t required a [general partner] commitment from younger GPs when we have felt that they don’t have the financial means.”

Bob Raynard, founder of the fund administration firm Standish Management, echoes the sentiment, saying that a smaller general partner commitment in exchange for special investor economics is also fairly common. “You might see a reduced management fee for the LP for helping them or reduced carry or both, and that has been done for years.”

Explore management fee offsets. Use your existing portfolio companies as collateral. Make a deal with wealthier friends if you can. Get a bank loan. Consider the merits of so-called front loading.

She goes on to explain a number of tips including:

  • Explore management fee offsets.

  • Use your existing portfolio companies as collateral.

  • Make a deal with wealthier friends if you can.

  • Get a bank loan.

  • Consider the merits of so-called front loading.

Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)

Edtech startup M&A grows with the pandemic boom

Natasha Mascarenhas takes a look at the motivations behind recent acquisitions in the space for Extra Crunch this week, as edtech has gone from supplemental to vital during the pandemic. Here’s more detail about the Course Hero acquisition of Symbolab from the other week.

Symbolab is a math calculator that is set to answer over 1 billion questions this year. With each answer, Symbolab adds information to its algorithm regarding students’ most common pain points and confusion. Course Hero, in contrast, is a broader service that focuses on Q&A from a variety of subjects. CEO Andrew Grauer says Symbolab’s algorithm isn’t something that Course Hero, which has been operating since 2006, can drum up overnight. That’s precisely why he “decided to buy, instead of build… It made a lot of sense to move fast enough so it wouldn’t take up multiple years to get this technology.”

Around TechCrunch

Learn how to score your first check with TMV’s Soraya Darabi on November 10

Just one week left for early-bird passes to TC Sessions: Space 2020

Relativity Space’s Tim Ellis is coming to TC Sessions: Space 2020

Across the week

TechCrunch:

China postpones Ant’s colossal IPO after closed-door talk with Jack Ma

Study shows cities with ride-hailing services report lower rates of sexual assault

Mixtape podcast: Wellness in the time of the struggle

Why Florida residents may soon be seeing jet-powered ‘flying taxis’

UK report spotlights the huge investment gap facing diverse founders

Extra Crunch:

3 tips for SaaS founders hoping to join the $1 million ARR club

Inside fintech startup Upstart’s IPO filing

4 takeaways from fintech VC in Q3 2020

Is fintech’s Series A market hot, or just overhyped?

Implementing a data-driven approach to guarantee fair, equitable and transparent employee pay

#EquityPod: Fortnite is actually a SaaS company

From Alex Wilhelm:

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

What a week from us here in the United States, where the election is still being tabulated and precisely zero people are stressed at all. But, no matter what, the wheels of Equity spin on, so Danny and Natasha and Alex and Chris got together once again to chat all things startups and venture capital:

  • Up top there was breaking news aplenty, including a suit from the U.S. government to try to block the huge Plaid-Visa deal. And, it was reported that Airbnb will drop its public S-1 filing early next week. That IPO is a go.
  • Next we turned to the gaming world, riffing off of this piece digging into the venture mechanics of making and selling video games. Our hosting crew had a few differences of opinion, but were able to agree that Doom 3 was a masterpiece before moving on.
  • Then it was time to talk Ant, and what the hell happened to its IPO. Luckily with Danny on deck we were in good hands. What a mess.
  • Prop 22 was passed, which effectively allows Uber, Instacart and Lyft to keep their gig workers labeled as independent contractors, instead of employees. As a result, Uber and Lyft stocks soared, while gig worker collectives said that the fight is still on.
  • Natasha scooped a series of Election Day filings from venture capital firms. In the mix: Precursor Ventures Fund IIIHustle Fund II and Insight Partner’s first Opportunity Fund.
  • And finally, despite Election Day turning into an entire week, the public markets are rallying. Will we see a boom of IPOs?
  • And, as a special treat, we didn’t even mention Maricopa County for the entire episode. Take care all!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT and Thursday afternoon as fast as we can get it out, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.



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Editor’s note: Get this free weekly recap of TechCrunch news that any startup can use by email every Saturday morning (7 a.m. PT). Subscribe here.

The US is settling in for some new form of national gridlock, but state and local propositions are busy defining how technology businesses will be allowed to work (legally) in the US. Policies on topics as broad as customer usage and employment or as narrow as a drug chemical got the vote across the country. The results provide a blueprint for what you might expect to see in many more places.

Perhaps the best example is Proposition 22 in California, where a majority of the voters approved of new rules that allow companies like Uber and Lyft to continue operating with drivers as independent contractors. A previous piece of state legislation and related lawsuit would have required the companies to classify many drivers as full-time employees. Here’s Megan Rose Dickey, on the impact of the result:

Throughout the case, Uber and Lyft have argued that reclassifying their drivers as employees would cause irreparable harm to the companies. In the ruling last month, the judge said neither company would suffer any “grave or irreparable harm by being prohibited from violating the law” and that their respective financial burdens “do not rise to the level of irreparable harm.”

But now that Prop 22 is projected to pass, this lawsuit has far less legal ground to stand on. It’s also worth noting that Uber has previously said it may pursue similar legislation in other states.

Naturally, the affected companies got a boost to their stock prices after the vote was called, and Uber is already working on taking the campaign global.

The US presidential election of 2020 has been the most technologically sophisticated ever, but I’m gonna skip because there are relatively few startup angles for us here. However, if you are trying to craft user policies about politics, consider this election-eve analysis from Taylor Hatmaker about how Facebook and Twitter have changed their approaches since 2016.

Other notable startup-y items from our election coverage:

Cannabis legalization measures set to pass in 5 states

Portland, Maine passes referendum banning facial surveillance

Massachusetts voters pass a right-to-repair measure, giving them unprecedented access to their car data

Calm’s hilarious CNN ad campaign sent the meditation app flying up App Store charts

YC-backed nonprofit VotingWorks wants to rebuild trust in election systems through open source

Something else happened in government this week that was not about the election — but may still be relevant to your startup. The SEC will now let companies raise up to $5 million per year in equity crowdfunding, up from a previous rule of $1.07 million. Lucas Matney has more for Extra Crunch.

The next billion-dollar e-commerce company will be a B2B marketplace

Business-to-business transactions are full of complexities beyond the consumer space, including four types of standard payment methods, sophisticated financing tools, bulk discounts, contractual pricing, delivery schedules, insurance and compliance. Merritt Hummer of Bain Capital Ventures breaks it down in a big guest post for Extra Crunch:

[I]t’s no wonder B2B e-commerce has been slower to digitize than B2C. From product discovery through the checkout process, a consumer buying a bag of licorice looks nothing like a retailer buying 100,000 bags of licorice from a distributor. The good news for B2B marketplace founders is that, based on the parameters above, there are many creative ways to extract value from transactions that go beyond the GMV take rate. Let’s explore some of the creative ways to monetize a B2B marketplace.

Instead of trying to take a cut of the gross merchandise value, like what Apple does with the App Store, successful startups have to be creative. These can include data monetization, embedded financial services, targeted advertising, private-label products, subscription fees and sampling fees. Here’s an excerpt from Hummer about that last one:

In most B2B verticals, individual transactions are so large that charging fees on a percentage basis means scaring potential customers away. In high-value markets with infrequent orders, charging a take rate on purchase orders will be perceived as unfair, especially when suppliers and buyers know each other already. But the fee-per-sample model is a unique wedge to aggregate suppliers and buyers, who often sample supplies before placing large orders.

One of our portfolio companies, Material Bank, has used this monetization strategy with success. Material Bank is a B2B marketplace for construction and interior design materials that warehouses samples (fabric swatches, paint chips, flooring materials, wall coverings, etc.) from hundreds of brands. Architects and interior designers can order free samples from Material Bank and receive them the next morning, and then ship samples back for free when they’re no longer needed. Material Bank charges the manufacturers a fee every time one of their samples is shipped out. Manufacturers receive new customer leads that require no effort to generate and are happy to outsource sample fulfillment, which was historically a cost center and not a core competency. Other B2B markets where sampling is well-established include chemicals, apparel and packaging materials.

How to start a VC fund without being rich already

Barriers to venture investing have been falling in recent years, as money has flowed into the asset class and as the opportunities for tech continue to grow. It is actually quite possible to raise your own fund if you don’t have much wealth to leverage — you’ll still have many things to figure out, though. Connie Loizos talks to limited partners and VCs who have been taking creative approaches for TechCrunch this week:

First, find investors, i.e. limited partners, who are willing to take less than 2% or 3% and maybe even less than 1% of the overall fund size being targeted. You’ll likely find fewer investors as that “commit” shrinks. But for example Joanna Rupp,  who runs the $1.1 billion private equity portfolio for the University of Chicago’s endowment, suggests that both she and other managers she knows are willing to be flexible based on the “specific situation of the GP.”

Says Rupp, “I think there are industry ‘norms,’ but we haven’t required a [general partner] commitment from younger GPs when we have felt that they don’t have the financial means.”

Bob Raynard, founder of the fund administration firm Standish Management, echoes the sentiment, saying that a smaller general partner commitment in exchange for special investor economics is also fairly common. “You might see a reduced management fee for the LP for helping them or reduced carry or both, and that has been done for years.”

Explore management fee offsets. Use your existing portfolio companies as collateral. Make a deal with wealthier friends if you can. Get a bank loan. Consider the merits of so-called front loading.

She goes on to explain a number of tips including:

  • Explore management fee offsets.

  • Use your existing portfolio companies as collateral.

  • Make a deal with wealthier friends if you can.

  • Get a bank loan.

  • Consider the merits of so-called front loading.

Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)

Edtech startup M&A grows with the pandemic boom

Natasha Mascarenhas takes a look at the motivations behind recent acquisitions in the space for Extra Crunch this week, as edtech has gone from supplemental to vital during the pandemic. Here’s more detail about the Course Hero acquisition of Symbolab from the other week.

Symbolab is a math calculator that is set to answer over 1 billion questions this year. With each answer, Symbolab adds information to its algorithm regarding students’ most common pain points and confusion. Course Hero, in contrast, is a broader service that focuses on Q&A from a variety of subjects. CEO Andrew Grauer says Symbolab’s algorithm isn’t something that Course Hero, which has been operating since 2006, can drum up overnight. That’s precisely why he “decided to buy, instead of build… It made a lot of sense to move fast enough so it wouldn’t take up multiple years to get this technology.”

Around TechCrunch

Learn how to score your first check with TMV’s Soraya Darabi on November 10

Just one week left for early-bird passes to TC Sessions: Space 2020

Relativity Space’s Tim Ellis is coming to TC Sessions: Space 2020

Across the week

TechCrunch:

China postpones Ant’s colossal IPO after closed-door talk with Jack Ma

Study shows cities with ride-hailing services report lower rates of sexual assault

Mixtape podcast: Wellness in the time of the struggle

Why Florida residents may soon be seeing jet-powered ‘flying taxis’

UK report spotlights the huge investment gap facing diverse founders

Extra Crunch:

3 tips for SaaS founders hoping to join the $1 million ARR club

Inside fintech startup Upstart’s IPO filing

4 takeaways from fintech VC in Q3 2020

Is fintech’s Series A market hot, or just overhyped?

Implementing a data-driven approach to guarantee fair, equitable and transparent employee pay

#EquityPod: Fortnite is actually a SaaS company

From Alex Wilhelm:

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

What a week from us here in the United States, where the election is still being tabulated and precisely zero people are stressed at all. But, no matter what, the wheels of Equity spin on, so Danny and Natasha and Alex and Chris got together once again to chat all things startups and venture capital:

  • Up top there was breaking news aplenty, including a suit from the U.S. government to try to block the huge Plaid-Visa deal. And, it was reported that Airbnb will drop its public S-1 filing early next week. That IPO is a go.
  • Next we turned to the gaming world, riffing off of this piece digging into the venture mechanics of making and selling video games. Our hosting crew had a few differences of opinion, but were able to agree that Doom 3 was a masterpiece before moving on.
  • Then it was time to talk Ant, and what the hell happened to its IPO. Luckily with Danny on deck we were in good hands. What a mess.
  • Prop 22 was passed, which effectively allows Uber, Instacart and Lyft to keep their gig workers labeled as independent contractors, instead of employees. As a result, Uber and Lyft stocks soared, while gig worker collectives said that the fight is still on.
  • Natasha scooped a series of Election Day filings from venture capital firms. In the mix: Precursor Ventures Fund IIIHustle Fund II and Insight Partner’s first Opportunity Fund.
  • And finally, despite Election Day turning into an entire week, the public markets are rallying. Will we see a boom of IPOs?
  • And, as a special treat, we didn’t even mention Maricopa County for the entire episode. Take care all!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT and Thursday afternoon as fast as we can get it out, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.





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Joe Biden wins the 2020 US presidential election


Following a tense week of vote tallying, Joe Biden won the state of Pennsylvania and vaulted ahead in the race to become the next president of the United States. Biden’s win in the critical state put him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes, cutting off all avenues for his opponent.

Biden prevailed by flipping key states that went to Trump in 2016, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump again won in Florida and Ohio, but in the end was unable to chart a path to an electoral victory. Biden also leads by millions in the popular vote, with a record number of votes cast this year, many through the mail.

As his vice president, Kamala Harris will make history in myriad ways, becoming the first woman — and the first woman of color — to occupy the office. Harris, a California senator and the state’s former attorney general, built a career in the tech industry’s front yard.

Shattered barriers aside, this year’s election will likely go down in infamy for many in the U.S. The race was the strangest in recent years, characterized by rising storms of misinformation, fears over the fate of scaled-up vote-by-mail systems and a deadly virus that’s claimed well over 230,000 American lives. Biden’s campaign was forced to adapt to drive-up rallies and digital campaigning instead of relying on door-knocking and face-to-face interaction to mobilize the vote.

The circumstances of the election also created the perfect ecosystem for misinformation — a situation made worse by President Trump’s false claim of victory early Wednesday morning and ongoing claims of Democratic voter fraud. Trump appears to be in no mood to concede the election, but in the end the vote is what it is and Joe Biden will take office on January 20, 2021.

While a sitting president rejecting that unwritten democratic norm would be alarming, Trump’s decision will have little bearing on the ultimate political outcome. Whatever the coming days hold, the U.S. is entering into a new and unprecedented phase of uncertainty in which misinformation abounds and political tensions and fears of politically-motivated violence are running high.

The former vice president’s win brings a four year run of Trumpism to an abrupt end, though its effects will still reverberate throughout American politics, likely for decades. It also ushers in a new era in which Joe Biden plans to draw on the influence of an unlikely coalition of Democrats from across the political spectrum. The Senate still hangs in the balance with two tight races in Georgia headed to January runoffs.

Biden has laid out plans for sweeping climate action, and a healthcare extension that would cover more Americans and provide an opt-in Medicare-like public option. But his ability to enact most of those grand plans would hinge on a Democratic Senate. While either party was likely to continue pursuing more aggressive regulation for the technology industry, we’ll be watching closely for signals of what’s to come for tech policy.

But even without the Senate, the president-elect may be capable of making a swift and critical impact where it’s most needed: the coronavirus pandemic. In the continued absence of a national plan to fight the virus and a White House that downplays its deadliness and discourages mask-wearing, COVID-19 is raging out of control in states across the country, signaling a very deadly winter just around the corner.


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Following a tense week of vote tallying, Joe Biden won the state of Pennsylvania and vaulted ahead in the race to become the next president of the United States. Biden’s win in the critical state put him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes, cutting off all avenues for his opponent.

Biden prevailed by flipping key states that went to Trump in 2016, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump again won in Florida and Ohio, but in the end was unable to chart a path to an electoral victory. Biden also leads by millions in the popular vote, with a record number of votes cast this year, many through the mail.

As his vice president, Kamala Harris will make history in myriad ways, becoming the first woman — and the first woman of color — to occupy the office. Harris, a California senator and the state’s former attorney general, built a career in the tech industry’s front yard.

Shattered barriers aside, this year’s election will likely go down in infamy for many in the U.S. The race was the strangest in recent years, characterized by rising storms of misinformation, fears over the fate of scaled-up vote-by-mail systems and a deadly virus that’s claimed well over 230,000 American lives. Biden’s campaign was forced to adapt to drive-up rallies and digital campaigning instead of relying on door-knocking and face-to-face interaction to mobilize the vote.

The circumstances of the election also created the perfect ecosystem for misinformation — a situation made worse by President Trump’s false claim of victory early Wednesday morning and ongoing claims of Democratic voter fraud. Trump appears to be in no mood to concede the election, but in the end the vote is what it is and Joe Biden will take office on January 20, 2021.

While a sitting president rejecting that unwritten democratic norm would be alarming, Trump’s decision will have little bearing on the ultimate political outcome. Whatever the coming days hold, the U.S. is entering into a new and unprecedented phase of uncertainty in which misinformation abounds and political tensions and fears of politically-motivated violence are running high.

The former vice president’s win brings a four year run of Trumpism to an abrupt end, though its effects will still reverberate throughout American politics, likely for decades. It also ushers in a new era in which Joe Biden plans to draw on the influence of an unlikely coalition of Democrats from across the political spectrum. The Senate still hangs in the balance with two tight races in Georgia headed to January runoffs.

Biden has laid out plans for sweeping climate action, and a healthcare extension that would cover more Americans and provide an opt-in Medicare-like public option. But his ability to enact most of those grand plans would hinge on a Democratic Senate. While either party was likely to continue pursuing more aggressive regulation for the technology industry, we’ll be watching closely for signals of what’s to come for tech policy.

But even without the Senate, the president-elect may be capable of making a swift and critical impact where it’s most needed: the coronavirus pandemic. In the continued absence of a national plan to fight the virus and a White House that downplays its deadliness and discourages mask-wearing, COVID-19 is raging out of control in states across the country, signaling a very deadly winter just around the corner.



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This Week in Apps: Elections’ impact on the app store, new app privacy requirements, iOS 14.2 arrives


Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

Top Stories

Apps and the Elections

The tight, nail-biting U.S. elections this week had a number of impacts on the app market.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

The apps Americans chose to watch the elections on their iPhone were reflective of the nation’s divisions. Instead of a more neutral news source, like a broadcast network, the top 2 apps were CNN and Fox News — cable news channels that lean left and right, respectively.

On the day after Election Day, the Fox News app hit No. 2 among the top free iPhone apps on the U.S. App Store. This is the highest it has ever ranked. The second-highest ranking it reached was No. 9 on November 9, 2016.

Meanwhile, the CNN app hit No. 3 on the same — its highest rank since it hit No. 2 back on Jan. 20, 2017, the date of Trump’s inauguration. This was also the 3rd highest ever rank. (The app previously reached No, 1 on Nov. 9, 2016).

As of Nov. 5, CNN maintained a top ranking at No. 4 but Fox News slipped to No. 14.

Other news apps didn’t do as well, barely cracking the top 50 at best

Android users showed less interest in the elections, where Fox News only got as high as No. 12 on Nov. 5 and CNN reached No. 16.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

In lighter news from this stressful week, Calm’s meditation app made headlines for its hilarious ad campaign that saw it sponsoring CNN’s coverage of the presidential election. The app popped up on the screen during CNN’s “Key Race Alert.” The move seemed to benefit the app in terms of downloads and rankings. 

On social media apps, companies had to react quickly to clamp down on the rapid-fire spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories, and other violating content. Facebook and Instagram ran notifications to inform users that votes were still being counted after Trump falsely claimed he had won.

Facebook also removed conspiracy groups and hashtags associated with election misinformation, as did TikTok. In Facebook’s case, a hashtag block is not a full removal — content will still be returned if you search for a blocked phrase, even if it’s largely from news organizations reporting on the trend. On TikTok, however, a blocked terms returns nothing. TikTok also took more decisive action to fully remove videos spreading election misinformation.

However, for those in the market for misinformation, it’s still fairly easy to find across TikTok, as many other hashtags and terms where misinfo is shared remained untouched.

YouTube, however, took a more controversial stance on its handling of misinformation. The platform this week demonstrated how it’s complicit in the spread of false and dangerous information, when it refused to remove a video that falsely claimed Trump won the election and worked to undermine Americans’ trust in democratic elections. YouTube believes demonetization and warning labels are the solution, but by keeping this content online, it retains users. And then those people do, in fact, watch ads elsewhere, allowing YouTube to profit.

The company did draw the line, at least, at a video from Steve Bannon, that called for violence against and deaths of Anthony Fauci and FBI director Christopher Wray.

According to Sensor Tower, the top social media apps in the U.S. including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter saw their combined iOS and Android installs from November 3 to November 5 decline 8% week-over-week when compared to the installs from October 27 to October 29.

Right-wing social app Parler, meanwhile, ranked at No. 1,023 on iOS on November 2. On November 5, it had climbed to No. 241. As of Friday, it was No. 29.

Apple rolls out a big update to iOS 14

Apple this week released iOS 14.2, which brings a number of new features in addition to the usual bug fixes and security updates.

Of note to consumers, the update brings 117 new emojis.

Among the new emoji is a tweaked version of the “Face with Medical Mask,” which changes the face so the eyes are smiling. Other notable additions include the transgender flag, pinched fingers, people hugging, a smiling face with tear, a man bottle-feeding a baby and a more inclusive set of tuxedo-wearing people and people wearing a veil. There’s also a gender-inclusive alternative to Santa and Mrs. Claus, which offers a gender neutral option of a person in a Santa hat.

The updated iOS also offers eight new wallpapers in both light and dark version; new AirPlay controls; the ability to connect the HomePod to Apple TV for stereo, surround sound and Dolby Atmos audio; support for iPhone 12 Leather Sleeve with MagSafe; optimized battery charging for AirPods; headphone audio level notifications; and more.

One of the more interesting new features, however, is an accessibility upgrade for blind users that takes advantage of the lidar support in iPhone 12, 12 Pro Max and iPad Pro.

The “People Detection” features leverages lidar to detect how close people are to the device owner, as a way to help blind users better navigate the world. 

Get ready for Apple’s new “app privacy” labels

Image Credits: Apple

Apple this week announced a deadline of December 8, 2020 for app developers to submit their app’s privacy information to the App Store. This information will be required to submit new apps and app updates, and will give consumers a better understanding of how apps are accessing their data.

On each app’s product page following the deadline, users will be able to see what data an app collects and how that data is used to track them, Apple says. This doesn’t only include data the app developers collect themselves, but also data that’s transmitted off the device for later use by the developer or a third-party partner. That means app developers will have to disclose how data is being handed over to analytics tools, ad networks and other third-party SDKs and other vendors.

With this pro-consumer privacy change, Apple customers will know how developers are tracking and/or sharing their personal info, health data, financial information, location, contacts data, user content, browsing and search histories, purchases, app usage, diagnostic and more.

While it’s hard to argue that this is a change for the better, in terms of consumer benefits, Apple’s reasons may not be just about serving their customer base.

By cutting off the ad analytics industry with its upcoming crippling of IDFA and making it more obvious which apps track user data, Apple is putting its own ad tech in a more favored position. Its framework SKAdNetwork hugely benefits from these changes — effectively giving Apple a seat at the table in the multi-billion-dollar ad industry. So, let’s stop pretending this is all about how much Apple cares for its users. This is business.

Weekly News Round-Up

Platforms

  • Fortnite finds a way to skirt App Store ban. The game, banned by Apple in a battle over App Store fees, may have another way to reach the iPhone user base by way of Nvidia’s GeForce cloud gaming service that runs on the mobile web.
  • WhatsApp rolls out a payments service in India. The Facebook-owned messaging app began testing the service in 2018, but struggled to get government approval. The service, which is built on UPI, offers a challenge to Google and Walmart which currently dominate the mobile payments market in India.
  • WhatsApp adds disappearing messages. The new ephemeral messages disappear after seven days and rolled out across iOS and Android. It also made it easier for users to delete large files and manage storage.
  • Apple announces a new event. The expectation is that this one will be Mac-focused.
  • Apple warns investors that reduced App Store revenues would hurt its financial results. The warning comes amidst increasing regulatory pressure on the App Store, which today requires developers to distribute through its platform to reach iOS users, and requires IAPs through Apple Pay.

Services

Politics

  • PUBG Mobile plots a way to return to the Indian market, after a ban over cybersecurity concerns due to its connections with Chinese giant Tencent. The company is looking for a local publisher.
  • Facebook and Instagram added notifications during the tight U.S. election this week to alert users that votes were still being counted. The move follows Trump’s spread of conspiracies that elections were rigged and his lies saying he had won before all votes had been counted.

Security & Privacy

Apps in the News

  • Spotify adds standalone streaming support to its Apple Watch app. That means users can leave their iPhone behind and stream directly from their Watch over Wi-Fi or cellular.
  • Facebook tests “dark mode” on Android. The new dark mode option had been tested earlier on desktop.
  • Triller names Daniel Gillick its Global Head of Partnerships. The exec was previously senior manager of music content and industry relations at Triller rival TikTok.
  • TikTok signed a new, longer-term agreement with Sony Music. The deal allows the app to continue to offer music from Sony artists in its app.
  • TikTok tests iOS 14 “App Clips.” The test was spotted in beta, and would allow users a full-screen preview with a download prompt.
  • NBC News launched an iOS 14 widget for putting election news and results on your home screen.
  • Pokémon GO reaches $1 billion in 2020; lifetime revenue tops $4 billion, says Sensor Tower.
  • Tencent claims record 100 million daily users on mobile game, Honor of Kings. The game consistently ranks among the world’s top-grossing games, as well.
  • Match Group reported Tinder subscriber growth despite a pandemic where people are supposed to be social distancing. Tinder had 6.6 million subscribers in the quarter, up from 6.2 million in the prior quarter. Tinder revenue rose 15%, but ARPU slipped 1%.

Trends

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Funding and M&A (and IPOs)

  • Delivery startup goPuff, whose app lets you order convenience store items and alcohol for same-day delivery, acquires alcoholic beverage chain BevMo for $350 million. 
  • TikTok parent company ByteDance looking to raise $2 billion before its IPO on the Hong Kong StockExchange.
  • Kuaishou Technology, the world’s second-largest short term video app and TikTok rival, filed for IPO in Hong Kong
  • European challenger banking app Vivid Money raises $17.6 million. The bank offers a metal debit card controlled by an app, and other tech-forward features.

Downloads

The Roku Channel app

The recently released app lets anyone, including non-Roku users, stream from Roku’s catalog of free, live and premium movie and TV content on their iOS or Android device. The app also offers more than 115 live channels including live news, weather, sports, food & home, reality TV, science fiction, true crime, kids’ entertainment and Spanish language content.

The Collage Atlas

Looking to wind-down from a week of stress and anxiety? The Apple Arcade game, The Collage Atlas, may help. This unique hand-drawn game created by developer John William Evelyn is a work of art where players are invited to journey through a pen-and-ink dream world, accompanied by a soundtrack shaped by your gameplay. The title, which was in development for more than four years, is more of something to experience than something to more actively “play” — and that may be just what’s needed right now.



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Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

Top Stories

Apps and the Elections

The tight, nail-biting U.S. elections this week had a number of impacts on the app market.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

The apps Americans chose to watch the elections on their iPhone were reflective of the nation’s divisions. Instead of a more neutral news source, like a broadcast network, the top 2 apps were CNN and Fox News — cable news channels that lean left and right, respectively.

On the day after Election Day, the Fox News app hit No. 2 among the top free iPhone apps on the U.S. App Store. This is the highest it has ever ranked. The second-highest ranking it reached was No. 9 on November 9, 2016.

Meanwhile, the CNN app hit No. 3 on the same — its highest rank since it hit No. 2 back on Jan. 20, 2017, the date of Trump’s inauguration. This was also the 3rd highest ever rank. (The app previously reached No, 1 on Nov. 9, 2016).

As of Nov. 5, CNN maintained a top ranking at No. 4 but Fox News slipped to No. 14.

Other news apps didn’t do as well, barely cracking the top 50 at best

Android users showed less interest in the elections, where Fox News only got as high as No. 12 on Nov. 5 and CNN reached No. 16.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

In lighter news from this stressful week, Calm’s meditation app made headlines for its hilarious ad campaign that saw it sponsoring CNN’s coverage of the presidential election. The app popped up on the screen during CNN’s “Key Race Alert.” The move seemed to benefit the app in terms of downloads and rankings. 

On social media apps, companies had to react quickly to clamp down on the rapid-fire spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories, and other violating content. Facebook and Instagram ran notifications to inform users that votes were still being counted after Trump falsely claimed he had won.

Facebook also removed conspiracy groups and hashtags associated with election misinformation, as did TikTok. In Facebook’s case, a hashtag block is not a full removal — content will still be returned if you search for a blocked phrase, even if it’s largely from news organizations reporting on the trend. On TikTok, however, a blocked terms returns nothing. TikTok also took more decisive action to fully remove videos spreading election misinformation.

However, for those in the market for misinformation, it’s still fairly easy to find across TikTok, as many other hashtags and terms where misinfo is shared remained untouched.

YouTube, however, took a more controversial stance on its handling of misinformation. The platform this week demonstrated how it’s complicit in the spread of false and dangerous information, when it refused to remove a video that falsely claimed Trump won the election and worked to undermine Americans’ trust in democratic elections. YouTube believes demonetization and warning labels are the solution, but by keeping this content online, it retains users. And then those people do, in fact, watch ads elsewhere, allowing YouTube to profit.

The company did draw the line, at least, at a video from Steve Bannon, that called for violence against and deaths of Anthony Fauci and FBI director Christopher Wray.

According to Sensor Tower, the top social media apps in the U.S. including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter saw their combined iOS and Android installs from November 3 to November 5 decline 8% week-over-week when compared to the installs from October 27 to October 29.

Right-wing social app Parler, meanwhile, ranked at No. 1,023 on iOS on November 2. On November 5, it had climbed to No. 241. As of Friday, it was No. 29.

Apple rolls out a big update to iOS 14

Apple this week released iOS 14.2, which brings a number of new features in addition to the usual bug fixes and security updates.

Of note to consumers, the update brings 117 new emojis.

Among the new emoji is a tweaked version of the “Face with Medical Mask,” which changes the face so the eyes are smiling. Other notable additions include the transgender flag, pinched fingers, people hugging, a smiling face with tear, a man bottle-feeding a baby and a more inclusive set of tuxedo-wearing people and people wearing a veil. There’s also a gender-inclusive alternative to Santa and Mrs. Claus, which offers a gender neutral option of a person in a Santa hat.

The updated iOS also offers eight new wallpapers in both light and dark version; new AirPlay controls; the ability to connect the HomePod to Apple TV for stereo, surround sound and Dolby Atmos audio; support for iPhone 12 Leather Sleeve with MagSafe; optimized battery charging for AirPods; headphone audio level notifications; and more.

One of the more interesting new features, however, is an accessibility upgrade for blind users that takes advantage of the lidar support in iPhone 12, 12 Pro Max and iPad Pro.

The “People Detection” features leverages lidar to detect how close people are to the device owner, as a way to help blind users better navigate the world. 

Get ready for Apple’s new “app privacy” labels

Image Credits: Apple

Apple this week announced a deadline of December 8, 2020 for app developers to submit their app’s privacy information to the App Store. This information will be required to submit new apps and app updates, and will give consumers a better understanding of how apps are accessing their data.

On each app’s product page following the deadline, users will be able to see what data an app collects and how that data is used to track them, Apple says. This doesn’t only include data the app developers collect themselves, but also data that’s transmitted off the device for later use by the developer or a third-party partner. That means app developers will have to disclose how data is being handed over to analytics tools, ad networks and other third-party SDKs and other vendors.

With this pro-consumer privacy change, Apple customers will know how developers are tracking and/or sharing their personal info, health data, financial information, location, contacts data, user content, browsing and search histories, purchases, app usage, diagnostic and more.

While it’s hard to argue that this is a change for the better, in terms of consumer benefits, Apple’s reasons may not be just about serving their customer base.

By cutting off the ad analytics industry with its upcoming crippling of IDFA and making it more obvious which apps track user data, Apple is putting its own ad tech in a more favored position. Its framework SKAdNetwork hugely benefits from these changes — effectively giving Apple a seat at the table in the multi-billion-dollar ad industry. So, let’s stop pretending this is all about how much Apple cares for its users. This is business.

Weekly News Round-Up

Platforms

  • Fortnite finds a way to skirt App Store ban. The game, banned by Apple in a battle over App Store fees, may have another way to reach the iPhone user base by way of Nvidia’s GeForce cloud gaming service that runs on the mobile web.
  • WhatsApp rolls out a payments service in India. The Facebook-owned messaging app began testing the service in 2018, but struggled to get government approval. The service, which is built on UPI, offers a challenge to Google and Walmart which currently dominate the mobile payments market in India.
  • WhatsApp adds disappearing messages. The new ephemeral messages disappear after seven days and rolled out across iOS and Android. It also made it easier for users to delete large files and manage storage.
  • Apple announces a new event. The expectation is that this one will be Mac-focused.
  • Apple warns investors that reduced App Store revenues would hurt its financial results. The warning comes amidst increasing regulatory pressure on the App Store, which today requires developers to distribute through its platform to reach iOS users, and requires IAPs through Apple Pay.

Services

Politics

  • PUBG Mobile plots a way to return to the Indian market, after a ban over cybersecurity concerns due to its connections with Chinese giant Tencent. The company is looking for a local publisher.
  • Facebook and Instagram added notifications during the tight U.S. election this week to alert users that votes were still being counted. The move follows Trump’s spread of conspiracies that elections were rigged and his lies saying he had won before all votes had been counted.

Security & Privacy

Apps in the News

  • Spotify adds standalone streaming support to its Apple Watch app. That means users can leave their iPhone behind and stream directly from their Watch over Wi-Fi or cellular.
  • Facebook tests “dark mode” on Android. The new dark mode option had been tested earlier on desktop.
  • Triller names Daniel Gillick its Global Head of Partnerships. The exec was previously senior manager of music content and industry relations at Triller rival TikTok.
  • TikTok signed a new, longer-term agreement with Sony Music. The deal allows the app to continue to offer music from Sony artists in its app.
  • TikTok tests iOS 14 “App Clips.” The test was spotted in beta, and would allow users a full-screen preview with a download prompt.
  • NBC News launched an iOS 14 widget for putting election news and results on your home screen.
  • Pokémon GO reaches $1 billion in 2020; lifetime revenue tops $4 billion, says Sensor Tower.
  • Tencent claims record 100 million daily users on mobile game, Honor of Kings. The game consistently ranks among the world’s top-grossing games, as well.
  • Match Group reported Tinder subscriber growth despite a pandemic where people are supposed to be social distancing. Tinder had 6.6 million subscribers in the quarter, up from 6.2 million in the prior quarter. Tinder revenue rose 15%, but ARPU slipped 1%.

Trends

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Funding and M&A (and IPOs)

  • Delivery startup goPuff, whose app lets you order convenience store items and alcohol for same-day delivery, acquires alcoholic beverage chain BevMo for $350 million. 
  • TikTok parent company ByteDance looking to raise $2 billion before its IPO on the Hong Kong StockExchange.
  • Kuaishou Technology, the world’s second-largest short term video app and TikTok rival, filed for IPO in Hong Kong
  • European challenger banking app Vivid Money raises $17.6 million. The bank offers a metal debit card controlled by an app, and other tech-forward features.

Downloads

The Roku Channel app

The recently released app lets anyone, including non-Roku users, stream from Roku’s catalog of free, live and premium movie and TV content on their iOS or Android device. The app also offers more than 115 live channels including live news, weather, sports, food & home, reality TV, science fiction, true crime, kids’ entertainment and Spanish language content.

The Collage Atlas

Looking to wind-down from a week of stress and anxiety? The Apple Arcade game, The Collage Atlas, may help. This unique hand-drawn game created by developer John William Evelyn is a work of art where players are invited to journey through a pen-and-ink dream world, accompanied by a soundtrack shaped by your gameplay. The title, which was in development for more than four years, is more of something to experience than something to more actively “play” — and that may be just what’s needed right now.





Source link

Elon Musk’s Tesla tequila will run you $250 a bottle


Teslaquila, the Tesla -branded liquor that co-starred in CEO Elon Musk’s controversial April Fool’s Day joke about the automaker filing for bankruptcy, has arrived.

The automaker now lists Tesla Tequila (a bit different from the original Teslaquila branding) on its website. The tequila — described as a “small-batch premium 100% de agave tequila añejo made from sustainably sourced highland and lowland agaves,” is housed in a handblown glass bottle shaped in the electric charge symbol. Oh, and it costs $250.

Celeb-produced tequilas are nothing new — and are often lucrative. Casamigos, the tequila brand co-founded by George Clooney, was acquired by Diageo in a deal that valued the company up to $1 billion. Tesla Tequila might be first liquor sold by an automaker. The liquor is produced by Nosotros Tequila, according to the company.

The tequila first popped up in April 2018 when Musk tweeted a photo of himself passed out against a Tesla Model 3 “surrounded by “Teslaquilla” bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.” In the photo, Musk is holding a cardboard sign that reads “bankwupt.”

Later that year, Tesla filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark “Teslaquila.”

 


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Teslaquila, the Tesla -branded liquor that co-starred in CEO Elon Musk’s controversial April Fool’s Day joke about the automaker filing for bankruptcy, has arrived.

The automaker now lists Tesla Tequila (a bit different from the original Teslaquila branding) on its website. The tequila — described as a “small-batch premium 100% de agave tequila añejo made from sustainably sourced highland and lowland agaves,” is housed in a handblown glass bottle shaped in the electric charge symbol. Oh, and it costs $250.

Celeb-produced tequilas are nothing new — and are often lucrative. Casamigos, the tequila brand co-founded by George Clooney, was acquired by Diageo in a deal that valued the company up to $1 billion. Tesla Tequila might be first liquor sold by an automaker. The liquor is produced by Nosotros Tequila, according to the company.

The tequila first popped up in April 2018 when Musk tweeted a photo of himself passed out against a Tesla Model 3 “surrounded by “Teslaquilla” bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.” In the photo, Musk is holding a cardboard sign that reads “bankwupt.”

Later that year, Tesla filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark “Teslaquila.”

 



Source link

Steve Bannon’s show pulled off Twitter and YouTube over calls for violence


Former presidential advisor and right-wing pundit Steve Bannon had his show suspended from Twitter and an episode removed by YouTube after calling for violence against FBI director Christopher Wray and the government’s leading pandemic expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Bannon, speaking with co-host Jack Maxey, was discussing what Trump should do in a hypothetical second term. He suggested firing Wray and Fauci, but then went further, saying “I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England, I’d put the heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats.”

This may strike one at first as mere hyperbole — one may say “we want his head on a platter” and not really be suggesting they actually behead anyone. But the conversation continued and seemed to be more in earnest than it first appeared:

Maxey: Just yesterday there was the anniversary of the hanging of two Tories in Philadelphia. These were Quaker businessmen who had cohabitated, if you will, with the British while they were occupying Philadelphia. These people were hung. This is what we used to do to traitors.

Bannon: That’s how you won the revolution. No one wants to talk about it. The revolution wasn’t some sort of garden party, right? It was a civil war. It was a civil war.

Whether one considers this only nostalgia for the good old days of mob justice or an actual call to bring those days back, the exchange seems to have been enough for moderators at YouTube and Twitter to come down hard on the pair’s makeshift broadcast.

Twitter confirmed that it has “permanently suspended” (i.e. it can be appealed but won’t be restored automatically) the account for violating the rule against glorifying violence.

Social media election takedowns

YouTube removed the episode from “Steve Bannon’s War Room” channel Wednesday afternoon after it was brought to their attention. A representative for the platform said “We’ve removed this video for violating our policy against inciting violence. We will continue to be vigilant as we enforce our policies in the post-election period.”

Online platforms have struggled with finding the line between under and over-moderation. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and others have all taken different measures, from preemptively turning off features to silently banning hashtags. Facebook today took down a group with more than 300,000 members that was acting as an amplifier for misinformation about the election.

While the platforms have been vigorous in at least some ways in the labeling and isolation of misinformation, it’s more difficult for video platforms. Just minutes ago Trump took to YouTube to detail a variety of unfounded conspiracy theories about mail-in voting, but the platform can’t exactly do a live fact-check of the president and shut down his channel. More than with text-based networks, video tends to spread before it is caught and flagged due to the time it takes to review it.

 

 


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Former presidential advisor and right-wing pundit Steve Bannon had his show suspended from Twitter and an episode removed by YouTube after calling for violence against FBI director Christopher Wray and the government’s leading pandemic expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Bannon, speaking with co-host Jack Maxey, was discussing what Trump should do in a hypothetical second term. He suggested firing Wray and Fauci, but then went further, saying “I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England, I’d put the heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats.”

This may strike one at first as mere hyperbole — one may say “we want his head on a platter” and not really be suggesting they actually behead anyone. But the conversation continued and seemed to be more in earnest than it first appeared:

Maxey: Just yesterday there was the anniversary of the hanging of two Tories in Philadelphia. These were Quaker businessmen who had cohabitated, if you will, with the British while they were occupying Philadelphia. These people were hung. This is what we used to do to traitors.

Bannon: That’s how you won the revolution. No one wants to talk about it. The revolution wasn’t some sort of garden party, right? It was a civil war. It was a civil war.

Whether one considers this only nostalgia for the good old days of mob justice or an actual call to bring those days back, the exchange seems to have been enough for moderators at YouTube and Twitter to come down hard on the pair’s makeshift broadcast.

Twitter confirmed that it has “permanently suspended” (i.e. it can be appealed but won’t be restored automatically) the account for violating the rule against glorifying violence.

Social media election takedowns

YouTube removed the episode from “Steve Bannon’s War Room” channel Wednesday afternoon after it was brought to their attention. A representative for the platform said “We’ve removed this video for violating our policy against inciting violence. We will continue to be vigilant as we enforce our policies in the post-election period.”

Online platforms have struggled with finding the line between under and over-moderation. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and others have all taken different measures, from preemptively turning off features to silently banning hashtags. Facebook today took down a group with more than 300,000 members that was acting as an amplifier for misinformation about the election.

While the platforms have been vigorous in at least some ways in the labeling and isolation of misinformation, it’s more difficult for video platforms. Just minutes ago Trump took to YouTube to detail a variety of unfounded conspiracy theories about mail-in voting, but the platform can’t exactly do a live fact-check of the president and shut down his channel. More than with text-based networks, video tends to spread before it is caught and flagged due to the time it takes to review it.

 

 



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China’s cash-burning video sector: How Kuaishou lost $1B in 6 months


Rumors have been floating for months that ByteDance is going public with TikTok and Douyin separately. Just last night, Bloomberg reported that ByteDance is seeking a pre-IPO round of $2 billion at a staggering valuation of $180 billion.

Before any of that materializes, ByteDance Chinese rival Kuaishou moved ahead to file for an initial public offering in Hong Kong Thursday night, and its prospectus is shedding light on a race where both growth and costs are astronomical.

Launched by a former Google engineer in 2011 to share GIFs, Kuaishou has evolved into a nemesis of Douyin, TikTok’s sister in China. With 21.5% owned by Tencent, the company reported a net loss of 6.8 billion yuan ($1 billion) in the first six months of 2020 while operating loss stood at 7.57 billion yuan. In contrast, it logged an operating profit of 1.1 billion yuan in the same period just last year.

The increase was in part a result of the company’s aggressive promotion of its lite version, Kuaishou Express, which tailors to China’s less tech-savvy demographics. Unlike ByteDance, Kuaishou has had limited success overseas and relies on continuous domestic growth.

Its selling and marketing expenses skyrocketed 354.1%, from 3 billion yuan in H1 2019 to 13.7 billion yuan in H1 this year. But the splurge seemed to have paid off: the lite app gained 100 million DAUs within a year. It’s a game of pay-to-play.

The main app Kuaishou itself, as of June, reached 302 million daily users, who spent more than 85 minutes on the app per day engrossed in watching clips and live sessions. For comparison, Douyin crossed 400 million DAUs in January.

Though known as a “short-video app,” Kuaishou earns most of its revenue — 68.5% in H1 — from live streaming, during which audiences can send hosts virtual items priced anywhere between 1 and 2,000 yuan. Other monetization avenues include advertising, which accounted for 28% of its revenues, as well as less significant sources like e-commerce and games.

Douyin, on the other hand, pulled in about 67% of its revenues from advertising last year, a source told TechCrunch earlier, while live streaming made up 17%.

The revenue makeup reflects the core use case of the apps. Kuaishou often prides itself on user engagement; indeed, over a quarter of its 776 million monthly users are creators themselves. That makes Kuaishou more of a social app, where the viewers and creators interact frequently through means like live streaming and gifting.

Douyin, with algorithms that favor premium content, acts more like a form of media as some Chinese venture capitalists observed, making it a destination for showing ads.

In terms of revenue size, Kuaishou generated 39.1 billion yuan last year, about one-third of what ByteDance made last year. But one should keep in mind that ByteDance has another cash cow: its news and information aggregator, Jinri Toutiao.


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Rumors have been floating for months that ByteDance is going public with TikTok and Douyin separately. Just last night, Bloomberg reported that ByteDance is seeking a pre-IPO round of $2 billion at a staggering valuation of $180 billion.

Before any of that materializes, ByteDance Chinese rival Kuaishou moved ahead to file for an initial public offering in Hong Kong Thursday night, and its prospectus is shedding light on a race where both growth and costs are astronomical.

Launched by a former Google engineer in 2011 to share GIFs, Kuaishou has evolved into a nemesis of Douyin, TikTok’s sister in China. With 21.5% owned by Tencent, the company reported a net loss of 6.8 billion yuan ($1 billion) in the first six months of 2020 while operating loss stood at 7.57 billion yuan. In contrast, it logged an operating profit of 1.1 billion yuan in the same period just last year.

The increase was in part a result of the company’s aggressive promotion of its lite version, Kuaishou Express, which tailors to China’s less tech-savvy demographics. Unlike ByteDance, Kuaishou has had limited success overseas and relies on continuous domestic growth.

Its selling and marketing expenses skyrocketed 354.1%, from 3 billion yuan in H1 2019 to 13.7 billion yuan in H1 this year. But the splurge seemed to have paid off: the lite app gained 100 million DAUs within a year. It’s a game of pay-to-play.

The main app Kuaishou itself, as of June, reached 302 million daily users, who spent more than 85 minutes on the app per day engrossed in watching clips and live sessions. For comparison, Douyin crossed 400 million DAUs in January.

Though known as a “short-video app,” Kuaishou earns most of its revenue — 68.5% in H1 — from live streaming, during which audiences can send hosts virtual items priced anywhere between 1 and 2,000 yuan. Other monetization avenues include advertising, which accounted for 28% of its revenues, as well as less significant sources like e-commerce and games.

Douyin, on the other hand, pulled in about 67% of its revenues from advertising last year, a source told TechCrunch earlier, while live streaming made up 17%.

The revenue makeup reflects the core use case of the apps. Kuaishou often prides itself on user engagement; indeed, over a quarter of its 776 million monthly users are creators themselves. That makes Kuaishou more of a social app, where the viewers and creators interact frequently through means like live streaming and gifting.

Douyin, with algorithms that favor premium content, acts more like a form of media as some Chinese venture capitalists observed, making it a destination for showing ads.

In terms of revenue size, Kuaishou generated 39.1 billion yuan last year, about one-third of what ByteDance made last year. But one should keep in mind that ByteDance has another cash cow: its news and information aggregator, Jinri Toutiao.



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PUBG Mobile plots return to India with Microsoft deal


PUBG Mobile, the sleeper hit title that was banned in India two months ago over cybersecurity concerns, is plotting to make a return in the world’s second largest internet market, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

The South Korean firm has engaged with global cloud service providers in recent weeks to store Indian users’ data within the country to allay New Delhi’s concerns about user data residency and security, one of the sources said.

Updated at 2.09PM IST on November 7: Krafton, the parent firm of PUBG Corporation, announced today it has inked a global partnership with Microsoft. As part of the deal, games including PUBG Mobile that are developed by Krafton or its subsidiaries will be hosted on Microsoft Azure. “With privacy and data security being a top priority for Krafton, the company will be working with Microsoft to ensure personal data protection through Azure,” said Krafton. Microsoft operates data center regions globally, including three in India. Our original story from Friday follows.

PUBG Corporation has privately informed some high-profile streamers in the country that it expects to resume the service in India before the end of this year, the other source said. Both the sources requested anonymity as they are not authorized to speak to the press. PUBG Corporation did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The company could make an announcement about its future plans for India as soon as this week. It also plans to run a marketing campaign in the country during the festival of Diwali next week, one of the sources said.

In recent weeks, PUBG has also engaged with a number of local firms, including SoftBank-backed Paytm and telecom giant Airtel, to explore whether they would be interested in publishing the popular mobile game in the country, an industry executive said. A Paytm spokesperson declined to comment.

Chinese giant Tencent initially published PUBG Mobile apps in India. After New Delhi banned PUBG Mobile, the gaming firm cut publishing ties with Tencent in the country. Prior to the ban, PUBG Mobile’s content was hosted on Tencent Cloud.

Late last month, two months after the ban order, PUBG Mobile terminated its service for Indian users. “Protecting user data has always been a top priority and we have always complied with applicable data protection laws and regulations in India. All users’ gameplay information is processed in a transparent manner as disclosed in our privacy policy,” it said at the time.

With more than 50 million monthly active users in India, PUBG Mobile was by far the most popular mobile game in the country before it was banned. It helped establish an entire ecosystem of esports organisations and even a cottage industry of streamers that made the most of its spectator sport-friendly gameplay, said Rishi Alwani, a long-time analyst of Indian gaming market and publisher of news outlet The Mako Reactor.

PUBG Mobile’s return, however, could complicate matters for several industry players, including some that are currently building similar games to cash in on its absence and their conversations with venture capital firms over ongoing financing rounds.

It would also suggest that more than 200 other Chinese apps that India has banned in recent months could hope to allay New Delhi’s concerns by making some changes to where they store their users’ data. (That was also the understanding between TikTok and Reliance when they engaged in investment opportunities earlier this year.)


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