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May 27, 2019
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Daily Crunch: New MacBook Pros have a keyboard fix

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The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Apple announces new MacBook Pros with a keyboard fix, oh, and more powerful processors

Apple says it’s taking three steps to remedy the keyboard situation: It will be making a materials change to the MacBook Pro keyboard mechanism, it’s covering all butterfly keyboards across its notebook line in its Keyboard Service program and it’s improving the repair process in Apple Stores to make things faster.

The new laptops have more to offer than improved keyboards: Apple says the 15-inch MacBook Pro will run at double the speed of the previous quad-core models.

2. TransferWise now valued at $3.5B following a new $292M secondary round

While this is a secondary round (so no new cash is entering the TransferWise balance sheet), previous investors aren’t exiting — in fact, Andreessen Horowitz and Baillie Gifford are actually doubling down.

3. ARM halts Huawei relationship following US ban

The dominoes continue to fall for Huawei in the wake of a Trump-led U.S. trade ban.

4. Google says some G Suite user passwords were stored in plaintext since 2005

The search giant disclosed the exposure Tuesday but declined to say exactly how many enterprise customers were affected.

5. London’s Tube network to switch on Wi-Fi tracking by default in July

Transport for London writes that “secure, privacy-protected data collection will begin on July 8” — while touting additional services, such as improved alerts about delays and congestion, which it frames as “customer benefits,” as expected to launch “later in the year.”

6. Apple has a plan to make online ads more private

By taking the identifiable person out of the equation, Apple says its new technology can help preserve user privacy without reducing the effectiveness on ad campaigns.

7. The Exit: Getaround’s $300M roadtrip

Last month, Getaround acquired Parisian peer-to-peer car rental service Drivy. For more details about what lies ahead for Drivy and the Paris startup scene, we spoke to Alven Capital partner Jeremy Uzan, who first invested in Drivy’s seed round in 2013. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

Daily Crunch: Instagram influencer contact info exposed

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The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Millions of Instagram influencers had their private contact data scraped and exposed

A massive database containing contact information for millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts was found online by a security researcher.

We traced the database back to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox. Shortly after we reached out, Chtrbox pulled the database offline.

2. US mitigates Huawei ban by offering temporary reprieve

Last week, the Trump administration effectively banned Huawei from importing U.S. technology, a decision that forced several American companies, including Google, to take steps to sever their relationships. Now, the Department of Commerce has announced that Huawei will receive a “90-day temporary general license” to continue to use U.S. technology to which it already has a license.

3. GM’s car-sharing service Maven to exit eight cities

GM is scaling back its Maven car-sharing company and will stop service in nearly half of the 17 North American cities in which it operates.

4. Maisie Williams’ talent discovery startup Daisie raises $2.5M, hits 100K members

The actress who became famous playing Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones” has fresh funding for her startup.

5. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, plans to launch a free music streaming app

The company, which operates popular app TikTok, has held discussions with music labels to launch the app as soon as the end of this quarter.

6. Future Family launches a $200 membership for fertility coaching

In its recent user research, Future Family found that around 70% of new customers had yet to see a fertility doctor. So today, the startup is rolling out a new membership plan that offers customers a dedicated fertility coach, and helps them find a doctor in their area.

7. When will customers start buying all those AI chips?

Danny Crichton says it’s the best and worst time to be in semiconductors right now. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

Daily Crunch: Huawei faces Android ban

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The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Huawei responds to Android ban with service and security guarantees, but its future is unclear

Google is complying with a federal directive that placed Huawei and 70 of its affiliates on an “entity list,” meaning that any U.S. company needs government approval before doing business with the Chinese tech company.

In response, Huawei said today that it will continue to provide security updates and after-sales support to its existing lineup of Android smartphones. Still, what the company didn’t say will probably spark concerns.

2. TikTok owner ByteDance’s long-awaited chat app is here

The new app is called Feiliao, or Flipchat in English, a hybrid of an instant messenger plus interest-based forums, and it’s currently available for both iOS and Android. It arrived only four months after Bytedance unveiled its video-focused chatting app Duoshan.

3. Identity platform Auth0 raises $103M, pushing its valuation over $1B

Auth0 — pronounced “auth-zero” — provides authentication-as-a-service to its corporate customers. In other words, it offers a secure login system used to properly authenticate the identity of employees.

4. Sam Altman’s leap of faith

Earlier this year, founder-investor Sam Altman left his high-profile role as the president of Y Combinator to become the CEO of AI research outfit OpenAI. Connie Loizos talks to him about YC’s evolution and his current work.

5. Robin picks up $20M Series B to optimize the office

Robin hooks into Google Calendar and Outlook to help employees get a sense of what meeting rooms and activity spaces are available in the office, complete with tablet signage out front.

6. This week’s TechCrunch podcasts

The team at Equity has thoughts on the latest funding round for luggage startup Away, while we have plenty of opinions about  the latest “Game of Thrones” developments on Original Content.

7. What Uber and Lyft’s investment bankers got right

Danny Crichton argues that Uber and Lyft are proof that investment bankers actually are pretty smart in their advice about the pubic markets, and founders should be cautious about ignoring their words. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

Daily Crunch: Amazon backs Deliveroo

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The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Amazon leads $575M investment in Deliveroo

Amazon is taking a slice of Europe’s food delivery market by leading a $575 million investment in Deliveroo.

London-based Deliveroo operates in 14 countries, including the U.K., France, Germany and Spain, and — outside of Europe — Singapore, Taiwan, Australia and the UAE. Across those markets, it claims it works with 80,000 restaurants with a fleet of 60,000 delivery people and 2,500 permanent employees.

2. A year after outcry, carriers are finally stopping sale of location data, letters to FCC show

Reports emerged a year ago that all the major cellular carriers in the U.S. were selling location data to third-party companies, which in turn sold them to pretty much anyone willing to pay. New letters published by the FCC show that despite a year of scrutiny and anger, the carriers have only recently put an end to this practice.

3. Trump’s Huawei ban ‘wins’ one trade battle, but the US may lose the networking war

While U.S. government officials celebrate what they must consider to be a win in their battle against the low-cost, high-performance networking vendor Huawei and other Chinese hardware manufacturers, the country is at risk of falling seriously behind in the broader competition.

4. Apple & Google celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day with featured apps, new shortcuts

Apple celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day by rolling out a practical, accessibility focused collection of new Siri Shortcuts, alongside accessibility focused App Store features and collections. Google did something similar for Android users on Google Play.

5. Minecraft Earth makes the whole real world your very own blocky realm

The team at Minecraft is making its biggest leap yet — to a real-world augmented reality game in the vein of Pokémon GO, called Minecraft Earth.

6. Stack Overflow confirms breach, but customer data said to be unaffected

“We discovered and investigated the extent of the access and are addressing all known vulnerabilities,” VP of Engineering Mary Ferguson wrote. “We have not identified any breach of customer or user data.”

7. How startups can use Amazon’s SEO best practices to dominate new shopping verticals

Eli Schwartz argues that retailers in nascent verticals have an opportunity to follow Amazon’s SEO playbook and become the default ranking e-commerce website. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

Daily Crunch: Trump targets Huawei with emergency declaration

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The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Trump declares national emergency to protect US networks from foreign espionage

While the U.S. already restricted government contractors and federal agencies from using technology supplied by Huawei or its subsidiaries, this new executive order gives Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other federal agencies broad powers of oversight and approval over private company transactions.

It seems that tech has been on Trump’s mind, as the White House also launched a website aimed at collecting reports of social media censorship due to their political views.

2. Instagram is killing Direct, its standalone Snapchat clone app, in the next several weeks

Facebook says that moving forward, the Instagram team will channel all developments and activity into the direct messaging feature of the main Instagram app.

3. Europol, DOJ announce the takedown of the GozNym banking malware

Europol and the U.S. Justice Department, with help from six other countries, have disrupted and dismantled the GozNym malware, which they say stole more than $100 million from bank accounts since it first emerged.

4. Mobile ticketing company TodayTix raises $73M in new funding

TodayTix says it’s now sold more than 4 million tickets, representing 8% of annual Broadway ticket sales and 4% for London’s West End.

5. Samsung reportedly readying Galaxy Fold for release after finding ‘fix’

According to reporting from Yonhap News Agency, Samsung is currently testing the handset with mobile carriers in Korea, putting the phone’s official release some time next month.

6. Walmart beats on earnings in Q1, with US e-commerce up by 37%

The company has been heavily investing in the key categories of home, fashion and grocery over the past several years as part of its efforts to better compete with Amazon.

7. Reality Check: The marvel of computer vision technology in today’s camera-based AR systems

AR experiences can seem magical, but what exactly is happening behind the curtain? (Extra Crunch membership required.)

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