Under Attack

Dwaiter Weekly


September 2, 2021


Is the App Store Duopoly Ending?

The App Store and Google Play as we know them may not be long for this world, Protocol reports. The mobile marketplaces of Apple and Google are facing a wave of assaults from regulators, governments and the courts both at home and overseas. The latest challenge: a landmark law passed in South Korea on Tuesday allowing the use of alternative payment systems for in-app purchases.


Databricks Is Now Valued at $38 Billion

Databricks, a data analytics platform that uses artificial intelligence, said on Tuesday it raised $1.6 billion to expand its engineering team to keep its lead in the market, a funding round that valued it at $38 billion, Reuters reports. The massive fund injection “does not push out the IPO,” said Ali Ghodsi, co-founder and CEO. He declined to say when Databricks was planning to go public.


The Quiet Genius Who Cofounded Pixar 

Alvy Ray Smith helped invent computer animation—and then got shafted by Steve Jobs. Now he’s got a vision for where the pixel will take us next, Wired reports. This summer, the 77-year-old published "A Biography of the Pixel," in which he lays out a grand unified theory of digital expression.


Theranos Founder’s Trial Begins

Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of Theranos Inc. founder and former Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes on charges that she defrauded investors and patients about her blood-testing startup. The Wall Street Journal, which provided some of the earliest and best reporting on questions surrounding Theranos, offers a guide to the upcoming trial.



The Unlikely New-Media Blockbuster Deal

Robert Allbritton just became the unlikeliest winner of the new-media sweepstakes. Last week, he reached an agreement to sell Politico (and its tech-news arm, Protocol) for $1 billion in cash to the German media giant Axel Springer. New York Times columnist Ben Smith, who worked for Politico in its startup years, analyzes the deal.


Spotify Allows U.S. Podcasters to Charge for Subscriptions 

Spotify is expanding paid podcast subscriptions to all U.S. creators as a means of monetizing more content, Engadget reports. The program itself is available through Anchor, the podcast creation platform Spotify acquired alongside podcast network Gimlet for nearly $340 million in 2019. Spotify will start taking a cut of 5 percent in 2023.


Slinky Debuts on Social Media 

Slinky, the 75-year-old walking spring toy marketed by Just Play, is making its social media debut with a campaign seeking a new jingle, Marketing Dive reports. The campaign is running across TikTok and Instagram, and employs a mix of influencer marketing and word-of-mouth tactics.


Windows 11 to Start Rolling Out Oct. 5

Microsoft says Windows 11 will be released starting on Oct. 5, The Verge reports. The new operating system will be available as a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs, or on new hardware that ships with Windows 11 pre-loaded. On existing Windows 10 PCs, Windows Update will let users know when the upgrade is available for Windows 11.


How to Dip Your Toes Into Crypto

You don't have to go “all in” on crypto. Easing into it is a low-risk entry strategy to learn about the space, Tor Constantino writes on Inc.com. He advises three steps including using a PayPal account and getting a merchant account with a crypto-credit card.


Sticking It to Hackers

Australian researchers have taken the fight to online hackers with a giant leap toward realizing accessible quantum communications, a technology that would effectively prevent the decryption of online activity, Science Daily reports. They says quantum emitters can be created using $20 worth of white graphene pressed on to a piece of adhesive tape.

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