11 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

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Digg CEO Gary Liu on The Rebirth Of Digg and The Evolution Of Content and Content Monetisation

This week the Apple versus FBI battle raged on, we went to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, Facebook changed up the Like button and more. Here are the top stories of the week.

1. Apple continued its battle with the FBI amid an order to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino shooting. In a company email, Apple CEO Tim Cook thanked employees for their support. The email paints the issue of Apple’s refusal to cooperate as one of civil liberties. Apple then filed a motion to dismiss the court order forcing it to unlock the phone, citing constitutional free speech rights. Apple hinges its argument on the fact that the FBI Is attempting to expand the use of the All Writs Act. A pro-Apple rally took place in downtown San Francisco, and we talked to a few anti-FBI protestors to see what they had to say about the issue.

2. Some of our staff went to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2016. We covered a panel about mobile ad blocking, Mark Zuckerberg talked about Free Basics and encryption, Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, we went hands on with the modular LG G5 and, oh, by the way, tablets are dead. You can find our full coverage of MWC 2016 here.
Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 11.01.57 AM

3. Facebook launched its “Reactions” extension to the Like button, allowing users to express Love, Wow, Haha, Angry and Sad emotions in addition to the original Like.

Facebook Reactions How To

4. While Uber launched a motorbike taxi on-demand service in Thailand, things weren’t great for the company this week. Uber confirmed that one of its drivers, Jason Dalton, is the suspect in a shooting rampage that took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dalton allegedly picked up riders and pocketed fares in between the shootings. He had passed Uber’s background check and had no prior criminal record. Uber then clarified that Dalton had a 4.73 rating and had given more than 100 rides.

5. IBM unveiled a rush of deals that underscore another major aspect of the growth of mobile: the rise of cloud services. The company unveiled deeper partnerships with Apple, VMware, GitHub, Bitly and Siemens. 

6. We learned that Didi Kuaidi, the company that has left Uber eating its dust in China, is currently in the midst of securing $1 billion in additional fundraising. We’ve heard that round is not yet closed, is apparently over-subscribed and will value the company at more than $20 billion.

7. Snapchat introduced another revenue stream in the form of on-demand geofilters. Now, anyone can pay to design their own geofilter, and it’s pretty easy to do. Here’s how it works. 

8. CrunchNetwork contributor Tom Giovanetti wrote about how to solve the H-1B visa problem. “Of all the controversial elements of proposed immigration reform plans, the H-1B visa impasse should be the easiest to solve,” he writes.

9. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron formally announced the date for a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union. On June 23, British voters will be asked “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” The outcome will have a huge impact on the country’s tech ecosystem and the U.K.’s position as a leading tech hub in Europe and beyond, explains Steve O’Hear.

10. Life is just one big game of laser tag with Father.io. We got a chance to play with an early prototype of the company’s Inceptor smartphone dongle and its augmented reality massive multiplayer first-person shooter app. The company launched an Indiegogo campaign this week.

11. In little over a month, shares in LinkedIn lost over half their value — because of poor growth forecasts, fears over future income and even investor concerns over a tech bubble. The issues facing LinkedIn, however, go beyond the company itself, explains contributor Damian Kimmelman.

Featured Image: Julie Jacobson/AP