Daily Crunch: Apple releases latest MacOS update

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1. Apple’s MacOS Catalina is now available

Catalina bucks the trend of recent MacOS updates with some pronounced changes — the underlying principles are the same, but the latest version of Apple’s Mac operating system makes some fundamental updates to popular apps, like getting rid of iTunes.

Brian Heater argues that these changes will have an immediate impact on current usage while also laying the groundwork for future evolutions.

2. Sony’s next console is… the PlayStation 5, arriving holidays 2020

The company is saving most of the details for future announcements, but it did reveal a few things about the upcoming game console — like the fact that the controllers will include new haptic feedback.

3. Group Nine acquires PopSugar

Earlier this year, there were reports that Group Nine — which was formed by the merger of Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker — was in talks to acquire a different women’s lifestyle publisher, Refinery29, which was ultimately acquired by Vice Media instead.

4. Chinese firms Tencent, Vivo and CCTV suspend ties with the NBA over Hong Kong tweet

Smartphone maker Vivo, broadcaster CCTV and internet giant Tencent said today they are suspending all cooperation with the National Basketball Association, becoming the latest Chinese firms to cut ties with the league following a tweet from a Houston Rockets executive supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.

5. Opera’s desktop browser gets built-in tracking protection

The marquee feature of Opera’s latest desktop browser is the addition of a blocker that will make it harder for advertisers and others to track you while you browse the web — and which has the additional benefit of speeding up your browsing session. In fact, Opera argues that turning on both the tracking protection and the built-in ad blocker can speed up page loads by up to 23%.

6. Via is launching an on-demand public transit network in the city of Cupertino

The aim is for these on-demand shuttles — starting with six vans branded with the city of Cupertino logo — to provide more efficient connections to CalTrain and increase access to public transit across the city.

7. Laurel Bowden of VC firm 83North on the European deep tech and startup ecosystems

London and Tel Aviv-based VC firm 83North has closed out its fifth fund at $300 million. In a conversation with general partner Laurel Bowden, the veteran investor shared a few thoughts about the tech scene in Europe versus Israel, what the firm looks for in a team and how to scale globally. (Extra Crunch Membership required.)