Policy

Why you need a supercomputer to build a house

When the hell did building a house become so complicated? Don’t let the folks on HGTV fool you. The process of building a home nowadays is incredibly painful. Just applying for the necessary permits

The trust dilemma of continuous background checks

First, background checks at startups, then Huawei’s finance chief is arrested, SoftBank’s IPO is subscribed and I am about to record our next edition of TechCrunch Equity. It’s Thursday, Decembe

Foxconn or Foxgone? Tariffs, Wisconsin and iPhone fires

First some notes on SoftBank’s rumored expansion into China and its weird fund math, then Foxconn and then quick notes on tech depression, Huawei and more. TechCrunch is experimenting with new conte

Seized cache of Facebook docs raise competition and consent questions

A UK parliamentary committee has published the cache of Facebook documents it dramatically seized last week. The documents were obtained by a legal discovery process by a startup that’s suing t

Australia passes ‘dangerous’ anti-encryption law after bipartisan compromise

Update, 12/6: The bill has now passed after the Labor party agreed to drop its proposed amendments — you can read full details of the bill here. Australia’s controversial anti-encryption

Facebook ends platform policy banning apps that copy its features

Facebook will now freely allow developers to build competitors to its features upon its own platform. Today Facebook announced it will drop Platform Policy section 4.1, which stipulates “Add somethi

New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission approves minimum wage rules for app-based drivers

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved new rules designed to provide a minimum hourly wage of $17.22 (after expenses) for drivers who work with app-based services like Uber, Lyft

Tim Cook addresses white supremacists in ADL address

Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t mince words when he took to the stage to accept the Anti-Defamation League’s first Courage Against Hate Award at an event in New York City today. The executive used the k

Investors still don’t understand the fundamentals of US/China relations

This weekend, Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to something of a détente around American tariffs on Chinese goods. Stocks across Asia swooned, for reasons that make no sense to me. Plus,

Now you can read the controversial Definers research about George Soros and Facebook

Facebook is still dealing with the fallout from a New York Times report outlining the company’s strategy to fight back against criticism, particularly its work with Definers Public Affairs, an o

The economics and trade-offs of ad-funded smart city tech

In order to have innovative smart city applications, cities first need to build out the connected infrastructure, which can be a costly, lengthy and politicized process. Third-parties are helping buil

The White House will meet with tech execs to talk ‘transformational ideas’

Top tech executives from Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Oracle will head to the White House next Thursday to discuss “bold, transformational ideas” focused on U.S. innovation. The meeting, framed

Facebook exempts news outlets from political ads transparency labels

Facebook pissed off journalists earlier this year when it announced that ads run by news publishers to promote their articles involving elected officials, candidates and national issues would have to

Germany’s competition regulator to investigate Amazon’s marketplace

Germany’s competition regulator (Bundeskartellamt) is opening an investigation against Amazon . In particular, the regulator is going to look at the relationship between Amazon and third-party selle

Facebook staff discussed selling API access to apps in 2012-2014

Following a flopped IPO in 2012, Facebook desperately brainstormed new ways to earn money. An employee of unknown rank sent an internal email suggesting Facebook charge developers $250,000 per year fo

Facebook must police Today In, its local news digest launching in 400 cities

Facebook has a new area of its app it will have to police for fake news and biased sensationalism. Facebook is launching “Today In”, its local news aggregator it began testing in January,

30 European startup CEOs call for better stock option policies

Thirty European tech CEOs of big startups signed a letter about stock options in Europe. Other tech CEOs can join the group and sign the letter before it is sent to policymakers on January 7. As you c

Facebook denies report that election war room was disbanded

Facebook’s election war room monitors and dashboards remain, since so does the threat of election interference. Facebook has confirmed to TechCrunch that its election war room that it paraded re

Tech giants offer empty apologies because users can’t quit

A true apology consists of a sincere acknowledgement of wrongdoing, a show of empathic remorse for why you wronged and the harm it caused and a promise of restitution by improving ones actions to make

Facebook policy VP Richard Allan to face the international ‘fake news’ grilling that Zuckerberg won’t

An unprecedented international grand committee comprising 22 representatives from seven parliaments will meet in London next week to put questions to Facebook about the online fake news crisis and the
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