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Daily Crunch: Facebook shows off a wrist-based interface

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Facebook develops a new way to interact with AR, Uber’s facial recognition policy faces scrutiny and SpaceX’s Starship rocket booster hits a major milestone. This is your Daily Crunch for March 19, 2021.

The big story: Facebook shows off wrist-based interface

This project comes out of Facebook Reality Labs and is supposed to present an alternative computer interface on your wrist, with electromyography sensors to interpret motor nerve signals.

In a blog post, Facebook said a wrist-based device “could reasonably fit into everyday life and social contexts,” while allowing the company to “bring the rich control capabilities of your hands into AR, enabling intuitive, powerful and satisfying interaction.”

Facebook identifies this as a research prototype, so don’t expect it to turn into a commercial product anytime soon. But it’s still suggestive, particularly given the company’s sometimes-surprising hardware strategy and rumors that it might be working on an Apple Watch competitor.

The tech giants

India asks court to block WhatsApp’s policy update, says new change violates laws — The Indian government alleged on Friday that WhatsApp’s planned privacy update violates local laws on several counts.

Uber under pressure over facial recognition checks for drivers — Uber’s use of facial recognition technology for a driver identity system is being challenged in the U.K.

Instagram and WhatsApp hit by outage — The outage began around 1:40 p.m. ET and lasted for more than half an hour.

Startups, funding and venture capital

SpaceX nears final assembly of its first massive testing rocket booster for Starship — SpaceX has completed what’s known as the “stacking” of its first Super Heavy prototype.

Brazilian startup Tractian gets the Y Combinator seal of approval for its equipment monitoring tech — Throughout their lives, the founders had heard their parents complain about the sorry state of maintenance and heavy equipment in their factories.

Superpedestrian positions itself as the go-to partner for cities with new e-scooter safety upgrades — Superpedestrian is considered an up-and-coming player in the micromobility world because of how it handles safety issues.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

It’s time to abandon business intelligence tools — Organizations spend ungodly amounts of money on business intelligence tools, but adoption rates are still below 30%.

The lightning-fast Series A (that was 3 years in the making) — Sounding Board’s Christine Tao discusses raising her Series A on the How I Raised It podcast.

Survey: Share feedback on Extra Crunch — Tell us what you think about Extra Crunch!

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Cloud infrastructure spending passed on-prem data centers in 2020 — That’s according to new research from Sydney Research Group.

Five trends in the boardrooms of high-growth private companies — Just as countless aspects of corporate life have been reshaped over the course of the last year, boards of directors are undergoing significant and lasting transformation.

Attend Disrupt 2021 for less than $100 — If three jam-packed days of TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 wasn’t enough to get your startup motor running, listen up.

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 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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This Facebook Page Shares 116 Memes That Might Teach You Something (New Pics)

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This Facebook Page Shares 116 Memes That Might Teach You Something (New Pics)

What was your experience like in school? Were you straight-A student, or were you more focused on upholding your reputation as class clown than finishing your homework on time? Regardless of how much you remember from the good (or bad) old days in the classroom, it’s likely that there weren’t many memes involved in the curriculum. If there were, I’m jealous! And if there weren’t, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with your daily dose of educational memes down below!

We’ve gathered some of the best posts from Educational Memes on Instagram to remind you all that learning and laughing don’t have to be mutually exclusive. So, pandas, enjoy these pics that might take you back to the days of packed lunches, recess and raising your hand when you had a question, and   be sure to upvote the ones that make you feel particularly intelligent.

Keep reading to also find a conversation with the creator of this hilarious account, Yashdeep Kanhai, and then if you’re interested in finding even more memes dedicated to living, laughing and learning, you can find Bored Panda’s previous article featuring Educational Memes right here!

More info: Instagram | Facebook


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Soros-Funded Fake News Operation Pushes Facebook to Reinstate Trump Ban

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Soros-Funded Fake News Operation Pushes Facebook to Reinstate Trump Ban

Courier Newsroom also has ties to progressive megadonor Laurene Powell Jobs

George Soros / Getty Images

A progressive billionaire-funded network of Democratic propaganda sites masquerading as legitimate news websites is leading the push to keep former president Donald Trump off Facebook and Twitter.

Courier Newsroom, which bills itself as the “largest left-leaning news network in the country,” organized a petition this week to pressure Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Elon Musk to keep Trump off their platforms. Facebook said Thursday it would reinstate Trump “in the coming weeks.” Twitter reinstated Trump in November, but the former president has not posted on the site. Both sites banned him in January 2021, under pressure from Democratic lawmakers and liberal advocacy groups.

“We cannot allow him to rejoin these platforms and spread more hateful, inaccurate information. Sign the petition now to keep Trump off of Facebook and Twitter,” Courier’s petition says. Blue Amp Action, a Democratic consulting firm, circulated the petition in an email to Courier supporters. The consulting firm has worked for a number of Democratic campaigns. President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign paid Blue Amp Action around $230,000 for media production services in 2020.

Maintaining a ban on Trump could help Democrats in 2024 by depriving the early GOP favorite of access to two of the country’s biggest media platforms. And that aligns with the political goals of Courier Newsroom’s biggest backers.

Laurene Powell Jobs, who inherited $20 billion from her late husband, Apple founder Steve Jobs, was a major funder of ACRONYM, the digital media company behind Courier Newsroom, the Washington Free Beacon reported. While the exact nature of Powell Jobs’s ties to ACRONYM and Courier Newsroom are unclear, she is not the only progressive megadonor propping up the group.

In October 2021, the progressive billionaire George Soros and LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman formed an organization called Good Information, Inc. The group acquired Courier Newsroom, which operates websites designed to look like legitimate local news publications. Soros, the Democratic party’s biggest donor, gave $1.2 million to Courier Newsroom through his Open Society Foundations in 2021 to support the group’s “non-partisan journalism.”

While Courier Newsroom aims to root out political disinformation online, Hoffman has funded multiple projects that used disinformation to help elect Democrats. In 2017, he funded a project in which tech firms created fake social media personas in order to suppress Republican voter turnout in Alabama’s 2017 special Senate election.

Other Soros-funded advocacy groups have pressured Facebook to maintain its ban on Trump.

Media Matters for America, which received $500,000 in Soros cash in 2021, partnered with Accountable Tech to form the “Keep Trump Off Facebook” campaign. MoveOn.org, one of the largest progressive groups in the country, has purchased ads on Facebook to circulate a petition to keep Trump off the platform. Soros donated $450,000 to MoveOn in 2021.

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Wanda Sykes On Why Meta Reinstated Trump

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Wanda Sykes On Why Meta Reinstated Trump

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta announced this week that twice-impeached former president Donald Trump will be reinstated on both platforms, after a two-year suspension.

“The Daily Show” guest host Wanda Sykes was not at all surprised, saying that it’s just a money-grabbing stunt.

In their announcement on Wednesday, Meta stated that “the public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly — so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.” And to that, Wanda Sykes said “Phooey!”

“Look, we all know Facebook is losing a ton of money and they want that Trump attention back,” Sykes mocked. “They need a hit! Trump is their ‘White Lotus.’”

She added that Trump is “the Jennifer Coolidge of the internet,” breaking out her own impression of the award-winning actress. That said, Sykes does think there needs to be some intense moderation of Trump’s accounts. But she had an idea for that, too.

“I think maybe for the first week, they should just allow him to only post cat photos. You know, let’s see how it goes,” Sykes joked. “If you see a bunch of cats storming the Capitol? Although adorable, shut it down.”

You can watch the full segment from “The Daily Show” in the video above.

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