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Daily Crunch: Facebook’s profits disappoint

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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 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Facebook hits 2.5B users in Q4 but shares sink from slow profits

In its latest quarterly earnings report, Facebook said it now reaches 2.5 billion monthly users, up 2% from Q3 2019. And it brought in $21.08 billion in revenue, up 25% year-over-year.

But profits aren’t growing as quickly as Wall Street would like. One big source of those expenses? Headcount grew 26% year-over-year to 44,942, and Facebook now has over 1,000 engineers working on privacy.

2. Avast shuts down marketing analytics subsidiary Jumpshot amid controversy over selling user data

It was recently revealed that the Czech-based cybersecurity specialist was cultivating another controversial revenue stream: harvesting and selling user data, some of it amassed by way of its security tools.

3. Study of YouTube comments finds evidence of radicalization effect

The study, carried out by researchers at Switzerland’s Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne and the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, found evidence that users who engaged with “Alt-lite”/”Intellectual Dark Web” right-wing content migrated to commenting on the most fringe far-right content.

4. Microsoft shares rise after it beats revenue, profit expectations, Azure posts 62% growth

Microsoft reported its fiscal 2020 second quarter (calendar Q4 2019) results yesterday, including revenue of $36.9 billion (up 14%), net income of $11.6 billion (up 38%) and diluted earnings per share of $1.51.

5. Snapchat launches Bitmoji TV: zany 4-min cartoons of your avatar

Snapchat is betting that narcissism will drive viewership for its new weekly videos that put you and your friends’ customizable Bitmoji avatars into a flurry of silly animated situations. Bitmoji TV will premiere on Saturday morning.

6. Practice Fusion, once backed by top VCs, pushed doctors to prescribe opioids in kickback scheme

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Practice Fusion solicited and received pay from an (unnamed for now) major opioid company in exchange for using its EHR software to influence doctors in the act of prescribing opioid pain medications.

7. Where top VCs are investing in travel, tourism and hospitality tech

To get a temperature check on the state of the travel market, the outlook for fundraising and which sub-sectors might present the most attractive opportunities for startups today, we asked five leading VCs at firms spanning early to growth stages to share what’s exciting them most and where they see opportunity in travel, tourism and hospitality tech. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

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Family and friends question police theory that Nicola Bulley fell in river

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Family and friends question police theory that Nicola Bulley fell in river
N

icola Bulley’s family and friends have questioned a police theory that the missing dog walker fell in a river.

In a Facebook post, Ms Bulley’s sister, Louise Cunningham, urged people to “keep an open mind” as there is “no evidence whatsoever” that the dog walker fell in the river.

“Off the back of the latest Police media update, please can I add there is no evidence whatsoever that she has gone into the river, it’s just a theory,” she said.

“Everyone needs to keep an open mind as not all CCTV and leads have been investigated fully, the police confirmed the case is far from over.”

Search teams from Lancashire Constabulary are continuing to trawl the River Wyre near St Michael’s, working on the hypothesis that the missing mother-of-two, from nearby Inskip, could have fallen in when she disappeared on January 27.

Ms Bulley’s friend, Emma White, also cast doubt on the police theory, telling Sky News it was based on “limited information”.

“When we are talking about a life we can’t base it on a hypothesis – surely we need this factual evidence,” she said.

“That’s what the family and all of us are holding on to – that we are sadly no further on than last Friday.

“We still have no evidence, and that’s why we’re out together in force.

“You don’t base life on a hypothesis.”

Police believe the 45-year-old mortgage adviser went missing in just “a 10-minute window” while she was walking her dog, Willow, close to the River Wyre, after dropping off her daughters – aged six and nine – at school.

Ms Bulley had logged in to a Microsoft Teams call at 9.01am, which ended at 9.30am with her phone still connected to the call.

She was seen by another dog walker at 9.10am – the last known sighting – and police traced telephony records of her mobile phone as it remained on a bench overlooking the river at 9.20am.

The device was found by a dog walker at around 9.35am, with Willow nearby.

The police search has been aided by specialists and divers from HM Coastguard, mountain rescue, and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service – with sniffer dogs, drones and police helicopters deployed.

Detectives are also working behind the scenes to analyse CCTV and dashcam videos, and members of the public with footage which could be useful have been urged to come forward.

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The Strange Reason I Facebook-Stalk My Ex’s New Girlfriend

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YourTango

I think we can all agree that the internet has made it much, much harder to get over a breakup.

Sure, you may have successfully erased his number from your phone, used his junior high football T-shirt as a rag, put away all your couple photos, ordered him never to call again, and cursed him to hell, but all of that effort is almost a waste considering he’s just a click of the mouse away. 

After a while, though, watching how he’s growing in the midriff via Facebook photos loses its luster. You already know almost everything about him anyway, after all that time you spent/wasted. But what about his new girlfriend? She’s someone to be curious about. 

RELATED: I Hired A Private Investigator To Spy On My Ex’s New Girlfriend

I’m not proud of this—as I am not proud of oh-so-many things I’ve admitted to but I am kind of obsessed with my ex’s new girlfriend.

Not in an Alicia Silverstone in The Crush sort of way—I am not going to trap the chick in a shed and set a hive of bees on her to attack. That would be crazy!

No, I just like to look at her Facebook page sometimes. It’s been set to private ever since the day I told my ex that I suspected he was lying to me about his relationship with her. He must have told her I was onto them because suddenly I didn’t have as much access to this mysterious girl I’d only ever met twice, who slipped in and changed my life without me noticing. 

I don’t blame her entirely, or even mostly. I blame him and, to a certain degree, I blame myself. But, I mean, I kind of blame her. We met! Twice! My ex made a point of telling me I would like her! (Red flag, FYI, ladies!) She seemed enthused to meet me! She seemed nice.

Two weeks before my ex pulled the plug on our relationship—and coincidentally the day before the two of them went on a business trip together—she even had drinks with us and his mom. It never occurred to me that something was amiss. 

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Stock of The Week: Meta

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Stock of The Week: Meta

Meta topped estimates for its latest fourth quarter and is Stock of the Week. Cheddar News breaks down its results.

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