EU fines video game firms for blocking cross-border sales

ABC News

The European Union has issued fines to a U.S. video game platform and five game makers after they blocked players from buying cheaper copies of the games in other countries

Jack Ma makes first public appearance in months in new video

CNN

Jack Ma just made his first public appearance in months as his tech empire continues to grapple with challenges from Chinese regulators.

Biden’s first steps as president: Action on covid and climate

Technology Review

A flurry of executive orders is expected to take place over the next few days from the new US president as he takes residence in the White House. Here are the highlights of those he has signed so far. The “100 day mask challenge” Biden’s first order is part recommendation, part requirement: it requires people…

Ex-Google engineer among those pardoned by Donald Trump

BBC

Anthony Levandowski won backing from some high-profile Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Amazon offers Biden resources for Covid-19 vaccine rollout

Tech Crunch | Brian Heater

Following Joseph Biden’s swearing in as the 46th President of the United States, Amazon is offering help in the administration’s stated goals for rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine. In a letter provided to TechCrunch, Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark congratulates Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, while promising, “to assist you in reaching your goal […]

TikTok’s new Q&A feature lets creators respond to fan questions using text or video

Tech Crunch | Sarah Perez

TikTok is testing a new video Q&A feature that allows creators to more directly respond to their audience’s questions with either text or video answers, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. The feature works across both video and livestreams (TikTok LIVE), but is currently only available to select creators who have opted into the test, we […]

Rocket Lab completes its first rocket launch of 2021 and 18th mission overall

Tech Crunch | Darrell Etherington

Rocket Lab has launched its 18th mission, and the first of 2021, as of 8:26 PM NZT (2:30 AM EST). The ‘Another One Leaves The Crust’ mission took off from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand, and flew a single communications microsatellite on behalf of client OHB Group, a […]

African edtech startup uLesson lands a $7.5 million Series A

Tech Crunch | Natasha Mascarenhas

ULesson, an edtech startup based in Nigeria that sells digital curriculum to students through SD cards, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Owl Ventures, which closed over half a billion in new fund money just months ago. Other participants include LocalGlobe and existing investors, including TLcom Capital and […]

Monzo founder Tom Blomfield is departing the challenger bank and says he’s ‘struggled’ during the pandemic

Tech Crunch | Steve O'Hear

Monzo founder Tom Blomfield is departing the U.K. challenger bank entirely at the end of the month, staff were informed earlier today. Blomfield held the role of CEO until May last year when he assumed the newly created title of president and resigned from the Monzo board. However, having been given the time and space […]

Brave web browser adds native support for peer-to-peer IPFS protocol

Tech Crunch | Lucas Matney

The decentralized tech community is aiming to find support for technologies that go beyond cryptocurrency support. In a blog post today the team at Brave announced that they have worked with Protocol Labs to integrate native support for the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) inside their browser. The peer-to-peer file-sharing standard launched in 2015 and has […]

Biden takes over POTUS Twitter account, inheriting a blank slate from Trump

Washington Post | By Rachel Lerman

President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will take over the official White House social media accounts Wednesday. But Twitter won’t transfer followers, unlike with the previous administration.

EU chief warns over ‘unfiltered’ hate speech and calls for Biden to back rules for big tech

Tech Crunch | Natasha Lomas

In a speech to the European Parliament today marking the inauguration of US president Joe Biden, the president of the European Commission has called for Europe and the US to join forces on regulating tech giants, warning of the risks of “unfiltered” hate speech and disinformation being weaponized to attack and undermine democracies. Ursula von […]

Remote workers are greener, but their tech still has a real carbon cost

Tech Crunch | Devin Coldewey

The massive shift to remote work due to COVID-19 has resulted in a huge reduction in emissions from vehicles and other sources, but it comes with costs of its own. A new study puts tentative carbon costs on the connectivity and data infrastructure that make working from home possible — and gives you an excuse […]