In their first Russia hearing, tech giants try to placate Congress (with mixed results)

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the first of three hearings this week examining the relationship between social media and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The hearings mark the first time that lawmakers will hear testimony from Google, Facebook and Twitter around how their platforms were and are manipulated as part of Russian political disinformation campaigns targeting U.S. voters. “This is really a critical hearing,” Committee Chair Lindsey Graham declared in his opening remarks. “It marks the first time we will have heard from the three…

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Creative-focused app PicsArt hits 100M MAUs, attracting brands tired of trolls

You would think that social networks are more or less “done” now. What would be the point of another in a world filled with so many options? But in fact, there remains a niche which has been growing steadily in the creative corners of the Internet. PicsArt has been building growing since it was started in 2011. It’s now announced new growth figures which have hit 100 million monthly active users. Remember, Instagram had just 30 million monthly active users when it was acquired by Facebook, although admittedly that was…

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Congress grills Facebook, Twitter, Google on shells hiding election meddlers

How can internet giants know that innocent-seeming U.S. companies aren’t actually shell vehicles for malicious foreign actors to buy ads to interfere with elections? The short answer is they can’t, and that drew questioning from a Congressional probe today into Facebook, Twitter and Google being used to manipulate the 2016 presidential election. The hearing saw Facebook’s general counsel Colin Stretch dodge whether Facebook supports the new Honest Ads bill, instead touting the self-regulation it’s implementing. Google’s Richard Salgado affirmed that the company sees itself as a technology platform, not a…

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Stripe Atlas adds a tool to set up stock issues for founding teams as it builds its business services

Stripe Atlas was launched by payments company Stripe last year to help small businesses set themselves up as a legal, incorporated business entity in the U.S. Now with “thousands” of entrepreneurs from 125+ countries using Atlas, Stripe is expanding it with a new feature as it hones its focus on being a platform for startup services. Companies that are signed up to Atlas (which costs $500) can now also use it to set up the legal paperwork and issue stock to founding teams. Created in partnership with the legal firm…

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Gaming accessories firm Razer to raise up to $550M in Hong Kong IPO

Razer, the U.S.-Singapore firm that produces PCs and peripherals for gamers, is set to raise as much as $550 million from its Hong Kong IPO after it revealed its price range. The company first filed to go public in July, and today it confirmed that it plans to offer 1,063,600,000 shares at a range of HK$2.93-HK$4.00, that’s around $0.38-$0.51. If the full allocation sells at that top price then the listing would raise $550 million, at mid-range that’s HK$3.5 billion or $450 million. 12-year-old Razer plans to spend the proceeds on…

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Apple releases iOS 11.1 with shiny new emojis

New emojis. Do you need to hear anything else? Apple just released an iOS update. iOS 11.1 is the first feature update for iOS 11. It adds a couple of new things, starting with dozens of new emojis. Apple already previewed some of the new emojis, but they are now available to everyone. It includes mythical creatures, such as wizards, fairies, mermaids and vampires. There are some new activities, such as rock climbing and curling. You’ll also find new clothing elements just in time for the winter, such as gloves,…

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