Tesla’s communications chief is leaving the automaker

Dave Arnold, Tesla’s senior director of communications, is leaving the company after two-and-half years, according to sources familiar with the move.

Instagram is killing Direct, its standalone Snapchat clone app, in the next several weeks

As Facebook pushes ahead with its strategy to consolidate more of the backend of its various apps on to a single platform, it’s also doing a little simplifying and housekeeping. In the coming month, it will shut down Direct, the standalone Instagram direct messaging app that it was testing to rival Snapchat, on iOS and Android. Instead, Facebook and its Instagram team will channel all developments and activity into the direct messaging feature of the main Instagram app.

Facebook changes algorithm to promote worthwhile & close friend content

Facebook is updating the News Feed ranking algorithm to incorporate data from surveys about who you say are your closest friends and which links you find most worthwhile. Today Facebook announced it’s trained new classifiers based on patterns linking these surveys with usage data so it can better predict what to show in the News Feed. The change could hurt Pages that share click-bait and preference those sharing content that makes people feel satisfied afterwards.

Vertex Ventures hits $230M first close on new fund for Southeast Asia and India

Tis the season to be raising in India and Southeast Asia. Hot on the heels of new funds from Strive and Jungle Ventures, so Singapore’s Vertex Ventures, a VC backed by sovereign wealth fund Temasek, today announced a first close of $230 million for its newest fund, the firm’s fourth to date.

Facebook introduces ‘one strike’ policy to combat abuse of its live-streaming service

Facebook is cracking down on its live-streaming service after it was used to broadcast the shocking mass shootings that left 50 dead at two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand in March. The social network said today that it is implementing a “one strike” rule that will prevent users who break its rules from using the Facebook Live service.

Tencent’s mixed bag for Q1: record profit despite weakest revenue growth yet

Tencent, Asia’s largest tech firm, had a horrific 2018 on account of a country-wide freeze on new game monetization in China, but there’s evidence it has turned the corner.

Madrona Venture Labs raises $11M to build companies from the ground up

In regions where would-be entrepreneurs need a little more support and encouragement before they’ll quit their day job, the startup studio model is taking off.

White House refuses to endorse the ‘Christchurch Call’ to block extremist content online

The United States will not join other nations in endorsing the “Christchurch Call” — a global statement that commits governments and private companies to actions that would curb the distribution of violent and extremist content online.

Zuckerberg says breaking up Facebook ‘isn’t going to help’

With the look of someone betrayed, Facebook’s CEO has fired back at co-founder Chris Hughes and his brutal NYT op-ed calling for regulators to split up Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. “When I read what he wrote, my main reaction was that what he’s proposing that we do isn’t going to do anything to help solve those issues. So I think that if what you care about is democracy and elections, then you want a company like us to be able to invest billions of dollars per year like we are in building up really advanced tools to fight election interference,” Zuckerberg told France Info while in Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Tech stocks tumble as China retaliates in latest salvo of the trade war

Shares of technology companies were hit hard as China retaliated against the U.S. in the latest salvo of the ongoing trade war between the two countries.

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Meet Molekule, the sleekest air purifier on the market

Molekule, a San Francisco-based startup with a sleekly designed molecular air purifier started as an immigrant dream twenty years ago and ended up being named one of Time’s top 25 inventions of 2017.

Google Fit comes to iOS

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