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Wired

TikTok and the Evolution of Digital Blackface


Editor’s note: As this story—the cover of our September issue—went to press, TikTok’s fate remained uncertain. We’ve updated the story with the latest news.

Everything will change in six days, when George Floyd stops breathing under the knee of a white police officer. But for now, it is May 19, an ordinary day during a global pandemic, and Brianna Blackmon is just waking up in her bedroom in Columbia, South Carolina, where she lives with her boyfriend and their blue-nose pit bull, DJ. Read More

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TechCrunch

Check out our August webinar series for Digital Startup Alley exhibitors – TechCrunch


There’s no better way to expose your early-stage startup to global opportunities — we’re talking thousands of potential investors, customers, tech journalists and other mighty influencers — than by exhibiting in Digital Startup Alley at Disrupt 2020. The Alley may be virtual this year, but the benefits of exhibiting are very real. More on those in a minute.

And, because supporting early-stage startup founders is our main jam, we’re offering an exclusive series of interactive webinars in August to help exhibitors make the most of their time in Startup Alley. Want in? Simply purchase your Disrupt Digital Startup Alley Package now, mark your calendar and get ready to expand your empire. Read More

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VentureBeat

For World of Darkness, the future of tabletop RPGs is increasingly digital


The early-’90s, in all of its grunge-soaked glory, saw vampires and werewolves roam the night while humanity became part of a herd to be culled and controlled. A World of Darkness had been born in shadow and masquerade. With the birth of the first editions of Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse tabletop role-playing games, White Wolf Publishing had crafted a gritty, cloistered realm where playing with monsters wasn’t just encouraged — it was the whole purpose.

Monsters need management, however. Throughout the early-aughts and into the 2010s, White Wolf was in dire need of restructuring and solvency. CCP Games stepped in for a time — there was even an MMO in the works — but the partnership ultimately faltered. In 2015, Paradox Interactive, which had started to branch out from its grand strategy PC gaming roots more and more by that point, acquired White Wolf Publishing from CCP Games. Read More

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Engadget

Digital contact tracing apps in the US that use ENS tech from Google and Apple are still ‘weeks’ away


In the US Google says that 20 states and territories covering about 45 percent of the population are “exploring apps” based on the systems, and the first ones should launch “in the coming weeks.” Read More

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TechCrunch

Jesus, SaaS and digital tithing – TechCrunch


Part 1: Welcome to church tech

More posts by this contributor

There are more than 300,000 congregations in the U.S., and entrepreneurs are creating billion-dollar companies by building software to service them. Welcome to church tech.

The sector was growing prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic forced many congregations to go entirely online, which rapidly accelerated growth in this space. While many of these companies were bootstrapped, VC dollars are also increasingly flowing in. Unfortunately, it’s hard to come across a lot of resources covering this expanding, unique sector. Read More

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VentureBeat

The AI Foundation raises $17 million to create digital AI-powered personas


The AI Foundation, which ambitiously hopes to develop “ethical,” trainable AI agents to complete tasks, today closed a $17 million financing round.  A spokesperson said the proceeds will be used to scale the company’s platform that allows people to create personas mirroring their own.

As the pandemic makes virtual meetups a regular occurrence, the concept of personal AI — AI that’s tailored around one’s life or that replicates personalities — is rising to the fore. Startups creating virtual beings, or artificial people powered by AI, have raised more than $320 million in venture capital to date. As my colleague Dean Takahashi points out, these beings are a kind of precursor for the Metaverse — the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. The AI Foundation among others (like Soul Machines, Brud, Wave, and Samsung-backed STAR Labs) intends to will the Metaverse into existence by pursuing new and existing machine learning techniques. Read More

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The Verge

AMC and Universal agree to let movies go from theaters to digital rentals much sooner


AMC Theaters and Universal have reached a new agreement that dramatically shortens the theatrical exclusivity window — the amount of time that films have to play in theaters before they’re allowed to be sold or rented in other places, like iTunes, Amazon, or AMC’s own On Demand service — down to just 17 days (ensuring that the films will hit at least three weekends in theaters).

The new deal marks a radical shift from the standard theatrical release window, which has typically been between 70 and 90 days in recent years, and could vastly alter the landscape of both theatrical and digital film. Read More

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The Next Web

CES officially goes fully digital in 2021

It’s official: CES 2021, the world’s biggest tech trade event, is going digital to protect everyone from the coronavirus. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which organizes the show, today announced the digital replacement.

The event was originally supposed to run from January 6-9 in Las Vegas. Gary Shapiro, president of the CTA, revealed the digital event. He said that, while the company hoped to bring everyone together in Vegas again, “but given the current public health concerns, it’s just not possible to bring everyone safely together.” Read More

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Wired

Follow the Money: How Digital Ads Subsidize the Worst of the Web


In the 1990s and early 2000s, digital display advertising—banner ads, pop-ups, and so on—was just the digital analogue of print advertising: A brand would buy space directly from a website. But today that is increasingly rare. What has risen in its place is something known as programmatic advertising. With programmatic, ads no longer target specific publications. Instead, they target specific types of users, based on things like age, sex, location—along with the creepier stuff, like what their browsing history reveals about their interests. Advertisers now put their ads into an automated system with instructions to reach a certain audience, wherever they are. They have some power to tell the system to keep their ads away from certain sites and content, but the results are spotty. Read More

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Tech Radar

Regulations in digital assets bring more confidence to investors in Gulf countries

When it comes to digital asset regulations, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Central Bank of Bahrain are the forerunners in the GCC, said an industry expert.

Speaking to TechRadar Pro Middle East, Kokila Alagh, Founder of KARM Legal Consultants, said ADGM and the Central Bank of Bahrain have taken the lead in introducing the regulations as well as defining the different types of digital assets.

Moreover, she said that GCC regulators have treated these digital assets on par with other investment models. Read More