Tencent-backed news app Qutoutiao nabs $171M from Alibaba

The race to give Chinese users their daily dose of news intensifies as Qutoutiao, a rival to TikTok parent Bytedance, net an installment of sizable backing. Alibaba is injecting $171 million in a convertible loan to Qutoutiao, the three-year-old news and video aggregation startup, according to an announcement released Thursday. The transaction will convert into about […]

Google pulls controversial anti-gay religious app from the Play Store

The same day the Human Rights Campaign downranked the company in its index of the best LGBTQ-friendly employers, Google decided to yank a controversial app accused of promoting conversion therapy from the Play Store. On that list, known as the Corporate Equality Index, the HRC, a prominent LGBTQ rights organization, included a footnote that it […]

The FT is buying another media startup: Deal Street Asia

Fresh from picking up a majority stake in Europe-based The Next Web, the Financial Times is buying another tech blog. The newspaper, which was founded in 1888, is adding Singapore-based Deal Street Asia to its roster with a deal expected to close in April, according to three sources with knowledge of discussions. Founded in 2014 […]

GoFundMe donates to GoFundMe that’s trolling another GoFundMe

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We forgive you if you’re feeling a bit confused. 

GoFundMe, the company, just donated $5,000 to a GoFundMe campaign set up to both counter and troll yet another GoFundMe campaign. But wait, it gets even weirder. In this convoluted battle of the GoFundMes, the tech company comes down on the humane side. 

Welcome to San Francisco, 2019, where nothing makes sense, but you can still count on the city to collectively thumb its nose at some cartoonishly awful jerks. 

According to SF Weekly, this all started with a group of wealthy San Francisco residents uniting to oppose the construction of a Navigation Center — think of it as a more comprehensive homeless shelter that offers services and counseling as well as a place to sleep — in their mostly fancy neighborhood.  Read more…

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Investment platform Ellevest raises $33M Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures, Valerie Jarrett & PayPal

Ellevest, a digital investment platform specifically focused on helping women meet their financial goals, has raised an additional $33 million in a new round led by Rethink Impact and PSP Growth. The funding includes a handful of notable, new investors including Melinda Gates’s investment fund Pivotal Ventures; PayPal; Wynn Resorts co-founder Elaine Wynn; former Google […]

These new species of miniature frogs clearly have the best names

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These newly-described miniature frogs are the smallest of their kind in the world, and they also have very appropriate names.

The genus of frogs has been dubbed Mini, and it contains three species: Mini mumMini scule, and Mini ature. Pretty clever. The trio has been described in a new study by evolutionary biologist Mark Scherz and a team of scientists.

Two other new species, Rhombophryne proportionalis and Anodonthyla eximia, measuring 11–12 millimetres (around 0.45 inches), were also described in the study.

As noted by Scherz on his blog, two species of Mini are within the top 50 smallest frogs in the world, while the Mini scule — which only gets as large as 10.8 millimetres (0.43 inches) — is within the top 20 smallest frogs. Read more…

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Facebook’s handling of Alex Jones is a microcosm of its content policy problem

A revealing cluster of emails leaked to Business Insider offers a glimpse at how Facebook decides what content is objectionable in high profile cases. In this instance, a group of executives at Facebook went hands on in determining if an Alex Jones Instagram post violated the platform’s terms of service or not. As Business Insider […]

Facebook launches searchable transparency library of all active ads

Now you can search Facebook for how much Trump has spent on ads in the past year, which Pages’ ads reference immigration, or what a Page’s previous names were. It’s all part of Facebook’s new Ad Library launching today that makes good on its promise to increase transparency after the social network’s ads were used […]