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What a Veteran VR Philosopher Thinks of the Metaverse; Google’s Project Iris

David Chalmers, a professor of philosophy and neural science at NYU, has been studying the potential of life in VR for years, long before Mark Zuckerberg promised to build virtual worlds that make people “feel present” and totally immersed. And in a new book, he says he believes that while it’s already possible to have good experiences in virtual reality,...

FTC Pursues TurboTax Fraud Case Despite Supreme Court Mauling

For three years, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general have tried to exact financial and other penalties from Intuit, maker of TurboTax. The case stems from the company’s decision—first reported by ProPublica—to not inform millions of paying, low-income TurboTax customers that they could use the app to file their taxes for free. ...

Microsoft Quantum Computing Executive Sees Progress After Lagging Rivals

For more than 15 years, researchers at Microsoft have been chasing the idea of building a better quantum computer, an ultrapowerful machine that promises to accelerate everything from drug discovery to the development of electric batteries. Along the way, the company has suffered setbacks as it takes a novel—and risky—approach to developing the...

Nasdaq’s Belated Correction

The big news this afternoon was that the Nasdaq’s sell-off put it in “correction territory,” Wall Street lingo for a drop of more than 10%, since the tech-heavy index hit a high in mid-November of 16,057. In reality, declaring a correction today is akin to a baby boomer discovering last week that TikTok is a big deal. Many tech stocks have dropped 40%...

Katie Haun Backs Tom Brady in $170 Million Fundraise

The latest investment from Katie Haun’s new crypto VC firm has major starpower behind it. The venture founded by Haun, a departing Andreessen Horowitz general partner, participated in a $170 million Series B round for Autograph, star quarterback Tom Brady’s non-fungible token (NFT) startup. TechCrunch first reported the deal, and Haun’s team confirmed...

What Instagram’s Move Into Subscriptions Means for TikTok—and Patreon

Back in May, Instagram head Adam Mosseri told The Information the photo-sharing app was exploring subscriptions for its influencers. On Wednesday, his boss Mark Zuckerberg took the wraps off the feature, announcing on his personal Facebook page that Instagram would test subscriptions with a limited number of U.S.-based creators. Creator and actor Alan...

Parsing Meta Ad Patents; Sony’s Xbox-Inflicted Stock Hit

Meta Platforms is evidently eager to figure out a Facebook-like advertising model for AR and VR. A recent report on Meta’s patent portfolio from the Financial Times points to technologies the company could use to heighten the targeted advertising techniques it honed in social media.But many of these ad concepts warrant a heavy emphasis on “could.” Setting...

China’s Tech Crackdown Is a Geopolitical Play

It hardly bears repeating that 2021 was a rough year for China’s platform companies. The firehose of new regulations and rolling crackdowns on everything from data security to overseas listings cost Chinese shares—including those of Didi, Meituan, Pinduoduo, JD.com, Tencent, and ByteDance—42% of their cumulative value in the U.S. and Hong Kong. ...

Benchmark’s Approach to Crypto Takes a Page From Web 2.0

In the past year, venture capital firms with dedicated crypto arms like Andreessen Horowitz and crypto specialists such as Paradigm have gobbled up some of the hottest startups in the industry. Benchmark’s approach has been more of a nibble: The blue-chip VC firm has invested in just two new crypto startups during the same period. That limited...

Benchmark’s Sarah Tavel: ‘It’s Still So Early’ for Crypto

In an interview, Benchmark general partner Sarah Tavel elaborated on her views about the evolving crypto market for venture capitalists—and where the premier early-stage investor fits in a landscape crowded by multibillion-dollar funds and specialist VC firms. She also talks about the prospects for decentralized autonomous organizations, the blockchain-based...

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