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Hiiii and welcome to Daily Crunch for December 17, 2021! As Alex noted in yesterday’s newsletter, I’m handling the daily recap today while he takes a much-deserved vacation/personal day. Alex is one of the most hardworking and efficient humans I’ve ever met, so I like to think that one vacation day for him is somehow the equivalent to five vacation days for anyone else.

Let’s dive right in,


The TechCrunch Top 3

  • The USB ‘kill cord’: You know the lever you’ve got to hold down to keep a lawn mower running? Imagine that, but it’s a magnetic USB cable for your laptop. Pull the cable, and your laptop automatically locks down or wipes itself. Zack Whittaker takes a look at the project, which was built to help journalists and activists keep their files safe from physical attacks.
  • The new spyware-for-hire: Just as Apple moves to sue the group behind one spyware-for-hire tool, it’s becoming clear that this is less “slaying the dragon” and more “battling the Hydra.” Meta/Facebook announced this week that they are banning not one, not two, but seven groups from touching their social networks after detecting that the groups had targeted up to 50,000 people. Citizen Labs reports that one of these banned companies, Cytrox, tried to trick targets into unintentionally infecting their phones with its spyware “Predator,” which gives its operator full control over the mic, camera and more.
  • TikTok has a Discord now: Ever wish you could talk about TikTok with other TikTokers while not actually being on TikTok? Good news! For some reason, TikTok launched a Discord. As Amanda Silberling puts it, “If the fast-food chain Wendy’s can have a Discord with over 60,000 members, why not a viral platform like TikTok?”

A few questions about the impending Reddit IPO

Founded 16 years ago, Reddit has raised $1.3 billion, boosting the company to a $10 billion valuation. This week, the user-generated community revealed that it had filed confidentially to go public.

“You know what that means,” wrote Alex Wilhelm. “It’s time to ask questions.”

While he awaits Reddit’s S-1 with a sharpened scalpel, Alex shared his initial questions about the social hub’s operations, specifically:

“We’re curious about content moderation costs, product expansion, the company’s revenue mix, how frequently governments come up in the filing, and what the unicorn has to say about crypto.”

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