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1. Facebook bans a fresh batch of mostly far-right figures
The banned figures include Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, Paul Nehlen and Louis Farrakhan — plus, Facebook doubled down on banning Alex Jones.
The company said this is part of its policy to ban “individuals or organizations who promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.”
2. Microsoft makes a push to simplify machine learning
Ahead of its Build conference, Microsoft today released a slew of new machine learning products and tweaks to some of its existing services. These range from no-code tools to hosted notebooks, with a number of new APIs and other services in-between.
3. YouTube confirms plans to make Originals available for free
Since last fall, YouTube has acknowledged that it’s moving toward an ad-supported model for its Originals. Last night, its chief business officer said all original programming moving forward will have a free window.
4. Why you don’t want Tumblr sold to exploitative Pornhub
The Wall Street Journal reports that TechCrunch parent company Verizon is considering selling Tumblr, and Pornhub VP Corey Price told BuzzFeed, “We’re extremely interested in acquiring the platform.”
5. Spotify spotted testing ‘Your Daily Drive,’ a personalized playlist that includes podcasts
This is the first Spotify playlist to mix music and podcasts, customized to users’ tastes.
6. Sonic the Hedgehog director says character is getting makeover after backlash
After the release of the film’s trailer, director Jeff Fowler tweeted, “The message is loud and clear… you aren’t happy with the design & you want changes. It’s going to happen.”
7. 3 key secrets to building extraordinary teams
For one thing, hire people before skills, because scrappiness and cultural fit matter more than intelligence and experience. (Extra Crunch membership required.)