FROM Xeni Jardin
Are tech companies responsible for the spread of fake Russia-sponsored content? Facebook acknowledged on Monday before Congress that more than 126 million users potentially saw political ads bought by a Kremlin-linked company. Should the government regulate Facebook and Twitter, or should information on the internet roam free?
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg on the Hill; Twitter blocks Rose McGowan During her trip to Washington, Sheryl Sandberg said Russian-linked ads would have been allowed on Facebook had they been posted by real people rather than fake accounts. The Russian government used anti-virus software Kaspersky to scan classified documents. After actress Rose McGowan spoke out against Harvey Weinstein on Twitter, her account got suspended.
How fake news spread so easily in the wake of the Vegas shooting On Sunday night, as reports of the mass shooting in Las Vegas came out, so did false information about it. Fake victims, fake suspects, and conspiracy theories flooded YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Google. Some fake news videos and posts were ranked high in search results, alongside legitimate stories.
Is the iPhone X worth $1000? The iPhone X boasts an edge-to-edge display, facial recognition technology, no home button, wireless charging, and a better camera. Should you be swayed by the hype and go for it? We also discuss the story of Instagram taking down a photo of a mom with her son, who has a facial disfigurement.
Does Amazon want to take over the world? Amazon dominates online retail in the U.S., and now it’ll own actual grocery stores, since its purchase of Whole Foods is a go. Amazon has also been opening up brick and mortar bookstores, and designing an algorithm for making apparel. To compete, Google is partnering with Walmart so you can do voice shopping from home.
Tech industry fights white supremacists Before violence broke out in Charlottesville last weekend, Airbnb had decided to deny service to known white supremacists, including Richard Spencer. As events unfolded, Uber banned a white supremacist who allegedly made racist comments to his Uber driver in DC. Facebook and Twitter began policing hate speech on their sites. Several parties tried taking down the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
How tech can make your travel less stressful We learn about apps that help with navigating unfamiliar roads, making phone calls overseas, and packing correctly; and what to do to keep your internet connection and data safe while abroad.
Your Roomba is spying on you, should you care? Defcon, one of the world’s largest hacking conventions has kicked off. It includes Voting Village, a place where hackers can carry out attacks on various voting machines to show how vulnerable our elections are. Also, the little vacuum robot Roomba is mapping your house.
Why free payment apps like Venmo are really not-so-free The free peer-to-peer payment app Venmo has a social element that other similar apps don’t have. How secure is your personal data and the money you send. How does Venmo make money, anyway? Also, the Dept. of Justice announced today that the black market site AlphaBay has been busted up. Finally, Apple announced new emoji this week.
Newspapers want a better deal from Facebook and Google News outlets need Facebook and Google to get their stories in front of as many eyeballs as possible. But the two tech giants soak up the bulk of online ad revenue. Now a group of newspapers wants to band together to negotiate a better deal. But they’ll need permission from Congress first.
Facebook moderator: Biggest censorship job in history? A massive ransomware attack started in Ukraine on Tuesday and then went global. And ProPublica published a big investigation into Facebook’s secret moderation methods this week, and the results aren’t pretty.
What Uber's downfall means for Lyft Ride-sharing giant Uber is making (mostly negative) headlines every week, and CEO Travis Kalanick just resigned. Is this just what Lyft’s been waiting for: Uber’s implosion? From its start, Lyft presented itself as different from Uber, and it’s been quietly growing.
Uber executive fired after revelations that he shared a rape victim's medical records Uber’s President of Business in the Asia Pacific, Eric Alexander was fired Tuesday after reports surfaced that he had obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India. The company also announced it had recently fired 20 other employees.
Can Waze Carpool fix LA traffic? Navigation app Waze is expanding its carpool feature across California next week. The feature connects drivers with riders heading to the same place so they can ride together and save on gas. However, it’s not intended to be the next Lyft Line or Uber Pool. There’s also a legal fight between Uber and Waymo, in which Waymo says Uber stole its self-driving car secrets.
After 7 years in prison, what will Chelsea Manning do with her freedom? Chelsea Manning was released from prison Wednesday . She was originally sentenced to 35 years for leaking thousands of military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks. But Barack Obama commuted most of her sentence before leaving office. Manning has posted photos on social media to celebrate -- her first steps of freedom, enjoying pizza and wine.
French President Macron fights back against hackers Russians are suspected of interfering in the recent French election. The campaign of now President-elect Emmanuel Macron was hacked. But Macron’s technology team saw it coming and launched a counteroffensive. Also, LA-based Snapchat has lost more money in the past three month that the company has made, ever.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.