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Technology

A Bird? A Plane? No, It’s a Google Balloon Beaming the Internet

New York Times
NAIROBI, Kenya — A fleet of high-altitude balloons started delivering internet service to Kenya on Tuesday, extending online access to tens of thousands of people in the first-ever commercial deployment of the technology. The balloons, which hover about 12 miles up in the stratosphere — well above commercial airplanes —......
Technology

TikTok to Withdraw From Hong Kong as Tech Giants Halt Data Requests

New York Times
“We believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions,” the statement added. The suspension of data reviews also applies to the messaging app WhatsApp, the company said. On Monday, a Google spokesman......
Technology

Facebook Temporarily Stops Hong Kong Data Requests

New York Times
Facebook said on Monday that it would temporarily stop processing Hong Kong government requests for user data as the company reviews a sweeping national security law that has chilled political expression in the city. The social network’s assessment of the law, which has already been used to arrest people who......
Technology

South Korea Denies U.S. Request to Extradite Operator of Child Pornography Site

New York Times
SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean court on Monday rejected an extradition request by the United States for a South Korean citizen convicted of running one of the world’s biggest child pornography websites on the dark web. The South Korean, Son Jong-woo, 24, completed an 18-month sentence in April......
Technology

New Trump Appointee Puts Global Internet Freedom at Risk, Critics Say

New York Times
WASHINGTON — When Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker and ally of Stephen K. Bannon, recently fired the heads of four U.S. government-funded news outlets, many became alarmed that he would turn the independently operated organizations, as well as the Voice of America, into “Trump TV.” But Mr. Pack, the new......
Technology

This Year’s Summer Campground: Our Bedrooms and Living Rooms

New York Times
“We’ll do Zoom around the room,” Mr. Geisler said. “Everyone can show their big kick.” Those in an apartment kick the air rather than a soccer ball. Still, counselors try to keep energy high. “We’ll say: ‘OK, everybody, we’re going to unmute for two minutes. Let’s hear your scream,’” Mr.......
Technology

What Hong Kong’s Pandemic Experience Taught Uber About Other Cities

New York Times
OAKLAND, Calif. — In late February, Uber executives were set to gather in San Francisco to form business plans for the year as the coronavirus steadily spread beyond China. While some executives who were initially invited had been told to stay home, the remaining few huddled at Uber’s headquarters to......
Technology

Can an Algorithm Predict the Pandemic’s Next Moves?

New York Times
The Google Flu Trends algorithm, as it is known, performed poorly. For instance, it continually overestimated doctor visits, later evaluations found, because of limitations of the data and the influence of outside factors such as media attention, which can drive up searches that are unrelated to actual illness. Since then,......
Technology

Goodbye to the Wild Wild Web

New York Times
More recently, the hallmark of the Wild Wild Web became a kind of shoot-first, aim-later approach to corporate strategy. Terms like “permissionless innovation” and “blitzscaling” entered the tech lexicon, and companies used lofty mission statements to paper over their more craven aspirations for dominance and profit. When things went wrong......
Technology

Four Top Tech C.E.O.s Will Testify on Antitrust, Panel Says

New York Times
WASHINGTON — The chief executives of four of the world’s biggest technology companies will appear before Congress this month as part of its sweeping antitrust investigation into their market power, according to the committee running the inquiry, setting up a high-profile face-off between the companies and skeptical lawmakers. Jeff Bezos......

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