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October 23, 2020
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It’s a Ballot Fight for Survival for Gig Companies Like Uber

New York Times
OAKLAND, Calif. — By late August, the urgency was becoming clear. Top executives of Uber, Lyft and the delivery service DoorDash met to discuss a California ballot measure that would exempt them from a new state labor law and save their companies hundreds of millions of dollars. The survival of......
Technology

Appeals Court Says Uber and Lyft Must Treat California Drivers as Employees

New York Times
OAKLAND, Calif. — Uber and Lyft must treat their California drivers as employees, providing them with the benefits and wages they are entitled to under state labor law, a California appeals court ruled Thursday. The decision points to growing agreement between the state courts and lawmakers that gig workers do......
Technology

F.T.C. Decision on Pursuing Facebook Antitrust Case Is Said to Be Near

New York Times
WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission is moving closer to a decision about filing an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook for its market power in social networking, according to two people with knowledge of the agency’s talks. The five members of the F.T.C. met on Thursday to discuss its investigation into......
Technology

Trump Still Miles Ahead of Biden in Social Media Engagement

New York Times
President Trump has made his war on Big Tech a central piece of his re-election campaign. For months, he has accused Facebook and Twitter of attempting to rig the election by silencing criticism about his rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and called for new regulations to rein......
Technology

Thanks to Trump, Huawei’s Cool New Phones Might Be Limited Edition

New York Times
Huawei, the embattled Chinese tech giant, has some slick new handsets. They’ve got the works: fast processor, glossy user interface, high-performance cameras. The problem? Supplies might be limited. With all the usual pomp and showmanship, Huawei on Thursday took the wraps off the Mate 40 series, the company’s first new......
Technology

An Electric Car With Swedish Roots, and a Rebellious Streak

New York Times
More than 60 years ago, Volvo introduced the world to the three-point seatbelt, a safety feature so standard now that it’s almost an afterthought. Over the ensuing years, Volvo, the Swedish maker of bland, boxy sedans, gained a reputation for safety above all else. To be in a Volvo meant......
Technology

Forget Antitrust Laws. To Limit Tech, Some Say a New Regulator Is Needed.

New York Times
For decades, America’s antitrust laws — originally designed to curb the power of 19th-century corporate giants in railroads, oil and steel — have been hailed as “the Magna Carta of free enterprise” and have proved remarkably durable and adaptable. But even as the Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against......
Technology

Top Investigator in Google Case Says There ‘Was Not a Rush’ to Sue

New York Times
Jeffrey A. Rosen, the deputy attorney general, wouldn’t normally oversee an antitrust investigation into Google. It would usually fall to the head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division. But that official, Makan Delrahim, recused himself because the company is a former legal client. So Mr. Rosen took the lead on......
Technology

Art Auctions Embrace a Future of Socially Distant Bidding

New York Times
This article is part of our latest Fine Arts & Exhibits special report, which focuses on how art endures and inspires, even in the darkest of times. It’s no surprise that art auctions aren’t what they were before March. What’s unexpected, though, is the pace and scope of the pandemic......
Technology

In Hubbub Over New York Post Report, YouTube Stands Apart

New York Times
In all the uproar over how tech companies have handled an unsubstantiated article about Hunter Biden from the New York Post, one major company has stood apart: YouTube. It has said nothing. And what it has done, if anything, remains a mystery. On Wednesday, the New York Post uploaded a......
Technology

TikTok Cracks Down on QAnon and Hate Speech

New York Times
Most people know TikTok for its short-form viral videos, like break-dancing stars or relaxing cooking channels. But TikTok also has a less-publicized darker side — one where Holocaust deniers and QAnon conspiracy theorists run rampant. This week, the company announced a series of policy changes restricting the types of content......
Technology

Quibi, Short-Form Streaming Service, Quickly Shuts Down

New York Times
Quibi, the beleaguered short-form content company started by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, announced on Wednesday that it was shutting down just six months after the app became available. The mobile streaming service offered entertainment and news programs in five- to 10-minute chunks intended to be watched on phones by......
Technology

Misinformation in America Thrives in Two Languages

New York Times
QAnon conspiracy theory videos on YouTube. Homespun “remedies” for the coronavirus sent via text messages on WhatsApp. Socialist and communist memes on Twitter. Anti-Black Lives Matter posts on Facebook. The universe of misinformation is not just widespread and vast. It is also bilingual. For several months, researchers and Democrats have......
Technology

Big Tech’s Professional Opponents Strike at Google

New York Times
Months before the Justice Department filed a landmark antitrust suit against Google this week, the internet company’s adversaries hustled behind the scenes to lay the groundwork for a case. Nonprofits critical of corporate power warned lawmakers that Google illegally boxed out rivals. With mounds of documents, economists and antitrust scholars......
Technology

Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police

New York Times
In early September, the City Council in Portland, Ore., met virtually to consider sweeping legislation outlawing the use of facial recognition technology. The bills would not only bar the police from using it to unmask protesters and individuals captured in surveillance imagery; they would also prevent companies and a variety......
Technology

Google Antitrust Fight Thrusts Low-Key C.E.O. Into the Line of Fire

New York Times
OAKLAND, Calif. — When Sundar Pichai succeeded Larry Page as the head of Google’s parent company in December, he was handed a bag of problems: Shareholders had sued the company, Alphabet, over big financial packages handed to executives accused of misconduct. An admired office culture was fraying. Most of all,......

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