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August 5, 2020
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With TikTok Mired in Uncertainty, Facebook Pounces With Instagram Reels

New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — As the Chinese-owned video app TikTok works to head off the threat of a ban in the United States, Facebook has sensed opportunity. On Wednesday, Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, released Reels. Just like TikTok, people can use Reels to create 15-second videos that are......
Technology

See for Yourself: How Airplanes Are Cleaned Today

New York Times
Move over, on-time performance. The new key standard for airlines and passengers is: “How clean is it?” The airlines are busily fine-tuning their cleaning procedures — where they clean, how frequently and with which tools. To get a sense of what’s changed, I recently witnessed the disinfection and cleaning process......
Technology

Is TikTok a Good Buy? It Depends on What’s Included

New York Times
In addition to recreating TikTok’s algorithms, an American acquirer would also need to work quickly to preserve TikTok’s other valuable asset: its creator culture. As my colleague Taylor Lorenz has written, TikTok is home to a large, vibrant community of creative talent, some of whom make a full-time living from......
Technology

Star Technologist Who Crossed Google Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

New York Times
OAKLAND, Calif. — Anthony Levandowski, a pioneer of self-driving car technology in Silicon Valley, had once been feted by companies such as Google and Uber for his engineering expertise. But on Tuesday, Mr. Levandowski’s fall from grace was capped when he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing......
Technology

Apple Replaces Phil Schiller as Its Top Marketing Executive

New York Times
Apple announced on Tuesday that its long-serving chief marketing officer, Phil Schiller, would step down and be replaced by Greg Joswiak, a prominent product marketing executive at the company. The company said that Mr. Schiller would continue to work at the company as an “Apple Fellow” and oversee the Apple......
Technology

Google Faces European Inquiry Into Fitbit Acquisition

New York Times
LONDON — European Union authorities on Tuesday announced an investigation into Google’s $2.1 billion purchase of the fitness-tracking company Fitbit, raising alarms about the health data the internet giant would be acquiring as part of the deal. The inquiry shows the increased scrutiny Google and other large technology companies are......
Technology

For Robots, It’s a Time to Shine (and Maybe Disinfect)

New York Times
The Neo is a four-foot-tall, 1,000-pound robot floor scrubber. The high-tech machine can cruise large commercial buildings on its own, with no human supervision required. Since its introduction in 2016, Neo’s sales have roughly doubled each year, said Faizan Sheikh, the chief executive and a co-founder of Avidbots, the Canadian......
Technology

Distilleries Raced to Make Hand Sanitizer for the Pandemic. No Longer.

New York Times
As the coronavirus pandemic shuttered bars and restaurants in March, Phil McDaniel’s craft distillery in St. Augustine, Fla., stopped producing bourbon. Then he realized there was one alcohol-based product he could make that people would still clamor for: hand sanitizer. His St. Augustine Distillery soon churned out the first of......
Technology

TikTok, Trump and an Impulse to Act as C.E.O. to Corporate America

New York Times
Mr. Trump’s antipathy toward many news organizations has led him to repeatedly threaten to interfere with media companies’ operations. He twice urged regulators to examine taking away the “license” from NBC, though it was unclear what license he was referring to. He declared as a candidate that he would not......
Technology

F.T.C. Investigating Twitter for Potential Privacy Violations

New York Times
OAKLAND, Calif. — Twitter said on Monday that it was under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for potentially misusing people’s personal information to serve ads, adding that it faced fines of $150 million to $250 million. In a corporate filing, Twitter disclosed that the F.T.C. began the investigation last......
Technology

Facebook Bets Big on Future of N.Y.C., and Offices, With New Lease

New York Times
“Facebook first joined New York’s vibrant business and tech community in 2007,” the spokeswoman, Jamila Reeves, said. “Since that time, we’ve continuously grown and expanded our presence throughout the city. The Farley Building will further anchor our New York footprint and create a dedicated hub for our tech and engineering......
Technology

Trump Reverses Course on TikTok, Opening Door to Microsoft Bid

New York Times
Following months of deliberations, that panel had recommended that TikTok sell its assets to an American company to curtail China’s potential influence in the United States, and Microsoft had stepped forward as a potential buyer. But several China hawks in the Trump administration, including the White House trade adviser Peter......
Technology

Google Pixel 4A Review: At $350, a Win for Those on a Budget

New York Times
People generally adore Google for bringing useful technology to the masses at an aggressively low price, if not free. For those who like that, I have happy news: Google is getting really, really good at the price cutting, while still bringing quality, with its smartphones. The evidence? The Pixel 4A......
Technology

How TikTok’s Owner Tried, and Failed, to Cross the U.S.-China Divide

New York Times
The Chinese entrepreneur behind TikTok took ample precautions when he set out to straddle the tech world’s most treacherous divide: the one separating China’s tightly controlled internet from the rest of the planet. He made TikTok unavailable in China so the video app’s users wouldn’t be subject to the Communist......
Technology

How TikTok’s Owner Tried, and Failed, to Cross the U.S.-China Divide

New York Times
The Chinese entrepreneur behind TikTok took ample precautions when he set out to straddle the tech world’s most treacherous divide: the one separating China’s tightly controlled internet from the rest of the planet. He made TikTok unavailable in China so the video app’s users wouldn’t be subject to the Communist......
Technology

This Tool Could Protect Your Photos From Facial Recognition

New York Times
In recent years, companies have been prowling the web for public photos associated with people’s names that they can use to build enormous databases of faces and improve their facial-recognition systems, adding to a growing sense that personal privacy is being lost, bit by digital bit. A start-up called Clearview......

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