Facebook faces U.K. fine over its privacy scandal

A U.K. government office that investigated the Cambridge Analytica scandal announced its intention to fine Facebook 500,000 pounds ($663,000) for failing to safeguard that user information. The amount is the maximum that the agency, the Information Commissioner's Office, can levy for violation of Britain's data-privacy laws.

Facebook said the company illicitly gained access to personal information of up to 87 million users via an academic intermediary, although the firm said the number was much smaller than that. According to former Cambridge Analytica data scientist Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower, the firm aimed to construct psychographic profiles it could use to sway the votes of susceptible individuals.

Cambridge Analytica shut down its business in May.

The ICO investigation found that Facebook "contravened the law by failing to safeguard people's information" and didn't inform its users "about how their information was harvested by others." The office's decision isn't yet final. Facebook will have an opportunity to respond to the findings, after which the office will render a final judgment.

Damian Collins, the chairman of the U.K. Parliament's media committee, said Wednesday that the company "should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities."

Facebook's chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, said in a statement that the company is reviewing the ICO report and will respond soon. She added: "As we have said before, we should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015."

Facebook faces several other investigations, including others in Europe, a probe by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and, reportedly, several others at federal agencies such as the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

July 11, 2018

Sources: ABC News

Related news

  •  Buyers worry they'll lose tax credit while waiting on Tesla

    Buyers worry they'll lose tax credit while waiting on Tesla

    r, the Model 3, priced starting at $35,000. And Reynolds had to have one. He managed to land near the top of the waiting list.</p><p> Flash forward more than two years, through much-publicized production delays. Reynolds is still waiting.</p><p> And now, like others in the U.S. on a waiting list of about 420,000 worldwide, he worries that the looming phaseout of a $7,500 federal tax credit will put the cost of the car out of his reach.</p><p> "The tax credit was going to be huge," says Reynolds, 45, who works in digital advertising, lives in Laguna Hills, California, and drives a 9-year-old Audi A3 compact car.</p><p> Last week, Tesla sales hit 200,000 since the start of 2010 — the point at which federal law requires the credit for rechargeable electric vehicles to be phased out. Tesla buyers will continue to get the full credit through the end of the year. Then it drops to $3,750 for six months and $1,875 for another six months before ending entirely on Dec. 31, 2019.</p><p> That means buyers need to be behind the wheel of a new Tesla by the end of the year to get the full $7,500 tax break — essentially a 21 percent discount off the base model's sticker price.</p><p> Many Model 3 customers will tire of waiting and drop out, predicted Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis at AutoPacific Inc., an auto research and consulting firm. "By then they will have been waiting for three years possibly," he said.</p><p> Tesla wouldn't comment on the possibility of losing buyers from the waiting list.</p><p> But if buyers bail, it could put the company's future in peril, costing sales and desperately needed cash flow for Tesla at a critical time in its 15-year history. Tesla is using the Model 3 to move from a niche maker of expensive electric cars for the wealthy to an automaker for the masses.</p><p> CEO Elon Musk has promised to turn a profit in the second half of this year, but Tesla has lost money in all but two quarters in its eight years as a public company. In the first three months of this year it burned $1 billion as it ramped up Model 3 production at a Fremont, California, factory. The company had $2.7 billion in cash at the end of March.</p><p> In March, Moody's Investor Service sounded an alarm, downgrading Tesla's debt into junk territory and warning that it won't have cash to cover $3.7 billion for normal operations, capital expenses and debt that comes due early next year. Tesla has said Model 3 sales will generate cash and drive profits.</p><p> Musk began sleeping at the factory in an effort to fix automation and other problems that much of the year held output to around half of the goal he set last summer of 5,000 Model 3s per week. The company built a heavy-duty tent to add space to make more Model 3s and said it reached 5,000 per week at the end of June.</p><p> Like many of those still on the waiting list, Reynolds wants to order a Model 3 priced closer to the $35,000 base. The cheapest version only comes in black, with other colors costing at least $1,000 more.</p><p> At present, Tesla is selling only pricier versions with longer-range battery packs. The last time Reynolds configured one on Tesla's website, the lowest price was $49,000, beyond what he can afford.</p><p> He wants the car badly enough that he'll spend over $40,000, as long as California and federal credits still cut the price to around $35,000. He'll hang on until the end of this year. Beyond that, he said he'll likely drop out if there's no federal credit and "if no configuration options are made for the frugal, penny-pinchers like myself."</p><p> Others on the waiting list interviewed by The Associated Press said they were worried about losing the tax credit. Several recent buyers and customers on Tesla internet forums expressed similar concerns.</p><p> Most Tesla buyers who already got the tax credit — about 120,000 — are wealthier people who didn't need it to buy Tesla's more expensive Model S and Model X, which can cost over $100,000, said Navigant Research analyst Sam Abuelsamid. He said the tax law should have had an income limit for eligibility. "If you can afford to buy a $140,000 Tesla, you don't really need the incentive," he said.</p><p> The only other automaker that's close to losing the tax credit is General Motors, which has sold about 185,000 electric cars and should hit 200,000 early next year, according to the Edmunds.com auto pricing site. (Edmunds regularly provides content, including automotive tips and reviews, for distribution by The Associated Press.)</p><p> Kelley Blue Book analyst Rebecca Lindland put down a refundable $1,000 deposit on a Model 3 in April of 2016 because she believes in Musk's crusade to cut auto emissions to zero. Three months ago, she canceled her order, partly because of the delays, partly because she now wants a hatchback.</p><p> Lindland also wondered if she'd ever get the car. "I've already been on the list for two years," she said. "I need all-wheel-drive, and I would have to wait another year."</p><p> She doesn't think Tesla will be able to keep making 5,000 cars per week, and she is skeptical of the cars' quality and worried that Tesla could run out of money, unable to service vehicles.</p><p> Christian Kingery, a Seattle-area web developer, was among the first to order a Model 3 in 2016. He wanted a loaded version with all-wheel-drive for rainy weather, but was troubled by the prospect of losing federal and Washington state tax credits.</p><p> He compromised and ordered a rear-drive version in April. But his delivery date was delayed, costing him the Washington credit, which he says was worth $3,000 before it expired in May.</p><p> When all-wheel-drive became available, he switched his order, pushing delivery to September.</p><p> Although Kingery is frustrated, he still wants the car. "Tesla is doing something that no other carmaker is doing, in a way that no other carmaker is doing," he said.</p><p> Like Reynolds and Lindland, he knows about the Model 3's impressive handling, 310-mile battery range and futuristic interior with all the controls on a touch screen.</p><p> He will just have to wait a little longer to drive one.</p>

    1 July 18, 2018
  •  The Latest: Industry, experts divided over EU fine on Google

    The Latest: Industry, experts divided over EU fine on Google

    of the European Union's fine against Google for abusing the market dominance of its Android mobile operating system.</p><p> The EU said Wednesday that Google broke the rules when it required mobile phone producers to pre-install the Google Search and browser apps if they wanted to use Google's app store. It fined the company and asked it to change its ways.</p><p> Rich Stables, the CEO of rival search engine Kelkoo, says he welcomes the move and "what is important is that Google has to change its abusive behavior." Consumer associations also appeared largely in favor.</p><p> But some industry lobbies and analysts note that it can hinder innovation, as Google makes money off the apps and ads while giving Android away for free. Daniel Castro, vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank in Washington, says the ruling "is a blow to innovative, open-source business models."</p><p> The European Union's antitrust chief has fined Google a record $5 billion for abusing the market dominance of its Android mobile phone operating system.</p><p> The EU's ruling caps an investigation that goes back at least three years. Regulators came out with a preliminary ruling in April 2016 in which they said Google had market shares exceeding 90 percent in most European countries in the realm of licensable mobile operating systems, and abused that share by forcing manufacturers to take its apps and by preventing them from selling altered versions of Android, which is technically open-source software.</p><p> In June 2017, regulators already fined Google 2.42 billion euros ($2.8 billion) for favoring its shopping listings in search results.</p>

    1 July 18, 2018
  •  Buyers worry they'll lose tax credit while waiting on Tesla

    Buyers worry they'll lose tax credit while waiting on Tesla

    r, the Model 3, priced starting at $35,000. And Reynolds had to have one. He managed to land near the top of the waiting list.</p><p> Flash forward more than two years, through much-publicized production delays. Reynolds is still waiting.</p><p> And now, like others in the U.S. on a waiting list of about 420,000 worldwide, he worries that the looming phaseout of a $7,500 federal tax credit will put the cost of the car out of his reach.</p><p> "The tax credit was going to be huge," says Reynolds, 45, who works in digital advertising, lives in Laguna Hills, California, and drives a 9-year-old Audi A3 compact car.</p><p> Last week, Tesla sales hit 200,000 since the start of 2010 — the point at which federal law requires the credit for rechargeable electric vehicles to be phased out. Tesla buyers will continue to get the full credit through the end of the year. Then it drops to $3,750 for six months and $1,875 for another six months before ending entirely on Dec. 31, 2019.</p><p> That means buyers need to be behind the wheel of a new Tesla by the end of the year to get the full $7,500 tax break — essentially a 21 percent discount off the base model's sticker price.</p><p> Many Model 3 customers will tire of waiting and drop out, predicted Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis at AutoPacific Inc., an auto research and consulting firm. "By then they will have been waiting for three years possibly," he said.</p><p> Tesla wouldn't comment on the possibility of losing buyers from the waiting list.</p><p> But if buyers bail, it could put the company's future in peril, costing sales and desperately needed cash flow for Tesla at a critical time in its 15-year history. Tesla is using the Model 3 to move from a niche maker of expensive electric cars for the wealthy to an automaker for the masses.</p><p> CEO Elon Musk has promised to turn a profit in the second half of this year, but Tesla has lost money in all but two quarters in its eight years as a public company. In the first three months of this year it burned $1 billion as it ramped up Model 3 production at a Fremont, California, factory. The company had $2.7 billion in cash at the end of March.</p><p> In March, Moody's Investor Service sounded an alarm, downgrading Tesla's debt into junk territory and warning that it won't have cash to cover $3.7 billion for normal operations, capital expenses and debt that comes due early next year. Tesla has said Model 3 sales will generate cash and drive profits.</p><p> Musk began sleeping at the factory in an effort to fix automation and other problems that much of the year held output to around half of the goal he set last summer of 5,000 Model 3s per week. The company built a heavy-duty tent to add space to make more Model 3s and said it reached 5,000 per week at the end of June.</p><p> Like many of those still on the waiting list, Reynolds wants to order a Model 3 priced closer to the $35,000 base. The cheapest version only comes in black, with other colors costing at least $1,000 more.</p><p> At present, Tesla is selling only pricier versions with longer-range battery packs. The last time Reynolds configured one on Tesla's website, the lowest price was $49,000, beyond what he can afford.</p><p> He wants the car badly enough that he'll spend over $40,000, as long as California and federal credits still cut the price to around $35,000. He'll hang on until the end of this year. Beyond that, he said he'll likely drop out if there's no federal credit and "if no configuration options are made for the frugal, penny-pinchers like myself."</p><p> Others on the waiting list interviewed by The Associated Press said they were worried about losing the tax credit. Several recent buyers and customers on Tesla internet forums expressed similar concerns.</p><p> Most Tesla buyers who already got the tax credit — about 120,000 — are wealthier people who didn't need it to buy Tesla's more expensive Model S and Model X, which can cost over $100,000, said Navigant Research analyst Sam Abuelsamid. He said the tax law should have had an income limit for eligibility. "If you can afford to buy a $140,000 Tesla, you don't really need the incentive," he said.</p><p> The only other automaker that's close to losing the tax credit is General Motors, which has sold about 185,000 electric cars and should hit 200,000 early next year, according to the Edmunds.com auto pricing site. (Edmunds regularly provides content, including automotive tips and reviews, for distribution by The Associated Press.)</p><p> Kelley Blue Book analyst Rebecca Lindland put down a refundable $1,000 deposit on a Model 3 in April of 2016 because she believes in Musk's crusade to cut auto emissions to zero. Three months ago, she canceled her order, partly because of the delays, partly because she now wants a hatchback.</p><p> Lindland also wondered if she'd ever get the car. "I've already been on the list for two years," she said. "I need all-wheel-drive, and I would have to wait another year."</p><p> She doesn't think Tesla will be able to keep making 5,000 cars per week, and she is skeptical of the cars' quality and worried that Tesla could run out of money, unable to service vehicles.</p><p> Christian Kingery, a Seattle-area web developer, was among the first to order a Model 3 in 2016. He wanted a loaded version with all-wheel-drive for rainy weather, but was troubled by the prospect of losing federal and Washington state tax credits.</p><p> He compromised and ordered a rear-drive version in April. But his delivery date was delayed, costing him the Washington credit, which he says was worth $3,000 before it expired in May.</p><p> When all-wheel-drive became available, he switched his order, pushing delivery to September.</p><p> Although Kingery is frustrated, he still wants the car. "Tesla is doing something that no other carmaker is doing, in a way that no other carmaker is doing," he said.</p><p> Like Reynolds and Lindland, he knows about the Model 3's impressive handling, 310-mile battery range and futuristic interior with all the controls on a touch screen.</p><p> He will just have to wait a little longer to drive one.</p>

    1 July 18, 2018
  • 10 things you should never put in the dryer

    10 things you should never put in the dryer

    high that you’ve been subject to a dryer dilemma. I know I have had my fair share: Like the time I shrunk my favorite sweater and did some money laundering (and by that, I mean I accidentally left money in my pocket on laundry day). </p><p>Whether you are doing your first load or your five thousandth, it’s always possible you&#39;ll put something in the dryer that doesn’t belong there. We spoke to the experts to find out exactly what you should—and shouldn’t—put in the dryer so that your wardrobe stays in-tact. </p><p>The adage &quot;the more the merrier&quot; doesn’t apply to loading your dryer. “Overloading your dryer overheats the machine and could lead to risk of fire. By filling the dryer halfway, clothes have room to drop while tumbling, which lets warm air circulate properly,” says Smith. You will end up with damp clothes if you’ve stuffed too much into the dryer, so separate it into multiple loads instead. </p><p>You love beach days...but your dryer doesn’t. Be sure to thoroughly shake off sandy beach towels and swimsuits before putting them in the dryer. “Sand can get trapped between gaps in the drum, which adds an irritating sound when drying and can damage the dryer over time,” says Smith. </p>

    1 July 18, 2018
  • Robots will be able to paint the story of humanity’s defeat

    Robots will be able to paint the story of humanity’s defeat

    sion.</p><p>Robots are painting pictures that wouldn&#8217;t look out of place in a gallery and they&#8217;re earning their creators cash prizes of up to $40,000.</p><p>Their paintings span artworks that mimic old masters like Cezanne and re-imagine Van Gogh&#8217;s landscapes.</p><p>And for the first time this year, the public will be able to purchase the AI-produced pictures at the Seattle Art Fair August 2-5.</p><p>Here&#8217;s the complete list of winners for your inner art critic to judge:</p><p>This year&#8217;s first place artist, Cloud Painter, uses machine learning (an AI that&#8217;s trained on mounds of data to function autonomously) to generate vivid portraits and landscapes, including a new take on a Cezanne masterpiece.</p><p>The runners up, coming off their 2017 win, chose a collection of impressionistic artwork showing &#8220;a high level of skill with brushstrokes.&#8221;</p><p>The bronze medalists from Thailand&#8217;s Kasetsart University built a robot that can emulate an artist right down to the position, movement and force exerted on a painter&#8217;s brush.</p><p>This allowed the team&#8217;s bot to create a &#8220;perfect reproduction&#8221; of the original strokes.</p><p>Created by an electronic engineer that loves art and mechanical systems, this robot worked after hours &#8220;when the kids (and wife) were in bed.&#8221;</p><p>The robot uses vision to help mix paint more accurately.</p><p>The paintings were done in three steps, starting with the drawing of an outline of major edges to provide structure to the painting, adding the values (like brightness) of the image with a large brush in black and white and finishing off with a sprinkling of color using a thin brush.</p><p>Joanna Hastie paints using acrylics and she taught a robot arm to do the same (after a lot of trial and error). Her first droid bit the dust, but she managed to teach its successor to create both straight and curved brush strokes. She said that the bot&#8217;s ability to use math opened up a &#8220;Pandora&#8217;s box&#8221; of ideas to paint abstract patterns and shapes.</p><p>Jeremy Kraybill is an experienced creative who&#8217;s been producing computer-generated and AI-based projects for several years. While only submitting one painting to the competition, the judges said it showed promise.</p><p>BABOT was an abandoned blue robot arm, hiding in an MIT alumni’s house. After adopting it, the team reverse-engineered its inner workings and designed electronics to breathe life back into the bot.</p><p>They also added more functions, from an auto-brush cleaner to a wireless video game controller for remote adjusting.</p><p>&#8220;We’ve focused on developing creating art that&#8217;s embracing to watch and entertaining to develop,&#8221; they said.</p><p>Ozpainter was built by an artist from Australia, working mainly in oils and acrylics on canvas or art boards. His goal for the competition was to create a robotic system that could produce artwork that that was indistinguishable from artwork done by a human artist.</p><p>This project relies on an autonomous painting robot platform built using custom mechanics, electronics and software.</p><p>The system breaks down the images its fed and later reconstructs them and is even able to apply corrections to its work using &#8220;vision feedback.&#8221;</p><p>&#8220;A a robotic platform can revolutionize the art form, contribute to the scientific advancement of robotic capabilities and reduce the workload needed to construct large paintings,&#8221; said its creators.</p><p>The Portrait Painter Robot fittingly paints portraits using a digital image as a source of information. Completely autonomous, with an automatic mixing color system, the droid can generate up to 150 different colors.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 July 18, 2018
  • Amazon estimated to sell $3.5 billion during Prime Day sale, even after outage

    Amazon estimated to sell $3.5 billion during Prime Day sale, even after outage

    the first hour of Prime Day? Amazon's not saying, but the outage shows that online shopping is not yet an infallible replacement for brick and mortar. </p><p>The 36-hour sale launched at noon Seattle time on Monday and immediately there were problems that kept users from using three Amazon channels — the Amazon.com website, the mobile shopping app and the digital voice assistant. </p><p>The glitch was embarrassing but wasn't likely to put much of a dent in Amazon's sales for the event, analysts said. Zentail, an e-commerce operating system, estimated that as of midnight Tuesday  Seattle time, Amazon had sold $3.5 billion worth of goods. Amazon shares hit a record high Monday and Jeff Bezos became the richest man in modern history, assuming bragging rights once held by Bill Gates.</p><p>The problems of the world's second largest e-commerce provider during its much-hyped sale are a reminder that despite more than 20 years of growth in online sales, the shift to the Internet is not trouble-free.</p><p>It’s not uncommon for retail sites to go down in times of high traffic. Certainly many companies experienced trouble during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in last year's holiday shopping season. </p><p>And last week YouTube went down in the middle of the World Cup soccer semifinal match between England and Croatia.</p><p>Sometimes those outages are simply a capacity issue – too many people trying to crowd onto a site that doesn’t have enough storage or computing power to accommodate the requests.</p><p>That seems unlikely given that Amazon owns AWS, the world’s largest and most popular cloud computing network, and could easily and quickly add more capacity.</p><p>"As the masters of highly-available, scalable public cloud infrastructure, I think we can hold Amazon to a higher standard," said Timothy de Paris, chief technical officer of Decibel, a digital analytics company.</p><p>That has led some to believe it was a data problem rather than a hardware problem, because it affected multiple parts of the Amazon system, including the home page and the add-to-cart button, and because it impacted both web and mobile appsacross much of the United States. What's more, the problem was intermittent. </p><p>“I won’t be surprised if it turns out to be some type of human error that used the wrong database or ran the wrong process on a data set, or something along those lines,” said Jason Goldberg, senior vice president for commerce at Publicis.Sapient, a consulting company that provides business, marketing, and technology services.</p><p>In a statement, Amazon said that it realized there had been issues. "It wasn't all a walk in the (dog) park, we had a ruff start," the statement said, alluding to the photos of cute but contrite dogs that appeared on its mobile app saying there was a problem.</p><p>Those problems persisted for much of the first hour of the sale and beyond for many users.</p><p>On Amazon.com it was not possible for many users to make purchases well into the second hour of the sale. Users could access their online shopping cart, but when they attempted to purchase something, they got a note saying, "Sorry, we're experiencing unusually heavy traffic. Please try again in a few seconds. Your items are still waiting in your cart."</p><p>When users attempted to click on the "Shop Deals by Interest" portion of the main page, the website only allowed users to click through to a page that said "Shop All Deals," which then took them back to the home page in an endless loop.</p><p>On smart phones, the Amazon app returned a photo of a contrite-looking dog and the words, "Uh-Oh. Something went wrong on our end." The app came back online after the website did, about an hour and 45 minutes into the sale.</p><p>Amazon's voice-operated digital assistant also malfunctioned. Alexa-only offers didn't come through for much of Monday afternoon.</p><p>When users asked Alexa for today's Daily Deals, the response said: "I've been busy today. All my deals are sold out. Check back later." </p>

    1 July 18, 2018
  • Tech Tip: Flicks and Other iPad Keyboard Tricks

    Tech Tip: Flicks and Other iPad Keyboard Tricks

    ries to save you time with typing shortcuts — once you know what they are.</p><p>Before Key Flicks was introduced, you typically switched from the regular QWERTY keyboard layer by tapping the “.?123” key in the bottom corner to change the layout to a selection of numbers and other characters. When using the numerical keyboard, you can tap the “#+=” key to get to yet another layer of special characters for math and currency symbols. Pressing down on the keys for vowels and other letters that take accents in certain languages opens a menu of accented letters; hold down the dollar sign ($) to get the symbols for the yen, the euro, pound sterling and other currencies.</p>

    1 July 18, 2018
  • State of the Art: How to Combat China’s Rise in Tech: Federal Spending, Not Tariffs

    State of the Art: How to Combat China’s Rise in Tech: Federal Spending, Not Tariffs

    nd China lies a profound and unsettling question: Who should control the key technologies that will rule tomorrow?</p><p>These advances could alter everything about how we live and work. Shouldn’t some other entity, like maybe a democratically elected government, have some input in their rollout?</p><p>Here’s a crazy idea. The United States could outline a plan for and put money behind an alternative vision for the global technology industry. If executed carefully, such a plan could stimulate wider competition in tech, and allow for broader economic and social gains. Perhaps a whole set of new companies, rather than just the giants you’re used to, could plan a role in the future.</p><p>Does this sound un-American? It shouldn’t. Not long ago, when Americans faced the possibility of being left behind by other countries’ advancing tech, the federal government stepped in with nearly endless resources to stimulate the creation of vast new industries.</p><p>But today in the United States, venture capitalists and multinational corporations lead the development of — and will own — tomorrow’s technologies. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is playing the role the United States once did. Over the past decade, China has pushed an aggressive series of plans meant to gain dominance in technological areas it considers crucial to the global economy.</p><p>You might argue that the modern world bears little resemblance to the Sputnik era. Today, we have vibrant tech industry. Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and lots of venture capitalists are already investing heavily in the future. Why should the government step in?</p><p>But that is a shortsighted view. Mr. Huang points out that the established tech industry is mainly funding the most immediately applicable technologies. “Life science and software get a lot of money,” he said.</p><p>I reached out to Michael Kratsios, President Trump’s deputy assistant for technology policy, to ask about the role the president ascribes to public funding in the advancement of tech. His office declined an interview, but a spokesman noted that the omnibus budget deal that Mr. Trump signed in March outlined a significant increase in federal spending on research and development.</p><p>But beyond simply opening the spigot to more money, we should push the American government to create an alternative to China’s vision for tech dominance for another reason: It would be a way to develop a more accessible tech industry.</p><p>One huge problem with today’s tech business is the unequal way it distributes its gains. Tech advances have created immense wealth, but much of the money has gone to just a small number of people clustered around two cities on the West Coast. Now — as we’re suddenly realizing the power that tech giants can exercise over politics, news, our psyches and other basic aspects of democracy — there’s a real question about whether they face any meaningful challenge to their rise.</p><p>Government spending can help there, too. When the government creates tech, its gains tend to be spread widely. The internet is the open system it is today because it was sponsored by the government, not private telecom giants like AT&amp;T. The GPS satellite system is available to anyone who wants to use it because taxpayers paid for it. The same can be true of much of what we invent tomorrow. If the American government decided to plan for the future, rather than sit on the sideline as it came to pass, it could spur the development of the same kind of decentralized, open tech infrastructure that fostered today’s miracles.</p><p>It’s a matter not just of access but of agency, too. Many of the technologies that will dominate the future could change life in substantial ways. Artificial intelligence and robotics could reshape labor markets and much else about how Americans work. Energy technologies might transform your city. Yet we really have no good way to prepare for these changes.</p><p>A federal plan to win this or that industry isn’t guaranteed to work. But at least it will prompt us, as a country, to think about what’s coming.</p>

    1 July 18, 2018
  •  EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile system

    EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile system

    esday that Google went against EU rules when it required mobile phone producers to pre-install the Google Search and browser apps as a condition for licensing Google's app store. She said Google also paid big producers to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app.</p><p> Vestager said that "companies must compete on their merits," playing by antitrust rules that favor consumers and open markets, and not restrict competition.</p><p> Google said that instead of restricting competition, it did the opposite. "Android has created more choice for everyone, not less," said Google spokesman Al Verney.</p><p> "We will appeal the Commission's decision," he added.</p><p> The EU's fine is the biggest ever imposed on a company for anticompetitive behavior.</p><p> Wednesday's ruling caps an investigation that goes back at least three years. Regulators came out with a preliminary ruling in April 2016 in which they said Google had market shares exceeding 90 percent in most European countries in the realm of licensable mobile operating systems, and abused that share by forcing manufacturers to take its apps and by preventing them from selling altered versions of Android, which is technically open-source software.</p><p> In June 2017, regulators already fined Google 2.42 billion euros ($2.8 billion) for favoring its shopping listings in search results.</p>

    1 July 18, 2018
  • European Union hits Google with record $5 billion fine over mobile system

    European Union hits Google with record $5 billion fine over mobile system

    ednesday imposed a $5 billion fine on Google for breaching the bloc's competition rules with its Android operating system.</p><p>The company stands accused of abusing its dominant position in the market by making tie-ups with phone makers like South Korea's Samsung and China's Huawei, therefore blocking rivals and hindering competition. The company has been given 90 days to end this practice or face more fines.</p><p>The European Commission has long complained that Google requires manufacturers to pre-install its search engine and Google Chrome browser on phones, and set Google Search as the default, as a condition of licensing some Google apps like Google Play.</p><p>"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules." Said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement.</p><p>According to European Union rules, Google could have been fined up to 10 percent of parent company Alphabet's annual revenue, which hit $110.9 billion in 2017.</p><p>The long-awaited decision comes as fears of a transatlantic trade war mount due to President Donald Trump's surprising decision to increase tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports and comes just one week before European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker is due to travel to the US for sensitive talks on the tariffs dispute.</p><p>Vestager who is from Denmark, has been very outspoken and targeted a series of Silicon Valley giants like Apple and Amazon in her four years as the blocs's antitrust chief, winning praise in Europe but angering Washington.</p><p>Android is the world's most-used smartphone operating system and runs on about 80 percent of mobile devices worldwide. The open-source software is provided to manufacturers for free, while Google derives revenue from advertising displayed in its apps.</p><p>The case against Android is the most significant of three grievances launched by the EU against the search giant, which was already hit with a record-breaking $2.8 billion fine last year for favoring its own shopping service in online search results.</p><p>This latest complaint was formally lodged in April and also accuses Google of preventing manufacturers from selling smartphones that run on rival operating systems based on the open source Android code.</p><p>Brussels has repeatedly targeted Google over the past decade amid concerns about the Silicon Valley giant's dominance of internet searches across Europe, where it commands about 90 percent of the market.</p>

    1 July 18, 2018

Comments

Earn free bitcoin