The European Commission’s top competition regulators this morning fined Google nearly $1.7 billion, saying that Google abused its position in the market when third-party websites used its AdSense for Search product.The fine, equaling 1.49 billion euros, is only the latest that European regulators have brought against the tech giant over antitrust violations.The search giant has already faced $7.7 billion, or 6.76 billion euros, in fines related to antitrust violations.In 2017, regulators brought down a $2.7 billion fine after finding that Google favored its own shopping platform in search results.In 2018, Google generated nearly $20 billion in revenues from advertising programs on Google properties, which includes AdSense.The fine also lands as lawmakers and regulators in the U.S., who have largely allowed Silicon Valley to operate without much oversight, are considering their own antitrust actions against tech giants like Google.
After an 18-month court battle and years of fierce criticism, Facebook says it will stop allowing housing, jobs, and credit advertisers to show ads to only users of specific races, genders, or age groups, the company announced on Tuesday.Facebook did not do this without putting up a fight.The new policy came as part of a “historic” lawsuit settlement with “leading civil rights organisations” including American Civil Liberties Union, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the Communications Workers of America, as Facebook weirdly described it.The social media company will also pay less than $5 million as part of the settlement, according to a report in the New York Times.“One of our top priorities is protecting people from discrimination on Facebook,” chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said in her company blog post.“Today, we’re announcing changes in how we manage housing, employment and credit ads on our platform.
Stanford University launches the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence – Stanford University NewsWhat happened: Former head of Google AI’s China Center Li Feifei will lead Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence with the university’s former provost John Etchemendy.The institute aims to advance AI research, education, and policy in order to “improve the human condition.” It will focus on the societal impact of AI and designing applications to augment human capabilities, among others.Why it’s important: The move comes amid broader concerns over the effects of AI on society.Li has been grappling with these concepts for some time.In early 2018, she wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which she expressed her concern that enthusiasm for the technology is preventing a level-headed look at its effects on society.
Ars Technica is looking for an experienced reporter—a true journalistic hustler who will work the (literal and metaphorical) phones to bring our readers fresh, hot news about the interaction between technology and society.What do we mean by "technology and society"?We mean stories about the growing political and cultural "Big Tech backlash," copyright clashes, the culture of Silicon Valley firms, tech-policy battles, and important tech-related court cases—not a review of the science in the latest sci-fi blockbuster.We're looking for someone "experienced to senior" (at least 3 years of quality reporting experience) who already knows what we mean by an "Ars story."Can you craft stories that will become "can't miss" additions to a site reaching 15 million unique worldwide readers (and the New York Times crossword section)?Do you have serious writing skills, technical depth, and reporting chops?
Facebook is developing its own cryptocurrency for payments, according to at least two reports, a move that has the potential to make the social network billions of dollars while also helping to eliminate fake news and bots.Although the social media giant has not publicly commented on reports from Bloomberg and The New York Times, it did acknowledge it's exploring the distributed ledger technology (DLT)."Like many other companies Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology.While details are few, the reports based on unnamed courses claim a cryptocurrency would allow users of Facebook's WhatsApp messaging platform to send money to contacts, similar to how Venmo or PayPal allow cross-border payments; the difference is that there would be no middleman (i.e., a central bank or clearing firm).According to the Times' article, Facebook has already spoken with cryptocurrency exchanges about selling its crypto coin to consumers; others believe the social media firm would not tie payments to a strict "cryptocurrency," opting instead to use a stable coin backed by U.S. dollars and other fiat currencies.Stable coin networks require operators to keep collateral in a bank, so that if $1 billion in digital coin is issued, an equivalent amount must be available on deposit or reserve, according to Litan.
In less than a week, Apple is set to announce a range of services including an all-you-can-read subscription news bundle, and it's causing a lot of angst for publishers already worried about big tech eating media.I talked to publishers who were pitched by Apple, and they say the phone maker is basing the business model on a flawed comparison between news and music.To date, The New York Times and The Washington Post have not joined, but The Wall Street Journal is having productive talks with Apple and is expected to join, people familiar with its thinking say.To read most of the articles here, subscribe to BI Prime and use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.Tell us what you think by taking our quick survey here:Here are other good stories we've been reporting:
On episode 88 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle ventured into the world of tech news in search for the biggest stories.The topics on today’s episode include Apple’s surprising reveals of a new iPad Air and iPad Mini, the New York Times report on Apple’s upcoming TV service, and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo getting some assistance from robots.Later in the show, they spoke with Michael Holton, television studio analyst for the Portland Trail Blazers.The subject of the day was March Madness, the tournament that caps off the college basketball season.Holton talked about his own experience playing in the tournament, the factors he looks at when making his bracket predictions, and the rise of artificial intelligence programs that predict the tournament results with startling accuracy.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) called on the Federal Trade Commission to open an investigation into Facebook on the grounds of possible violations of anti-monopoly law.Cicilline, who heads the antitrust panel on the House Judiciary Committee, is one of the central lawmakers overseeing federal anti-monopoly policy.Cicilline makes the case for an investigation in an op-ed in The New York Times and a letter sent directly to the FTC where he cites multiple incidents involving Facebook that he believes violated federal antitrust law.Cicilline specifically notes Facebook’s plan to merge the underlying infrastructure of its messaging products like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp as well as the company’s decision to block Vine from accessing the Facebook API.According to Cicilline, those plans are “smoking gun” evidence that the company has broken the law.“Nothing changes,” Cicilline writes in the op-ed.
When the newly-minted chair of a congressional antitrust committee calls you out, it’s probably time to start worrying.In an op-ed for the New York Times, Rhode Island Representative David N. Cicilline has called on the Federal Trade Commission to look into Facebook’s behavior for potential antitrust violations, citing TechCrunch’s own reporting that the company collected data on teens through a secret paid program among many other scandals.“After each misdeed becomes public, Facebook alternates between denial, hollow promises and apology campaigns,” Cicilline wrote.That’s why, as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, I am calling for an investigation into whether Facebook’s conduct has violated antitrust laws.”Cicilline’s op-ed intends to put pressure on the FTC, a useful regulatory arm that he accuses of “facing a massive credibility crisis” due to its inaction to date against Facebook.And while the FTC is the focus of Cicilline’s call to action, the op-ed provides an insightful glimpse into what Facebook actions are salient for the lawmaker that Bloomberg called “the most powerful person in tech” when he became the ranking member of the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law this year.
In 2014, chemist Floyd Romesberg, of the Scripps Research Institute, synthesized a new pair of artificial nucleotides and got a cell to accept them as part of its genetic code.To review, the DNA molecule is built from four nucleotides, or “letters”: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C).We are going to do things no one else can.”Discussing his project with The New York Times in 2014, Romesberg used a metaphor: “If you have a language that has a certain number of letters,” he said, “you want to add letters so you can write more words and tell more stories.” In his TED Talk, he extended this metaphor, asking the audience to imagine a typewriter with only four keys.It may be that new nucleotides = new amino acids = new organisms, but it does not follow that new letters = new words = new stories.For high-profile scientists, the ones who speak to lay audiences, write popular books, and deliver TED Talks, metaphor is a key persuasive tool.
They say Apple is pointing to Apple Music as evidence of its subscription know-how.Big news publishers are said to be sitting it out because Apple's financial and data-sharing terms are seen as unfavorable to them.The name of the service hasn't been made public, but it will be a relaunch of Next Issue Media's news aggregation app Texture, which gives users access to around 200 magazine for a flat fee of $9.99 a month.Apple's pitch to publishers is that it will charge about $10 a month for what will amount to a premium tier of its existing Apple News app that's baked into Apple mobile devices, according to knowledgeable sources.Read more: New research shows how The New York Times, Economist, New Yorker and other top online subscription publishers stack upThe new service will include publications from Texture's past owners, which were bound by contract to do so.
With the imminent arrival of Apple’s new streaming video service scheduled for next week, the tech giant is on the cusp adding content creator to its traditional hardware-making and app store-managing duties.However, in an effort to stock its upcoming service with shows, it seems Apple’s secretive Silicon Valley-esque habits are becoming a nuisance for the entertainment veterans hired to develop its shows.According to the New York Times, one issue stemming from Apple’s venture into the content world is the highly guarded ways Apple uses to keep things under wraps.In the tech world, this is sort of second nature, but for more free-wheeling media types, Apple’s lock-down policies seem to have become a source of frustration.After talking to dozens of sources, The New York Times claims that a lot of players accustomed to getting regular updates are now being confronted with a general lack of information when it comes to learning how and when their shows will get released, with even fewer details regarding the general rollout of Apple’s still-unnamed streaming service.Apparently, Apple’s entertainment team has resorted to updating people on an individual basis, but only as things pertain to the specific show they are working on.
Apple’s March 25 event sports the tagline “It’s showtime,” and the gathering — which is expected to gather Hollywood executives and filmmakers in Cupertino, California, instead of the usual techies — is rumored to be the official unveiling of the company’s slate of television and movie programming.As with any Apple projects, official details regarding the programming slate have been hard to come by, but a recent — and not surprisingly, unconfirmed — report suggests that at least five projects have completed filming, with a long list of additional TV shows and feature-length movies in various stages of development or production.Although nothing is 100 percent official at this point, The New York Times reports that list of projects that have completed filming include Are You Sleeping?, a mystery starring Octavia Spencer and based on a Kathleen Barber novel about a cold case reopened by a podcasting detective; For All Mankind, a sci-fi series from Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore that explores what would have happened if the international space race had continued long after it did in our timeline; and Dickinson, a comedy series based on the life of poet Emily Dickinson and starring Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Jane Krakowski (30 Rock).Also finished, but lacking a title, is a new comedy series from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia duo Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, as well as an untitled thriller from M. Night Shyamalan that stars Rupert Grint, Lauren Ambrose, and Nell Tiger Free.Apple’s slate of programming still currently in development or production also includes some high-profile projects that have been reported on in the past, but in keeping with the company’s traditional secrecy, have been kept under wraps beyond the bare minimum of confirmed details.The biggest one of the bunch — both in its A-list cast and Apple’s investment in it — is an untitled series that explores the behind-the-scenes drama of a morning TV news show, which will team Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston both in front of the camera and as producers and bring Steve Carell back to television.
Filming on five of the many shows slated for Apple's long-rumored streaming service have finishing shooting, a report said Sunday.The New York Times revealed what stage the first wave of shows was at.These five are reportedly in the can:Are You Sleeping?, an Octavia Spencer drama.For All Mankind, a space drama from Outlander and Battlestar Galactica producer Ronald D. Moore.An untitled thriller from Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan.
Studios that are working on content for Apple’s forthcoming streaming service are reportedly experiencing a culture clash in their dealings with the Cupertino-based company, according to The New York Times.Apple is said to be too controlling when it comes to the portrayal of Apple products such as iPhones and MacBooks in the shows while being uncommunicative when it comes to basic details like release dates and marketing plans.This lack of communication is proving frustrating for production companies that are apparently used to having more open communication with other companies.Apple, meanwhile, is a company that fiercely guards its technology secrets and forthcoming launch plans, and it has had at least 12 people arrested for leaking internal information.This isn’t the first time we’ve heard from companies that have become frustrated at how Apple is approaching its new streaming service.Last September, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has been unwilling to include mature content in its programming, leading to some to label the company as “conservative and picky.” Earlier this year, the New York Post reported that Apple’s executives have been “intrusive,” with Tim Cook, in particular, repeatedly asking shows to not “be so mean.”
Apple is expected to unveil its streaming service later this month, along with a crop of original series.The hands-on approach of Apple executives has been noted by some producers.The New York Times now reports that executives have given notes on how Apple products like iPhones are portrayed.Apple is expected to unveil its new streaming service complete with original content later this month.The build-up has been intense, with Apple plugging $1 billion into original series and wrangling big-ticket names, such as Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon.But stories persist about meddling from Apple executives.
Many of us dream of becoming the next Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett or Michael Jordan, but earth-shaking success is often accompanied by a genius and drive matched by few.However, you might be shocked to learn how many seemingly small changes can elevate your game in virtually any profession.The steps to create smarter habits, effective routines and optimized efficiency are at the heart of the How Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers Master Productivity with Tim Ferriss course.With the current TNW Deals discount, you can get this impactful road map to success right now for 65 percent off, just $9.99.Tim Ferriss wrote the New York Times’ bestsellers Tools of Titans and The 4-Hour Workweek and is in the top 10 of Newsweek’s Digital 100 Power Index.En route to all that productivity expertise, Ferriss gathered up the strategies used by world-class performers in all walks of life, then distilled their winning approaches into actionable steps any professional can use to get more done in less time.
The National Geographic Channel and Fox Broadcasting said they have completed their investigation of astrophysicist and U.S. TV celebrity Neil deGrasse Tyson over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, and will air two of his shows that have been postponed, Entertainment Weekly reported on Friday.The channel said it would be airing StarTalk and Cosmos: Possible Worlds (the latter of which has been postponed beyond its March 3 premiere date) following the conclusion of the inquiry.However, Entertainment Weekly wrote it did not elaborate on its reasoning:NatGeo would only say “the investigation is complete” in a statement released to EW.Though it would not release its findings, it did reveal that StarTalk, Tyson’s talk show that’s now in its fifth season, will return to the air for 13 episodes in April.The network also said it remains “committed” to airing a third season of Cosmos, which is a revival of a franchise created by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan.
Aleksandr Kogan, who created an app that enabled Cambridge Analytica to collect personal details of millions of Facebook users, sued Facebook for defamation on Friday, The New York Times reported.Kogan alleged that Facebook defamed him when it said he lied about how the data collected by the app would be used.He previously said that Facebook and Cambridge Analytica used him as a "scapegoat."The academic who created an app allowing Cambridge Analytica to collect personal details of millions of Facebook users sued Facebook for defamation on Friday, The New York Times reported.According to The Times, Aleksandr Kogan said Facebook defamed him by saying he lied about how the data collected by the app would be used.Facebook said it was told the data would be used for academic purposes.
Ads.txt is finally ready to hit mobile apps.This new initiative, meant to combat ad-savvy fraudsters working in the mobile space, allows ad buyers to ensure they’re buying legitimate product, but first brands and app stores must play ball and embrace the tool.Here’s how it works: A premium app publisher—say, The New York Times—can list off the select ad-tech vendors authorized to sell or resell its personal ad stock.Then, someone buying ad space on a Times-branded-app can look over these lists over to ensure the inventory they’re buying through programmatic channels actually comes from the Times itself, rather than a scammer masquerading as that particular brand.This “domain spoofing” hack is just one of the dozens of ad scams that bleed mountains of cash from mobile advertisers every year.Mobile ad spend hit an all-time high of $76.17 billion last year, according to eMarketer’s estimates, easily outspending ad spend in television, radio or print.