When Donald Trump’s Twitter account was pulled down for 11 minutes earlier this month, the identity of the worker involved remained a mystery.Now, TechCrunch says it has identified the man responsible for Trump’s unexpected moment of social media silence: Bahtiyar Duysak, a German native with Turkish roots who was working at Twitter as a contractor for Pro Unlimited.“In my opinion, it was definitely a mistake, and if I’m involved in this, I really apologize if I hurt anyone,” Duysak told TechCrunch.He attributed the error to a series of coincidences that happened, noting that sometimes he was just tired.On his last day of work, Duysak said someone flagged Trump’s account and he moved the process forward, never thinking that the president’s account would actually get pulled down.Hours later, a woman whom he didn’t know well approached him about his connection to Trump’s account deactivation.
How the tables have turned for Qualcomm.In the latest chapter of the topsy-turvy lengthy legal battle between the two tech giants, Apple countersued Qualcomm, alleging the latter’s Snapdragon mobile phone chips infringed on Apple’s patents, according to Reuters.Two of those were related to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and 820 processors, which powered Samsung phones and Google Pixel phones.Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings.Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.The patents the Cupertino tech giant is alleging were infringed are focused on the phone processor using only the minimum power needed, turning off parts of the processor when not in use and facilitating the processor’s sleep and wake functions.
Andy Rubin, creator of Android, left Google in 2014 soon after an internal investigation found he had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, according to a new report.Rubin, who later founded smartphone maker Essential, is now on leave from his new company.“The Board agreed and our President, Niccolo de Masi, will continue to run day to day operations at Essential.”Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings.Google policy prohibits supervisors from having relationships with their subordinates.Rubin was never told by Google that he engaged in any misconduct while at Google and he did not, either while at Google or since.”
Making a sandwich… industry, or how the sandwich ate Britain.Languages ranked (and mapped) according to how long they take to learn.“Oui out” and other names for European countries’ potential exits from the EU.And real-life drama for Marvel: Its new editor in chief admits he used a Japanese pseudonym.Photo: Chris Hemsworth attends a special screening of Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” at the Whitby Hotel on Oct. 30, 2017, in New York.There’s real-life, Marvel-related drama that has nothing to do with him, but we thought this was a nice picture.
Nobody, it can be imagined, wants a drone falling on their head, especially if it’s a drone large enough to deliver packages for Amazon.Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.Amazon on Nov. 28 received a patent outlining a possible plan for “directed fragmentation for unmanned airborne vehicles” used in deliveries.“The use of UAVs is accompanied by the need for new solutions to various problems, such as service disruptions due to unsuitable weather conditions, equipment malfunctions, and other problems,” reads the text of the patent, which the Seattle firm applied for in June 2016.“Terrain topology information or data can identify certain preferred locations for dropping one or more of the components of the UAV,” the patent document says.“Terrain topology data can identify the locations and boundaries of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings and developments, highways and surface streets, parking lots, stadiums, schools, recreational areas, and other artificial features.”
Uber’s lawyers can’t be trusted, an angry federal judge said Nov. 28 as he lambasted the ride-hailing giant for withholding from him a document full of explosive allegations amid proceedings for Waymo’s trade-secrets lawsuit against Uber, new reports said.“I can no longer trust the words of the lawyers for Uber in this case,” Judge William Alsup said, according to the New York Times.The document was a heavily redacted letter from lawyers for Uber’s former global-intelligence manager Richard Jacobs, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings.Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.Jacobs himself said on the stand today that he was not aware of any Waymo trade secrets being stolen.”
YouTube advertisers are fleeing en masse for the second time this year — this time, over having their ads appear with disturbing videos targeted at kids.And that’s not all: YouTube has also killed hundreds of accounts and removed more than 150,000 videos in the past week, she said, confirming a report by Vice News.The news follows recent reports of disturbing content on some children-focused YouTube channels, made possible by the dangerous combination of algorithms and people’s sick minds.“Across the board we have scaled up resources to ensure that thousands of people are working around the clock to monitor, review and make the right decisions across our ads and content policies,” Johanna Wright, vice president of Product Management, wrote in a blog post.Recent reports have described how kids can be watching perfectly normal YouTube videos one minute and disturbing content the next, such as when “things take a drastic turn when Elsa and Spider-Man arm themselves with automatic weapons,” according to Mashable.Writer James Bridle earlier this month published an in-depth piece exploring how YouTube’s system, designed to reap maximum ad revenue, has given rise to the disturbing videos kids are watching.
Google self-driving-car spinoff Waymo is accusing rival Uber of a dirty legal trick, claiming the ride-sharing giant hid a document as the two wage battle in court over Uber’s alleged theft of Waymo trade secrets.The dispute led a federal court judge on Nov. 28 to postpone the start of the trial, for which jury selection had been scheduled to begin Nov. 29.The two tech titans have been in court since Waymo sued Uber in February, alleging a former Waymo executive stole trade secrets and brought them to Uber, which allegedly used them for its own self-driving-car program.Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings.Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.Uber denies that it has used Waymo technology.
Y Combinator President Sam Altman likes to think about how American workers can be helped as automation and other technologies are poised to revolutionize the economy.He has led other test projects, like his basic income experiment in Oakland, where up to 3,000 participants receive a baseline monthly income with no strings attached.And his newest idea is best summed up by Altman himself, in his blog post from Monday.“I think that every adult US citizen should get an annual share of the US GDP,” wrote Altman.Dubbed “American Equity,” Altman hopes to institute a system in which every American holds equity in the country to help prevent the concentration of wealth as automation takes away low-income and middle-class jobs.Altman was inspired by the joint-stock company model — “one of the most important inventions in human history,” he says — and the 1862 Homestead Act, which distributed Western land to farmers.
Did you go to Amazon yesterday and pick up that Instant Pot countertop pressure cooker that you had your eye on for a while?Maybe you actually listened to your wife (Hi, Sweetie!)Or, did you spend some time deciphering your kids’ Christmas list before scouring the internet and then paying more than you ever thought you would for (insert whatever it was that the little monsters darlings have been haranguing you about for the last several weeks)?Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.Adobe Systems has released its data on all the shopping that occurred on Cyber Monday, and it was enough to build about half of a U.S. aircraft carrier: We spent $6.59 billion on online shopping yesterday.America’s credit card companies would like to express their gratitude for your effort in keeping the economy going.
The point of the “Little Drummer Boy Challenge” is to avoid hearing that darn song for as long as possible this holiday season.We knew tofu was versatile, but now it has been turned into an alcoholic drink, too.Take a spin down memory lane with supercars from the 1980s.And like with most things in life, you can’t go back: on reading the books you loved as a child.Photo: Does KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) from the “Knight Rider” television series count as an ’80s supercar?It’s shown here at Kassabian Motors in Dublin in 2007.
Campbell information-technology firm Barracuda Networks will be sold for $1.6 billion to a major private equity company in a deal that will take Barracuda out of the stock market.“Barracuda will operate as a privately-held company with a continued focus on email security and management, network and application security, and data-protection solutions,” Barracuda said in a press release Nov. 27.“We believe the proposed transaction offers an opportunity for us to accelerate our growth with our industry-leading security platform that’s purpose-built for highly distributed, diverse cloud and hybrid environments.”Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings.Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.Paying all cash for Barracuda is Chicago PE firm Thoma Bravo, which emphasized cybersecurity in a statement.
Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp announced on Monday that he will be resigning at the end of the year after 11 years at the helm.Karp, who was just 20 when he founded Tumblr in 2007, turned the company into a successful social networking site where artists and bloggers can share content.Yahoo, which has since been rebranded as Oath after Verizon acquired it earlier this year, bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013.“David founded Tumblr ten years ago as a space for the world’s creators, and we thank him for his commitment and passion driving the growth of the platform to almost 380 million blogs and over 155 billion posts,” an Oath spokesperson said in a statement.Karp confirmed his resignation on his personal website, sharing a screenshot of his farewell email to Tumblr employees.“I beg you to understand that my decision comes after months of reflection on my personal ambitions, and at no cost to my hopefulness for Tumblr’s future or the impact I know it can have,” wrote Karp.
Facebook on Monday said it’s using artificial intelligence to detect whether someone is likely expressing thoughts of suicide in a post or live video.The tech firm has been grappling with how to respond to suicides streamed in real time on the world’s largest social network.Family and friends of some suicide victims have criticized Facebook for not pulling down videos depicting self harm quickly enough before they go viral.Now the company says it’s stepping up its efforts to prevent people from taking their own life.More workers are also reviewing reports of suicide and self harm and the company said it’s improving how it identifies first responders.Facebook’s suicide prevention efforts underscore how the company is leveraging both technology and workers to tackle life-and-death situations.
More than 200 companies including Twitter, Reddit, Square and Airbnb are urging FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to reconsider his plan to kill net neutrality.The companies cited numbers that show how big e-commerce has become, with Americans spending billions of dollars online on Cyber Monday alone.“Because of the open internet, a web developer can launch a business out of their own apartment, an aspiring fashion designer in Wyoming can sell clothes in Los Angeles, or a caterer can find new customers in their town,” the letter states.“Disastrously, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week released a draft order that would end this open commerce by repealing the current net neutrality rules and eliminating the protections that keep the internet free and open for America’s businesses and consumers.”Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings.The rules prohibit internet access providers from prioritizing certain content over others, and from establishing fast and slow lanes.
Exploring holiday weight gain, which may not be as bad for you as you think.The biggest box-office flops — some of which also destroyed careers or movie companies.Birds engage in “anting,” and nobody knows why.And what happens after one spends $450 million on art possibly painted by Leonardo da Vinci.Photo: “Salvator Mundi,” a 500-year-old painting believed to be by Leonardo da Vinci, has sold for $450.3 million in New York, blazing a new world record for the most expensive work of art sold at auction, Christie’s said on Nov. 15, 2017.
In the runup to this year’s Black Friday shopping frenzy, a search for Amazon on Google was leading users to a tech-support scam.It was Thanksgiving Day and all through the land people were preparing to launch their credit card numbers into the ether in return for a bounty of discounted loot.But some who searched on Google for Amazon saw at the top of the results an ad purportedly from the e-commerce giant, but instead designed to part victims with their cash — and who knows what else.Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.Clicking on the ad brought users to an app running on a Facebook page, then to a fake support site said to be run by Microsoft, saying the computer was infected with malware, CBS reported.The news network called a number on the scammers’ site, and reached a man called “Robert” who had what appeared to be a South Asian accent, CBS reported.
A day after scandal-plagued Uber admitted it covered up for a year a data breach affecting 57 million — and fired its chief security officer — security questions abound.An Uber spokesperson told Reuters the company has been in touch with several state Attorney General Offices.And U.S. lawmakers are urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.Uber’s failure to disclose the breach was probably illegal in U.S. states that have data-breach laws (most of them), although the notification requirements vary, the Wall Street Journal points out.After all, the San Francisco company paid the hackers $100,000 to delete the data — including personal information about drivers and passengers — they accessed, and to keep quiet about the breach, according to Bloomberg.Uber just disclosed what happened Tuesday, a year after the hack occurred.
After inquiries from the Senate, Apple has explained its rationale for why it cooperates with the Chinese government’s demands for censorship: The company wants to engage with Beijing in hopes its authoritarian government will one day see the benefits of freedom of expression.Apple received the inquiries last month from Sens.Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, over Apple’s decision to remove 674 virtual private network (VPN) apps from its App Store in China this year.VPN apps allow users to securely access a private network while sharing data on public networks and were one of the most popular ways to circumvent the Chinese government’s “Great Firewall,” a nickname for legislation and bureaus that regulate and surveil the internet.In their letter to Apple, Cruz and Leahy expressed concerns about Apple “enabling the Chinese government’s censorship and surveillance of the Internet.” Apple’s vice president of public policy, Cynthia Hogan, responded Tuesday, saying the company is not happy to yield to Beijing but the alternative of not cooperating is worse.“We believe that our presence in China helps promote greater openness and facilitates the free flow of ideas and information,” wrote Hogan.
Amid their run for a third basketball championship in four years, the Golden State Warriors now face an off-the-court challenge in a lawsuit over allegations that the team’s Android app eavesdrops on users.U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland ruled on Monday that the Warriors and Signal360, a beacon technology company that partnered with the Warriors and app developer Yinzcam to create the team’s official Android app, must face claims laid out in the suit.The suit, originally filed in September 2016 by New York state-based resident Latisha Satchell, claimed the app used the smartphone’s microphones to listen to and record conversations without the owner’s consent.The app listened to conversations at all times, recorded at times due to a software bug and sent the recorded data to the Warriors and Signal360 when a beacon in the app was detected, according to Satchell’s original complaint.Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings.The app was advertised for Warriors fans to receive live scores and breaking news.