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January 14, 2020 | Via The Guardian

Using Huawei in UK 5G Networks would be ‘Madness’, US says

Using Huawei technology in UK 5G networks would put transatlantic intelligence sharing at risk, senior US officials have told British ministers, warning that allowing the Chinese firm access would be “nothing short of madness”. Ahead of the UK decision the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, said over the weekend that he saw “no reason to think” that using Huawei technology should threaten intelligence sharing with the US

December 20, 2019 | Via BBC

Boeing Successfully Launches Astronaut Capsule for NASA

America has taken another step towards being able to launch its astronauts into orbit again – a capability it’s not had for nearly nine years. The Boeing company has launched a test capsule to the International Space Station (ISS). Known as Starliner, the vehicle is flying uncrewed on this occasion. But if it performs without incident, astronauts will start using the craft next year.

November 12, 2019 | Via BBC

Google Accesses Trove of US Patient Data

Google has gained access to a huge trove of US patient data – without the need to notify those patients – thanks to a deal with a major health firm.
The scheme, dubbed Project Nightingale, was agreed with Ascension, which runs 2,600 hospitals. Google can access health records, names and addresses without telling patients, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

September 11, 2019 | Via NY Times

California Passes Landmark Bill to Remake Gig Economy

California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. The bill passed in a 29 to 11 vote in the State Senate and will apply to app-based companies, despite their efforts to negotiate an exemption.

September 6, 2019 | Via The Guardian

Apple Rewrote Siri to ‘Deflect’ Questions About Feminism

An internal project to rewrite how Apple’s Siri voice assistant handles “sensitive topics” such as feminism and the #MeToo movement advised developers to respond in one of three ways: “don’t engage”, “deflect” and finally “inform”. The project saw Siri’s responses explicitly rewritten to ensure that the service would say it was in favor of “equality”, but never say the word feminism – even when asked direct questions about the topic.

August 5, 2019 | Via Sky News

French Hoverboard Inventor Successfully Crosses the Channel for the First Time

A French inventor has successfully crossed the Channel on his jet-powered hoverboard for the first time. It was the second attempt at the 21-mile crossing for the inventor, who failed his first effort back in July after encountering problems at a refueling station. But after making some necessary changes to his refuelling arrangements, the 40-year-old former jet ski champion was able to make his second attempt a success.

July 25, 2019 | Via BBC

Flyboard Inventor Fails in Cross-Channel Bid

A French inventor has failed in his attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered flyboard. Franky Zapata, a former jet-ski champion, had been hoping to cross from northern France to southern England in just 20 minutes. But the 40-year-old fell into the water halfway across as he tried to land on a boat to refuel. Mr Zapata was not injured when he fell.

July 12, 2019 | Via BBC

Google Probes Leak of Smart Speaker Recordings

Google is investigating how 1,000 conversations recorded by one of its smart speakers were leaked. Belgian broadcaster VRT exposed the recordings made by Google Home devices in Belgium and the Netherlands. The search giant said the recordings came from one of the human reviewers who helps to refine Home’s linguistic abilities. It said it took steps to protect the privacy of people whose recordings its reviewers sampled.

May 24, 2019 | Via Fox News

SpaceX Successfully Launches 60 Satellites into Orbit

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket containing 60 satellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida Thursday evening. The satellites, meant to bring broadband internet to underserved communities, deployed into low-Earth orbit an hour later, according to Space News. The launch is the first of many in SpaceX’s effort to create a global internet mega constellation with one terabit per second of user capacity, Space News reported. SpaceX plans to do three to seven launches this year with the goal of eventually launching up to 12,000 satellites in the next few years, according to Space News.

March 21, 2019 | Via CNBC

EU Regulators Hit Google with $1.7 Billion Fine for Blocking Ad Rivals

The European Union on Wednesday ordered Google to pay 1.49 billion euros ($1.69 billion) for stifling competition in the online advertisement sector. The European Commission said Google had placed exclusivity contracts on website owners, stopping them from including search results from Google’s rivals. The EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said Google had prevented rivals from being able to “compete and innovate fairly” in the online ad market.

January 2020
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