Facebook And Google Competed For Anti-immigration Ad Dollars During The 2016 Election

  • In a textbook illustration of the conflict of interest between Facebook and Google’s ostensible dedication to free speech and their ostensible espousal of progressive values, the internet giants reportedly took millions in advertising money from a major anti-immigration group at the same time as both were engaged in pro-immigration advocacy.
  • Bloomberg reports that both companies worked with Secure America Now, which spent millions on ads on the platforms during the 2016 election.
  • And these weren’t merely banner ads placed on popular keywords for xenophobes.
  • A few short months later, in January, both companies spoke out forcefully against anti-immigration efforts, specifically the newly sworn-in President’s executive order that attempted (unsuccessfully) to ban immigrants from several Muslim-majority countries.
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch

Security Flaws In Children’s Smartwatches Make Them Vulnerable To Hackers

  • Internet connected smartwatches for children have been found to contain security vulnerabilities which allow hackers access to track the wearer's location, eavesdrop on conversations or even communicate with the child user.And with some of these devices, data is transmitted and stored without encryption, says an investigation by the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC).
  • Flaws included allowing information about the child's location to be revealed, provided unauthorised access to accounts and allowing attackers to manipulate the information given to the parents about the child's location."The severity and extent of the security holes suggest that the companies have taken few precautions to safeguard the consumer's personal data.
  • In addition to the security flaws, a common theme across all watches tested is that none of the companies behind them asked for consent to the processing of personal data when setting up an account, with Gator 2 failing to supply terms of use.

Barry Diller Won’t Be Uber’s Next Chairman; Accolade Adds To Its Executive Board

  • Uber’s search for new leadership has been a long and tough one, with rumors, surprise twists and drama that rival prime-time TV shows.
  • Now another prospective name has been slashed from the list: Media mogul and Expedia Chairman Barry Diller says he won’t be the company’s next independent chairman, according to a report from Recode.
  • Longtime Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi joined the company as its new CEO in late August.
Clare McGrane / GeekWire

Veo Robotics Raises $12 Million For Its Vision Of A Harmonious Human-robot Workplace

  • Since Issac Asimov first laid out the three laws of robotics in 1942, human safety has been the number one concern of the inventors, innovators and futurists that have pondered our place in the age of robots.
  • But for robots to be able to ensure human safety, those robots have to be able to see humans and recognize them as humans.
  • The Cambridge, Mass.-based company sees itself as building the brains for robotic systems — the ability for these robots to be aware of their surroundings.
  • It’s also something that Veo’s founding team, chief executive Patrick Sobalvarro; Clara Vue, the company’s vice president of engineering; and Scott Denenberg, Veo’s senior director of hardware; have spent a combined 50 years addressing through work in robotics, artificial intelligence, sensor perception and industrial automation.
Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch

Baidu Plans To Roll Out Self-driving Buses And Cars

  • Baidu CEO Robin Li outlined company's self-driving vehicle goals for the next few years onstage at the Wall Street Journal’s D.Live technology conference, touting a plan to roll out driverless busses in China next year, semi-autonomous vehicles by 2019, and fully autonomous cars by 2021.
  • Li also revealed that Baidu spends about $1.5 billion on self-driving R&D efforts annually, which amounts to about 15 percent of the company's revenue.
  • The driverless bus will be manufactured by an unnamed Chinese bus maker, with plans to run one predetermined route when its ready for service.
  • Baidu's aggressive plans will likely depend in part on the rapid development of the Apollo autonomous program, an open-source self-driving platform the company launched earlier this year.
Brett Williams / Mashable

Adobe Announces Updates Across Its Creative Cloud Lineup

  • Three Adobe apps that have been available in a beta capacity are officially launching, including Adobe XD CC for user interface design, Adobe Dimension CC for 2D to 3D compositing, and Adobe Character Animator CC for 2D character animations.
  • Adobe is also introducing a new Lightroom CC app that includes a built-in cloud storage feature, and it is announcing feature updates for Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, and Premiere Pro.
  • "Adobe continues to lead the creative revolution, driving modernization and innovation that will accelerate the creative process across all platforms and devices," said Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Media at Adobe.
  • Adobe is integrating the Lightroom cloud catalog into Photoshop for quicker access to Lightroom photos, there are new tools for editing 360 spherical panoramic images, and new Range Masks make it easier to make local adjustments with fine control.
Juli Clover / MacRumors

InVision Takes On Sketch And Adobe XD With Its New Studio Design App

  • InVision’s made a name for itself with its suite of tools for prototyping and collaborating on mobile and web design projects; it’s now taking things a step further with the launch of Studio, a desktop app for designing responsive apps and sites from start to finish.
  • With its new app for MacOS and Windows, the company hopes to take the fight to popular design software like Sketch and Adobe XD.
  • Studio features an array of tools for designing for screens, as well as the ability to add in animations and transitions, and an intelligent engine that helps you create responsive layouts.
  • You can also share your work and get feedback from colleagues, share components with others, and buy design element kits from InVision’s store right within the app.
Abhimanyu Ghoshal / The Next Web

Adobe Lightroom CC Faces An Uphill Climb

  • For years I've been urging Adobe to rebuild its Lightroom image editing software on top of a more robust database than its years'-old problem child that randomly corrupts itself and doesn't speak network, among other things.
  •  At this year's Adobe Max conference, along with feature and performance updates to the usual suspects, the company rolled out its revamped photography subscription plans -- including the final buh-bye to the you-can-use-it-without-paying-annually version of Lightroom.
  • You have no granular control over what lives locally or selectively sync, which means some people are going to hit that 1TB limit fast.
Lori Grunin / CNET

RxAdvance Honored By Goldman Sachs For Entrepreneurship

McAfee Introduces Advanced Analytics To Protect Endpoints And The Cloud

  • Security teams face ever larger and more complex amounts of data which can hinder their ability to defend against threats.
  • McAfee is introducing new solutions that make use of the automation, reasoning and data duration provided by advanced analytics technologies, allowing security teams to easily discover and assess data and root out threats.
  • McAfee Investigator uses both machine learning and artificial intelligence, to increase accuracy and confidence of investigations by automating data collection and empowering security analysts of varied experience to fully assess threats in less time.
  • It allows analysts to focus on the most significant threats by using advanced analytics to automatically collect, piece together and visually present suspected attack intelligence.
Ian Barker / BetaNews

New Amazon Office Building Sells For $313M In One Of Seattle Region’s Priciest Real Estate Deals

  • Amazon just moved in to a big new office building on the other side of Lake Washington from its Seattle headquarters, and the owners of the downtown Bellevue, Wash.
  • Schnitzer West said this week it has sold Centre 425, a 16-story, 356,909-square-foot office building leased entirely to Amazon for $313 million.
  • “With tech giants Amazon and Microsoft each occupying more than 10 million square feet in their Seattle-based corporate headquarters, and Facebook and Google calling Seattle home for their HQ2 campuses, we will continue to expand our Seattle footprint,” David Edelstein, president of Tristar Capital, said in a press release.
  • With this deal, Tristar and RFR have dropped more than $1.1 billion on a quartet of office buildings over the last year, totaling 1.3 million square feet, all occupied by tech giants.
Nat Levy / GeekWire

Facebook, Google Reportedly Helped Anti-refugee Campaign

  • For the right price, Facebook and Google will reportedly help promote ads that go against their public values.Facebook and Google have both publicly supported refugees.
  • Facebook and Google have both publicly supported refugees. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg promised in 2015 to bring internet access to refugee camps, and the search engine giant donated more than $20 million in grants for the refugee crisis.
  • The ads, led by conservative advocacy group Secure America Now, were designed to instill fear of immigrants and refugees, said Bloomberg.
  • Both tech companies have been the subject of debate recently over their role in dealing with controversial and political advertisers.
Alfred Ng / CNET

Due To Legal Settlement, Amazon Customers Now Get A Few Extra Bucks

  • On Wednesday, Amazon sent out another installment of payments relating to its “Apple eBooks Antitrust Settlement”—except this time, it was to settle related lawsuits brought by a group of state-level attorneys general.
  • In 2014, Amazon paid out based on settlements with book publishers—including Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster—which allegedly conspired with Apple to fix e-book prices in 2012.
  • As Ars reported previously, the case began way back in 2012, when Apple and five publishers (Penguin, HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan) were sued by the Department of Justice and 33 states’ attorney general offices for conspiring to offer e-books at a higher price than Amazon’s loss-leading $9.99.
  • In 2016, the Supreme Court declined to hear Apple’s appeal, which meant the $450 million settlement stood.
Cyrus Farivar / Ars Technica

The FAA Is Finally Letting Drones Fly Over Crowds

  • If you’ve been following the swift progress being made in using drones for commercial applications like delivery, you’ll have noticed few of the trials ever take place in the U.S. IcelandSwitzerlandBritainAustraliaRwandaTanzania? Sure. But America, not so much.
  • Now, though, Bloomberg reports that CNN has received the first FAA waiver to let it perform unlimited drone flights over people.
  • That’s because while the FAA’s chief has admitted that the government needs to move fast in order to help the nascent industry grow, the agency has done little to push things forward so far.
  • The FAA is worried, predominantly, about collisions and crashes. But sensingdrone flight control, and crash safety are all improving...
Jamie Condliffe / MIT Technology Review

Apple’s Self-driving Car Rig Reportedly Spotted Out In The Wild

  • Apple's car doesn't quite look like this.Image: Getty Images/mashable compositeBy Brett Williams2017-10-18 18:01:00 UTC
  • Apple's secretive automotive project has flown under the radar over the past several months after news leaked that the company was granted permission to test a self-driving car platform and entered the race to develop autonomous cars — but that doesn't mean that the cars stopped roving the roads to gather data.
  • A keen-eyed observer, MacAllister Higgins, spotted what he believes to be the latest version of Apple's self-driving rig out in the wild and posted a video to Twitter, first reported by The Verge.
  • Higgins is more than just a casual Apple fan, however — he's a robotics engineer and happens to be a co-founder of Voyage, a self-driving startup that recently launched its own pilot program in San Jose.
Brett Williams / Mashable