Technology

Starbucks Order for User Up

August 3, 2022
The context
Starbucks is entering the Web3 space with a token-based rewards program that will launch next month. The coffee-themed NFTs will provide users with exclusive rewards and promotions.
Starbucks Order for User Up

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Technology

Amazon Rings Viral TV

August 12, 2022
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The context
MGM, a production company, owned by Amazon, is developing a viral video show featuring footage from Amazon Ring cameras.
Technology
Friday, August 12, 2022

Amazon Rings Viral TV

The context
MGM, a production company, owned by Amazon, is developing a viral video show featuring footage from Amazon Ring cameras.
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Ring ring

  • MGM is developing the show "Ring Nation" hosted by comedian Wanda Sykes. The show will feature videos from the Amazon Ring.
  • The show will reportedly feature videos of people falling, proposals, and other shenanigans.
  • Amazon acquired Ring in 2018 and has caught significant flack over the use of footage in police investigations. Amazon bought MGM, the company making the show, earlier this year.
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Sykes signs in

  • Comedian Wanda Sykes will host the show.
  • The series will feature videos submitted by users of the Ring camera.
  • The show is expected to debut on September 26.
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Technology

Australia Fines Google

August 12, 2022
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The context
Google has been hit with a $43 million fine by the Australian court for misleading users about the collection and use of their location data on Android phones.
Technology
Friday, August 12, 2022

Australia Fines Google

The context
Google has been hit with a $43 million fine by the Australian court for misleading users about the collection and use of their location data on Android phones.
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Location tracking

  • Google will pay up after they were found to have breached Australian Consumer Law from 2017-2018 by failing to accurately represent which settings allowed Google to compile and use location data from Android phone users.
  • Google tried to fix the settings error by the end of 2018.
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Secretive practices

  • The case began in 2019 when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission began investigating Google's collection of personal location data from Android users without their explicit consent.
  • The setting, "Web & App Activity," which enabled location tracking, did not specify that increased search speed or accuracy would be powered by Google knowing the phone's location. Users could only turn off the location tracking element in a completely different setting.
  • When setting up a google account on Android, the settings failed to mention that they use location tracking data, giving users no option to opt-out.
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The context
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that teens are abandoning Facebook and spending most of their time on Youtube, Tik Tok, and Instagram.
Technology
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Meta Waves Goodbye to Teens

The context
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that teens are abandoning Facebook and spending most of their time on Youtube, Tik Tok, and Instagram.
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Meh attitude

  • While Gen Z's screentime is increasing, their usage of Facebook is declining. The generation seems to have moved on from Facebook. Only 32% of teens use the platform.
  • While Facebook struggles, Tik Tok is thriving. 67% of teens use the video-sharing app.
  • The latest data reflect an attitude of ambivalence amongst teens towards Facebook.
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Over it

  • Teens spend most of their time on Youtube, with Tik Tok, Snapchat, and Instagram as solid contenders for their time.
  • YouTube is used by 95% of teens.
  • In 2013, a Pew Research study of teens' social media use showed that 71% of teens used Facebook.
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June 8, 2022

This Week In Technology June 2nd

This week, the COO of Meta, Sheryl Sandberg, is stepping down, Elon Musk demanded employees return to the office, and Clearview AI got some bad news.
 This Week In Technology June 2nd
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Sources: 

COO No More

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Meta (Facebook), announced she would be stepping down after 14 years.

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Tesla's Back In the Office

Elon Musk declared that Tesla workers should return to the office full time or get lost.

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Facial Technology Clampdown

Privacy watchdogs and AI innovators disagree on the way forward for facial recognition technology.

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Entertainment
May 19, 2022

This Week in Entertainment

The defamation trial of actress Amber Heard and actor Johnny Depp raged on and singer Eric Clapton’s European tour is on hold.

This Week in Entertainment
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Sources: 
ABC, Newsweek, Fox News, Billboard, The Hill, CNN

Ongoing: Amber Heard V. Johnny Depp

May 20th, 2022 

Actor Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, for defamation over an op-ed penned by Heard about her experience with domestic abuse. The op-ed is allegedly about her marriage to Depp. 

Clapton on Hold

May 18th, 2022

Guitarist and singer Eric Clapton announced that he would cancel two shows on his European tour after testing positive for Covid-19. 

Try something new

Go back in time

The context
The House passed the Inflation Reduction Act today, sending the ambitious spending bill to Biden's desk. The bill includes landmark spending on climate change initiatives, healthcare, and new tax provisions.
Politics
Friday, August 12, 2022

Inflation Reduction Act Off to Biden

The context
The House passed the Inflation Reduction Act today, sending the ambitious spending bill to Biden's desk. The bill includes landmark spending on climate change initiatives, healthcare, and new tax provisions.
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Off to Biden

  • The bill is a long-awaited victory for the Biden administration, who made passing a new Democratic spending agenda a core part of his presidential campaign.
  • The bill almost died in the Senate but was revived when Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer reached a compromise on the current bill to avoid a Republican filibuster.
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Key wins

  • President Biden's administration has secured some key wins in cooperation with Congress. In addition to passing the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress passed the PACT Act, approved Finland and Sweden's applications to NATO, a bill requiring background checks for young gun buyers, and the CHIPS and Science Act.
  • While most Republicans were not sold on the bill, Democrats passed the bill in the House today.
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House seals the deal

  • The bill includes $740 million in spending to enact new climate change initiatives, make healthcare less expensive, and create new tax provisions.
  • The bill passed the House with a 220-207 vote.
  • Senate Democrats have been negotiating the bill's specifics for about a year. Every House Democrat voted in support of the bill.
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The context
The unsealed warrant obtained by the FBI to seize 33 items revealed that the FBI was looking for documents related to espionage, nuclear weapons, and classified secrets when they raided former President Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago.
Politics
Friday, August 12, 2022

Trump Warrant Unsealed

The context
The unsealed warrant obtained by the FBI to seize 33 items revealed that the FBI was looking for documents related to espionage, nuclear weapons, and classified secrets when they raided former President Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago.
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Warrant still under wraps

  • While the warrant obtained by the Justice Department that authorized the raid on Mar-a-Lago remains sealed, sources close to the investigation told reporters at the Washington Post that the warrant was to find documents that were related to nuclear weapons.
  • The documents were taken from the White House and stored at Mar-a-Lago.
  • The Post emphasized that the seizure of the documents reflected the anxiety felt by the Department of Justice about classified secrets and documents about nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands.
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Trump disagrees

  • President Trump responded to the report, calling the allegations that the documents pertained to nuclear secrets false.
  • He has not opted to release a list of the documents taken from his residence, even though the FBI gave him such a list.
  • Trump did say that his lawyers will not oppose the release of the list of the original warrant used to search Mar-a-Lago.
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Receipts

  • The receipt of the items taken in the raid was also publicized today.
  • The list of items contains a dossier regarding the pardon of Roger Stone, documents about the President of France Emmanuel Macron, and several other classified documents.
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Authorized search

  • The warrant reveals that the DOJ is investigating Trump for three possible criminal violations: violating the Espionage Act by sharing defense information, tampering with records, and hiding records from the National Archives.
  • The warrant authorized the agents to remove anything that had evidence of the three criminal violations from Mar-a-Lago.
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Investigation escalates

  • The issuing judge unsealed the warrant obtained by the FBI to search Mar-a-Lago in search of documents that Trump took from the White House.
  • The warrant revealed that the DOJ is investigating Trump under the Espionage Act and for potential obstructions of justice.
  • The agents were instructed to seize any documents that were categorized as classified, showed evidence of tampering, or were related to domestic defense.
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The context
Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke for the first time today about the decision to raid Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago. Garland said that he signed off on the search and has moved to unseal the search and seizure warrant and publicize the list of items taken in the raid.
Politics
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Merrick Garland Takes the Mike

The context
Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke for the first time today about the decision to raid Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago. Garland said that he signed off on the search and has moved to unseal the search and seizure warrant and publicize the list of items taken in the raid.
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Garland speaks

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland delivered two minutes of remarks in response to the growing anger amongst Republicans over the search of Mar-a-Lago.
  • He called the raid a necessity since earlier attempts to recover the documents Trump's team was storing in Florida had failed.
  • He added that he filed a motion to unseal the warrant, which granted the FBI permission to conduct the raid and seize the documents from Mar-a-Lago. He also moved to unseal the receipt of the items taken in the raid.
  • Garland reminded reporters that the FBI is filled with dedicated civil servants, and attempts to disparage the agency's agents were misguided.
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Team informed

  • In his remarks, Garland told reporters that Trump's legal team had been informed of the search and that a representative from his counsel was present during the search.
  • Trump will have the opportunity to request that the warrant and receipt of seizure remain sealed.
  • The raid was in response to a DOJ investigation on behalf of the National Archives that is requesting the return of documents that Trump removed from the White House and stored at Mar-a-Lago.
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Technology
May 19, 2022

This Week in Tech

Meta caught the attention of researchers and investors. Sony released new earbuds that caught many a gearhead’s attention, and the DOJ declared it would no longer charge “good faith” hackers who partake in security research. 

This Week in Tech
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Sources: 
Fortune, Microsoft News, Euronews, TechCrunch, TNW, Gizmodo, CNET, Vice

Meta-Maniacs

May 18th, 2022

Zuckerberg’s brainchild, the Metaverse, struggles to find lift-off on the markets with mixed results. 

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Sources: Fortune, Microsoft News, Euronews

Sony’s New Earbuds Hit The Market 

May 18th, 2022

Sony’s the name on everybody’s lips today as they announced they are releasing a $200 wireless earbud, and social media is aflame with reviews for their noise-canceling earphones.

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Sources: TechCrunch, TNW, Gizmodo

Good Day To Be a Good Faith Hacker

May 19th, 2022

The DOJ announced on May 19th that they would no longer prosecute so-called “good faith hackers” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The decision protects hackers who expose security flaws in the interest of public good. 

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Sources: TechCrunch, CNET, Vice

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