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Senate bill would make online political ads more transparent

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:22:32 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation floated by two Democratic senators would enhance transparency for online political ads, requiring social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to keep a public file of election ads and communications. The bill by Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota would try to fill what they call a "major gap" in election advertising transparency. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, the two say the legislation would also require companies to "make reasonable efforts" to ensure that election ads are not purchased directly or indirectly by a foreign national.



Miss Turkey dethroned over 'unacceptable' tweet on coup

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 19:07:45 UT

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Organizers have stripped Miss Turkey 2017 of her crown over a social media posting that was deemed insulting to the memory of the 250 people killed while opposing last year's failed military coup. Miss Turkey organizers said the 18-year-old Itir Esen was dethroned on Friday, a day after she won the contest and the right to represent Turkey at the Miss World contest in China. The organizers said in an emailed statement that her title was revoked because of a tweet in July that they described as "unacceptable." Runner-up Asli Sumen will now represent Turkey in China.



Not home? Walmart wants to walk in and stock your fridge

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:54:20 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Would you be OK with letting a stranger into your house for the sake of convenience? Walmart is testing the idea with a new service that lets a delivery person walk into your home when you're not there to drop off packages or put groceries in the fridge. "This may not be for everyone," wrote Sloan Eddleston, Walmart's head of e-commerce strategy, in a blog post Friday; "but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future." The retailer said it is trying out the service with a small group of tech-savvy Walmart.com shoppers in California's Silicon Valley who have internet-connected locks.



In new setback, Uber to lose license to work in London

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:46:58 UT

LONDON (AP) — Uber will lose its license to operate in London because it may be endangering public safety and security, the local regulator said Friday, in a severe blow to a company already facing big questions over its corporate culture. The company, which has been beset by a litany of scandals over its management style — from accusations of sexism to the illegal use of software to trick regulators — was told it was not "fit and proper" to keep operating in London, where it has 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers.



Lawyer: Hacker in Spanish custody sought by US, Russia

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:57:05 UT

MADRID (AP) — Russian authorities are fighting the extradition of an alleged Russian hacker from Spain to the United States, the suspect's lawyer said Friday, in the latest move by Moscow to block U.S. prosecution of suspected Russian cybercriminals. Pyotr Levashov, a 37-year-old known as one of the world's most notorious hackers, was arrested earlier this year while vacationing with his family in Barcelona on a request from the U.S., where authorities want him on charges of fraud and unauthorized interception of electronic communications.



California hits Gatorade in court for "anti-water" videogame

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:16:27 UT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gatorade has agreed not to make disparaging comments about water as part of a $300,000 settlement reached Thursday with California over allegations it misleadingly portrayed water's benefits in a cellphone game where users refuel Olympic runner Usain Bolt. The game, downloaded 30,000 times in California and 2.3 million times worldwide, is no longer available. The dispute between the sports-drink company and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was settled in less than a day after Becerra filed a complaint in Los Angeles County. Becerra's complaint alleges the game, called Bolt!, misleadingly portrayed the health benefits of water in a way that could harm children's nutritional choices.



Facebook to release Russia ads, beef up election 'integrity'

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:09:31 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is slowly acknowledging the outsized — if unintended — role it played in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Bowing to pressure from lawmakers and the public, the company said it will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators, while also pledging to make political advertising on its platform more "transparent." "I don't want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook video and wrote in an accompanying post . "That's not what we stand for.



The Latest: Warner eyes social-media political-ad regulation

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 22:48:01 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Facebook and the Russia investigation (all times local): 6:15 p.m. The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel says he is pleased with Facebook's announcement that the company is going to provide Congress with thousands of ads bought by Russians and increase transparency. But he's still planning legislation to prevent foreign election interference in social media. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is writing a bill that would require social media companies to disclose who funded political ads, similar to television broadcasters. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that the company would require similar disclosures.



Tech companies targeted by sophisticated malware attack

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 22:20:33 UT

Security researchers say hackers compromised popular computer-cleaning software as part of a sophisticated attack that targeted several high-profile technology companies. The company that sells CCleaner software, Prague-based Avast Software, says the attack affected more than 2 million computers in late August and early September. San Jose, California-based Cisco Systems and its Talos cybersecurity group discovered and disclosed the breach after hackers targeted Cisco's own internal domain, as well as domains of Microsoft, Google, Samsung and other tech companies.



Mueller investigators seek documents from the White House

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:56:35 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators is seeking information from the White House related to Michael Flynn's stint as national security adviser and about the response to a meeting with a Russian lawyer that was attended by President Donald Trump's oldest son, The Associated Press has learned. Mueller's office has requested a large batch of documents from the White House and is expected to interview at least a half-dozen current and former aides in the coming weeks. Lawyers for the White House are in the process of trying to cooperate with the document requests.



StoryCorps' Thanksgiving Listen asks kids to record elders

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:40:19 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — StoryCorps is hoping people give their social media apps a break for a few minutes this Thanksgiving and instead use one designed for listening. The nonprofit oral history project on Thursday announced the 2017 edition of its Great Thanksgiving Listen, which calls for high school students to record a conversation with an elder over the holiday weekend using the StoryCorps app. Students can also add photos and videos to their stories and upload them to an online StoryCorps archive. They'll also be included in a StoryCorps collection at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.



Leaders to tech firms at UN: Remove terror posts in 2 hours

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:46:03 UT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The leaders of Britain, France and Italy are setting an ambitious goal for tech companies to tackle online posts that promote terrorism: Take them down within an hour or two. Convening world and tech leaders Wednesday at the United Nations, British Prime Minister Theresa May said internet companies are making progress but need to go "further and faster" to keep violent extremist material from spreading online. The average lifetime of Islamic State extremists' online propaganda shrank from six days to 36 hours in the first six months of this year, May said. "That is still 36 hours too long," she said.



Dutch appeals court upholds ban on former Dutch Uber service

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:56:56 UT

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An appeals court has upheld the Dutch government's ban on a former Uber ride-hailing service in the Netherlands. The College of Appeal for Businesses ruled Thursday that the government was justified in imposing penalty payments linked to its ban on UberPop. The service was banned in 2014 because it enabled drivers without a taxi license to pick up passengers. Uber halted the service in 2015 in the Netherlands. It operates other services in Dutch cities using licensed drivers. Other countries, including France and Germany, also have banned UberPop. In the same ruling, the court upheld Uber's appeal against a penalty payment of 650,000 euros ($775,000) linked to another of the company's services, UberX.



Review: iTunes video upgrade makes the new Apple TV worth it

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:23:06 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — It might seem odd to review the new Apple TV streaming device — one specifically designed to display super-sharp video known as 4K — without actually owning a 4K TV. But in a way, that's the point. Most people still don't have 4K TVs, so the new Apple TV model doesn't offer them much. But if you're an Apple fan and already have 4K, the choice is clear. The new Apple TV 4K is out Friday starting at $179, or $30 more than the regular model. It's a small difference compared with the price of your TV. It's worth noting that alternatives to Apple TV are cheaper and equally capable at a basic level. All of the devices connect to a TV so you can stream most major video services on a big screen.



Google buys HTC's Pixel team in $1.1B bet on devices

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:00:57 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is biting off a big piece of device manufacturer HTC for $1.1 billion to expand its efforts to build phones, speakers and other gadgets equipped with its arsenal of digital services. It's buying the HTC engineering team that built the Pixel smartphone for Google in a cash deal, the companies said in a joint statement Thursday. Google is also getting a non-exclusive license for Taiwan-based HTC's intellectual property to help support Pixel phones. The deal underscores how serious Google is becoming about designing its own family of devices to compete against Apple and Amazon in a high-stakes battle to become the technological hub of people's lives.