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Preview: L.A. Times - Technology News

L.A. Times - Technology News

Read social media and tech articles from the L.A. Times, covering technology news, social media, apps, electronics and more technology business news.

Last Build Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 17:08:22 -0700

Copyright: ©2018 Los Angeles Times

Facebook needed third-party apps to grow. Now it's left with a privacy crisis

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 16:55:00 PDT

Facebook had only 20 million users when it opened up its budding platform to outside app developers in 2007, giving them much-needed access to the social network’s growing web of friends and family.

The developers built online games, quizzes and dating apps that gave people even more reasons to...


Questions mount for Facebook — and Mark Zuckerberg isn't answering them

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:30:00 PDT

A data mining firm’s alleged misuse of Facebook user data is ballooning into one of the highest-profile crises that the social media giant has ever faced. Yet Facebook’s highest-profile executives have so far been noticeably absent from the conversation.

Since Cambridge Analytica was accused this...


Facebook investors sue the social media giant over voter-profile harvesting

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:40:00 PDT

Facebook investors sued Facebook on Tuesday, blaming the social media giant’s failure to safeguard privacy for a stock slump that followed the revelation that users’ data were harvested without permission by a research firm connected to President Trump.

The world’s largest social media network...


Twitter stock dives after Israel threatens legal action over pro-terrorism tweets

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:50:00 PDT

The Israeli government is considering taking legal action against Twitter Inc. for ignoring repeated requests to remove online content that was inciting or supportive of terrorism, Israel’s justice minister warned Tuesday. Twitter shares tumbled more than 10%, their biggest drop in eight months.


FTC is investigating Facebook over Cambridge Analytica's use of personal data, source says

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 08:20:00 PDT

Facebook Inc. is under investigation by a U.S. privacy watchdog over the use of personal data of 50 million users by a data analytics firm to help elect President Trump.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is probing whether Facebook violated terms of a 2011 consent decree after the recent revelations...


A data mining company allegedly used Facebook to distort users’ reality

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 03:00:00 PDT

Many Facebook users rely on the social network to figure out what’s going on in the world. But what if the world Facebook shows them is wildly distorted?

That’s the question raised after a former employee of a data mining firm that worked for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign alleged the company...


Facebook is testing ways to compensate video creators so it can cut into YouTube’s dominance

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 09:00:00 PDT

If you’re a die-hard fan of a Facebook video creator, the social network may soon give you a way to pay for exclusive content and award you with a digital badge to declare your fandom.

Those are some of the new ideas Facebook is introducing in the coming months to test ways to build up its creator...


Exploiting Facebook data to influence voters? That’s a feature, not a bug, of the social network

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 15:05:00 PDT

With each comment, like and share, users provide Facebook with a deeply personal window into their lives.

The result of that voluntary behavior? Advertisers looking to finely target their pitches can glean someone’s hobbies, what they like to eat and even what makes them happy or sad — propelling...


New way to recycle lithium-ion batteries could be a lifeline for electric cars and the environment

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:40:00 PDT

The promise of a global electric-vehicle transformation has a looming problem.

The cathodes in the lithium-ion batteries typically used in electric vehicles are made of metal oxides that contain cobalt, a metal found in finite supplies and concentrated in one of the globe’s more precarious countries.


Snap stock slides after Rihanna denounces domestic violence-themed ad

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:35:00 PDT

Pop singer Rihanna criticized Snap Inc. for running an ad that asked Snapchat users to decide whether they wanted to slap her or punch Chris Brown, saying it made a joke of her history as a victim of domestic violence.

Snapchat removed the ad, which was placed by a video game company, and apologized,...


California lawsuits accuse Uber and Lyft of discriminating against wheelchair users

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:10:00 PDT

If a person wants to drive for Uber or Lyft but doesn’t have a car, both ride-hailing companies steer them toward rental cars.

If a driver doesn’t feel like getting behind the wheel when it rains, both companies sweeten the deal by offering additional pay.

If a driver’s car isn’t wheelchair accessible,...


What is 5G and why did Trump nix a huge tech deal to boost America's lead in its development?

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 03:00:00 PDT

Self-driving cars. Internet-connected homes. Smart cities.

Innovations like these are expected to reshape the technology industry and society at large — but none will take off without stronger wireless infrastructure, known as 5G.

The fifth-generation mobile network will vastly expand the speed...


Blocking of Qualcomm takeover could end the tech industry's cozy ties to Beijing

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 17:20:00 PDT

Thanks to its breathtaking market size and unparalleled manufacturing base, China has long held sway over U.S. technology companies.

But the Trump administration’s unusual decision Monday to block a foreign hostile takeover of chipmaker Qualcomm could limit the companies’ ability to continue accommodating...


Trump blocks Broadcom from buying Qualcomm, citing national security

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 16:50:00 PDT

In the latest example of his tough stance against foreign takeovers of U.S. technology companies, President Trump on Monday blocked Broadcom Ltd. from acquiring Qualcomm Inc., scuttling the proposed $117-billion deal on national security grounds.

The president issued the executive order on a recommendation...


Dropbox dials down its valuation goals as its IPO nears

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 15:20:00 PDT

Silicon Valley darling Dropbox Inc. is aiming to go public at a valuation well below the $10 billion it clocked in at after its last private funding round, despite posting healthy revenue growth and turning cash-flow positive in the intervening four years.

The file-sharing company is targeting...


Qualcomm's chairman steps down, and Intel reportedly considers acquiring Broadcom

Fri, 9 Mar 2018 15:35:00 PST

Qualcomm Inc. longtime executive Paul Jacobs is taking a reduced role on the company’s board of directors — a move likely aimed at appeasing angry shareholders as the San Diego cellular giant tries to fend off a hostile takeover from Broadcom Ltd.

Meanwhile, rival chipmaker Intel Corp. — not eager...


Snap Inc. lays off more than 120 engineers as it looks to be more efficient and one day turn a profit

Thu, 8 Mar 2018 15:45:00 PST

The maker of the youthful video messaging app Snapchat is cutting more than 120 engineering jobs, reining in costs as it seeks to mature its business.

Snap Inc. says the job cuts aren’t related to its finances and that it intends to fill some of the open positions. The company plans to bring on...


Snap Inc. reportedly plans to lay off 100 engineers

Wed, 7 Mar 2018 19:20:00 PST

Snap Inc. plans to lay off about 100 software engineers, or 10% of its engineering workforce, according to multiple news reports.

The planned cuts were first reported by the video news outlet Cheddar, which cited unnamed sources.

Snap did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Venice...


Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick starts investment fund focused on 'large-scale job creation'

Wed, 7 Mar 2018 16:55:00 PST

There’s life after Uber for Travis Kalanick.

The ride-hailing giant’s co-founder and controversial former chief executive tweeted Wednesday that he will start an investment fund called 10100.

“Over the past few months I’ve started thinking about what’s next,” Kalanick wrote. “I’ve begun making...


Broadcom hopes a $1.5-billion pledge will ease national security concerns over Qualcomm deal

Wed, 7 Mar 2018 07:35:00 PST

Broadcom Ltd. said it plans to create a new $1.5-billion fund to ensure America’s lead in future wireless technology, responding to U.S. government concerns that the chip maker’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm Inc. could hurt its competitiveness and threaten national security.

The Committee on Foreign...


U.S. outlines national security concerns over Broadcom's bid to buy Qualcomm

Tue, 6 Mar 2018 13:35:00 PST

U.S. officials worry that if Broadcom Ltd. succeeds in its hostile takeover of Qualcomm Inc., that might weaken the San Diego chip maker and open the door for China to become the leader in next-generation wireless technologies, among other national security concerns.

The Treasury Department laid...


BlackBerry sues Facebook over messaging tech, alleging patent infringement

Tue, 6 Mar 2018 12:40:00 PST

BlackBerry Ltd. is suing Facebook Inc., accusing the social media giant of patent infringement. The former smartphone maker is alleging that Facebook’s massively popular messaging applications use technology that BlackBerry invented.

Apps including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp use some messaging...


Broadcom's bid to take over Qualcomm is delayed for a national security review

Mon, 5 Mar 2018 17:05:00 PST

Qualcomm has been handed a 30-day reprieve from Broadcom’s $117-billion hostile takeover bid so U.S. regulators can conduct a national security investigation of the potential deal.

In an unusual move late Sunday, the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. ordered Qualcomm to delay...


Likes, comments and sometimes sales — how Instagram is shaping the art world

Mon, 5 Mar 2018 03:00:00 PST

As a member of a millennia-old profession, 28-year-old artist Laura Rokas can do her job — painting, sculpting, drawing, weaving — without the help of most modern technology. But the Bay Area artist makes one exception: Instagram.

Since its launch in 2010, the photo and video sharing app has become...


Spectacles at first did not succeed, but Snap will try, try again, report says

Fri, 2 Mar 2018 13:20:00 PST

Snap Inc. is reportedly giving Spectacles, its camera-equipped sunglasses, at least two more tries.

The Venice maker of the video messaging app Snapchat is working on two new versions of the glasses to improve upon its poorly selling original version, according to the video news outlet Cheddar.