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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: High-Tech

seattlepi.com: Technology News From the Associated Press





 



Facebook now deleting 66K posts a week in anti-hate campaign

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:37:10 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook said Tuesday that it deleted about 66,000 posts a week in the last two months as the social media giant cracks down on what it deems to be hate speech. Almost all tech companies with a social media side are wrestling to find the balance between allowing for free speech, and tamping down on extremism. Last week, Google said it was cracking down on terrorist propaganda and other extremist videos on its YouTube site amid intensifying criticism about the internet's role in mass violence.



Number of people using Facebook reaches 2 billion

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:29:36 UT

CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the new marker was reached early Tuesday and in a Facebook post said that he's proud of the role his company is playing in connecting people around the world. The Menlo Park, California, company is putting more emphasis on creating virtual communities within the site while it also works to reduce violent, hateful and misleading content on the service.



New cyberattack causes mass disruption globally

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:22:21 UT

PARIS (AP) — A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across the world, hitting companies and governments in Europe especially hard. Officials in Ukraine reported serious intrusions of the country's power grid as well as at banks and government offices, where one senior executive posted a photo of a darkened computer screen and the words, "the whole network is down." Russia's Rosneft oil company also reported falling victim to hacking and said it had narrowly avoided major damage, as did Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk. There's very little information about what might be behind the disruption at each specific company, but cybersecurity experts rapidly zeroed in on a form of ransomware, the name given to programs that hold data hostage by scrambling it until a payment is made.



Pandora CEO Tim Westergren departs

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:40:15 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The co-founder and CEO of Pandora, under intensifying competitive pressure from Spotify and Apple Music, has relinquished his position and will step down from the company board as well. After Westergren's return as CEO in March, the company launched a new $10 a month on-demand music service which lets users select the songs they want to hear, copying what Spotify and Apple Music already offers. Tim stepped in to be CEO at a critical time for the company and was quickly able to reset relations with the major labels, launch our on-demand service, reconstitute the management team and refortify our balance sheet by securing an investment from Sirius XM, said board member Tim Leiweke. "During his time as CEO, Mr. Westergren did a commendable job repairing fractured relationships with the music industry enabling Pandora to strike direct licenses with labels so it could offer a full suite of ad-supported and subscription listening services, which we think are critical to the company's future," wrote Egbert.



Uber makes it easier to arrange trips for other riders

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:37:20 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber's ride-hailing app is making it easier for its users to set up trips for seniors and others who may not know their way around a smartphone but still need help getting around town. The new feature, coming out Tuesday in an app update, is primarily designed for Uber users who want a simple way to arrange rides for parents, grandparents and other loved ones unable to drive themselves.



The Latest: US drugmaker Merck also affected by cyberattack

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:10:52 UT

Merck has global locations including in Ukraine, where a new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software causing mass disruption across Europe appeared to be hitting especially hard. Company and government officials reported serious intrusions at the Ukrainian power grid, banks and government offices, where one senior official posted a photo of a darkened computer screen and the words, "the whole network is down." Company and government officials reported serious intrusions at the Ukrainian power grid, banks and government offices, where one senior official posted a photo of a darkened computer screen and the words, "the whole network is down." Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko on Tuesday posted a picture of a darkened computer screen to Twitter, saying that the computer system at the government's headquarters has been shut down. There's very little information about who might be behind the disruption, but technology experts who examined screenshots circulating on social media said it bears the hallmarks of ransomware, the name given to programs that hold data hostage by scrambling it until a payment is made.



Google hit with record fine by EU, told to change its ways

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:34:27 UT

BRUSSELS (AP) — After a seven-year legal battle, European authorities came down hard on Google on Tuesday for taking advantage of its dominance in online searches to direct customers to its own businesses, fining the tech giant a record 2.42 billion euros ($2.72 billion) and raising the prospect of more. A years-long analysis of Google's online search results showed that the company lists links to its own online shopping services above those of rivals, European regulators said. On average, Google lists search results to its biggest rivals in online shopping only on page 4 — and smaller rivals even lower. The ruling that Google is taking advantage of its market dominance in online searches paves the way for a broader crackdown by the EU, which is investigating several other Google businesses, like its online images and travel businesses. [...] there are plenty of search tools — from Camelcamelcamel.com, which tracks Amazon prices over time, to eBates, a shopping portal that offers coupons and cash back from 2,000 online retailers. "Google has become a short cut to buying, not a short cut to saving money," said Benjamin Glaser, features editor of DealNews, a comparison shopping site.



Israel security chief: Agency strikes back at online hackers

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:59:14 UT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's security chief says his agency, the Shin Bet, has gone on the offensive against hackers trying to carry out cyberattacks against Israel on the internet. Israeli cyber officials are ordinarily reluctant to discuss the use of offensive capabilities against hackers.



Ukraine's prime minister says cyberattack 'unprecedented' but 'vital systems haven't been affected'

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:43:02 UT

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's prime minister says cyberattack 'unprecedented' but 'vital systems haven't been affected'



Shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk says its IT systems have been disrupted by hacking

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:21:22 UT

PARIS (AP) — Shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk says its IT systems have been disrupted by hacking.



A look back at the EU's 7 years of legal battle with Google

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:20:18 UT

BRUSSELS (AP) — As the European Union fines Google for abusing its dominance in online searches, here is a look back at the key dates in the bloc's legal tussle with the technology company. The probe includes whether the search results favor Google's services, such as its price comparison business, how it displays the contents of rivals, and how it manages ads. Sept 2014 - After receiving complaints from Google's competitors, the EU appears to make a U-turn on its settlement with Google on search results, declaring it insufficient.



Engineers use replica to pinpoint California dam repairs

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:21:52 UT

The sound of rushing water is deafening as Utah State University hydraulics engineering professor Michael Johnson kneels in front of a replica of an Oroville Dam spillway the size of a small house to examine one of two channels that run the width of the spillway to allow air into the water to prevent bubble formations that can damage the concrete spillway of the real dam. While a separate team of dam experts tries to solve the mystery of why the spillway crumbled last February, the hydrologists who built the replica are using it to guide California authorities on how they should build a new spillway so that it can withstand rushing waters. Besides confirming that the channels to aerate water going down the spillway would ease pressure on the spillway, the Utah testing has determined that an adjustment to a curve about halfway down the spillway would only slightly improve its effectiveness. Each simulation of the 100-foot (30-meter) long replica that took 40 days to build begins when a crew member slowly opens a large steering wheel like valve that sends water screaming down a chute modeled after the spillway and crashing into blocks that disperse it and send it in waves to a replica of the river.



Iridium says newly launched satellites are functioning well

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:09:11 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Iridium Communications says its 10 new satellites launched from California during the weekend are functioning normally. The McLean, Virginia-based company said Monday the satellites will undergo about 45 days of testing to ensure they can be integrated into its operational constellation that provides mobile voice and data communications around the globe.



Germany's Merkel doesn't tweet, but checks Trump on Twitter

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 19:45:55 UT

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she doesn't really do Twitter, but sometimes visits the site to check out what U.S. President Donald Trump has to say.



US official announces cyber pact with Israel

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:44:04 UT

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — President Donald Trump's homeland security adviser has announced a new cybersecurity partnership with Israel. Netanyahu says Israel attracts roughly one-fifth of global private investment in cyber security.