US Tech Companies Under Scrutiny in White House Russia Probe

Inside a converted port terminal, thousands of tech entrepreneurs gathered this week to pitch their ideas at TechCrunch Disrupt, an annual event that focuses on emerging technologies. But this is no ordinary time for the tech industry, which finds itself under increasing scrutiny from Washington over how Russia used social media to influence the U.S. elections. This week, Facebook announced that it would give U.S. lawmakers access to ads linked…

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London to End Uber Ride Hailing App Over ‘Security Implications’

Transport officials in London say they will not renew Uber’s license to operate in the city due to “a lack of corporate responsibility” in dealing with the ride hailing app’s safety issues. The regulatory body Transport for London said in a statement Friday Uber London “is not fit and proper” to operate in the city. TfL considers that “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation…

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Tech Under Scrutiny in Russian Investigation

The tech industry pitches itself as a force for good, connecting the world and helping information flow freely. But Silicon Valley is under increasing scrutiny with reports that people in Russia were able to use these services to target and influence U.S. public sentiment. At TechCrunch Disrupt, a big tech conference this week in San Francisco, VOA’s Michelle Quinn walked around tech booths to find out how those pitching their…

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Iraqis Track Abandoned Homes With Digital Tools

In camps across northern Iraq, people forced from their homes by Islamic State militants are using their phones to track what is happening to their properties, according to researchers who say returning home is crucial for building a safe future in the war-torn nation. More than three million Iraqis have been driven from their homes, land and farms, according to the United Nations, many of them by armed groups like…

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Facebook to Release Russia Ads, Beef Up Election ‘Integrity’

Facebook is slowly acknowledging the outsized — if unintended 0151— 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…

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Google Bets Big on Hardware With HTC Buy

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. The deal announced Thursday 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. Over the past…

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Nevada Lab: Quake-resistant Bridge Design Tests Well

Scientists at a Nevada earthquake lab Wednesday tested new bridge designs with connectors they say are innovative and created to better withstand violent temblors and speed reconstruction efforts after major quake damage. University of Nevada, Reno engineers performed the experiments on a giant “shake table” to simulate violent motions of an earthquake to rattle a 100-ton (91-metric ton), 70 foot (21-meter) bridge model to determine how well it would hold…

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Internet Firms Say Removing Extremist Content Within Hours Is Huge Challenge

Removing extremist content from the internet within a few hours of it appearing poses “an enormous technological and scientific challenge,” Google’s general counsel will say later Wednesday to European leaders who want it taken down quicker. Kent Walker, general counsel for Alphabet’s Google, will speak on behalf of technology companies Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube at an event on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the…

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