Google gives Netflix, Spotify a year to start paying app store fees

Google is done playing Mr. Nice Guy. The search giant on Monday said it will no longer give high-profile app developers a pass on its 30-percent app store fee starting next year. Google said it will start enforcing its policy requiring developers to use its payments system starting Sept. 2021. The move comes as some …

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Singapore COVID-19-testing ‘SwabBot’ pushes boundaries (and nasal cavities)

SINGAPORE – Seeking to improve the sometimes uncomfortable process of getting a COVID-19 test, a Singapore company has developed an automated swab-testing robot which could also cut risks facing healthcare workers during the pandemic. To use the SwabBot, a patient places their nostrils onto two disposable plastic nose pieces, which contain an extendable swab stick …

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Why Silicon Valley CEOs are such raging psychopaths

Maëlle Gavet, a 15-year veteran of the tech industry, recalls an unsettling conversation she had at a Silicon Valley cocktail party in 2017. Gavet was chatting with an early investor at Uber and mentioned some of the disturbing news surrounding the company’s co-founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick. There were revelations about spying on passengers, sexual …

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Google agrees to workplace changes amid sexual misconduct suit

Google’s parent Alphabet on Friday settled a shareholder lawsuit that accused it of covering up lavish exit packages to executives found responsible for sexual misconduct, saying it would overhaul workplace policies and boost diversity efforts. The tech giant said it will spend $310 million over the decade to overhaul the system, and will now forbid …

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Mark Cuban adovcates for dramatic increase in COVID-19 aid

Billionaire sports owner Mark Cuban is advocating for a dramatic increase in the economic aid the federal government is providing to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. The owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks told CNBC in an interview that every household in the country should receive a $1,000 stimulus check every two weeks until December, …

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TikTok asks judge to block US from barring app for download

TikTok asked a US judge on Wednesday to block a Trump administration order that would require Apple and Alphabet’s Google to remove the short video-sharing app for new downloads starting on Sunday. A federal judge in San Francisco on Saturday issued a preliminary injunction blocking a similar Commerce Department order from taking effect on Sunday …

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Japanese factory unveils real-life giant ‘Gundam’ anime robot

A Japanese company has made a popular anime cartoon larger than life, unveiling a massive, 55,000-pound “Gundam” robot that stands 59 feet tall. New footage released Monday shows the mammoth machine, which looms over a factory in Yokohama outside of Tokyo, moving its arms, legs, and torso without difficulty — and it even kneels, CNet.com …

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Twitter examining why photo previews focus on white faces

Twitter is examining why its artificial intelligence sometimes cuts black people’s faces out of photos. The social-media giant uses technology called a neural network to create the cropped previews of photos that users see as they scroll through their feeds. But users discovered that the system often hones in on white faces when they’re pictured …

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TikTok files complaint in attempt to block US ban

Time is ticking away for the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, which filed an 11th-hour complaint to a Washington federal court in an attempt to stay a looming US ban from the Trump administration. TikTok and parent company ByteDance say they are being targeted for political reasons and efforts to keep them off US phones is …

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SpaceX satellites clutter the skies, frustrating astronomers

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s hundreds of satellites cluttering up the galaxy. A plethora of massive internet satellites launched by eco-friendly billionaire Elon Musk are swirling overhead — and astronomers are trying mightily to figure out how to deal with the sun’s glaring reflection off those man-made orbiters. …

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