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Latest by Mathew Katz

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Instagram is crashing repeatedly for some users. Here’s the latest on the outage

Thousands of Instagram users said Tuesday that the social media app was repeatedly crashing or not opening at all, the third time in just over a month that the social network has experienced issues.
David Marcus appears before Senate Banking Committee

The U.S. Senate really doesn’t like Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency plans

Facebook Libra had its first big regulatory test on Tuesday when Calibra head David Marcus appeared before the Senate Banking Committee. It didn’t go well. Senators of both parties had major concerns about Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency. It’s looking increasingly likely that Libra might be delayed.
SpaceX Dragon capsule

SpaceX finally knows what caused its Crew Dragon capsule to explode

SpaceX and NASA say they finally know what caused its Crew Dragon capsule to explode during an April test of the spacecraft’s thruster system. It's now unlikely that the capsule will be used for crewed spaceflight before the end of the year.
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Facebook says it won’t launch Libra until regulators are happy

Facebook says it won’t roll out its Libra cryptocurrency until it’s fully addressed regulatory concerns – though it added that regulation of the currency itself would largely happen in Switzerland, not the U.S. Lawmakers will likely have lots of questions about how it will be regulated in the U.S.
Mark Zuckerberg as he testified before Congress in April 2018.

The FTC will hit Facebook with a $5 billion fine over privacy violations

Facebook has agreed to a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its numerous “privacy missteps." Once it goes through, this would be the largest FTC fine for a major technology company – and a huge chunk of cash for the world’s biggest social network.
A fake Amazon login page targeting users

A new phishing scam targets Amazon users just in time for Prime Day

Security researchers at McAfee say that hackers have released a do-it-yourself kit that allows people to easily put together phishing scams targeting Amazon users -- just in time for Prime Day. The scam let almost anyone create a realistic-looking Amazon sign-in page to steal your login credentials.
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Here’s why Twitter went down for an hour earlier on Thursday

Twitter is finally back online after going down for users around the globe late Thursday morning. The hour-long disruption made Twitter the latest major social media network to go offline over the past month. You can blame your lack of tweets on an "internal configuration change," Twitter said.
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How to watch Taylor Swift’s blockbuster Amazon Prime Day concert tonight

Amazon plans to celebrate its first 48-hour Prime Day sale with a blockbuster concert featuring Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Becky G., and Sza on Wednesday, July 10. You’ll need to be an Amazon Prime member to take part in the festivities. Here's how to watch the whole thing live, or listen to it later.
how to set up the nintendo switch feature

Nintendo plans to upgrade the original Switch with a new processor and storage

It looks like Nintendo is planning to upgrade the original Switch with a new processor and flash storage, according to filings with the FCC. The filing is one of the first concrete signs that Nintendo plans to beef up the original Switch after announcing the Switch Lite.
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Facebook no longer lets you save your friends’ birthdays to your own calendar

Facebook quietly removed a feature that allowed users to export and sync their friends’ birthdays to an external calendar like iCal or Google Calendar. While you can still export upcoming events -- parties, get-togethers, and the like, the ability to save birthdays was gone as of Sunday, July 7.
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Virgin Orbit took a major step toward launching satellites from a Boeing 747

Virgin Orbit launched a rocket from a specially-modified Boeing 747 on Wednesday, clearing the way for the company to launch a similar rocket into space later this year. A spinoff of Virgin Galactic, it plans to launch small satellites into low-Earth orbit from a plane instead of from the ground.
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To catch package thieves, police are relying on Amazon data and decoy boxes

Fed up with thieves stealing packages left at your front door, Amazon provided police with “heat maps” showing the worst areas in a city for package theft. The data helped local cops in Albuquerque, New Mexico set up a sting operation to catch so-called “porch pirates.”
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Instagram will now guilt you with a warning when you try to post a nasty comment

Instagram is trying to stop bullying and trolling on its platform by warning people before they post offensive comments. The new A.I.-powered feature will detect potentially nasty content and ask the offending user if they still want to post it. 
Steve Wozniak

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak wants you to get off Facebook

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak joined a growing list of tech titans in criticizing Facebook, saying that most people should delete their accounts and stop using the world's largest social media platform. "You should figure out a way to get off of Facebook," he said.
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Congressional Democrats demand Facebook halt its Libra cryptocurrency rollout

Democrats in the House of Representatives officially called on Facebook to halt its plans to establish its Libra cryptocurrency, arguing that regulators and Congress need to weigh in before it comes online in 2020. Both the House and Senate plan to hold hearings on the currency
Jony Ive (right) and Apple CEO Tim Cook look over the new Mac Pro Display

Apple CEO Tim Cook says report calling Jony Ive’s departure contentious is absurd

Apple CEO Tim Cook called a Wall Street Journal report about superstar designer Jony Ive’s supposedly contentious departure, as well as Cook’s own alleged lack of interest in design, absurd in an email Monday. The comments came in a rare email from the CEO. The Wall Street Journal stands by its report.
Samsung Galaxy Fold Announcement | Samsung Unpacked

The Galaxy Fold launch was embarrassing. Even Samsung’s CEO admits it

Samsung’s CEO called the launch of the Galaxy Fold embarrassing and admitted that he launched the troubled phone before it was ready for prime time. Chief Executive Officer DJ Koh said the phone would still be released, but could not give reporters a specific launch date.
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Deepfake or fake news? Zuckerberg says Facebook might treat them differently

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the Aspen Ideas Festival that his company is considering treating deepfakes differently from traditional fake news and misinformation, which could make it easier for Facebook to delete the altered videos before they spread to millions of users.
4 ways 2020 has changed how i use my tech google maps in hand

Google will now auto-delete your location history (if you tell it to)

Under fire for the sheer amount of personal data it collects, Google will finally allow you to auto-delete your activity and location history, the company has announced. Google said it will roll out similar deletion controls for your web and app activity over the coming weeks.
Michael Scott on The Office

Binge while you can. The Office will officially be removed from Netflix in 2021

The Office will officially leave Netflix in 2021, NBC announced Tuesday. The popular sitcom will move exclusively to NBC’s new streaming service for at least five years, the company said. The comedy was the most-watched show on Netflix in 2018 and is a major draw for the service.
Tim Cook WWDC 2019

Apple’s new Seattle campus may mean big things for Siri, artificial intelligence

Apple plans to hire 2,000 more employees for a new Seattle campus, the company announced Monday, with a significant number of those jobs focused on the Siri voice assistant and artificial intelligence. The new campus marks a major expansion right in Amazon and Microsoft's backyard.
Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

Researchers sent a fake, unblockable presidential alert to a 50,000-seat stadium

A group of researchers was able to successfully send out fake, unblockable presidential alerts to phones in a 50,000-seat football stadium. The team from the University of Colorado Boulder figured out a way to spoof the alert and send it out using commercially available equipment.
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Loot boxes? EA vice president prefers you call them surprise mechanics

A senior Electronic Arts executive said that loot boxes are “surprise mechanics” like Kinder Eggs and that they are “quite ethical and quite fun.” Speaking before a U.K. parliament committee, the executive wouldn't even use the term "loot boxes."
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Congress already wants to block rollout of Facebook’s cryptocurrency

It only took a few hours after Facebook announced the details of its Libra cryptocurrency on Tuesday morning for lawmakers in Congress to tell the social media giant to pump the breaks. Rep. Maxine Waters asked Facebook to stop development until Congress could weigh in.
Kim Kardashian Deepfake Interview Image

Kim Kardashian can get a deepfake taken off YouTube. It’s much harder for you

YouTube took down an incredibly realistic — and fake — video purporting to show Kim Kardashian West mocking her fans for violating copyright. It could give public figures a new weapon in the fight against deepfakes, but won’t help much as fake videos increasingly target everyday people.
Tim Cook WWDC 2019

Tim Cook said Silicon Valley built a chaos factory. Are Apple’s hands clean?

Giving a commencement speech at Stanford University, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Silicon Valley has built a "chaos factory" that neglects privacy. It's part of Apple's bigger strategy as regulators come down hard on big tech.
Biggest airplanes in the world - Stratolaunch

Got $400 million to burn? The world’s largest airplane is up for sale

Stratolaunch, the world's largest airplane, is up for sale. All it'll cost you is $400 million dollars. The brainchild of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the plane was supposed to make space travel more accessible and affordable. Could Elon Musk be interested in buying it?
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Instagram is back up after being offline. Here’s the latest on the outage

Instagram finally came back online Thursday afternoon after an outage that lasted just over an hour. The Instagram outage was one of several that hit at the same time, including a several-hour failure at the PlayStation Network.
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The PlayStation Network is back up. Here’s the latest on the PSN outage

Sony's PlayStation Network came back online after being down for several hours on Thursday afternoon, annoying legions of gamers right in the middle of E3. The PSN outage affected users around the globe
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House antitrust investigation targets Facebook, Google, and other tech giants

House Democrats have set their sights on big tech firms, announcing a major antitrust investigation into Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and other companies. The lawmakers want to determine if Silicon Valley’s biggest companies prevent competition and hurt consumers.
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Baldur’s Gate, other BioWare classics are coming to consoles later this year

BioWare’s most celebrated role-playing games from the late 1990s and early 2000s are headed to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch later this year. The games include Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate 2, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment, and Neverwinter Nights.

Facebook lawyer says you don’t actually have any privacy on the site

Just one day before CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a shareholder meeting that he wants to build a “privacy-focused social platform,” the company’s lawyer argued that privacy doesn’t actually exist on Facebook. While Facebook has said it's doubling down on privacy, it still makes billions off of user data.
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg | The future is private

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook is working on voice-controlled products

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed on Thursday that the company is working on a variety of products that will utilize voice controls. Speaking at the company's shareholder meeting, he confirmed that voice is going to be an important focus of the company in the coming years.