Week in Review for the Week of 2/17/20
|Week in Review for the Week of 2/17/20|
|Broadcast Date||FEBRUARY 22, 2020|
Facebook announces policy on influencer ads for political candidates, Apple advises it won’t hit Q2 revenue figures due to the coronavirus outbreak, and Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to a fund to fight climate change.
- Facebook announced it will let influencers in the US post paid content for political campaigns if the posts are clearly identified as ads. This follows a New York Times report on Thursday that Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign had paid popular Instagram meme pages for posts, and had partnered with a group called Meme 2020, led by the CEO of the viral media group Jerry Media. Facebook says sponsored political content won't go into Facebook’s political Ad Library unless the creator pays to boost their posts. On Instagram, paid posts will need to use the Branded Content Ads tool that adds the paid partnership label to a post. Posts that contain the voice of the politician will not be fact-checked under Facebook and Instagram policy but posts in the voice of solely the influencer will be.
- Apple warns on revenue guidance due to production delays, weak demand in China because of coronavirus
- Apple announced it does not expect to meet its second-quarter forecast for revenue, due to global supply constraints for iPhones and lower Chinese demand as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Apple said it had previously expected to report net sales between $63 billion to $67 billion in its fiscal second quarter, a wider range than usual given the uncertainty, but didn't specifically update those figures. Bloomberg's sources say Apple's iPhone SE 2 is still on track to launch in March, with a new iPad Pro expected in the first half of the year.
- Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that “all organizations developing advance AI should be regulated, including Tesla.” This was in response to an MIT Technology Review profile of OpenAI, which Musk co-founded in 2015 as a non-profit. OpenAI was originally backed by $1 billion to pursue open research into advanced AI for the goal of benefiting society. The organization officially formed a for-profit arm owned by a non-profit parent corporation in 2019, and accepted $1 billion in investment from Microsoft. Musk also said he has “no control & only very limited insight into OpenAI” and that his “confidence” in Dario Amodei, OpenAI’s research director, “is not high.”
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced in an Instagram post he will commit $10 billion to fight climate change through a new fund called the Bezos Earth Fund. Bezos says the money will help scientists, activists, NGOs, and “any effort that offers a real possibility” to help preserve the Earth from the impact of climate change. A Verge source says the fund won't engage in private sector investment and will focus entirely on charitable giving.
- On the 30th anniversary of the launch of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe announced updates to the photo editor. Photoshop for the iPad now has object selection which first came to the desktop three months ago. It uses AI to detect objects in an image. The iPad version also gets additional typesetting and formatting controls. On the desktop, the lens blur feature now runs on the GPU providing a more realistic bokeh effect. And the content-aware fill workspace now lets you make multiple selections and apply multiple fills at once.
- Microsoft released its all-in-one Office app for iOS and Android to everyone. The app combines mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and lets you browse files in OneDrive. It supports third-party cloud storage from Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud. It also syncs with Windows 10 Notes and includes OfficeLens scanner and a QR code reader. A version with limited support for Android tablets is also out with a tablet-optimized version for both Android and iPadOS coming soon.
- Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that Apple is considering letting users set third-party web browser and email defaults in iOS, as well as allowing direct integration of 3rd party music services on HomePod, according to sources. Apple's prohibition against 3rd party defaults on iOS was questioned last year at a hearing by the U.S. House of Representatives antitrust panel and Spotify filed an antitrust complaint about Apple's App Store policies and lack of HomePod access to the EU. According to sources, Apple has not reached a decision on whether to change its 3rd party default policy, but changes could be rolled out as early as iOS 14.
- The US House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to Amazon looking into Ring's partnerships with local governments and police departments, as well as its data collection policies. The letter asks for records of all Ring agreements with cities and law enforcement, all instances of police departments requesting footage, all third-parties Ring shared footage or personal data with, and whether municipal partners also pay for Amazon's Rekognition facial recognition service. The letter asks for a briefing on privacy and security from Ring by February 27th, and answers to all questions by March 4th. Ring stated it's reviewing the letter and intends to respond.
- New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit alleging that Chromebooks provided by Google to schools in the area for free collect personal information from children under 13 years old without parental consent. The complaint claims that Google "deliberately deceived parents and teachers" and collected geolocation information, website visits and internet histories, search engine records, student contact lists, voice recordings, and used student emails for advertising purposes, in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Google denied the claims, saying they are "factually wrong."
- The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland upheld a lower court ruling that Likes and Shares of content on Facebook can be considered illegal defamation. The court cited the potential for such content to spread rapidly on social media could make Likes and Share defamatory in nature, and Swiss law only requires that an act be communicated to a third party to meet the threshold of defamation. The decision said a major factor in a defamation case would be how visible a shared post was outside of an immediate friend network of the defamed individual. The ruling goes back to a 2015 case where an individual liked and shared several posts critical of animal rights activist Erwin Kessler, portraying him as a Neo-Nazi and anti-Semite.
| Preceded by:
"Facebook Launches Program To Compensate Users for Voice Recordings"
| Week in Review for the Week of 2/17/20
|| Followed by:|
"Xbox Series X GPU Capable of 12 Teraflops"