Dec 15, 2018 - Technology

YouTube's video takedown and other tech news this week

A silhouette of a woman with a laptop in front of the YouTube logo

Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai refuted conservative claims of search bias in front of Congress this week. Here are five other stories in tech you may have missed.

Catch up quick: YouTube took down more than 58 million videos that violated its policies; nearly half of cloud databases aren't encrypted; Facebook wants to become a streaming destination; Apple courts publishers for new Apple News bundle; and Bitcoin spammers sent bomb threats to businesses and schools worldwide.

YouTube took down more than 58 million videos and 224 million comments in Q3 that violated policies (Reuters)

  • Why it matters: Lawmakers and interest groups in the U.S., Europe and Asia have been pressuring YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms to be better and faster at removing content that incites violence and violates their policies. YouTube has instated quarterly reports about its efforts.

Nearly half of cloud databases aren't encrypted

  • Why it matters: Any important database should be encrypted. That's not purely a cloud problem. There are inherent security advantages and a few disadvantages to the cloud, but the bottom line is that no matter where you put data, basic security hygiene is still important. — Axios' Joe Uchill

Facebook is in talks to become a streaming destination (Recode)

  • Why it matters: Facebook is trying to keep users on its platform by striking a deal with pay-to-watch channels — including HBO, Showtime and Starz — just like Amazon and Apple. Similar to its e-commerce and dating experiments, streaming video could help bring in revenue.

Apple courts nervous publishers for new Apple News bundle

  • Why it matters: Media companies, particularly those with dwindling print income, are desperate for new revenue but afraid of giving up control. Apple is a tempting partner, but publishers are wary of participating in "all-in-one" services that take a slice of subscription fees and control distribution.

Bitcoin spammers sent bomb threats to businesses, schools worldwide (The Verge)

  • Why it matters: The threats, which show no evidence of any explosives or detonated sites, asked for Bitcoin ransom and caused many evacuations and law enforcement investigations throughout the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.
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