Sep 15, 2018

Tech news you may have missed this week

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

It was an exciting week on all things Apple and Jeff Bezos, but here are some tech stories that might have slipped under your radar.

Catch up quick: Zuckerberg: How Facebook is now better prepared to fight election interference; Google’s location privacy practices are under investigation in Arizona; Walmart relaunches Jet with three-hour deliveries; Uber axed its logo; Seven Google employees quit over secretive search project in China.

Zuckerberg: How Facebook is now better prepared to fight election interference

  • Why it matters: After initially denying Facebook's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook's CEO outlined on Wednesday night how the company has learned from its mistakes, adding it's already stopped meddling attempts in a number of elections.

Google's search engine for China: Seven employees quit; Google built a prototype

  • Why it matters: The departures follow the controversial revelation of Google’s work on Project Dragonfly, a censored search engine that would let it serve China again. The former employees cite a lack of transparency from the company as the reason for leaving. Meanwhile, Google has reportedly built a prototype that links a user's searches to their phone number, which could make them a target of the government.

Walmart relaunches Jet with three-hour deliveries

  • Why it matters: Walmart continues to battle rival Amazon, this time with a new version of Jet.com, which it bought in 2016. The new Jet.com is aimed at shoppers in large urban cities, letting them order via voice commands with Siri and offering three-hour delivery. Walmart also announced this week its acquisition of Cornershop, an on-demand grocery delivery service in Mexico and Chile.

Uber gets a new logo

  • Why it matters: The rebranding, which includes new colors, typeface and app layout, is to better match the company's expanding transportation options, it says. Uber is also still working to redeem its public image.

Google’s location privacy practices are under investigation in Arizona

  • Why it matters: Google mobile services reportedly continue to track users when they think they've turned location tracking off, causing new privacy concerns about the company.

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Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents him from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

What a post-pandemic space industry might look like

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic could spell major trouble for dozens of small companies working to break into the space industry.

The big picture: SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and other companies are well-established with strong customer bases and robust portfolios, but the prospects for the industry's growth hinge on smaller companies.

Go deeperArrow26 mins ago - Science

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,365,004— Total deaths: 76,507 — Total recoveries: 292,467Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 369,069 — Total deaths: 11,018 — Total recoveries: 20,003Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January about the massive potential risks from the coronavirus.
  4. Federal government latest: The public wants the federal government, not states, in charge of coronavirus — Testing capacity is still lagging far enough behind demand.
  5. States update: New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total as state predicts a plateau in hospitalizations.
  6. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks the governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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