Oct 10, 2017

Nokia giving up on its VR effort

Ina Fried, author of Login

Nokia is scrapping plans for future versions of its Ozo VR camera. Photo: Nokia

In an abrupt about-face, Nokia said Tuesday it will halt work on future versions of its Ozo virtual reality camera and cut up to 30 percent of the staff in its Nokia Technologies unit.

Why it matters: The VR market has been slower than expected to take off, resulting in several casualties. Intel said last month it was cancelling its Project Alloy reference design for VR headsets.

The background: Nokia, which these days is largely focused on network equipment, has maintained a separate unit to license the company's brand and patents, as well as to incubate businesses, like the VR camera. The company said it is pushing forward with digital health, its other big incubation effort.

"Nokia Technologies is at a point where, with the right focus and investments, we can meaningfully grow our footprint in the digital health market, and we must seize that opportunity," said Gregory Lee, the former Samsung executive who serves as president of Nokia Technologies.

The move could result in the reduction of up to 310 of the roughly 1090 jobs in the Nokia Technologies unit.

Go deeper: Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri spoke to Axios last month about his long-term plans to grow Finland's best known tech name.

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Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.

Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media entities in the U.S.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook said Thursday it will begin blocking state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. this summer. It's also rolling out a new set of labels to provide users with transparency around ads and posts from state-controlled outlets. Outlets that feel wrongly labeled can appeal the process.

Why it matters: Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, says the company hasn't seen many examples yet of foreign governments using advertising to promote manipulative content to U.S. users, but that the platform is taking this action out of an abundance of caution ahead of the 2020 election.