Why it matters: From the Valley to D.C., Big Tech players like Facebook, Google and Amazon are under more scrutiny than ever as new technology develops and privacy and antitrust concerns grow in lockstep with companies’ ambitions.
Two House committees have moved a step closer to achieving legislative reform aimed at Big Tech.
Driving the news: The House Judiciary Committee passed its tech antitrust report, completed after a year-long investigation into the behaviors of platforms like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple, out of committee late Wednesday.
Google Earth on Thursday unveiled new features for its Timelapse tool that allows users to zoom in on locations to view more than three decades of imagery, including from their mobile device.
Why it matters: The result is a sobering look at the overwhelming human footprint on the planet, from melting glaciers in Alaska and Greenland to deforestation in South America and the rapid expansion of cities.
Scientists have discovered how to use technology to put an artificial image inside a mouse's brain so that it behaves as if it actually sees it. This will be possible to do with humans in the future — potentially shaping our thoughts and behaviors.
Apple on Thursday announced it's launching a $200 million "Restore Fund" that will "make investments in forestry projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere while generating a financial return for investors."
Why it matters: The move is the latest step by the world's largest tech companies to invest in climate initiatives, including a number of efforts to finance technologies and methods to not only cut emissions, but remove atmospheric CO2.
Walmart, along with others, has made a new investment in self-driving car company Cruise, bringing its most recent funding round to $2.75 billion at a valuation of more than $30 billion. The two had previously announced a delivery pilot program in November.
Why it matters: Walmart's biggest rival, Amazon, has been leading the charge on the autonomous driving front, acquiring Zoox last year, and investing in electric vehicle company Rivian.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has told hospitals they can't hide their prices from web searches, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The big picture: New federal rules require hospitals to post their pricing information online, but some large systems were using code that prevented that information from appearing in search results.