Tuesday's technology stories

Nintendo executive calls Activision harassment allegations "disturbing"

Doug Bowser. Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Nintendo

Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser has joined the chorus of industry figures criticizing Activision Blizzard and its leadership over recent reports of company harassment and abuse.

Driving the news: Fanbyte first reported on the memo in which Bowser called the accusations "distressing and disturbing. They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo's beliefs, values and policies."

Nov 23, 2021 - Technology

Apple sues Israeli NSO Group over spyware use

Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Israeli cyber intelligence companies NSO Group and its parent company to "hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users," the company announced.

Details: Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using Apple devices, software, or services, per a press release.

Updated Nov 23, 2021 - Technology

China's new privacy law leaves U.S. behind

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

While China's sweeping new data privacy laws have left tech companies confused about how to comply, they also put the U.S. even further behind in the global race to set digital standards.

What's happening: China enacted its Personal Information Privacy Law earlier this month, following Europe as the second major international player to have its own sweeping data privacy regulations.

Lawsuit against PlayStation alleges gender discrimination

Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A former IT security analyst at Sony PlayStation filed a lawsuit against the company in California on Monday, alleging gender discrimination and wrongful termination after speaking up “about discrimination against females” at the gaming giant.

Why it matters: Video game companies are under increased scrutiny for their treatment of women in an industry long dominated by men.

"Pokémon Go" maker Niantic now worth $9 billion

illustration a Pokémon Go logo. Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Niantic, an S.F.-based maker of augmented reality games like "Pokémon Go," raised $300 million from Coatue at a $9 billion valuation.

Why it matters: This is about the metaverse that Meta isn't interested in building.

Nov 23, 2021 - Technology

Washington Post taps its former CMO to lead tech division

Photo credit: Jackie Hicks, Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

The Washington Post has hired Miki King — the company's former chief marketing officer, who most recently served as the President of Genius Media Group — to run The Post's Arc XP software arm.

Why it matters: The hire underscores The Post's commitment to growing its software arm as a significant revenue stream to support its journalism.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 23, 2021 - Technology

GM plunges into electric marine transport

Photo courtesy of Pure Watercraft

General Motors' expanding electric vehicles' business left dry land Monday when the auto giant announced it's acquiring a 25% stake in the electric boating company Pure Watercraft.

Why it matters: "The investment in Pure Watercraft represents the first time GM will commercialize all-electric marine products and applications," Mark Lubin, a GM spokesman, tells Axios.

Nov 23, 2021 - Technology

New social media trend: Old-fashioned links

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

After years of hoarding engagement, new startups — along with some tech giants — are finally making it easier for users to add external links to their profiles and content.

Why it matters: Linking out to personal web pages or online storefronts has traditionally been difficult to do on some social media platforms, since most firms want to keep users engaged on their own platforms as much as possible.

CISA and FBI issue holiday season ransomware warning

Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are urging public and private sector organizations to remain vigilant and bolster protections against ransomware and other cyberattacks during the holidays.

Why it matters: Malicious cyber actors often take advantage of holidays and weekends to disrupt critical networks, the agencies said. Ahead of Thanksgiving, the federal government is warning organizations to be proactive about reducing vulnerability to cyberattacks.

Cannabis orders are now available on Uber Eats in Ontario

Cannabis shops High Variety and Tokyo Smoke in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke and Uber Canada are partnering to streamline the process for ordering cannabis in Ontario, the companies announced Monday.

Why it matters: Tokyo Smoke is the first cannabis merchant to be listed on Uber Eats across all of Uber's global markets, Uber Canada said.

FCC approves Verizon's $6B purchase of TracFone

Photo illustration: Mateusz Slodkowski via Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission on Monday said it had approved Verizon's $6 billion purchase of wireless company TracFone, after the companies agreed to conditions meant to protect consumers.

Why it matters: The FCC was the last regulatory hurdle for Verizon, which expects to close the transaction in the coming days.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Nov 22, 2021 - Technology

Ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes testifies in her own defense

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic via Getty Images.

Elizabeth Holmes today continued testifying in her criminal fraud trial, after unexpectedly taking the stand in her own defense on Friday.

The latest: The former Theranos CEO sought to undermine prosecutor claims that she lied to prospective investors about the blood testing company's work with drug makers.

New York game state

Photo: Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

New York City's game development scene is steadily growing, especially in the indie sector.

Driving the news: According to a new study from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, New York "serves as an incubator" for the growth of creative game communities.

Report: Facebook sidelined hate speech study

The Meta and Facebook logos. Photo: Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook researchers last year assembled a study of the "worst of the worst" hate speech content on the company's platform and made recommendations for how to curtail it, according to a Washington Post report published on Sunday.

But Facebook officials, afraid "the new system would tilt the scales by protecting some vulnerable groups over others" and concerned about "the potential for backlash from 'conservative partners,'" decided against implementing those recommendations, according to the Post.

Crypto group tries to claw back fees after failed Constitution bid

Photo: Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty Images

The 17,000+ cryptocurrency enthusiasts who collectively funded a losing $40 million bid to purchase a copy of the U.S. Constitution last week face a new hurdle in getting their money back: transaction fees.

How it works: The ConstitutionDAO group used Ethereum to build its war chest, and contributors paid "gas fees" — essentially, network transaction costs — that observers estimated to run about $50 per transaction.

Fox News commentators resign over Tucker Carlson Jan. 6 series

Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Feszt on in Esztergom, Hungary, in August. Photo: Janos Kummer/Getty Images

Two Fox News contributors announced Sunday that they've resigned from the network in the wake of host Tucker Carlson's special on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg had regularly appeared on Fox News since 2009. Their brand of conservatism has "fallen out of fashion" amid former President Trump's grip on the Republican Party, per the New York Times, which first reported on the resignations.