Big Tech

The big picture

Snap hires first Global Head of Platform Safety

The latest hire reflects Snapchat's growing focus on user safety and wellbeing.

Sep 15, 2021 - Technology
Scoop: Jim Messina aims to shape cryptocurrency future

Cryptocurrency companies are currently operating in a regulatory no man’s land.

Mar 10, 2021 - Technology
Ranking the 5 big suits against Google and Facebook

Facebook stands to lose the most, but Google is more likely to lose, according to antitrust experts.

Dec 18, 2020 - Technology
Big Tech's reckoning on race

The industry also must grapple with the effects, good and bad, on inequality.

Jun 12, 2020 - Technology
Tech giants' life cycles shape their crisis responses

Their ages help determine their responses to the coronavirus, government investigations, and protests against racial inequality.

Jun 11, 2020 - Technology
Sundar Pichai's Alphabet to-do list

The new CEO of Google's parent company inherited a long list of issues in need of tackling.

Dec 17, 2019 - Technology

All Big Tech stories

Activision hit with labor complaint

"Call of Duty: Vanguard." Image: Activison

A union supporting workers at Activision Blizzard has filed an unfair labor practice complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, alleging the game company has “repeatedly engaged in unlawful conduct” against workers fighting against working conditions at the game maker.

Why it matters: It’s another log on the fire. Activision is already facing an anti-discrimination lawsuit from the state of California, has seen workers hold a walkout and been slammed by activist shareholders for an “inadequate” response.

Ex-intel officials claim antitrust could hurt U.S. in China tech race

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Twelve former top U.S. national security officials are urging Congress to hit pause on a package of antitrust bills in order to consider how breaking up tech companies could harm the U.S. in its competition with China, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

The big picture: Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats are among those arguing that imposing severe restrictions solely on U.S. giants will pave the way for a tech landscape dominated by China — echoing a position voiced by the Big Tech companies themselves.

Sep 13, 2021 - Technology

Apple releases emergency security update to block spyware vulnerability

Apple store front. Photo: Wang Gang/VCG via Getty Images

Apple released emergency security updates Monday after it was discovered that an Israeli cyber surveillance company's spyware could infect iPhones and other devices without the owner even clicking on a link.

Why it matters: The fix to the intrusion by the NSO Group's Pegasus software came the day before Apple is expected to introduce its latest crop of iPhones. The company touts the security and privacy of its smartphones among its key selling points.

"Deathloop" extends Microsoft's streak of well-reviewed games

"Deathloop." Image: Arkane/Microsoft

Rave reviews for this week's time-traveling assassination game "Deathloop" officially make it a trend: Microsoft is finally on a streak of producing terrific games.

Why it matters: Game quality has been an issue for Microsoft for years, while console rivals Nintendo and Sony have flexed their ability to repeatedly make Game of the Year contenders.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 13, 2021 - Technology

Epic may not benefit from Apple's App Store changes

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"Fortnite" creator Epic Games' Apple lawsuit failed to level the walls of the App Store, though it did leave some cracks in Apple's fortress.

Yes, but: The modest changes Apple now has to make are more likely to benefit other iOS developers than to help Epic itself, unless the game-maker backs down from an all-or-nothing approach.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 13, 2021 - Technology

Google may have underpaid contractors for years

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Google realized late last year that it may have been underpaying thousands of temporary workers around the world, but opted to initially change its pay structure only for newly hired temps, according to a pair of reports.

Why it matters: The revelation comes amid growing workplace activism at Google, including the formation of a minority union that advocates for temporary and contract workers along with full-time employees.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 11, 2021 - Technology

Why the 2020s will be the exponential decade

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Three new books take stock of the rapid technological change so far in the 21st century and ask whether we can adapt to the even faster change to come.

Why it matters: The 2020s could be the roaring or the raging decade, depending on whether political and social institutions can keep pace with the explosive transformation wrought by the tech sector.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 10, 2021 - Technology

Review: Ray-Ban Stories are stylish and just smart enough

Looking just at Ray-Ban Stories as a consumer product, minus the social questions, there is a lot to like, starting with the fact that they look just like regular Ray-Bans.

Between the lines: There are other glasses that are more capable, but Ray-Ban Stories are comfortable, stylish and work with prescription lenses while offering a few useful features. For me, the key selling point is the ability to take pictures without having to take out my phone.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 10, 2021 - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Facebook's eyebrow-raising Ray-Bans

Image: Facebook

Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth says a key goal of the company's new $299 smart glasses is to kickstart a societal conversation on the norms around such products. On that front, the company has already succeeded.

State of play: Coverage of the launch of the Ray-Ban Stories focused as much on privacy issues as on the product themselves.

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