All Big Tech stories

Aug 18, 2021 - World

Facebook stands by its ban on Taliban

An Afghan reporter browses the Taliban's website in the newsroom at Maiwand TV station in Kabul in February 2019. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook and its entities Instagram and WhatsApp reaffirmed their ban on Taliban-related accounts Wednesday, citing the company's "Dangerous Individuals and Organizations" policy, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: How social media companies choose to handle the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan will impact how effectively the group is able to communicate to the people it will now govern.

T-Mobile says hackers stole information on over 40 million people

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Personal data, including Social Security numbers, of more than 40 million former and prospective customers who applied for T-Mobile credit were exposed in a data breach, the company said Tuesday.

The big picture: About 7.8 million current T-Mobile postpaid customers were also affected. Some of the data accessed included names, dates of birth, SSN and driver's license/ID information.

Atari reports losses, 45% decline in licensing revenue

An Atari video game console and joystick. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The newest version of legendary gaming company Atari is in the red for the year, reporting a loss of €5.2 million ($6 million) for the past year.

Why it matters: The current Atari announced an eyebrow-raising restructuring this spring, and signs of success are still a long way off.

Aug 1, 2021 - Technology

Zoom agrees to pay $85M to settle privacy suit

Photo: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Zoom agreed to pay $85 million and fortify its privacy features to settle a lawsuit claiming the company violated users' privacy rights by sharing data with tech companies and allowing hackers to jump into zoom calls, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Zoom became many people's go-to platform for both work and social interaction during the pandemic, but this isn't the first time the platform has been asked to step up its privacy measures.

Wall Street braces for blowout Big Tech earnings

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The world’s biggest tech companies are about to open up their books — and some are expected to serve up record-shattering numbers.

Why it matters: The pandemic made many Americans even more dependent on these companies. That put a massive gust of wind — to the tune of billions of dollars — into the sails of Big Tech.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jul 22, 2021 - Technology

Exclusive: Where Amazon wants to take Alexa

Amazon's Dave Limp addressing an event in 2018. Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

While many people think of Alexa as just the voice behind Amazon's smart speaker, Amazon sees it as the first step towards something more akin to "Star Trek's" remarkably versatile talking computer.

Why it matters: So-called "ambient computing" is seen as the next big wave of computing, where information is personal and delivered in the best way possible given the combination of devices one has nearby.

"Psychonauts 2" developers say Microsoft purchase helped make the game bigger

Screenshot: Double Fine/Microsoft

Microsoft's 2019 purchase of Double Fine gave the studio's developers the peace of mind and added finances to make next month's "Psychonauts 2" a bigger and possibly better game, its developers told Axios.

Why it matters: A comedic follow-up to 2005 cult classic about adventuring through people's minds, "Psychonauts 2" has taken a strange path to existing at all.

Biden clarifies vaccine comments: "Facebook isn't killing people"

President Biden attempted to clarify comments he made last week about Facebook, saying on Monday that the company itself is not "killing people" — but those who post misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines are.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has ratcheted up pressure on social media companies, especially Facebook, to increase their efforts to eliminate misinformation on vaccines and the virus from their platforms.

Gaming insiders spooked by pay-for-engagement plans

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Google's announcement of a plan to pay some game developers based on how much their games are played has stirred concerns among industry insiders about the downside of game subscription economics.

Why it matters: The concern over engagement-based payments is that they incentivize developers to make games that are artificially longer or that pressure their players to keep coming back.

Facebook calls on FTC chair Khan to recuse from antitrust case

Photo: Michaela Handrek-Rehle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook on Wednesday filed a petition for Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from any decision-making about whether and how to continue the agency's antitrust case against the social media giant.

Why it matters: Khan, a vocal critic of Big Tech's power, took over leadership of the agency as it weighs whether to refile its complaint against the company after a judge dismissed it last month.