All Big Tech stories

Ina Fried
Ina Fried, author of Login
Aug 24, 2021 - Technology

The limits to Facebook's transparency

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook is now sharing information about which posts on its platform get the most views, but researchers and critics tell Axios the new quarterly reports lack the details or timeliness to be of much use.

Why it matters: While Facebook has offered its "Widely Viewed Content Report" as a transparency move, the company won't persuade critics that it's winning the fight against misinformation unless it gives outsiders more of an open window into near-real-time data.

A video game you can't see

Image: Faling Squirrel

The most unusual video game released on Xbox this week is an attempt by veteran developer Dave Evans to make an interactive adventure that blind and sighted players can enjoy equally.

Why it matters: While there are hundreds of audio-only games on PC, one of them making it to consoles is nearly unheard of. (It's also on PC.)

FTC accuses Facebook of "buy or bury" scheme in new antitrust complaint

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday took a second shot at alleging Facebook is an illegal monopoly in a new complaint that accuses the social media company of buying up potential competitors or thwarting their access to the platform.

Why it matters: The FTC, now led by Big Tech critic Lina Khan, is trying to save its case against Facebook after a judge dismissed its first attempt.

Oversight Board upholds Facebook decision to keep post calling lockdowns ineffective

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The independent Oversight Board on Thursday upheld Facebook's decision to leave up a post from a medical council in Brazil that claimed lockdowns are ineffective.

The big picture: The board's decision provides insight into how Facebook's removal threshold for content that creates a risk of imminent harm will be applied to posts about COVID-19.

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.