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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
French competition regulators said Tuesday they are fining Google 500 million euros, or roughly $593 million, for failing to comply with copyright rules around negotiating payment terms for news publishers.
Why it matters: It's the latest in a string of competition penalties and investigations Google has faced abroad and at home, several of which concern the way Google compensates news publishers for distributing their work.
There are emerging hubs all over the U.S. and Canada pulling tech talent away from the superstar cities — but the tech centers are holding onto their dominance, according to a new analysis from the commercial real estate firm CBRE.
The big picture: The pandemic has pushed millions of people to move out of cities, but it hasn't been enough to knock places like the Bay Area and New York out of the top spots to start tech companies.
Chinese antitrust regulators blocked the proposed $5.3 billion merger of Huya (NYSE: NUYA) and DouYu (Nasdaq: DOYU), two game streaming companies backed by Tencent.
Why it matters: This reflects how China's crackdown on local tech giants is expanding well beyond data privacy and offshore listings. It's also a big win for Amazon's Twitch, which could have faced a viable challenge from the combined Huya/DouYu.
The close relationship between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg was strained by the Trump era, the N.Y. Times' Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang write in their book, "An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination," out Tuesday.