Dec 15, 2018

YouTube's video takedown and other tech news this week

Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai refuted conservative claims of search bias in front of Congress this week. Here are five other stories in tech you may have missed.

Catch up quick: YouTube took down more than 58 million videos that violated its policies; nearly half of cloud databases aren't encrypted; Facebook wants to become a streaming destination; Apple courts publishers for new Apple News bundle; and Bitcoin spammers sent bomb threats to businesses and schools worldwide.

YouTube took down more than 58 million videos and 224 million comments in Q3 that violated policies (Reuters)

  • Why it matters: Lawmakers and interest groups in the U.S., Europe and Asia have been pressuring YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms to be better and faster at removing content that incites violence and violates their policies. YouTube has instated quarterly reports about its efforts.

Nearly half of cloud databases aren't encrypted

  • Why it matters: Any important database should be encrypted. That's not purely a cloud problem. There are inherent security advantages and a few disadvantages to the cloud, but the bottom line is that no matter where you put data, basic security hygiene is still important. — Axios' Joe Uchill

Facebook is in talks to become a streaming destination (Recode)

  • Why it matters: Facebook is trying to keep users on its platform by striking a deal with pay-to-watch channels — including HBO, Showtime and Starz — just like Amazon and Apple. Similar to its e-commerce and dating experiments, streaming video could help bring in revenue.

Apple courts nervous publishers for new Apple News bundle

  • Why it matters: Media companies, particularly those with dwindling print income, are desperate for new revenue but afraid of giving up control. Apple is a tempting partner, but publishers are wary of participating in "all-in-one" services that take a slice of subscription fees and control distribution.

Bitcoin spammers sent bomb threats to businesses, schools worldwide (The Verge)

  • Why it matters: The threats, which show no evidence of any explosives or detonated sites, asked for Bitcoin ransom and caused many evacuations and law enforcement investigations throughout the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,543,439 — Total deaths: 347,836 — Total recoveries — 2,266,394Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,669,040 — Total deaths: 98,426 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. Trump administration: Mike Pence's press secretary returns to work after beating coronavirus.
  4. States: New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Education: A closer look at how colleges can reopenNotre Dame president says science alone "cannot provide the answer" to reopening.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns

Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

New York reports lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths since March

The number of daily new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in New York was the lowest since the state started its lockdown in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, calling Memorial Day a "pivot point" for New York.

By the numbers: 73 New Yorkers died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 200 people tested positive. Hospitalizations and intubations also decreased.