Amazon Abandons HQ2 Campus in New York

After months of fierce opposition from local leaders, the New York Times reports that Amazon has decided to pull out of its plans to place a new satellite headquarters in the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, New York. Read More >>

Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of Using Unpublished Nude Photos as Blackmail

The saga of Jeff Bezos’s very public divorce slouches onward. The Amazon CEO published a personal post on Medium this evening containing leaked emails purported to be from the National Enquirer. The emails—at least one of which is marked “confidential and not for distribution”—threaten to publish revealing photos of him and his new girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, unless certain demands were met. Read More >>

Defence of Amazon’s Face Recognition Tool Undermined by Its Only Known Police Client

Faced with two independent studies that found its facial recognition software returns inaccurate or biased results, Amazon has repeatedly claimed that the researchers failed to use the software, called Rekognition, in the way the company has instructed police to use it. Read More >>

Some Pressing Questions About the 3,950 Illegally Imported Leeches Currently Stuck in Canada

Canada currently has, as you might have guessed, 3,950 non-indigenous leeches stuck in customs limbo. “How did such a large number of leeches end up there?” you, a total rube, might ask. I promise you, this goes much deeper. Read More >>

YouTube Is Going to Bury ‘Borderline’ Content. It Won’t Tell Us What That Means

Last week in a company blog post, YouTube informed its approximately 2 billion users that it would begin to change how recommendations function, reducing instances of content that “comes close to – but doesn’t quite cross the line of – violating our Community Guidelines.” What defines “borderline” content, and who does the defining? That’s where things get hazy. Read More >>

On Second Thought, Be Evil

Google publicly supported tens of thousands of its employees walking out in November to protest working conditions, but weeks later the company pushed America's National Labor Relations Board to roll back a legal protection organisers relied on, Bloomberg reports. Read More >>

Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan to Save Facebook Is Reportedly Ruining Everything Else 

Facebook, you may have heard, had a year riddled with scandals, data breaches, dwindling user trust, slowing growth, scrutiny from regulators, and plummeting morale among its own staff. Clearly the social behemoth needs a major comeback. But according to a report in the New York Times, Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to link messaging capability between Messenger, Whatsapp, and Instagram – three of its essentially balkanized services – already has workers confused and angry. Read More >>

This UK Hitman’s Smartwatch Helped Convict Him of Two Murders 

This week, hitman and hobbyist runner Mark “Iceman” Fellows was convicted of the murders of English gangland figures Paul Massey and John Kinsella. Among the crucial pieces of evidence in his trial was a Garmin Forerunner—a GPS-linked fitness watch that tied Fellows to pre-assassination reconnaissance on one his targets. Read More >>

Google Shareholders Sue Over Andy Rubin’s Reported £70 Million Golden Parachute

A bombshell report by the New York Times in October revealed that Google, like many companies, was willing to bury inconvenient sexual harassment complaints against its executives. In the case of Andy Rubin, a veteran associated deeply with the creation of the Android operating system, his fall from grace was reportedly eased by a $90 million (£70 million) golden parachute—something a number of Alphabet shareholders are now suing over. Read More >>

How to Play One of the Games From Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Bandersnatch, the new, Choose Your Own Adventure-style instalment of Black Mirror out yesterday, is (as you might expect) a twisty bit of interactive fiction. And Netflix has further tied the metatextual knot by building out a real website for the episode’s fictional games studio Tuckersoft, where several of the company’s titles (like Metl Hedd) are direct references to previous episodes of the show. Read More >>

Hundreds March on Amazon Fulfilment Centre in America

If local headlines are to be believed, not much happens in Shakopee. But last week, this placid town of 40,000 in the US state of Minnesota became the epicentre of the fight for humane working conditions at one of the world’s most valuable companies. Read More >>

Twitter Alerts Some Users to ‘Unusual’ Data Leak

Today Twitter alerted select users affected by a November bug with one of its support forms. So far the company has declined to provide an estimate for how many accounts potentially had data exposed. Read More >>

elon musk
Elon Musk: ‘I Have No Idea How to Smoke Pot’

In a teaser for an upcoming 60 Minutes segment, Elon Musk told veteran US TV journalist Leslie Stahl: Weed? Who? Never heard of him. Read More >>

Google+ Execution Date Bumped Up Thanks to Bug Affecting 52 Million Users

In October, Alphabet announced it would begin shuttering its failed social network, Google+, after internal investigations revealed bugs that could have leaked user info. The proposed 10-month sunsetting period has been cut down to a mere 90 days now that an additional API bug was discovered, affecting some 52.5 million users. Read More >>