Fair Warning: Facebook Is Reportedly Building Its Own Voice Assistant

What we can all agree on is that of the heavy hitters operating in the voice assistant market—Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and I guess Cortana and Bixby if we’re being generous—exactly none are made by Facebook. We can probably also agree things ought to stay that way, but then, when in recent memory has humanity pursued right and sensible options? Read More >>

Here’s What Could Sink Uber, According to Uber

Uber, the money-losing ridehailing platform which by its own admission claims it has “incurred significant losses since inception” and “may not achieve profitability,” has overcome a lot on the road to its initial public offering. Its entire business model however—which involves cost-cutting by arguably misclassifying the overwhelming majority of its workforce—is precarious, and any number of obstacles could easily send its soon-to-be-public stock on the same downward trajectory as its chief competitor. Read More >>

3,500 Amazon Employees Challenge Jeff Bezos to Take Real Action on Climate Change

In the latest in a string of protests from inside major tech firms, thousands of Amazon employees have signed their names to an open letter calling on their employer to do more to combat its carbon emissions and to end its relationships with oil and gas giants. Read More >>

‘Big Brother is Watching’: Facebook Accidentally Left Hidden Jokes in Thousands of Oculus Controllers

Facebook – a company that is equally known for surveilling an enormous swathe of people, and for accidentally exposing their data in one way or another – shipped “tens of thousands” of its Oculus Touch controllers with some fun hidden messages written inside them, like 'Big Brother is Watching'. Haha. It’s a joke. About surveillance. From that book? And you know, Facebook is a giant surveillance machine. Hey, where are you going? Read More >>

Apple Cops Another Anti-Trust Investigation (Congrats!)

Apple is renowned for its ability to amass thousands of talented engineers, millions of users, and billions in cash-on-hand. While nowhere near prolific in this particular growth sector, it’s also gotten pretty good at attracting anti-trust complaints. Read More >>

Here Are 40 Pages of Facebook Trying to Figure Out What to Do About White Nationalism

In the process of reporting a related story, a Facebook spokesperson provided Gizmodo with the company’s internal slides discussing its position on white nationalism and white separatism, adopted in late March. What follows is a glimpse into the confusing, often contradictory thinking of one of the most powerful and frequently inept companies on Earth. Read More >>

elon musk
‘I Will Nuke You’, Elon Musk Allegedly Tells Former Employee

Elon Musk is, if nothing else, an innovator. He finds new ways to recover rockets from space; new useless holes to drill into the earth; new reasons to get fined by the SEC, and according to a report by Bloomberg, new ways of threatening his subordinates. Mostly you could say he’s guilty of having too many good ideas. Read More >>

Google Gives Up on AI Ethics (Board)

Less than a week after it was announced, Google is pulling the plug on its controversial AI ethics advisory board—an about-face attributable to Googlers themselves. Read More >>

Amazon’s Magic Solution to Worldwide Internet Connectivity Is the Same as Everyone Else’s

When corporations become monolithic, they tend to stalk familiar, doomed territory. The planned communities of the world’s Disneys and Fords are largely out of vogue now, but for tech giants, the white whale is always skywards, in the form of a grandiose universal internet initiative. It’s only surprising that Amazon, in all its splendor, hasn’t gotten in on the action sooner. Read More >>

Google’s Temp Workers Win Crucial Benefits, but They’ll Have to Wait a Few Years

Google’s TVC—short for Temps, Vendors, and Contractors—took home a victory this week in the form of an increased minimum wage and some basic benefits. Hooray! Unfortunately, the TVCs currently working at Google probably won’t be around to see any of them. Read More >>

Google Employees Call on Company to Kick Conservative Think Tank Head Off AI Ethics Board

Google announced the formation of a global council on technology ethics this week to some deserved trepidation. Sure, the company had amassed some highly qualified individuals to fill seats on this board—but Google’s track record of following its own internal ethics codes is less than spotless. Read More >>

YouTube Product Chief: Extremist Rabbit Holes? What Extremist Rabbit Holes?

In a New York Times interview published today, Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, sought to debunk “some myths” about the platform’s alleged tendency to radicalise users through its recommendations algorithm. It could have gone better. Read More >>

Hundreds Turn Out to Picket Against Uber Amid 25-Hour Driver Strike

In an outpouring of long-simmering tensions between rideshare companies and drivers whose wages have been on the decline, hundreds affiliated or acting in solidarity with grassroots group Drivers United turned out on Monday to picket an Uber Greenlight hub in Redondo Beach in the US state of California. Read More >>

Telegram Goes Nuclear With New Message Deletion Feature

Messaging apps increasingly allow for some form of implicit privacy. But a backlog of sometimes years-old chats can still present a vulnerability. In its most recent update, Telegram believes it has solved that problem and then some. Read More >>

New Zealand ISPs Say They’re Blocking Sites That Fail to Remove Christchurch Shooting Video

Last week, a heavily-armed 28-year-old entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and opened fire, killing at least 50 in the country’s worst modern shooting. Prior to attacking dozens of Muslim worshippers, the killer posted a manifesto, outlining why he planned to commit mass murder, and he livestreamed a portion of the gruesome act on Facebook. The video was then reportedly re-posted hundreds of thousands of times. As a result, three of the biggest mobile internet service providers in New Zealand have opted to temporarily block some of the websites where the video remains available. Read More >>