Lawsuits Claim Amazon’s Alexa Voice Assistant Illegally Records Children Without Consent

In the US, a pair of federal lawsuits against Amazon seeking class action status allege that the e-commerce giant’s Alexa voice assistant technology “routinely records and voiceprints millions of children without their consent or the consent of their parents,” breaking laws in nine states, the Seattle Times reported on Wednesday. Read More >>

Facebook Is Betting People Are Still Hungry For Another Heaping Ladle of Portal

Facebook isn’t done with its spiffy new Portal video phones. You know, the ones which got largely favourable reviews, but are virtually impossible to fully trust, given they came out after months (years, really) of massive privacy scandals for the globe-spanning social media giant and are totally capable of spying on their owners for advertising purposes. Read More >>

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Kim Jong Un’s Half Brother Kim Jong Nam, Killed With VX Nerve Agent, Was Reportedly CIA Informant

Kim Jong Un’s half brother Kim Jong Nam was an informant for the US Central Intelligence Agency who met more than once with unspecified “agency operatives” before he was killed with VX nerve toxin in a Malaysian airport in February 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday—albeit citing a “person knowledgeable with the matter.” Read More >>

Google CEO Tries to Smooth Things Over After YouTube’s Anti-LGBTQ Shitshow

The complete and utter shitshow that is YouTube’s bungled response to addressing anti-LGBTQ harassment on its platform today brings us a response from Google CEO Sundar Pichai following a meeting with LGBTQ groups at the company. Read More >>

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Facebook Worried About Mark Zuckerberg’s Old Emails in Privacy Probe

Employees within Facebook have dug up “emails that appear to connect Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to potentially problematic privacy practices” in the course of responding to a Federal Trade Commission investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing “people familiar with the matter.” Read More >>

Huawei Cancels Launch of New MateBook Laptop, Citing US Trade Bans

Chinese tech giant Huawei has cancelled the planned launch of a new MateBook laptop at the CES Asia 2019 trade show in Shanghai this week due to sweeping U.S. sanctions against the company, Ars Technica reported on Wednesday. Read More >>

Meet the Deepfake Zuckerberg, Same as the Flesh Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg may be famed for looking and acting like a (slightly damp) synthetic being trying to infiltrate human society, but a team of artists working with advertising company Canny appears to built a software version of the Facebook CEO that could one day threaten to make hardware Zuckerberg obsolete. Read More >>

InfoWars Must Pay Pepe the Frog Creator £11,800, Never Sell Pepe Merch Again in Settlement

InfoWars founder, conspiracy theorist, and tainted supplement pitchman Alex Jones has settled with artist Matt Furie, creator of the unfathomably widespread Pepe the Frog meme, for $15,000 (£11,800) after InfoWars used the image on an obnoxious poster it sold during the 2016 elections, Vice reported on Monday. Read More >>

G20 Countries Agree on Approach to Shut Down Big Tech’s Tax Loopholes

The group of 20 finance ministers meeting in Fukuoka, Japan reached a tentative agreement on Saturday to “compile common rules to close loopholes used by global tech giants” such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, Reuters reported—with a particular focus on reducing the practice by some companies of routing profits through countries that offer rock-bottom corporate tax rates, like Ireland and Luxembourg. Read More >>

Report: China Warns Foreign Tech Companies Not to Comply With Trump Trade Bans

Chinese government officials summoned representatives from major tech companies both from the U.S. and elsewhere to warn them of “dire consequences” if they go along with the Trump administration’s prohibition on sales of certain technologies to a number of Chinese companies, the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing two “people familiar with the meetings”. Read More >>

Google Fails to Have Lawsuit Originally Brought by Anti-Diversity Memo Author Thrown Out

Google’s efforts to have a lawsuit originally brought by ex-Google engineer James Damore dismissed were rejected by Superior Court Judge Brian Walsh in California's Santa Clara County, San Jose newspaper the Mercury News reported on Friday, meaning that the case can now proceed into the discovery phase. Read More >>

YouTube Just Can’t Stop Mumbling Nonsense About Its Harassment and Hate Speech Policy

YouTube has not had an easy go of it over the last 24 hours. Right in the middle of LGBT Pride Month, the platform responded to Vox Media host Carlos Maza’s claims that right-wing YouTube host Steven Crowder had repeatedly taunted him with racist, homophobic language including “lispy queer,” “token Vox gay atheist sprite,” “gay Mexican,” and “anchor baby” by... ruling that Crowder was not, in fact, in completely obvious violation of its anti-hate speech rules. Read More >>

Nice Bones You Got There, Shame If a Startup Was to Start Renting Out Pogo Sticks

Good news for anyone who’s ever wanted to mix the inherent danger of the trampoline with the thrill of getting nowhere slowly, while simultaneously wondering whether their skeletons should be in more shards. Sweden-based startup Cangoroo is planning to “deploy hundreds of pogo sticks” to “select cities” in London, the U.S. and elsewhere, CBS San Francisco reported on Friday. Read More >>

Major Google Outage Hits YouTube, G Suite, and Third Party Apps Including Discord and Snapchat

Google suffered major outages with its Cloud Platform on Sunday, causing widespread access issues with both its own services and third party apps ranging from Snapchat to Discord. Read More >>

Boeing Jet Sales Have Tanked in the Wake of 737 Max Crashes

After two crashes in the Java Sea near Indonesia and Ethiopia involving Boeing’s 737 Max line of passenger jets killed a total of 346 people, sales of 737 Max models have plummeted, CNN reported on Tuesday. Read More >>