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Technology

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Facebook says it has uncovered a disinformation campaign on its platforms and taken it down.

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Uber is shutting down its self-driving truck program, nearly six months after it settled a lawsuit from Waymo, the Google spinoff that accused Uber of using its proprietary designs. Uber says it will keep working on self-driving vehicles, but it will now focus solely on cars.

"We've decided to stop development on our self-driving truck program and move forward exclusively with cars," said Eric Meyhofer, the head of Uber's advanced technologies unit.

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This summer, NASA's Parker Solar Probe will embark on a mission to "touch the sun."

Facebook, Fake News and Free Speech

Jul 30, 2018

Facebook is a social media giant that has faced its share of scandals in recent years.

The latest one involves conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the founder and host of the show InfoWars. Facebook announced on Friday that it will level a 30-day suspension on Jones because four videos posted by him violated the company’s community standards.

From CNET:

For a brief while on the mound Sunday, Sean Newcomb stood atop the world. The young Atlanta Braves pitcher had thrown more than eight scoreless innings and allowed zero hits — until, with just one strike left to close it out, a line-drive single derailed his bid for the Braves' first no-hitter in a quarter-century.

Travis is a teenager living in a small town in the Northeast. He enjoys hunting and shooting, and keeps a rifle at home. But with several younger siblings around the house, he wanted to make sure his gun was safe. So he ordered a trigger lock on Amazon, to prevent the gun from firing.

"The reviews were great, five-star reviews," says Travis, who asked that NPR use only his first name to avoid scrutiny and possible legal attention. "[They] said it worked great, locked perfectly, the combination system worked great."

It didn't.

When Adam Stephens walked into his office in Milwaukee one morning in late June, he found messages complaining about the Birds. The deputy city attorney was not amused.

He went for a walk. "Within a couple of minutes, I found one parked on a sidewalk and was able to visually examine it and kind of figure out what it was," Stephens says.

Bird is the name of an electric scooter company. Unannounced, it dropped off somewhere between 70 and 100 rental scooters throughout Milwaukee, where it's illegal to ride motorized scooters in public.

When Russian hackers targeted the staff of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., they took aim at maybe the most vulnerable sector of U.S. elections: campaigns.

McCaskill's Senate staff received fake emails, as first reported by The Daily Beast, in an apparent attempt by Russia's GRU intelligence agency to gain access to passwords. McCaskill released a statement confirming the attack but said there is no indication the attack was successful.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

Social media companies have not had a good week in the stock market.

Pilots with billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic company climbed to 170,800 feet — about 32.3 miles — and reached 2.47 times the speed of sound Thursday in the third successful rocket-powered flight of the company's newest spacecraft.

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Netflix: Disruption On-Demand

Jul 26, 2018

Netflix only started streaming video on-demand 11 years ago. But in that short amount of time, it’s been able to transform the media industry.

The company’s success has inspired effusive headlines, like “How Netflix Is Everything To Everyone” and memes, like the omnipresent date idea #netflixandchill.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

A data-sharing scandal and privacy concerns appear to be taking a toll on Facebook.

Its stock dropped nearly 20 percent Thursday — a day after the company released earnings showing that its user growth has stalled and told investors that it expects revenue growth to slow for the rest of the year.

With a loss of more than $100 billion in its value, the social media giant had one of its worst trading days.

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The future is here and soon it will be toting grocery shoppers around Phoenix.

Walmart and Waymo — formerly Google's self-driving car project — announced on Wednesday the launch of a pilot program that will allow consumers to make their grocery pickups with the help of an autonomous vehicle.

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Reclaim Your Data

Jul 23, 2018

Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says the most dangerous threat we — individually and as a society and country — face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal data.

He thinks nothing undermines our freedom more than losing control of private information about ourselves. And yet, we are ever more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

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Russian Influence Operations

Jul 21, 2018

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'Meddling' Vs. Information Warfare

Jul 21, 2018

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Looking At Russian Social Media Influence

Jul 21, 2018

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It's a haunting image. At dusk, hundreds of Rohingya refugees at a camp in Bangladesh are huddled around a projector, looking at something just outside the frame — a film about health and sanitation.

That photo, taken on an iPhone by documentary photographer Jashim Salam of Bangladesh, is the grand prize-winning photo of the 2018 iPhone Photography Awards.

With less than four months to go, how much are this year's midterm elections at risk for the kind of interference sowed by Russia in 2016?

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There's a fresh controversy for Facebook. Yesterday in an interview with the podcast Recode, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Holocaust deniers should be allowed to express their opinion on the social media platform.

Three Dimensions, Endless Possibilities

Jul 19, 2018

Five years ago, Cody Wilson fired the world’s first fully 3-D-printed gun at a range in central Texas. Then he shared the blueprint online, where it was downloaded over 100,000 times in the first few days.

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