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Technology

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Facebook has apologized in recent months for becoming a tool of foreign interference in elections, disinformation and hate speech in some of the world's most mature democracies. But critics are concerned that there's potential for even greater chaos elsewhere, especially in places where Facebook is the dominant social media platform.

Chicago has selected Elon Musk's Boring Company to build and operate an "express service to transport people to O'Hare Airport from downtown in 12 minutes on electric vehicles in underground tunnels," Mayor Rahm Emanuel says.

The World Cup starts on June 14 and runs through July 15. The games are in Russia, which is seven hours ahead of Eastern Time — meaning many of the matches will be held around midday in the U.S. So, how can you watch? We run down the options, online and broadcast:

  • On TV, the games will be on either Fox or Fox Sports 1 – on many days, the channels divide the matches. In Spanish, you can watch on both Telemundo and NBC Universo.

In a victory for Amazon, the Seattle City Council voted to repeal a tax on the city's biggest businesses Tuesday, a measure designed to fund efforts to combat Seattle's large homeless population.

In a meeting punctured with shouting from activists, council members voted 7-2 to repeal the so-called "head tax," which would have raised about $47 million per year to fund affordable housing projects and to help the city's homeless population.

Tesla Lays Off 9 Percent Of Workforce

Jun 12, 2018

Tesla will lay off about 3,500 workers in an effort to boost profitability, CEO Elon Musk wrote in a company email.

"What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable," Musk wrote.

Days after the Trump administration agreed to restore Chinese telecom firm ZTE's access to its U.S. parts suppliers, a bipartisan group of senators moved to block the deal.

An amendment sponsored by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., added language to the National Defense Authorization Act to reinstate a ban on ZTE buying U.S. components. That sanction was put in place after the Chinese company violated the terms of an earlier agreement to punish it for illegal sales to Iran and North Korea.

The Obama-era federal regulations known as net neutrality are done – at least for now. Though whether anything will change depends on where you live, and what internet service providers choose to do with their newfound freedom.

The hack of a cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea is being blamed for a sharp drop in bitcoin and other popular currencies, which lost billions of dollars in value. The Coinrail virtual currency exchange was breached over the weekend.

If a shopper clicks "buy" for a product that costs $1,000 or more, it's twice as likely to be a man than a woman. That's one of the results revealed in a new NPR/Marist poll about online shopping.

U.S. Takes Supercomputer Crown From China

Jun 10, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

When you follow retail, there are a few things you hear about a lot, and one of them is returns, because processing them costs stores a lot of money.

"Well over 10 to 11 percent of goods get returned," says Larisa Summers. "In some categories 20 to 30 percent of goods get returned."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It. Just. Doesn't. Stop.

Facebook is embroiled in a snafu that exposed users' private postings and made them public, the company admitted Thursday.

For four days, between May 18 to 22, Facebook tested a new feature that inadvertently switched the default settings for 14 million users from private to public allowing anyone on the Internet view status updates that were intended only for private audiences.

Updated at 12:18 p.m. ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday announced a deal with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that includes a $1 billion fine — a move that may indicate progress in high-stakes trade talks between the U.S. and China.

What do you go to Facebook for? Given how many of us use it — 68 percent of Americans, according to the Pew Research Center, with 74 percent of them visiting the site at least once a day — it's striking that, anecdotally at least, using the site evokes a sort of dissociative muscle memory, the ritual of dutifully giving posts from family and close-enough friends a thumbs-up.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Artificial Intelligence. Real News?

Jun 6, 2018

Close your eyes and try to picture a journalist. You’re probably imagining someone holding a pencil and a skinny notebook, shouting questions at lawmakers. Or a reporter in front of a camera bringing you the latest from a scene? Or maybe you’re thinking of our show, with Joshua interviewing guests in our Washington, D.C. studio.

Well, what if all of that was replaced … by robots?

Passenger jets in the future will be lighter, more fuel-efficient and faster — partly because they won't have windows.

That's the prediction of Tim Clark, the president of Emirates airline. He says video screens that mimic windows through live camera feeds — as used in some Emirates first-class suites — are effective replacements for actual windows.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Facebook's longstanding agreements that led it to share users' data with device-makers included Chinese phone-maker Huawei – a company of which the U.S. government has long been suspicious, and which intelligence officials view as a security threat.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yesterday's primary election results in eight states helped to set the stage for November.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On a cold December night last year, a meeting was called in the lobby of my apartment building. Concerned residents gathered to discuss a matter of great import: what to do about the swarms of packages jamming the lobby closet and overflowing into the entryway.

Unclaimed boxes were an eyesore and a nuisance. Finding the right package was starting to require gymnastic ability. And the boxes kept coming, by the dozens, maybe hundreds. Most of them were from Amazon: brown, with a smile on the side.

When Jamie Summitt woke up one Wednesday morning and saw the baby video monitor pointed right at her, she wasn't worried.

Yes, it had moved since the South Carolina stay-at-home mom fell asleep. But she assumed it was her husband, Kevin, checking in on her from work using the smartphone app that controls the camera.

That night, as the family ate dinner and the baby slept, her smartphone alerted her that the camera was being moved again.

After nine years and 2,630 posts, the All Tech Considered blog is being retired.

NPR Managing Editor Sara Kehaulani Goo acknowledged the important role blogs have played in "finding and growing a digital audience for our stories." But, she added, "when it comes to news, 'blogging' no longer defines what we're doing." Our audience, she said, finds stories in many other ways.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We saw the start of a conference in Silicon Valley yesterday, a conference for Apple software developers. They lined up for hours until the doors opened.

The Justice Department is appealing a ruling made last month that President Trump cannot block followers to his Twitter account based on their political views, according to a court filing.

In the past, the president has blocked critics from his @realDonaldTrump account, ranging from novelist Stephen King, comedian Rosie O'Donnell and Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and one of seven plaintiffs in the case.

Tim Cook, who has led Apple since 2011, spoke with NPR's Steve Inskeep in a wide-ranging interview on Monday as the company kicked off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Today NPR spoke directly with Apple CEO Tim Cook about the revelations that hardware makers had access to personal data in the Facebook app. NPR's Laura Sydell was there and joins us now. Hi, Laura.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Hello.

"We've never been in the data business," Apple CEO Tim Cook told NPR on Monday, responding to a report that Facebook struck agreements giving Apple and other device makers access to Facebook users' personal information.

Information on users' relationship status, religion and political leaning is among the private data that became available under partnerships between Facebook and at least 60 device makers, The New York Times reported.

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