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In a new court filing, TikTok leaders make clear just how much is at stake in a prolonged battle with the Trump administration: If TikTok were banned for two months, up to half of its users in America would never come back. If the ban persisted for six months, 90% of TikTok users would be gone forever, according to a top TikTok executive.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

President Trump warned tech companies he is "watching them very closely during this election cycle" as his administration proposed stripping online platforms of long-held legal protections.

"We see so many things that are unfair," Trump said during at a White House discussion with Republican state attorneys general about social media. "It's very serious. Very bad. Very serious."

The United States is home to the world's best-known technology companies, but so far the use of smartphones to fight the coronavirus has been tepid at best.

Smartphones have the potential to be a powerful tool in tracking the spread of COVID-19. They can tell you exactly how close you've been to other people, for how long and keep a detailed log of everyone you've been around for the last 14 days. Linked to testing systems, they can rapidly alert you if someone you've been in contact with tests positive.

Critics of Facebook and Twitter — and even some people inside the companies — say dramatic action is needed to counter the way the platforms supercharge false, and sometimes dangerous, claims.

Facebook says it has taken down a network of China-based fake accounts whose posts included content about the U.S. presidential election.

Most of the activity by the more than 180 fake accounts, groups and pages was focused on Southeast Asia, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, said in a blog post Tuesday.

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Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

In what is set to be one of the largest ever acquisitions in the video game industry, Microsoft announced Monday that it has reached a deal to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of popular video game publisher Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion.

Since July, President Trump has turned a wildly successful viral video app TikTok into his favorite punching bag.

Trump's logic went something like this: Since TikTok's corporate parent company ByteDance is headquartered in Beijing, TikTok could be used as an arm of the Chinese Communist Party to spy on American citizens or cause other mischief.

So the president repeatedly declared that TikTok needs to free itself from ByteDance's control, or be shut down in the U.S. for good.

A federal judge has blocked President Trump's executive order that would have effectively shut down popular Chinese app WeChat, ruling that the action represents a free speech violation.

WeChat, used by 1.2 billion users worldwide and 19 million people in the U.S., was set to stop operating in the U.S. on midnight Sunday following Trump's order invoking a national emergency and targeting the app on national security grounds.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Updated 12:55 a.m. ET

President Trump has given tentative approval to a deal that will keep TikTok alive in the U.S., resolving a months-long confrontation between a hit app popularized by lip-syncing teens and White House officials who viewed the service as a national security risk.

TikTok downloads were set to be banned in the U.S. starting at midnight Sunday, but that has now been averted.

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CAROL BASKIN: Hey, all you cool cats and kittens. It's Carol Baskin from Big Cat Rescue. Diana (ph), you are one special, cool kitten. Paul (ph) tells me that you are turning 40 soon.

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So starting this Sunday, the mobile apps TikTok and WeChat will be banned from U.S. app stores. That was the announcement from the U.S. Commerce Department today. The Chinese-owned apps have been the target of the Trump administration. They say the apps collect data from American users that could be accessed by the Chinese government. A sale of TikTok has been in the works, but so far, no deal has been finalized. And let's turn to NPR's Bobby Allyn, who's been following this story. Good morning, Bobby.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Hey, David.

Updated at 2:41 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is banning Americans from downloading popular video-sharing app TikTok and limiting the use of WeChat because of national security concerns, the Commerce Department announced on Friday.

As of midnight on Sunday, TikTok will also not be able to receive system updates, which could affect its functionality, including slowing down the app, but the app's current version will still work for American users. Over time, however, TikTok may stop working altogether.

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A plan to save popular video-sharing app TikTok in the U.S. is taking shape behind closed doors in Washington, though President Trump cast fresh doubt Wednesday that the deal as it stands would satisfy the White House.

The urgent talks are happening with only days to go before Trump's executive order to shut down TikTok's business in the U.S. will take effect.

The Justice Department announced charges on Wednesday against five Chinese nationals in connection with the hacking of more than 100 American and foreign companies as well as of nonprofits and universities.

The department also charged two Malaysian businessmen with conspiring with two of the indicted Chinese nationals to target companies in the billion-dollar computer game industry. American officials say Malaysian authorities have arrested the businessmen, who now face extradition to the United States.

The driver behind the wheel of an autonomous Uber car that fatally struck an Arizona woman has been charged with negligent homicide.

Rafaela Vasquez, 46, appeared in court on Tuesday in Maricopa County, Ariz. She pleaded not guilty to the charge, NPR member station KJZZ reports, and has been released with an ankle monitor.

Her trial is set for Feb. 21, The Associated Press reports.

A small — though prominent — group of public figures is taking a 24-hour break from the platforms that magnify their celebrity to protest what they see as Facebook's failure to control disinformation and hate speech.

The campaign, #StopHateForProfit, is aimed at Facebook and Instagram and has attracted such disparate individuals as Kim Kardashian West, Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Ruffalo.

Bill Gates Sr., the father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has died. He was 94.

"We will miss him more than we can express right now," Gates wrote in a tribute to his father on his website. "My dad's wisdom, generosity, empathy, and humility had a huge influence on people around the world."

A sweeping congressional inquiry into the development and certification of Boeing's troubled 737 Max airplane finds damning evidence of failures at both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration that "played instrumental and causative roles" in two fatal crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

A Google executive faced bipartisan grilling in the Senate on Tuesday over the company's dominance in digital advertising, in a preview of arguments the tech giant is likely to soon face from antitrust regulators.

Giant flares and eruptions from the sun can cause space weather, and stormy space weather can interfere with everything from satellites to the electrical grid to airplane communications. Now, though, there's good news for people who monitor the phenomenon — the sun has passed from one of its 11-year activity cycles into another, and scientists predict that the new cycle should be just about as calm as the last.

Facebook is launching a climate change information page in an effort to promote facts about climate change from trusted sources.

Users in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany are seeing links and information from Facebook's Climate Change Information Center starting Tuesday. It's similar to the COVID-19 information page launched in March.

Unlimited vacation. No dress code (just don't show up naked). No approval needed for expenses. And if you criticize the company, you might get rewarded with a promotion.

"It's risky trusting employees as much as we do. Giving them as much freedom as we do," Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings said in an interview with NPR. "But it's essential in creative companies where you have much greater risk from lack of innovation."

More than smart strategy, or good timing or simply luck, Hastings credits the company's unorthodox workplace culture for its meteoric rise.

Decades before Google or Facebook existed, a Madison Avenue advertising man started a company called Simulmatics based on a then-revolutionary method of using computers to forecast how people would behave.

Formed in 1959, Simulmatics charged clients a hefty fee to access its "people machine" — a computer program that drew on polling information and behavioral science to predict mathematically the impact of an advertising pitch or political message.

Unlimited vacation. Submitting expenses without approval. Being promoted for criticizing your company.
These are the perks of working for Netflix, says CEO Reed Hastings.
HASTINGS: It's risky trusting employees as much as we do. Giving them as much freedom as we do. But it's essential in creative companies where you have much greater risk from lack of innovation.
In his new book, "No Rules Rules," Hastings discusses his guiding principle: The Keeper Test.

Playbill, the program magazine given out at theaters, has been around for 136 years. It's not just a program, it's a cherished souvenir. "It has become kind of the best memento of your night out at the theater," says Alex Birsh, the company's vice president.

But with theaters on Broadway and across the country shut down since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, Playbill is just one of the many companies servicing the performing arts that has had to adapt.

If past generations saw their wanderlust reflected in Alice peering down a rabbit hole or Luke Skywalker staring down a sunset, the COVID-era equivalent will almost certainly involve a hero gazing into a screen: With most of the U.S. still advised to stay home as much as possible, televisions and smart devices feel more than ever like flickering portals, promising the addled mind passage to anywhere but our own four walls.

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