Home Tech News Tech News Roundup 05/22/18

Tech News Roundup 05/22/18

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Here is today’s tech news roundup for May 22nd, 2018

Zuckerberg avoided tough questions thanks to short EU testimony format

Mark Zuckerberg got to cherry-pick the questions he wanted to answer from EU Parliament after it spent an hour taking turns rattling off queires before leaving just a half-hour for his responses. Zuckerberg immediately trotted out his dorm room story of not expecting Facebook’s current duty to safety and democracy, and repeated his pledge to broaden the company’s responsibility.

Instagram now lets you mute your friends

At long last, Instagram is adding the option to mute people from appearing in your feed. With an update rolling out “over the coming weeks,” you’ll be able to choose to remove someone’s posts, or both their posts and their stories, from appearing on Instagram’s main screen.

Amuse scores $15.5M for its free music distribution service and ‘next gen’ record label

Amuse, the Swedish startup that offers a free distribution service for artists wanting to get their music on Spotify, Apple Music et al., coupled with what it’s calling a “next generation” record label, has raised $15.5 million in Series A funding.

Amazon is selling police departments a real-time facial recognition system

Documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California have shed new light on Rekognition, Amazon’s little-known facial recognition project. Rekognition is currently used by police in Orlando and Oregon’s Washington County, often using nondisclosure agreements to avoid public disclosure.

Just like Twitter, Gmail lets you ‘@’ mention people

Gmail got a much-needed visual refresh and some clever new features recently, including Smart Compose and a snooze button for incoming messages. But did you know that the revamped interface also supports user mentions, à la Twitter?

Florida City Has Been Accidentally Sending Out Zombie Alert Messages Since Hurricane Irma

No one should ever screw around on a public alert system. But considering it’s been a bad year for warning systems-from the Hawaii false emergency alert accidentally informing the public of an incoming missile that didn’t exist to the National Weather Service’s false tsunami warning to the Department of Justice’s Amber Alert site issues that redirected visitors to porn sites-now is an especially bad time for someone to be screwing around on an alert system.

EU Parliament grills Facebook’s Zuckerberg over data mining, election meddling

Mark Zuckerberg was in Brussels on the latest stop of his apology tour Tuesday, delivering yet another mea culpa for privacy and policy blunders that led to one of the largest data leaks in Facebook’s history and an unprecedented attack on democratic elections across the West. Yes, it’s as serious as all that.

Vivo teases launch of full-screen smartphone with pop-up selfie camera

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo has just teased the launch of a new smartphone which harnesses some of the impressive technology we witnessed on its Apex Concept handset earlier this year. With a launch event scheduled in Shanghai, China on June 12, the teaser video shows an all-screen smartphone with a pop-up selfie camera that automatically rises out the top of the phone.


Trump feels presidential smartphone security is “too inconvenient”

The mobile device habits of President Donald J. Trump have been an ongoing source of agitation for many- and not just because of his frequent blasts on Twitter. Getting Trump to adapt his device use to the potential security threats faced by a head of state has proven to be a challenge for the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) and the White House’s information technology team.

Twitter is killing off its apps for Xbox, Roku, and Android TV

Today Twitter announced it is killing off several of its apps, including Twitter for Android TV, Twitter for Roku, and Twitter for Xbox. Twitter for Xbox allowed for curated Twitter commentary to display while watching videos, and had a whopping average rating of one and a half stars out of five on the Microsoft store.

Starbucks’s mobile payment service is slightly outpacing Apple’s

People really love getting their coffee more quickly. Starbucks, which has operated its own mobile payments service since 2011, is the market leader in terms of mobile payments users, beating out Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, according to a new reporter from eMarketer out this morning.

Snap VP of Monetization Engineering Leaves For Tesla

Tesla has hired Snap Inc.’s VP of monetization engineering, Stuart Bowers, to be the electric carmaker’s VP of engineering. Nearly a dozen members of Snap’s senior leadership have departed since the company went public in early 2017.

U.S., China Agree on Outline to Settle ZTE Controversy

The U.S. and China have agreed on the broad outline of a deal to settle the controversy over Chinese telecom giant ZTE, as the two sides work toward an agreement to ease trade tensions.

The Privacy Scandal That Should Be Bigger Than Cambridge Analytica

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A giant company that relies on users to trust it with some of their most intimate personal data turns out to have been abusing that trust by passing that data on to shady third parties.

Overall Q1 US Smartphone Sales Dip 11% YoY, Apple Grows a Record 16% YoY – Counterpoint Research

Six out of the top ten smartphone model SKUs were from Apple with iPhone 8 & X 64 GB versions the most popular. Surprisingly, the US market saw a weaker prepaid segment during the post-holiday season quarter.

Netflix, Hulu and Other Streaming Services Trounce Pay TV on Customer Satisfaction

This won’t come as a huge shock: Customers of streaming-video companies like Netflix and Hulu are far happier with their service overall than subscribers of traditional cable, satellite and telco TV operators. That’s according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a research org that maintains widely recognized benchmarks in multiple industries.

Realeyes, which uses AI and a front-facing camera to read viewers’ emotions, raises $16.2M

One of the more interesting applications of AI to the world of advertising and marketing has been in how it’s being used to help measure and ultimately shape campaigns. Now, a company providing the technology to do that has raised a round both to expand its business in adtech as well as to tackle new applications in healthcare and education.

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