Category Archives: Technology

silicon valley & technology news

Canada Details Plans for 5G Internet Rollout

Canada on Wednesday said it was preparing for the arrival of ultra-fast 5G internet service as it outlined plans to make more 5G spectrum available starting next year.

The federal Innovation Ministry released a paper outlining changes to an auction expected next year, a decision on a higher frequency millimeter wave spectrum in 2021, and a proposal for a new frequency in 2022.

“The next steps in our plan will continue to improve rural internet access and allow for the timely deployment of 5G connectivity while increasing the level of competition to lower prices for Canadians,” Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said in a statement.

The government estimates that 5G wireless technologies could be a C$40 billion ($29.8 billion) industry in Canada by 2026, and it is investing C$199 million over five years to modernize spectrum equipment.

Canada has not yet said whether or not it will use 5G equipment provided by China-based Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

The United States has accused Huawei of being tied to China’s government, and has effectively banned U.S. firms from doing business with the company for national security reasons.

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Amazon Says Drones Will Be Making Deliveries In Months

Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to use self-driving drones to deliver packages to shoppers’ home in the coming months 

The online shopping giant did not give exact timing or say where the drones will be making deliveries.

Amazon said its new drones use computer vision and machine learning to detect and avoid people or laundry clotheslines in backyards when landing.  

“From paragliders to power lines to a corgi in the backyard, the brain of the drone has safety covered,” said Jeff Wilke, who oversees Amazon’s retail business. 

Wilke said the drones are fully electric, can fly up to 15 miles and carry packages that weigh up to five pounds. 

Amazon has been working on drone delivery for years. Back in December 2013, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos told the “60 Minutes” news show that drones would be flying to customer’s homes within five years. But that deadline passed due to regulatory hurdles.  

The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates commercial use of drones in the U.S., did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. 

In April, a subsidiary of search giant Google won approval from the FAA to make drone deliveries in parts of Virginia. 

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Amazon Says Drones Will Be Making Deliveries In Months

Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to use self-driving drones to deliver packages to shoppers’ home in the coming months 

The online shopping giant did not give exact timing or say where the drones will be making deliveries.

Amazon said its new drones use computer vision and machine learning to detect and avoid people or laundry clotheslines in backyards when landing.  

“From paragliders to power lines to a corgi in the backyard, the brain of the drone has safety covered,” said Jeff Wilke, who oversees Amazon’s retail business. 

Wilke said the drones are fully electric, can fly up to 15 miles and carry packages that weigh up to five pounds. 

Amazon has been working on drone delivery for years. Back in December 2013, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos told the “60 Minutes” news show that drones would be flying to customer’s homes within five years. But that deadline passed due to regulatory hurdles.  

The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates commercial use of drones in the U.S., did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. 

In April, a subsidiary of search giant Google won approval from the FAA to make drone deliveries in parts of Virginia. 

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YouTube Bans Holocaust Denial Videos in Policy Reversal

YouTube said on Wednesday it would remove videos that deny the Holocaust, school shootings and other “well-documented violent events,” a major reversal in policy as it fights criticism that it provides a platform for hate speech and harassment.

The streaming service, owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, also said it would remove videos that glorify Nazi ideology or promote groups that claim superiority to others to justify several forms of discrimination.

In addition, video creators that repeatedly brush up against YouTube’s hate speech policies, even without violating them, will be removed from its advertising revenue-sharing program, YouTube spokesman Farshad Shadloo said.

YouTube for years has stood by allowing diverse commentary on history, race and other fraught issues, even if some of it was objectionable to many users.

But regulators, advertisers and users have complained that free speech should have its limits online, where conspiracies and hate travel fast and can radicalize viewers. The threat of widespread regulation, and a few advertiser boycotts, appear to have spurred more focus on the issue from YouTube and researchers.

In a blog post, the company did not explain why it changed its stance but said “we’ve been taking a close look at our approach towards hateful content in consultation with dozens of experts in subjects like violent extremism, supremacism, civil rights and free speech.”

YouTube acknowledged the new policies could hurt researchers who seek out objectionable videos “to understand hate in order to combat it.” The policies could also frustrate free speech advocates who say hate speech should not be censored.

Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, which researches anti-Semitism, said it had provided input to YouTube on the policy change.

“While this is an important step forward, this move alone is insufficient and must be followed by many more changes from YouTube and other tech companies to adequately counter the scourge of online hate and extremism,” Greenblatt said in a statement.

Other types of videos to be removed under YouTube’s new rules include conspiracy theories about Jews running the world, calls for denying women civil rights because of claims they are less intelligent than men, and some white nationalist content, Shadloo said.

YouTube said creators in the revenue-sharing program who are repeatedly found posting borderline hate content would be notified when they do it one too many times and could appeal their termination. The company did not immediately respond to questions about what the limit on such postings would be.

 

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YouTube Bans Holocaust Denial Videos in Policy Reversal

YouTube said on Wednesday it would remove videos that deny the Holocaust, school shootings and other “well-documented violent events,” a major reversal in policy as it fights criticism that it provides a platform for hate speech and harassment.

The streaming service, owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, also said it would remove videos that glorify Nazi ideology or promote groups that claim superiority to others to justify several forms of discrimination.

In addition, video creators that repeatedly brush up against YouTube’s hate speech policies, even without violating them, will be removed from its advertising revenue-sharing program, YouTube spokesman Farshad Shadloo said.

YouTube for years has stood by allowing diverse commentary on history, race and other fraught issues, even if some of it was objectionable to many users.

But regulators, advertisers and users have complained that free speech should have its limits online, where conspiracies and hate travel fast and can radicalize viewers. The threat of widespread regulation, and a few advertiser boycotts, appear to have spurred more focus on the issue from YouTube and researchers.

In a blog post, the company did not explain why it changed its stance but said “we’ve been taking a close look at our approach towards hateful content in consultation with dozens of experts in subjects like violent extremism, supremacism, civil rights and free speech.”

YouTube acknowledged the new policies could hurt researchers who seek out objectionable videos “to understand hate in order to combat it.” The policies could also frustrate free speech advocates who say hate speech should not be censored.

Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, which researches anti-Semitism, said it had provided input to YouTube on the policy change.

“While this is an important step forward, this move alone is insufficient and must be followed by many more changes from YouTube and other tech companies to adequately counter the scourge of online hate and extremism,” Greenblatt said in a statement.

Other types of videos to be removed under YouTube’s new rules include conspiracy theories about Jews running the world, calls for denying women civil rights because of claims they are less intelligent than men, and some white nationalist content, Shadloo said.

YouTube said creators in the revenue-sharing program who are repeatedly found posting borderline hate content would be notified when they do it one too many times and could appeal their termination. The company did not immediately respond to questions about what the limit on such postings would be.

 

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Apple to Preview New Software as It Makes Big Transition

Apple will preview upcoming changes to its phone and computer software Monday as it undergoes a major transition intended to offset eroding sales of its bedrock iPhone.

The company’s software showcase is an annual rite. But Apple is currently grappling with its biggest challenge since its visionary co-founder, Steve Jobs, died nearly eight years ago.

Many of the software updates are expected to be tailored for the digital services that Apple is rolling out to lessen its iPhone dependence.

Although still popular, the iPhone is no longer reliably driving Apple’s profits higher.  sales have fallen sharply for the past two quarters and there’s little reason to expect a quick turnaround.

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Google Server Trouble Snarls YouTube, Snapchat

Congested Google servers in the eastern United States caused problems for users of Snapchat and YouTube on Sunday, with complaints on social media that the popular apps weren’t accessible.

Google acknowledged the issue, writing in a statement on its Cloud Platform status page that it was dealing with “high levels of network congestion in the eastern USA, affecting multiple services in Google Cloud, G Suite and YouTube.”

“Users may see slow performance or intermittent errors,” it said, adding that engineers had completed the first of two steps to restore normal operations.

Earlier in the day, social media users complained of trouble loading a slew of popular websites and apps.

“Google, YouTube, Snapchat, Shopify, all currently down. Is the internet melting?” asked one Twitter post.

Snapchat and Google-owned YouTube both acknowledged the server issue on their Twitter accounts.

Cloud computing is one of Google’s most lucrative services, but faces stiff competition from other technology companies like Amazon and Microsoft.

In March, the world’s largest social network, Facebook, blamed a “server configuration change” for a massive outage affecting its applications around the world.

The outage affected users for at least 12 hours in most areas of the world, with the biggest impact in North America and Europe, a tracking website said at the time.

 

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Report: US Regulators Divide up Scrutiny of Google, Amazon

U.S. antitrust regulators have divided oversight of Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, putting Amazon under the watch of the Federal Trade Commission and Google under the Justice Department, the Washington Post said Saturday.

Amazon could face heightened antitrust scrutiny under a new agreement between U.S. regulators that puts the e-commerce giant under the watch of the trade commission, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The development is the result of the FTC and Justice Department quietly dividing up competition oversight on both of the American tech giants, Amazon and Google, the newspaper said, adding that the FTC’s plans for Amazon and the Justice Department’s interest in Google were not immediately clear.

The news comes after Reuters and other media reported Friday that the Justice Department is preparing an investigation into Google in order to ascertain whether the company broke antitrust law in operating its online businesses.

Google said it had no comment on the report, while Amazon, the FTC and Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report.

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Report: US Regulators Divide up Scrutiny of Google, Amazon

U.S. antitrust regulators have divided oversight of Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, putting Amazon under the watch of the Federal Trade Commission and Google under the Justice Department, the Washington Post said Saturday.

Amazon could face heightened antitrust scrutiny under a new agreement between U.S. regulators that puts the e-commerce giant under the watch of the trade commission, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The development is the result of the FTC and Justice Department quietly dividing up competition oversight on both of the American tech giants, Amazon and Google, the newspaper said, adding that the FTC’s plans for Amazon and the Justice Department’s interest in Google were not immediately clear.

The news comes after Reuters and other media reported Friday that the Justice Department is preparing an investigation into Google in order to ascertain whether the company broke antitrust law in operating its online businesses.

Google said it had no comment on the report, while Amazon, the FTC and Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report.

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