Trump's transgender military ban slammed by tech execs

Trump’s transgender military ban slammed by tech execs

Technology executives, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai took to social media to voice their displeasure over President Donald Trump’s latest stance on transgendered people in the military.

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said, “Everyone should be able to serve their country — no matter who they are.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP ATTACKS AMAZON ON TWITTER, SAYS IT DOESN’T PAY ‘INTERNET TAXES’

Google’s Pichai, who was recently added to the company’s board of directors, took to Twitter to voice his opinion.

Apple’s Tim Cook also tweeted about the ban, writing, “We are indebted to all who serve.”

Early on Wednesday, President Trump tweeted that after speaking to his generals and military advisers, transgender individuals will not be accepted or allowed to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.

Following the tweets, the Pentagon put out a statement, referring questions about the President’s comments back to the White House, while saying it would work with the White House to address any forthcoming changes to policy.

“We refer all questions about the President’s statements to the White House,” Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman said. “We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the Commander-in-Chief on transgender individuals serving the military.  We will provide revised guidance to the Department in the near future.”

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this story. This story has been updated to include Tim Cook’s comments.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/trumps-transgender-military-ban-slammed-by-tech-execs.html

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Tech execs slam Trump’s transgender military ban

Technology executives, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai took to social media to voice their displeasure over President Donald Trump’s latest stance on transgendered people in the military.

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said, “Everyone should be able to serve their country — no matter who they are.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP ATTACKS AMAZON ON TWITTER, SAYS IT DOESN’T PAY ‘INTERNET TAXES’

Google’s Pichai, who was recently added to the company’s board of directors, took to Twitter to voice his opinion.

Apple’s Tim Cook also tweeted about the ban, writing, “We are indebted to all who serve.”

Early on Wednesday, President Trump tweeted that after speaking to his generals and military advisers, transgender individuals will not be accepted or allowed to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.

Following the tweets, the Pentagon put out a statement, referring questions about the President’s comments back to the White House, while saying it would work with the White House to address any forthcoming changes to policy.

“We refer all questions about the President’s statements to the White House,” Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman said. “We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the Commander-in-Chief on transgender individuals serving the military.  We will provide revised guidance to the Department in the near future.”

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this story.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/tech-execs-slam-trumps-transgender-military-ban.html

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Cuomo revs up fight against texting drivers

OMG! New York state is cranking up its crackdown on drivers who text.

Gov. Cuomo announced Wednesday that he’s ordered his Traffic Safety Committee to review technology called the “textalyzer,” which would determine whether a motorist involved in a serious crash was using their phone beforehand.

“Despite laws to ban cellphone use while driving, some motorists still continue to insist on texting behind the wheel — placing themselves and others at substantial risk,” Cuomo said in a statement to the Associated Press. “This review will examine the effectiveness of using this new emerging technology to crack down on this reckless behavior and thoroughly evaluate its implications to ensure we protect the safety and privacy of New Yorkers.”

The governor’s committee will study the “textalyzer” device, as well as privacy and constitutional issues it could pose if implemented.

It will also hear from supporters and opponents of the technology, law enforcement officials and legal experts before issuing a report, Cuomo’s office said.

Cellebrite, the Israel-based tech company developing the device, said the “textalyzer” is months away from being ready.

The “textalyzer” has already garnered support from some state lawmakers.

Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Westchester) last year co-sponsored a bill that would allow police to use the technology.

“This is a matter of keeping the community safe,” Murphy said at the time.

From 2011 to 2015, a dozen people were killed and more than 2,700 were injured in cellphone-related crashes in New York state, according to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research.

During that same time period, 1.2 million tickets for cellphone violations were issued.

This story originally appeared on the New York Post.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/cuomo-revs-up-fight-against-texting-drivers.html

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Facebook’s new TV shows are coming sooner than you thought

Despite repeatedly denying it was a media company, Facebook is going to have its own version of television.

According to a Bloomberg report, Facebook is slated to have television shows which will appear on the platform, starting in mid-August. Reports previously indicated the offerings were supposed to begin last month.

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The report notes that it has asked already content partners to hand in their first episodes. These shows are short-form and inexpensive to produce. In addition to the short-form shows, Facebook is also reported to be working on higher-end TV shows as well. 

Analysts say there multiple reasons why Facebook wants to increase its video push: advertising and time spent. 

“[T]he more time people spend in Facebook the less they’ll look outside it for other things to do, so that Facebook becomes their whole world online,” Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson wrote in an email to Fox News. “It’s already the app in which people spend the most time, and through which people increasingly get their news and other information about the world, and Facebook wants to increase that time and that dominance of our digital lives still further.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

Earlier this week, television host Mike Rowe, famous for his “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe” show, which aired on the Discovery network, said he was working with Facebook to create a new show, “Returning the Favor.”

“The concept is aggressively simple – find people who are doing something decent in their community, and do something decent for them – something that allows them to do more of whatever it is they’re already doing,” Rowe wrote in a Facebook post. “In other words, we’re looking for ways to help more Bloody-Do-Gooders do more bloody good.”

It is unclear if Rowe’s “Returning the Favor” would be considered on the higher-end or short-form.

Facebook is looking to add new types of content to help it generate additional ad revenue, most notably the advertisements that appear on TV.

FACEBOOK COULD HELP YOU LIVE FOREVER

According to research firm eMarketer, TV ad spending is projected to hit $72.72 billion in 2017, but will be outpaced by digital ad spend, as companies like Facebook and Google attract more clients to their platforms. 

For years, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg insisted that the social networking giant, which has more than 2 billion active users, was not a media company. He went so far as to publish a post to his Facebook page following the U.S. election, talking about the company’s role in the election. In the comments section, Zuckerberg said it was “odd” people think Facebook is a media company.

“News and media are not the primary things people do on Facebook, so I find it odd when people insist we call ourselves a news or media company in order to acknowledge its importance. We are also serious about building software for companies, but we don’t call ourselves an enterprise software company. And we are serious about building planes to beam internet access, but we don’t call ourselves an aerospace company. We care deeply about all these things. We are a technology company because the main thing we do across many products is engineer and build technology to enable all these things.”

FACEBOOK JUST GOT RID OF THE EASIEST WAY TO SPREAD FAKE NEWS

In December, he appeared to backtrack those comments, saying Facebook was “not a traditional media company,” but that it built “technology and we feel responsible for how it’s used.”

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/facebooks-new-tv-shows-are-coming-sooner-than-thought.html

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Why your Roomba may soon morph into a ‘creepy little spy’

It may be “smart” to put robots to work in your home—but is it wise? Consumers who want the blueprint and contents of their homes kept private may be wary at news coming out of iRobot, which makes the Roomba robotic vacuum.

Per the New York Times, the company is mulling selling data that the Roomba picks up along with dirt during its daily cleanup sessions—everything from the layout of one’s home and brands of furniture, to a resident’s daily traffic patterns and income (based on those brands), to whether there’s a baby in the house—to Amazon, Google, or Apple.

Digital rights experts note this data on consumers and their residences can be used by marketers to bombard said consumers with targeted ads. “Your friendly little Roomba could soon become a creepy little spy,” tweeted Canadian nonprofit OpenMedia.

Reuters notes the Roomba is just part and parcel of the 21st-century “smart home,” which is already being stocked with internet-linked security systems, lights, and temperature controllers.

In its statement to the Times, iRobot insists consumer privacy is paramount, noting customers can flick a switch and “opt out” of their map data being uploaded, or not connect their Roomba to the internet at all.

“No data will be shared with third parties without the informed consent of our customers,” the statement reads. iRobot also says it doesn’t have any imminent plans for data-hawking, but company CEO Colin Angle tells Reuters that a contract to sell Roomba’s maps to either Apple, Amazon, or Google could happen within the next couple of years.

Amazon offered a “no comment”; the other two never got back to Reuters. (This Roomba caused a “pooptastrophe.”)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Your Roomba May Be Up to No Good

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/why-your-roomba-may-soon-morph-into-creepy-little-spy.html

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Nintendo Switch sales surpass 4.7 million

Everyone working at Nintendo will have a big smile on their face right now due to the successful launch of the Switch hybrid console. And those smiles will be even bigger today as hardware sales close in on five million units.

As reported by IGN, the latest financial result released by Nintendo show that the switch has now sold over 4.7 million units. That’s an additional 1.96 million units since the 2.74 million Nintendo shipped and sold during the console’s first month on sale.

As for Switch games, sales are also very impressive. While Zelda: Breath of the Wild was initially selling more than the Switch, it has now slipped back to 83 percent ownership. However, that still means Nintendo sold 3.92 million copies. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is even more impressive, achieving 3.54 million sales even though it was only released on April 28. Arms also managed 1.18 million sales, which is all the excuse Nintendo will need to make a sequel.

Before this week is over the New 2DS XL will go on sale in the US and across Europe. That doesn’t seem to have stopped previous models in the 3DS range selling, though. Nintendo managed to sell almost a million more 3DS during the last quarter and 5.85 million games. While those figures are lower when compared to last year, that’s still a clear sign of a healthy market. Amiibos are also doing surprisingly well, selling 1.6 million figures and 1.3 million card packs.

Considering how dire sales were for Wii U, it wasn’t going to be hard for Nintendo to beat last year’s figures. In total, revenue reached $1.4 billion (up 149% on last year), translating to a profit of $190 million.

With the Switch still in very high demand, we shouldn’t expect anything other than more good news when the next quarter results eventually appear. And we can’t forget that before then we’ll see the release of Super Mario Odyssey. Let’s hope that doubling of Switch production really is happening.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/nintendo-switch-sales-surpass-4-7-million.html

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Steve Jobs would be thrilled — Adobe will pull the plug on Flash by 2020

The end is nigh for Adobe’s Flash software.

After years of disdain from consumers, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and many in the tech industry, Adobe has finally decided to kill its Flash software, removing support by the end of 2020.

Web browsers Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari have all blocked Flash in the past year and new open formats, such as HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have ably fulfilled the role of Flash.

THE IPHONE 8 ISN’T EVEN HERE AND ANDROID USERS ARE ALREADY SWITCHING TO APPLE

“Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats,” Adobe wrote in a blog post Tuesday, making the announcement.

Flash is still widely used in a number of games, education and video sites, so Adobe will work with its partners to continue supporting the technology over the next few years. 

“We remain fully committed to working with partners, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to maintain the security and compatibility of Flash content,” Adobe added when making the announcement. “In addition, we plan to move more aggressively to [end of life] Flash in certain geographies where unlicensed and outdated versions of Flash Player are being distributed.”

Adobe’s partners all made comments about the end of Flash. Tech Apple’s longstanding disdain for the technology is well documented.

“iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch never supported Flash,” Apple said in a statement. “For the Mac, the transition from Flash began in 2010 when Flash was no longer pre-installed. Today, if users install Flash, it remains off by default. Safari requires explicit approval on each website before running the Flash plugin.”

Prior to his death, Jobs repeatedly expressed his dislike for Flash, even going so far as to write a letter about the software’s shortcomings.

“New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too),” Jobs wrote in the April 2010 letter. “Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.”

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/steve-jobs-would-be-thrilled-adobe-will-pull-plug-on-flash-by-2020.html

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Elon Musk shows off Boring Company elevator for the first time

With Elon Musk, nothing is ever boring – except if it’s his company.

Musk, who is the CEO of infrastructure and tunneling company, The Boring Company, showed off the first footage of his company’s elevator, designed to alleviate traffic.

In the video, a Tesla (a company where Musk is also the CEO and co-founder) gets on a lift on the surface and is then taken underground via elevator. From there, the car would then be transported to its destination on an electric slate in a series of underground tunnels.

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Musk has said the purpose of the company is to make traveling much more efficient and help alleviate conjestion on the roads, most notably in California. Along with Tesla and The Boring Company, SpaceX (another Musk company) is also located in California.

“The key to making this work is increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more – this is the goal of The Boring Company,” the company said on its website.

The company hopes to reduce the cost of tunneling underground (some projects cost as much as $1 billion per mile) by increasing the power of the machine, automating the machine, continuously tunneling, improving productivity and going electric.

ELON MUSK ANNOUNCES UNDERGROUND HYPERLOOP THAT DOES NEW YORK TO DC IN 29 MINUTES

Earlier this month, Musk tweeted that he had received “verbal [government] approval to build an underground Hyperloop that would allow passengers to go from New York to Washington D.C. in 29 minutes.

Musk later clarified those comments on Twitter, saying “a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but [I] am optimistic that will occur rapidly.”

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/elon-musk-shows-off-boring-company-elevator-for-first-time.html

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Trump says Apple CEO has promised to build three manufacturing plants in U.S.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said in an interview that Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook has committed to build three big manufacturing plants in the U.S., a surprising statement that would help fulfill his administration’s economic goal of reviving American manufacturing.

Mr. Trump, in a 45-minute interview with The Wall Street Journal, said Mr. Cook promised him Apple would build “three big plants, beautiful plants.” Mr. Trump didn’t elaborate on where those plants would be located or when they would be built.

“I spoke to [Mr. Cook], he’s promised me three big plants—big, big, big,” Mr. Trump said as part of a discussion about business-tax reform and business investment. “I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward.”

Apple declined to comment.

This story originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/trump-says-apple-ceo-has-promised-to-build-three-manufacturing-plants-in-u-s.html

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You want snark with those fries? No one is safe from Wendy’s tweets

Wendy’s Co. has come the mean girl of Twitter.

When archenemy McDonald’s Corp. in March announced it would begin using fresh rather than frozen beef in its Quarter Pounders, Wendy’s tweeted: “So you’ll still use frozen beef in MOST of your burgers in ALL of your restaurants? Asking for a friend.”

After Burger King tweeted about a five-for-$4 deal, a woman asked Wendy’s what it was firing back. “Edible food,” Wendy’s answered.

And when Hardee’s came out with a four-items-for-$4 deal, mimicking Wendy’s long-running four-for-$4 menu, Wendy’s tweeted, “We usually prefer the original to a knock off, but hey, you do you.”

This story originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/07/26/want-snark-with-those-fries-no-one-is-safe-from-wendys-tweets.html

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