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Technology

The latest developments from the tech and science industry.

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Apple debuts cheaper watch, but no new iPhones … yet

Apple is introducing a cheaper version of its smartwatch, its latest attempt to broaden the appeal of its trend-setting products while more consumers are forced to scrimp during ongoing fallout from the pandemic.

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TikTok picks Oracle over Microsoft in Trump-forced sales bid

The owner of TikTok has chosen Oracle over Microsoft as its preferred suitor to buy the popular video-sharing app, according to a source familiar with the deal.

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Nonprofit provides free online legal services on immigration issues

Immigrants Like Us says it will do "90% of work that lawyers do" — and won’t charge for anything. Co-founder Jonathan Petts said he wants to make immigration as accessible as possible.

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Technology troubles mark return to school in remote learning age

Zoom experienced partial outages across the nation Monday morning, and Blackboard, used by UIC, experienced issues throughout the day.

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TikTok ban: Survey finds most adults favor its US prohibition

57% of all Americans agree with the President’s move to kick the music video app out of the U.S.

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An urban farm to bring green energy, jobs to South Side

Green Era Renewable Energy and Urban Farming Campus is expected to be complete in spring 2022. A $3 million state grant announced Friday will help; it comes on top of other financial assistance from the city and a local foundation.

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Trump bans dealings with Chinese owners of TikTok, WeChat

President Donald Trump has ordered an unspecified ban on "transactions" with the Chinese owners of the consumer apps TikTok and WeChat

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Company opens fiber-optics factory in Aurora

With $5 million backing, viaPhoton positions itself for demand from the advent of 5G technology.

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US accuses Chinese hackers in targeting of COVID-19 research

The Justice Department says hackers working with the Chinese government targeted firms developing coronavirus vaccines and stole hundreds of millions of dollars worth of intellectual property and trade secrets from companies worldwide.

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Obama, Biden, Gates Twitter accounts hacked in bitcoin scam

Con artists on Wednesday apparently hacked into the Twitter accounts of technology moguls, politicians and major companies in an apparent bitcoin scam.

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Ready to quit Facebook? Here might be some better social media options for you

Consider some alternatives: MeWe, Parler or old standbys such as LinkedIn.

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Facebook to label all rule-breaking posts - even Trump’s

Facebook says it will flag all ‘newsworthy’ posts from politicians that break its rules, including those from President Donald Trump

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Facebook removes Trump ads with upside-down triangle symbols once used by Nazis

Trump campaign claims symbol has been used by antifa. Facebook says it does not permit ‘symbols of hateful ideology’

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CPD no longer using Clearview AI facial recognition software, department says after ACLU sues controversial firm

The lawsuit seeks to protect the privacy of residents, specifically survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse which are "uniquely harmed by face recognition surveillance," the civil rights group said.

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Google facing onslaught of antitrust cases in US: report

The Wall Street Journal reported that federal and state regulators are preparing to file antitrust lawsuits alleging that Google has abused its dominance of online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits.

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Quibi’s little shows add up to mostly satisfying entertainment

The new streaming service brings us Liam Hemsworth being hunted and Chance the Rapper punking stars in short episodes for your phone.

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Facebook admits a bug was incorrectly blocking news posts about the coronavirus

Users complained that links to news stories were blocked on the grounds that they violate "our community standards on spam."

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Is your doorbell or thermostat eavesdropping on you in the privacy of your own home?

Sensors recognize when you are home. They know what you buy, the music you enjoy, the movies you watch and even what your voice sounds like compared to others. They can record you without your knowledge.

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State legislators want to tame ‘wild, wild west’ of smart technology data

The Protecting Household Privacy Act would require makers of smart devices to tell customers how their information is shared.

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‘Glaring’ lack of diversity at city’s tech giants drives creation of new pipeline for people of color

Re:work training helps companies like Google, LinkedIn and Groupon find candidates outside of their traditional recruitment pipelines.

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Lightfoot urged to pull the plug on facial recognition technology

A coalition of 75 civil liberties groups led by the Lucy Parsons Project calls the system used by the Chicago Police Department "racially-discriminatory, inaccurate and highly-biased."

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CPD using controversial facial recognition program that scans billions of photos from Facebook, other sites

Critics say Clearview AI’s software is an invasive overreach because it grabs the photos without the consent of those pictured or even the websites that post them.

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Chicago’s 911 emergency center to get a $75 million upgrade

The 20-year-old computer-aided dispatch system that forms the guts of Chicago’s 911 center will be replaced by a new system that accepts texts, photos and videos from emergency scenes.

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Quibi thinks you’ll pay for its big-time, Hollywood-backed video bites

The company is preparing to offer movies, shows and other short form video designed for viewing in short bursts on mobile devices. It has backing from all the major movie studios and entertainment companies and $1 billion invested in original programming.

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CES 2020: Cool gadgets that caught our attention — and Amazon Fire TV headed to your car

With few exceptions, you’ll likely never get to buy any of these things. One is way too expensive for the average U.S. consumer. One isn’t even really ready to be used yet. And the other, well, that one you can buy on Amazon.

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Will Apple kill off the Lightning charging port on its iPhones?

The iPhone giant is reportedly planning to launch a high-end smartphone in 2021 without a charging cable port.

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Airbnb announces changes after Vice uncovers Chicago rental scam

The company is trying to improve user trust and make it easier for guests and hosts to report problems and obtain refunds when things go awry.

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TV streaming services: All the major options, from Netflix to Apple TV+, ranked

Not all streaming services are created equal. Before you subscribe to the latest, consider these, ranked from best to worst. We’ve included only services not available as a cable channel.

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Uber to launch on-demand staffing business in Chicago

Uber Works will launch Friday, handling employee screening while it’s partner, staffing agency TrueBlue, will handle payments and worker benefits, an Uber spokesperson confirmed Wednesday evening.

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Coming soon: Alexa in your ear and on your finger — and if you like— with Samuel L. Jackson’s voice

The online shopping giant said Wednesday that it will soon start selling wireless earbuds, finger rings and prescription eyeglasses with its Alexa voice assistant built in. It also launched its first celebrity voice for Alexa: actor Samuel L. Jackson.

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Airbnb, NAACP seek to bolster economic opportunity on South Side

The tech company wants to increase diversity among its workforce while creating economic empowerment on the South Side.

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Chicago cops could have access to video from thousands of new cameras — on residents’ front doors

Police are starting a pilot program with doorbell camera company Ring, which could aid in solving crime but which raises privacy fears.