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Technology

The latest developments from the tech and science industry.

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Panel on artificial intelligence urges US to boost tech skills amid China’s rise

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and current executives from Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon are among the 15 members of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which released its final report to Congress on Monday.

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Tech program launches to support city’s Black and Latino entrepreneurs

The program was created by the nonprofit P33 with Verizon and business incubator 1871 to generate tech-related jobs and give $5 million for early-stage Black and Latino tech entrepreneurs.

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Facebook says it will pay $1B over 3 years to news industry

Facebook is following the footsteps of Google, which said in October that it would pay publishers $1 billion over the next three years.

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Unfriended no more: Facebook to lift Australia news ban

The social media company caused alarm with its sudden decision last week to block news on its platform across Australia after the House of Representatives passed the draft law.

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Facebook blocks Australians from accessing news on platform

Australian publishers can continue to publish news content on Facebook, but links and posts can’t be viewed or shared by Australian audiences, the U.S.-based company said in a statement.

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Fake social media accounts gain traction as they praise China, mock US

Relations between Washington and Beijing worsened under former President Donald Trump, who launched an aggressive diplomatic and economic offensive against China. That tension has played out on social media, where Chinese state officials have aired pointed criticisms of Trump in recent years.

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Amid GameStop controversy, Naperville attorney sues investor app over trading halt

"The halting of trading of these stocks was to protect institutional investment at the detriment of retail customers," Richard Joseph Gatz wrote in the suit filed Thursday in federal court.

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Facebook panel overturns 4 content takedowns in first ruling

Critics, however, called the announcement largely irrelevant given the flood of misinformation, extremism and racism that remains on Facebook despite the company’s efforts over the past years.

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EU urges US to draft joint rule book to rein in tech giants

In a speech to the Davos World Economic Forum, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged the Biden administration to join forces against "the darker sides of the digital world," which she said was partly behind the "shock" storming of Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.

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Widespread internet outages hit northeast US

The outage is affecting major internet and cloud providers as well as major sites such as Google and Facebook.

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Trump backers seek online refuges after big tech backlash

The efforts by those mainstream platforms, prompted by the deadly rampage at the U.S. Capitol, will likely succeed, according to experts. But the crackdown could send some of Trump’s fiercest supporters retreating to dark and secret spaces on the internet where conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric run rampant.

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Amazon seeks to keep conservative app Parler offline

Amazon’s lawyers made the claim on Tuesday, a day after Parler on Monday filed a lawsuit against Amazon claiming a breach of contract and antitrust violation after its account was suspended and effectively removed from the internet, The Seattle Times reported.

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CES, gone virtual this year, showcases buzzy trends in tech, electronics, cars, appliances

Trends to watch: COVID-related robots and gadgets, products that make working from home easier, AI in everything and TVs that can bend or become transparent.

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Squelched by Twitter, Trump seeks new online megaphone

The far right-friendly Parler may be the leading candidate, though Google and Apple have both removed it from their app stores and Amazon decided to boot it off its web hosting service.

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Chicago Park District to co-host its first esports tournament

During the 2018-19 school year, about 200 U.S. colleges and universities offered $16 million in esports scholarships, according to recent studies.

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Illinois joins antitrust lawsuits seeking to ‘end Facebook’s monopoly’

The legal actions were announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

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Sterling Bay launches new health care, technology business incubator

One of the programs being offered is called "Equity for Equity," which aims at increasing private equity investments to women, Black, Latino, LGBTQ, veterans and differently abled people that own or operate start-ups in those fields.

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The race to distribute COVID-19 vaccines

Drug manufacturers Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca are leading the pack as researchers around the globe are rush to learn more about the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the hopes of developing a treatment, vaccine and cure for the pandemic virus.

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Uptown-based startup curates ‘forgotten’ services for senior care facilities — and families

ConnectCareHero aims to bridge the gap for services in Black and brown communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Big-screen TVs, routers, practical tech likely to be big sellers this holiday shopping season

Expect many 65-inch TVs to be priced as low as $250 and for even bigger ones to also be heavily discounted.

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Chicago area natives to receive $300K from the Elevate Prize Foundation

The Guitar Over Guns music program and the Naperville-born creator of an anti-cyberbullying app are among the foundation’s 10 first-ever award recipients.

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Apple unveils iPhone 12 models starting at $699, and HomePod Mini speaker

The tech giant said the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro will be available for preorder this Friday, and launch Oct. 23. The larger iPhone 12 Pro Max and smaller iPhone 12 Mini will be available to preorder Nov. 6, and launch Nov. 13.

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Facebook bans Holocaust denial, distortion posts

The decision comes amid a push by Holocaust survivors around the world over the summer who lent their voices to a campaign targeting Zuckerberg, urging him to take action to remove Holocaust denial posts from the social media site.

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‘neXt’: AI stands for ‘alarming intelligence’ on Fox’s slick sci-fi series

Techno-thriller plot of the Chicago-made show features many fun twists — and a few corpses.

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Federal judge postpones Trump ban on popular app TikTok

The ruling followed an emergency hearing Sunday morning in which lawyers for TikTok argued that the administration’s app-store ban would infringe on the company’s First Amendment rights and do irreparable harm to the business.

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Q&A: How to handle technology issues with online school

Across the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic has forced students to attend virtual school

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Black-, Hispanic-owned businesses get 2 days in Instagram spotlight

Instagram partnered with My Block, My Hood, My City and the Illinois Hispanic Chambers of Commerce for a two-day virtual festival highlighting local small businesses.

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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.