Big Ambition

1_TOP NEWS

Amid the Recession, Tech Giants See Opportunity

As many businesses reel and retreat amid a pandemic-induced recession, tech’s largest companies—still hugely profitable and flush with cash—are laying the groundwork for a future where they will be bigger and more powerful than ever, the New York Times reports.


2_LAW

How to Understand Section 230


The U.S. Justice Department this week proposed that Congress take up legislation to curb protections big tech platforms like Google and Facebook have had for decades, Reuters reports. Section 230 is the legal foundation of social media and it gives broad immunity to websites that wasn't available to anyone before the Internet. But critics often fundamentally misrepresent how Section 230 works, Ars Technica contends.


3_DATA

Using Data to Grade the Covid-19 Response 


An independent group of researchers is using aggregated movement data from Facebook and other companies to assess the effectiveness and potential pitfalls of Covid-related public health interventions, STAT reports. The group, called the Covid-19 Mobility Data Network, includes public health researchers and data scientists from institutions including Harvard and MIT.


4_SECURITY

Is This the End of Zoombombing?

 

Zoom says it will roll out secure end-to-end encryption for all users—even those who do not pay for the service—reversing course on a previous announcement, the Washington Post reports. The videoconferencing app, which has reported massive growth during the coronavirus pandemic, has been skewered for privacy breaches.


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5_SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter Unveils Audio Tweets on iOS 

 

Twitter is introducing the ability to record audio snippets and attach them to tweets, The Verge reports. The new feature, available first on iOS, captures up to 140 seconds of audio. Once you reach the time limit for a tweet, a new voice tweet starts automatically to create a thread, Twitter said.


6_VIDEO

A Prescription Video Game Gets FDA Approval


The Food and Drug Administration for the first time has approved a prescription video game, Slate reports. Now, physicians may prescribe Akili Interactive’s EndeavorRx, formerly known as Project EVO, to children ages of 8 and 12 who struggle with ADHD.


7_SOFTWARE

Do Coders Have a Place in Software’s Future?

 

We are nearing a point where software is developing so fast and the abstractions getting better that soon we will have more software written by a smaller number of people, writes Can Duruk, a former software engineer, on The Margins.  He believes that, just like software made legions of people working in other industries obsolete, it will soon make its creators less valuable too.


8_MARKETING

The Science Behind Instagram Photos That Work 


What makes a good Instagram marketing photo? The Next Web talked to a neuroscientist, a top designer, and a visual psychologist to find out what drives up likes, followers, and click-through rates on Instagram.


9_MEDIA

CNet Looks Back at 25 Years of Tech Upheaval


A quarter of a century has passed since CNET, a fledgling cable news channel about technology, launched its first website. Within a few short years, the website evolved to eclipse the cable channel, and CNET eventually became the largest technology publication in the world, Editor-in-Chief Lindsey Turrentine writes. This month, CNet is looking back at 25 years of incredible change in the tech world.


10_SAY WHAT?

Micro Motor

 

A research team has developed a molecular motor that consists of only 16 atoms and rotates reliably in one direction, Science Daily reports. It could allow energy harvesting at the atomic level. The motor measures less than one nanometer—roughly 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.