Google v. Oracle


Supreme Court Hears Landmark Copyright Case

U.S. Supreme Court justices pressed Google Wednesday to explain why its use of code from the Java-programming platform to develop its Android mobile operating system didn’t amount to theft, the Washington Post reports. In the closely watched case that could determine how copyright law applies to software, Oracle has alleged that Google infringed on copyrights it acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems. Google argued that weaving the code into Android was protected under the “fair use” doctrine. (Listen to the oral arguments.)


Report: Tech’s Four Giants Are Anti-Competitive


A long-awaited report from top Democratic congressional lawmakers about the dominance of the four biggest tech giants had a clear message, Vox reports: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google engage in a range of anti-competitive behavior, and U.S. antitrust laws need an overhaul. The New York Times posted a summary of the accusations against each company in the report.


Slack Aims to Be ‘the Central Nervous System’ of Businesses

Steve Wood joined Slack three months ago as head of Platform, its collection of tools that allow developers to build their own apps and workflows within Slack, and he wants to turn the chat app into a way to understand everything happening inside a company, Protocol reports. What Slack doesn't want to be is a full-fledged workplace a la Office or the new Google Workspace.


Instagram’s First Decade

Ten years ago this week, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released Instagram into the world. It is now one of the most popular apps in the world, but regulators and competitors continue to nip at its heels. To take stock of Instagram at the 10-year mark, The Verge talked with Sarah Frier, whose 2020 history of Instagram, "No Filter," is the definitive account of the app’s rise.


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Meet Google Workspace, the Rebranded G Suite 


Google this week unveiled Google Workspace, the new name for all of Google's productivity apps, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Meet, Mashable reports. According to the company, Google Workspace isn't just a new brand identity but will also offer a deeper integration between individual apps.


How a Cereal Brand Notched 1.3 Billion TikTok Views 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is promoting a singing challenge on social video app TikTok with an influencer campaign, Mobile Marketer reports. Billed as a "quarentainmnent style singing challenge," #CTCVoiceBox has generated more than 1.3 billion views in four days, demonstrating the power of TikTok to reach young consumers.


Ransomware Victims Face Penalty for Paying Up


Victims of ransomware attacks who pay criminals to release their data may be held liable for violating U.S. sanctions, the Treasury Department advised in a bulletin last week. Along with victims, Axios reports, those who might be subject to civil penalties for paying sanctioned ransomware attackers includes providers of cyber insurance, digital forensics and incident response, and financial services that may involve processing ransom payments.


Can This Startup Restore Faith in Covid-Free Air Travel?

In the first attempt at a global travel system for Covid-19, air passengers who have volunteered will be able to scan QR codes certifying they are Covid-free as they check into their flights and go through passport control, using a platform called CommonPass. It was built by the Commons Project in New York, a nonprofit tech company that joined forces with the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Fortune reports.


The Downside of Design Fads

In the UI world, designers can easily get hooked on the newest crazes. The risk, writes Diana Malewicz on UX Collective, is that if used thoughtlessly, they could do real harm to a product. 


Taking the White House to School


The Trump administration has been slow to inform hundreds of people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus in the White House outbreak. So, a 21-year-old Middlebury College senior described as a "walking news aggregator" decided to step up, Seven Days reports. Benjy Renton is one of three people behind a new Covid-19 dashboard that sources publicly available data to track who may have been exposed to the virus at six key events attended by the president. The tracker has been viewed nearly 500,000 times so far.