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Facebook will spare your eyes from the incessant stream of political ads coming your way this fall

Regardless of what side of any particular issue you're on, political ads kind of suck — and on top of that, it's not even clear how effective they are. The brass at Facebook is acknowledging that fact, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a piece published recently in USA Today that users will soon be able to opt out of seeing them entirely.

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Google disbands its AI advisory board before it even starts work

We all want to avoid a Terminator-style future where the machines have conquered humanity, but how do you do that? This is just one of the problems Google's Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) was supposed to help answer. It won't, though. Following some very public drama, Google has decided to dissolve the board and look for a different approach.

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Warren campaign announces trust-busting plan for Google and other major tech companies

Google, Amazon, and Facebook are some of the biggest tech companies on the planet, well know by just about anyone who uses the internet. While their gargantuan status has taken years to grow, Elizabeth Warren thinks they've gotten too big. In a release on her Medium page, she outlines her plan to trust bust these tech giants, for the good of emerging companies and the public at large.

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Guardian report on leaked documents shows the pains Facebook will take to fight privacy laws

According to a recent report by The Guardian based on internal documents leaked from a court case in California, Facebook has been lobbying and pressuring representatives and politicians from over 35 countries in its attempts to fight privacy laws. That much would seem pretty obvious, but the details revealed by these documents imply a greater degree of collaboration than you may expect, and potential quid pro quo actions by politicians.

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ZTE gets authorization to conduct limited business for the next month

It's been nothing but bad news for ZTE over the last couple months, but there's finally a positive development for the Chinese technology firm. The US Commerce Department has temporarily lifted part of the trade ban that effectively shut down ZTE back in April. This will help ZTE keep the lights on as it works toward full compliance.

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ZTE pays new $1 billion fine, but its future remains uncertain

Chinese technology firm ZTE says it has forked over $1 billion to the US government. This is the first step toward ZTE returning to operation after a ban on purchasing US technology in April forced it to partially shut down. However, it's not out of the woods yet as the entire incident has become a political firestorm for the US administration.

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Facebook launches rewards program for reports of data abuse

Facebook announced in a blog post last month that it would reward users who report abuses of user data by developers of Facebook apps. That rewards program, which Facebook is calling Data Abuse Bounty, launched today. Facebook says the monetary rewards will be valued on a case-by-case basis "based on the impact of each report."

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Relive the nostalgic dread of the Cold War with board game Twilight Struggle, now in the Play Store

International spying! Demagogic leaders! Jingoistic nationalism! Everything old is new again as the United States and Russia seem to be squaring up for another decades-long pissing contest. So while you wait for the next big hack or diplomatic faux pas, why not relive those happy memories of the original Cold War? Twilight Struggle, a two-player strategy title based on the 20th century's biggest game of chicken, has landed in the Play Store. It's five dollars, only a third of the price of the PC version.

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US House Bill Would Prevent State Laws That Aim To Weaken Or Circumvent Smartphone Encryption

Two bills recently passed in the states of New York and California that aim to weaken smartphone security in order to combat crime. The laws would prevent the sale of smartphones with full-disk encryption that could not be unlocked by the manufacturer (at the request of law enforcement). In response, Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a Democrat, and Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas, a Republican, have proposed a bill, the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act of 2016, that would block state-level attempts to ban encryption on smartphones sold in the US.

The bipartisan bill addresses multiple issues.

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Report: Google Prepares To Return To Mainland China With A Stripped Down Google Play

Google famously pulled out of China in 2010 following a data breach that it traced back to the Chinese government. It was the final straw as Google had already been irked by China's strict censorship laws. The explosion of cheap Android handsets in China changes the equation, though. Now The Information reports that Google is set to come back to China with a special version of the Play Store and other Google services that will play nice with the Chinese government.

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