Short-form content isn't new, but few platforms have made a splash bigger than TikTok. Wanting to capitalize on this growing trend, competitors have cropped up in numbers, and existing platforms like Instagram are scrambling to adapt. After experimenting with Shorts (60-second vertical videos) in India, YouTube is now making the feature available to users in the US.
We're big fans of Google, obviously. But we also live in the real world, where Google does a lot of stuff that's unambiguously bad. If you want to use open source Android without getting its parent company involved, then you have a few options. Previously only available in Europe, the eSolutions shop is now selling versions of the Galaxy S9 scrubbed clean of all proprietary Google software to the US and Canada.
The lack of strong data protection across most of the world, combined with the need for free smartphone apps and services to create some amount of revenue, has often led to private user data being shared with third parties. This time around, several high-profile Android apps have been sending location data to data brokers, which in turn are selling them to defense contractors working for the US military.
Google's Pixel 5 is official, and the pre-order floodgates have been opened. But this year, there's a bit of a twist when it comes to actual availability: The US and Canada won't be getting the phones first or on the same day as most other markets. In fact, we're getting it last, on October 29th compared to October 15th everywhere else.
For better or worse, search engines are how most people research information, so Google has been one of the primary ways people are informing themselves ahead of the United States presidential election. Google Trends already allows anyone to see what the most popular web searches are at any given time, but now Trends has introduced a page specifically for queries related to the election.
Huawei receiving a trade ban from the United States over concerns about spying was one of the most important technology events last year, but its full ramifications have yet to take effect. The U.S. Commerce Department has repeatedly granted companies temporary 90-day licenses to continue selling components to Huawei, which have been renewed time and time again. However, the most recent license has now lapsed, potentially placing the company in further trouble.
Last week, President Trump told reporters that he was going to ban TikTok, the popular short form video app that's owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It hasn't happened yet, partly due to the interest Microsoft may have in purchasing the company. But now it looks like the Trump administration wants to go further than just banning TikTok. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced an expansion of the Clean Network effort including a new initiative seeking to ban "untrusted" Chinese apps from digital platforms in the US.
The events surrounding President Donald Trump's TikTok ban have been unfolding rapidly over the weekend. Initially, Trump wanted to force ByteDance to sell TikTok to a US company, only to follow up by saying that he prefers an outright ban of the Chinese social media app. He's since backtracked, as Microsoft announced that it's interested in the app's US business and would like to start negotiating. Reuters then followed up with an exclusive, stating that the president would give Microsoft 45 days to close the deal.
Google is one of the largest tech conglomerates on the planet, and its dominance of online advertising and web searches has made it a prime target for antitrust lawsuits. The U.S. Department of Justice has been conducting a probe into the company's potential antitrust violations for around a year, and now it looks like legal action could begin in the coming months.
The United States has a long history of unwarranted surveillance on its citizens, mostly stemming from the Patriot Act signed into law after the September 11 attacks. The Patriot Act allowed various law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance on citizens (without warrants) in the name of protecting against future terrorist attacks, and while that law has lapsed, a new amendment passed by the U.S. Senate once again allows law enforcement to rummage through your internet history with no probable cause.