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Big Oil Faded. Will Big Tech?

This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays.

Less than a decade ago, Exxon Mobil was the most valuable company in the world. On Monday, it’s being kicked out of the Dow Jones industrial average after nearly a century of inclusion in the stock index.

I’m mentioning an energy company in a technology newsletter for two reasons: First, as wild as it feels to have a handful of American technology superpowers rule the economy and the stock market and influence world events, oil superpowers like Exxon were in a similar position not very long ago.

And second, while it’s hard to imagine Big Tech losing relevance, most people didn’t predict that demand for fossil fuels would start to wane, until it did. That’s part of the sweeping changes that ushered out the era of Big Oil and started the Big

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Datacenter Automation Software Market May see a Big Move | Major Giants ServiceNow, IBM, VMware

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Aug 21, 2020 (Market Insight Reports) —
(New Jersey) An extensive elaboration of the COVID-19 Outbreak-Global Datacenter Automation Software market strategy of the industry players in the precision of import/export consumption, supply and demand. The study starts with an introduction about the company/manufacturers profiling stating strategic concept behind business using methods to assess and analyze market. It also describes COVID-19 Outbreak- Datacenter Automation Software player/manufacturers strategy in the light of Porters, Value Chain & SWOT analysis, and based on that recommendation on players is derived like ASG Software Solutions, Fujistu, Cisco, Chef, Citrix, Micro Focus, Automic, ServiceNow, IBM, VMware, Hitachi, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Symantec, NEC, Microsoft, EMC, BMC, Dell, Adaptive Computing, RightScale, Oracle, CSC, Parallels, Puppet & Red Hat.

Avail sample copy: https://www.htfmarketreport.com/sample-report/2783281-covid-19-outbreak-global-datacenter-automation-software-industry-market

Important players listed in the study: ASG Software Solutions, Fujistu, Cisco, Chef, Citrix, Micro

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Interview: TruKKer, the Uber of trucking world has big plans in Saudi Arabia

He told how the idea for TruKKer — which recently completed one of the biggest early rounds of capital raising in the region with a $23 million funding from some of its biggest investors — first came to him.

“I was having dinner with a friend who works in fertilizer manufacture. He was very agitated because he was let down by a haulage firm for a delivery the following day. It ruined dinner, but we saw an opportunity,” he related.

Like Uber or Careem, TruKKer users can order their vehicle via an app under the slogan “any truck, any time, anywhere.”

Since it launched in 2016 as the region’s first technology-enabled truck aggregator, it has gained 12,000 drivers and trucks to keep the Middle East’s commercial lifelines moving, even in the trying circumstances of pandemic lockdowns and transport restrictions.

Biswas said he was “inspired” by similar tech-based haulage businesses in

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How the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook plan to defend Big Tech today

Ahead of the antitrust hearing that’s due to take place later today, the opening statements from the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook have been published on the House Judiciary Committee’s website. Ranging in length from four to eight pages, the statements give us our best look yet at how Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg plan to defend their companies from this latest wave of antitrust scrutiny, and accusations that some of their actions harm consumers and stifle competition.

There are a lot of similarities between the four statements which you can read in their entirety here:

For example, they all make appeals to American patriotism (“The rest of the world would love even the tiniest sip of the elixir we have here in the U.S,” Bezos claims), and talk about the benefits their products offer to consumers, as well as small businesses. All four

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Asking the big social media companies to remove extremist content more quickly will do little to fight terrorism

'We believe doctors dealing with erectile dysfunction should also be asking about watching pornography,' researchers say: Getty
‘We believe doctors dealing with erectile dysfunction should also be asking about watching pornography,’ researchers say: Getty

Barely a day goes by when social media is not in the firing line from activists and advertisers over hate speech and racist rhetoric.

The controversy goes to the heart of the debate about the extent to which social media platforms should become the arbiter of content decisions and whether internet companies should be solely responsible for dealing with abhorrent content posted by users. Facebook and Twitter are both doing more than ever to reduce “online harms” – certainly much more than is legally mandated – but work carried out by Tech Against Terrorism shows that the majority of activity by terrorists and violent extremists has now shifted to the smaller, newer messaging apps, and niche social networks.

We need to acknowledge that, for all the understandable focus on the bigger platforms, it

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Ahead of hearing with big tech CEOs, Cicilline says a Biden presidency would lead to regulation next year

WASHINGTON — A top Democrat leading an antitrust investigation into the nation’s top technology companies said Wednesday his committee will release a report by the end of August with recommendations on legislation that Congress could pass into law as soon as next year. 

“There’s no reason to not expect a new administration to take this up in their first year,” said Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., in an interview on “The Long Game,” a Yahoo News podcast.

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Andrew Harnik/AP, AP)
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Andrew Harnik/AP, AP)

“Antitrust laws were developed during the railroad monopolies and the oil barons. It’s a very different economy now. The question is, do we need to update and modernize our antitrust statutes to ensure that in the digital marketplace we have real competition? I think it’s pretty clear we don’t have real competition, partly because of the size of these platforms, and partly

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Spectrum, like other big companies, seeks to abandon its merger promises

Back in 2016, the giant cable company Charter Communications made several promises required by federal regulators as conditions for the approval of a merger deal that would make Charter even more gargantuan.

Are you shocked that, now that the merger has long been completed, Charter is asking the Federal Communications Commission to rescind some of those conditions? Me neither.

Especially given that the result of any such FCC action would be to allow Charter, which operates its cable and broadband systems under the Spectrum brand, to raise prices on many of its internet users. (Full disclosure: The Times partners with Spectrum on a regular local TV news show.)

Why would any rational business take the time to get permission to do something they don’t intend to do?

Matt Wood, Free Press

In approving Charter’s $88-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the FCC forbade Charter to place

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This Bat Is Not the Size of a Human (But It Is Very Big)

Photo credit: Reddit / Sakundes
Photo credit: Reddit / Sakundes

From Prevention

  • A viral photo of what appears to be a massive bat has been making the rounds online. The photo, in which a flying fox—a type of bat—is seen perched upside down, is a bit misleading, though.

  • While flying foxes are the largest bats in the world, they don’t get as big as the one in the picture appears to be.

  • The camera trick known as “forced perspective” is what makes this bat seem so huge.

The Earth has long been home to startlingly massive megafauna. Just look at the monster penguins that roamed what was once New Zealand or the humongous sloths that ambled around South America. In more modern times, these big beasts are scarce, but they’re still around—and the latest one to grab the internet’s attention is known as the flying fox.

Despite their common name, flying foxes are actually bats

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Why international students may have Big Tech to thank for the US’s visa reversal

Sometimes, it helps to have friends in high places.

A coalition of powerful U.S. technology companies and trade organizations threw their support behind a legal challenge — launched by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — to block the federal government from banning international students from attending online only classes on U.S. soil in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. And Big Tech’s involvement may have been a key factor behind the administration’s last minute about-face on Tuesday.

Revocation of the rule means that the U.S. Department of State may again issue visas to international students enrolled in U.S. schools for the fall semester. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection no longer has authority to deny those students entry to, or continued residence in, the country.

Yet the Trump administration’s aborted effort was noteworthy for the big guns that joined forces to block the move. A coalition

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New Emails Reveal Warm Relationship Between Kamala Harris And Big Tech

Sen. Kamala Harris and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talk at Facebook headquarters on Feb. 10, 2015, in Menlo Park, California. Harris delivered the keynote speech at the event. (Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images)
Sen. Kamala Harris and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talk at Facebook headquarters on Feb. 10, 2015, in Menlo Park, California. Harris delivered the keynote speech at the event. (Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images)

Though it has been lost in the mists of other scandals, back in 2014, Facebook was in the middle of what was then the biggest public relations debacle in company history. That June, a Facebook data scientist and two academics released a paper demonstrating that users could be emotionally manipulated based on the information Facebook’s engineers fed into their accounts. 

The conclusions of the study were alarming. But even more shocking was the means by which researchers reached them. Facebook had used 700,000 of its users as social science guinea pigs without their consent. Not only could Facebook manipulate its users; it had manipulated them, without any regard to the ethical implications.

A firestorm of bad

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