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Coinbase’s Federal Election Commission filing says it has formed a political action committee (PAC) to raise money to spend on U.S. elections (Jackie…

Jackie Wattles / CNNMoney : Coinbase's Federal Election Commission filing says it has formed a political action committee (PAC) to raise money to spend on U.S. elections   —  Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, formed its own political action committee.  —  It's a sign Coinbase is angling for more sway …

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Sources: Alibaba, Tencent, and CMC are in early-stage discussions about buying roughly 20% of WPP China, valuing the business between $2B and $2.5B…

Mark Kleinman / Sky News : Sources: Alibaba, Tencent, and CMC are in early-stage discussions about buying roughly 20% of WPP China, valuing the business between $2B and $2.5B   —  Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, the two biggest names in China's technology industry, are in talks to buy a stake in the $2.5bn (£1.9bn) Chinese operations of WPP Group.

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Interview with Roku’s CEO about how the company is growing its ad business and software licensing to OEMs, which generated more revenues than device…

Chris Welch / The Verge : Interview with Roku's CEO about how the company is growing its ad business and software licensing to OEMs, which generated more revenues than device sales in Q1   —  Roku wants to build out a ‘big, next-generation’ targeted ad platform  —  Roku sells more dedicated streaming devices than perhaps any other company in the world.

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Facebook plans to launch Athena, likely a constellation of small internet-delivering satellites, starting in 2019, after downgrading a drone project…

Louise Matsakis / Wired : Facebook plans to launch Athena, likely a constellation of small internet-delivering satellites, starting in 2019, after downgrading a drone project last month   —  FIBER OPTIC CABLES are the gold standard of a good internet connection, but laying them can be expensive, and in some parts of the world, a physically daunting task.

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HumanEyes unveils Vuze XR, a compact, dual-lens camera that can record 360-degree 2D and 180-degree 3D at 5.7K resolution; coming later this year for…

Daven Mathies / Digital Trends : HumanEyes unveils Vuze XR, a compact, dual-lens camera that can record 360-degree 2D and 180-degree 3D at 5.7K resolution; coming later this year for ~$400   —  HumanEyes announced details on a new consumer 360-degree camera, the Vuze XR.  It's a compact, dual-lens camera with an integrated handle …

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Trump’s Supreme Court nominee opposes net neutrality, supports NSA bulk collection

President Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee will face more scrutiny for his ideological leanings around issues like abortion than his thoughts on tech, but we do know a bit about the latter. On Monday, Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat that opened when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in late June. A list of Trump’s potential picks circulated previously and Kavanaugh was believed to be a frontrunner. Kavanaugh, who previously clerked for Kennedy, was appointed to the Washington D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 by former president George W. Bush and eventually confirmed in 2006. As future digital privacy cases wend their way toward the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh’s stated views on the NSA’s spying program could prove relevant. In 2015, Kavanaugh sided in favor of the NSA’s warrantless bulk collection of phone metadata, issuing strong support for the controversial practice and categorizing its collection as a “special need” that eclipses personal privacy concerns. In his own words : “The Government’s collection of telephony metadata from a third party such as a telecommunications service provider is not considered a search under the Fourth Amendment, at least under the Supreme Court’s decision in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979). … Even if the bulk collection of telephony metadata constitutes a search, cf. United States v. Jones, 132 S

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Twitter’s efforts to suspend fake accounts have doubled since last year

Bots, your days of tweeting politically divisive nonsense might be numbered. The Washington Post reported Friday that in the last few months Twitter has aggressively suspended accounts in an effort to stem the spread of disinformation running rampant on its platform. The Washington Post reports that Twitter suspended as many as 70 million accounts between May and June of this year, with no signs of slowing down in July. According to data obtained by the Post, the platform suspended 13 million accounts during a weeklong spike of bot banning activity in mid-May. Sources tell the Post that the uptick in suspensions is tied to the company’s efforts to comply with scrutiny from the congressional investigation into Russian disinformation on social platforms. The report adds that Twitter investigates bots and other fake accounts through an internal project known as “Operation Megaphone” through which it buys suspicious accounts and then investigates their connections. Twitter declined to provide additional information about The Washington Post report, but pointed us to a blog post from last week in which it disclosed other numbers related to its bot-hunting efforts. In May of 2018, Twitter identified more than 9.9 million suspicious accounts — triple its efforts in late 2017. Chart via Twitter When Twitter identifies an account that it deems suspicious, it then “challenges” that account, giving legitimate Twitter users an opportunity to prove their sentience by confirming a phone number. When an account fails this test it gets the boot, while accounts that pass are reinstated. As Twitter noted in its recent blog post, bots can make users look good by artificially inflating follower counts. “As a result of these improvements, some people may notice their own account metrics change more regularly,” Twitter warned. The company noted that cracking down on fake accounts means that “malicious actors” won’t be able to promote their own content and accounts as easily by inflating their own numbers. Kicking users off a platform, fake or not, is a risk for a company that regularly reports its monthly active users, though only a temporary one. As the report notes, at least one insider expects Twitter’s Q2 active user numbers to dip, reflecting its shift in enforcement.

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