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NAS:FB, Feb 22, 09:44 UTC

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Shopify joins Facebook-backed digital currency group Libra Association

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In a post on its website and in tweets from Shopify chief executive Tobi Lutke on Friday, the Ottawa-based e-commerce company revealed it has become a member of the Libra Association, a non-profit organization Facebook co-founded to act as an authority for the currency. The Switzerland-headquartered Libra Association is made up of a mix of technology companies like ridesharing giants Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., digital currency exchange companies including Coinbase Inc., venture capital groups and even academic-backed entities like the Canada-based Creative Destruction Lab. Shopify will help the Libra Association build “a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people,” said Libra Association’s head of policy and communications Dante Disparte, in a statement to The Canadian Press. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been forced before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to be grilled about the currency and at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing, Democratic representative Brad Sherman of California reportedly called the Libra a “powerful burglary tool.”.

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Facebook To Pay Users $5 For Their Voice Recordings

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) will pay users $5 for sharing their voice recordings, the company announced Thursday. The voice recordings would be used for improving Facebook's speech recognition technology, as first reported by The Verge. Users of Facebook's Viewpoints app, aimed at the social media giant's marketing research efforts, would be able to record their audios under the "pronunciations" tab and get paid. The rewards-like policies offer a way out for Facebook and other internet giants like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), (NASDAQ: GOOG), Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ: TWTR), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), all of which have faced criticism for data protection on their platforms.

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Thursday, February 20


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HTC CEO Yves Maitre on the company’s ‘new vision,’ virtual reality, and the rivalry with Facebook – Fortune

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The Frenchman has promised to lead the struggling tech giant into a new era, doubling down on previous investments in virtual and extended reality with the HTC Vive product line. Maitre sat down with Fortune on Jan. 31 to discuss the new products, his “continuum” approach to merging virtual reality and reality, and HTC’s “new vision” ahead of a reveal at the MWC Conference scheduled for late February in Barcelona—but the trade show was cancelled over fears of Coronavirus. At a TechCrunch event in October, you said that HTC had “stopped innovating in the hardware of the smartphone,” and that you were now focusing on virtual reality. We didn’t stop investing in smartphones. What we tried to do is to continue the smartphone business, and we are, but the smartphone business in terms of innovation is plateauing a little bit. If you look at manufacturers—and I will not name anybody else other than HTC obviously—but the smartphone between the version “N” and “N+1,” there’s not so many big changes.

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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, Netflix, NextEra Energy, GlaxoSmithKline and T-Mobile US

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Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Facebook FB, Netflix NFLX, NextEra Energy NEE, GlaxoSmithKline GSK and T-Mobile US TMUS. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Facebook, Netflix and NextEra Energy. The Zacks analyst believes that Netflix is expected to benefit from an expanding content portfolio despite increasing competition from the likes of HBO, Amazon prime video, Disney+ and Apple TV+.

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Wednesday, February 19


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Should Facebook, Google be liable for user posts? asks U.S. Attorney General Barr

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WASHINGTON, Feb 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday questioned whether Facebook, Google and other major online platforms still need the immunity from legal liability that has prevented them from being sued over material their users post. The increased size and power of online platforms has also left consumers with fewer options and the lack of feasible alternatives is a relevant discussion, Barr said, adding that the Section 230 review came out of the Justice Department's broader look at potential anticompetitive practices at tech companies. Lawmakers from both major political parties have called for Congress to change Section 230 in ways that could expose tech companies to more lawsuits or significantly increase their costs. Some Republicans have expressed concern that Section 230 prevents them from taking action against internet services that remove conservative political content, while a few Democratic leaders have said the law allows the services to escape punishment for harboring misinformation and extremist content. Matt Schruers, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, which counts Google and Facebook as members, said "there is no question more investment can and should be done in this area... but I don't think the misconduct by some bad actors can be generalized across the board." Others such as Kate Klonick, a professor at St John's University Law School in New York, said here is a "huge difference" between the handful of big platforms and the millions of online sites that facilitate harmful content on their platform.

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Tuesday, February 18


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Facebook faces tax court trial over Ireland offshore deal

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U.S. Facebook faces tax court trial over Ireland offshore deal. SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc is slated to begin a tax trial in a San Francisco court on Tuesday, as the Internal Revenue Service tries to convince a judge the world's largest social media company owes more than $9 billion linked to its decision to shift profits to Ireland. The trial, which Facebook expects will take three to four weeks, could see top executives including hardware chief Andrew Bosworth and Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer called to testify, according to a document the company filed in January. Bertie Thomson, a Facebook spokeswoman, said the company stood by the decisions in 2010 when it "had no mobile advertising revenue, its international business was nascent and its digital advertising products were unproven." If the IRS prevails, Facebook would face an additional federal tax liability of up to $9 billion, plus interest and any penalties, the company estimated in a recent securities filing.

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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: NVIDIA, Cisco, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft

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Stocks recently featured in the blog include: NVIDIA NVDA, Cisco CSCO, Amazon AMZN, Facebook FB and Microsoft MSFT. Earnings reports from NVIDIA and Cisco, a stay order on the JEDI contract in Amazon’s favor, Facebook’s app to compete with Pinterest and other stories are covered in this daily. NVIDIA’s reported revenue and earnings of $3.10 billion and $1.54 were better than the Zacks Consensus Estimates of $2.96 billion and $1.34, respectively. Cisco Earnings. But while NVIDIA, and Intel before it, saw renewed demand in the data center as a positive for their future business, Cisco continued to see softness for the second straight quarter.

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From Sheryl Sandberg to Ted Sarandos, here are the high-powered executives who are 2nd-in-command to some of the biggest CEOs in tech

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Luckily, most CEOs don’t go it alone: they have a second-in-command, a high-level executive who may shoulder some of that burden. Some of these execs may go on to run the company one day – others may leave for big opportunities elsewhere. Some chief executives seem to run their companies singlehandedly, like Tesla’s Elon Musk. Others, like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, appear to lean on the support of their No. In current position since: 2015. What he does: Williams is widely considered the second-most important person working at Apple and “the closest thing at the company to Tim Cook.” He currently leads all of Apple’s operations globally and oversees its customer support. In current position since: 2008. What she does: Sandberg was brought into Facebook in 2008 to be the “adult in the room,” charged with growing the company’s revenue and ad business – essentially, taking over everything that wasn’t product-related. Since then, Sandberg has become a public face of the company, using that to spread her message of women’s empowerment but also acting as an ambassador of sorts after Facebook has been rocked by scandal after scandal. In current position since: 2018 and 2019, respectively. What they do: Block joined Salesforce in 2013, and is widely considered one of the key forces behind Salesforce’s growth – CEO Marc Benioff promoted Block to be his co-CEO in 2018.

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EU Rejects Facebook Proposal On Content Moderation, Suggests To Adapt To Local Regulations

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Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FB) proposed framework for internet regulations have been rejected by the European Union (EU). Thierry Breton, the EU’s industry commissioner, held a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday ahead of the European Commission’s release of new laws relating to artificial intelligence (AI). After the meeting, Breton said about Facebook, “It’s not for us to adapt to this company, it’s for this company to adapt to us.”. The EU official said, “Online platforms, and in particular its society, now have ... an obvious responsibility towards our fellow citizens, towards all of us, towards those who are users of its society, and also towards democracy.” According to Deutsche Welle (DW), Breton also promised stricter intervention in the future if all the platforms operating on the European continent do not respect the conditions he has outlined.

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Monday, February 17


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A coronavirus hoax message is circulating on WhatsApp - here’s what to do if you receive it

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A coronavirus hoax message is circulating on WhatsApp - here’s what to do if you receive it. A coronavirus scam message has been circulating on WhatsApp, claiming that garlic is a cure for the deadly infection. As of Monday 17 February, the disease - officially named Covid-9 - has infected more than 71,000 people globally. However, people have been taking to social media to share a strange WhatsApp message from an unknown sender claiming “Chinese medicine” involving garlic is the cure for the virus. The World Health Organisation last week declared the spread of false information online an “infodemic”. Twitter placed a “know the facts” button below the search bar for anyone who searches the virus on its social media site. Andrew Pattison, digital business solutions manager, for the WHO said false information was "spreading faster than the virus".

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