Tech News

October 22, 2020
October 14, 2020
How to Deal With a Crisis of Misinformation

There’s a disease that has been spreading for years now. Like any resilient virus, it evolves to find new ways to attack us. It’s not in our bodies, but on the web. It has different names: misinformation, disinformation or distortions. Whatever the label, it can be harmful, especially now that it is being produced through […]

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October 14, 2020
Gadgets Were on the Way Out. Then 2020 Happened.

Gadgets were supposed to be over. Smartphones, tablets and smartwatches cannibalized the weaker devices around them, including cameras, music players, navigation units, fitness trackers and gaming devices. The few tech products that broke through the noise of crowdfunding sites and the crowded field of start-ups were quickly commoditized and undercut on Amazon. The stores that […]

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October 14, 2020
Schools Struggle to Secure Computers

This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays. This period of remote schooling for so many families has made painfully clear the glaring gaps between those who have internet access and those who don’t. But some students also can’t access online classes because a surge […]

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October 14, 2020
Disinformation on Ballot Boxes and More Are Circulating on Social Media

Falsehoods about election interference are swirling online, stoking calls for violence on Election Day. The rumors touch on everything from ballot boxes to how the “deep state” — a so-called secret cabal of elites — is involved. The misinformation is worrying researchers who track such content, and who said the volume of lies online had […]

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October 14, 2020
Another ‘Unfounded’ Study on Origins of Virus Spreads Online

An overwhelming body of evidence continues to affirm that the coronavirus almost certainly made its hop into humans from an animal source — as many, many other deadly viruses are known to do. But since the early days of the pandemic, experts have had to fight to combat misinformed rumors that the coronavirus emerged from […]

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October 13, 2020
Riled Up: Misinformation Stokes Calls for Violence on Election Day

In a video posted to Facebook on Sept. 14, Dan Bongino, a popular right-wing commentator and radio host, declared that Democrats were planning a coup against President Trump on Election Day. For just over 11 minutes, Mr. Bongino talked about how bipartisan election experts who had met in June to plan for what might happen […]

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October 13, 2020
IPhone 12 Prices in Line With Recent Years

So what will these latest iPhones cost you? Many of us can breathe a sigh of relief. Apple stuck with a proven pricing model for the new devices, releasing the entry-level phones for $700 and up and higher-end phones starting at $1,000 -- both prices in line with previous years. What is different this year […]

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October 13, 2020
Another 'Unfounded' Study on Origins of Virus Spreads Online

An overwhelming body of evidence continues to affirm that the coronavirus almost certainly made its hop into humans from an animal source -- as many, many other deadly viruses are known to do. But since the early days of the pandemic, experts have had to fight to combat misinformed rumors that the coronavirus emerged from […]

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October 13, 2020
The Apple 5G iPhone Explained: What You Need to Know

Many of us are eagerly anticipating Apple's new iPhones on Tuesday because they are expected to include a major new feature: 5G, for the fifth-generation cellular network. Phones with 5G capability have been positioned as far better than our current devices. That's because carriers like AT&T and Verizon have hyped 5G as a life-changing technology […]

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October 13, 2020
Facebook Bans Anti-Vaccination Ads, Clamping Down Again

Facebook on Tuesday said it would no longer allow anti-vaccination ads on its platform, in another reversal of its longtime stance of avoiding being the referee on thorny issues. Facebook had previously shied away from stepping into debates over public health, even as anti-vaccination content on its site proliferated. But this year, it took a […]

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October 13, 2020
July Is the New January: More Companies Delay Return to the Office

When the coronavirus pandemic shuttered offices around the United States in March, many companies told their employees that it would be only a short hiatus away from headquarters. Workers, they said, would be back in their cubicles within a matter of weeks. Weeks turned into September. Then September turned into January. And now, with the […]

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October 12, 2020
Facebook Bans Content About Holocaust Denial From Its Site

In 2018, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, famously cited Holocaust deniers in a fumbled attempt to make a point about free speech. At the time, he said the deniers — those who reject or distort the Holocaust, a genocide in which millions of Jews and others were killed by Nazis and their collaborators during World […]

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October 12, 2020
Fearing Cyber Attacks, Microsoft Takes Down a Risk to the Election

Microsoft and a team of companies and law enforcement groups have disabled -- at least temporarily -- one of the world's largest hacking operations, an effort run by Russian-speaking cybercriminals that officials feared could disrupt the presidential election in three weeks. But as soon as Microsoft began dismantling the operations last week, seeking to cripple […]

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October 12, 2020
Microsoft Takes Down a Risk to the Election, and Finds the U.S. Doing the Same

Microsoft and a team of companies and law enforcement groups have disabled -- at least temporarily -- one of the world's largest hacking operations, an effort run by Russian-speaking cybercriminals that officials feared could disrupt the presidential election in three weeks. But as soon as Microsoft began dismantling the operations last week, seeking to cripple […]

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October 12, 2020
On Facebook, Misinformation Is More Popular Now Than in 2016

During the 2016 presidential election, Russian operatives used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms to spread disinformation to divide the American electorate. Since then, the social media companies have spent billions of dollars and hired tens of thousands of people to help clean up their act. But have the platforms really become more […]

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October 12, 2020
The Digital Divide Starts With a Laptop Shortage

When the Guilford County Schools in North Carolina spent more than $27 million to buy 66,000 computers and tablets for students over the summer, the district ran into a problem: There was a shortage of cheap laptops, and the devices wouldn’t arrive until late October or November. More than 4,000 students in the district had […]

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October 12, 2020
When Your Last $166 Vanishes: ‘Fast Fraud’ Surges on Payment Apps

Charee Mobley, who teaches middle school in Fort Worth, Texas, had just $166 to get herself and her 17-year-old daughter through the last two weeks of August. But that money disappeared when Ms. Mobley, 37, ran into an issue with Square’s Cash App, an instant payments app that she was using in the coronavirus pandemic […]

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October 11, 2020
When Your Last $166 Vanishes: 'Fast Fraud' Surges on Payment Apps

Charee Mobley, who teaches middle school in Fort Worth, Texas, had just $166 to get herself and her 17-year-old daughter through the last two weeks of August. But that money disappeared when Ms. Mobley, 37, ran into an issue with Square's Cash App, an instant payments app that she was using in the coronavirus pandemic […]

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October 10, 2020
Apple Does Not Need to Return Fortnite to App Store, Judge Rules

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge ruled on Friday that Apple did not need to reinstate the popular video game Fortnite in its App Store, in a blow to Fortnite’s parent company, Epic Games, which is locked in an antitrust battle with the tech giant over its app store fees and rules. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez […]

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October 9, 2020
Twitter Will Turn Off Some Features to Fight Election Misinformation

OAKLAND, Calif. — Twitter, risking the ire of its best-known user, President Trump, said on Friday that it would turn off several of its routine features in an attempt to control the spread of misinformation in the final weeks before the presidential election. The first notable change, Twitter said, will essentially give users a timeout […]

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October 8, 2020
Labor Board Accuses Google Contractor of Violating Union Rights

A federal agency issued a complaint this week against a contractor hired by Google and accused it of violating its employees' labor rights, marking the latest flash point in a long-running struggle between workers and technology companies. In the complaint, the National Labor Relations Board asserts that HCL America, a subsidiary of an Indian contracting […]

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October 8, 2020
With 'Cure' Comment, Trump Exaggerates Known Benefits of Another Covid-19 Therapy

Daily Distortions Last Updated Oct. 8, 2020, 6:07 p.m. ETOct. 8, 2020, 6:07 p.m. ET Every day, Times reporters will chronicle and debunk false and misleading information that is going viral online. Oct. 8, 2020, 5:59 p.m. ETOct. 8, 2020, 5:59 p.m. ET By Kevin Roose Contracting Covid-19 may have put President Trump in the […]

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