Facebook says Libra could use a series of cryptocurrencies pegged to different currencies

A Zuck Buck is displayed on a monitor as David Marcus, head of blockchain with Facebook Inc., right, is questioned by Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, not pictured, during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesFacebook has suggested its Libra project could use multiple cryptocurrencies backed by different existing currencies like the dollar, rather than having one single digital token tied to a basket of currencies.The tech giant had initially proposed one synthetic unit of…

Abu Dhabi is investing hundreds of millions in tech start-ups from the Middle East

Abu Dhabi city skyline, United Arab Emirates.kasto80 | iStock | Getty ImagesABU DHABI – Abu Dhabi is doubling down on its push into the technology sector with a $250 million investment to support start-ups from the Middle East and North Africa region.Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s state investment arm, announced Monday its new MENA tech funds will invest in companies and venture funds that help boost local tech incubator Hub71.Hub71 was launched earlier this year as part of a broader effort by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to diversify…

Google to update Pixel 4 face unlock with eye detection ‘in the coming months`

One of the headline features for the Google Pixel 4 is that it adds a new, secure face unlock feature in lieu of a fingerprint sensor. Only it turns out that “secure” is a relative term, as the phone will unlock even if your eyes are closed. Google has given us a statement promising that it will issue a software update that will fix that problem up, but unfortunately the timeline for it is longer than users might like. Google says that “it has “been working on an option for…

Amazon is shipping expired baby formula and granola, putting customers and food brands at risk

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc., speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesAmazon’s sprawling marketplace, consisting of millions of third-party sellers, has become a go-to site for many grocery shoppers, especially since the company’s acquisition of Whole Foods over two years ago.But an increasing number of consumers are finding that, just as the broader Amazon Marketplace has a major issue with counterfeits and unsafe products, the grocery section is littered with similarly problematic…

Facebook employees turn to rogue hacker from Hong Kong to learn what other teams are building

Jane Manchun Wong has an incessant need to know every single feature of every single app on her smartphone.Wong, a 25-year-old software engineer in Hong Kong, checks every new line of code any time one of her Android smartphone’s apps get an update. She locates new code, reverse-engineers it and finds new features before they are announced. »I do it mostly for personal amusement, » Wong told CNBC. « If I see the feature, I check if there is any security vulnerability, and if it doesn’t, I tweet it. »This…

Silicon Valley grows more NIMBY against some of its own tech

A protester with the group ‘Raging Grannies’ holds a sign during a demonstration outside of Facebook headquarters on April 5, 2018 in Menlo Park, California.Justin Sullivan | Getty ImagesJust because Silicon Valley makes tech doesn’t mean it wants tech in its own back yard.This week, several Silicon Valley cities proposed clampdowns on Airbnb rentals, facial recognition and cars.The increased pushback comes as companies including Facebook and Google face scrutiny from local residents and lawmakers for their data collection practices and effect on California’s housing crunch. Just like its tech, policies…

How Amazon is cutting the high cost and waste of returns

Returns cost companies millions and create billions of pounds of waste. Now, Amazon is making the process more efficient in hopes of enticing customers with easy returns.Forrester Research estimates 25% of items bought online are returned, with $207 billion in returned commerce goods expected this year. Amazon was dumping millions of pounds of this unused inventory, but last month the company started instead donating some of it to charities in the U.S. and U.K.Free return options are now offered on almost all Amazon orders, with a newly expanded partnership that…

Alphabet’s Wing launches first commercial drone delivery

Walgreens will be the first retailer in the U.S. to test an on-demand drone delivery service with Wing in Christiansburg, Virginia next month.Source: WingAlphabet’s drone unit Wing has officially launched the country’s first commercial drone delivery flight.While on a limited scale, for now, in Christiansburg, Virginia, Friday’s delivery represents a milestone for the company. Wing has spent years working to perfect a drone that can deliver items such as food, coffee and medicine to homes within minutes. It’s also developing a software platform that can be used by multiple aircraft…

Lawmakers criticize Apple CEO Tim Cook for ‘censorship’ of apps in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures after opening the newly renovated Apple Store at Fifth Avenue on September 20, 2019 in New York City.Kena Betancur | AFP | Getty ImagesLawmakers from both parties in the House and Senate criticized Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday for « censorship » at the behest of China.The politicians were referring to an episode last week in which Apple removed an app called HKmap.live used by people during the pro-democracy protests to identify where roadblocks or police activity was taking place. Apple said at the…

Motorola may add flashy Moto E6 Play to its budget lineup, according to leaked renders

Motorola’s Moto E6 line is all about compromises for the sake of affordability. As a budget Android handset, you’re sacrificing high-end features, build quality, and oftentimes aesthetics for something cheap and functional. But according to new renders acquired by German website Mobielkopen, the E6 line may be getting a slick visual update in the form of a proper E6 Play variant of the phone. The $149 standard E6 came out this summer as a budget Android phone on the cheaper ned, just below the Moto G7 Play. But unlike last…

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook’s top priority is setting up FTC-mandated privacy program

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in a ‘Conversation on Free Expression » in Washington, DC on October 17, 2019.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty ImagesMark Zuckerberg said on Friday that Facebook’s top priority is to put in place a new privacy program that was mandated after the company’s $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in July. »The most critical thing that we’re working on is implementing this program, » said Zuckerberg, in an appearance on Fox’s Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.The agreement was part of…

Wing’s delivery drones take flight for the first time in Virginia

Wing’s drone delivery service is now live in Virginia. The Alphabet subsidiary is now delivering snacks and health care products to residents of Christiansburg, Virginia, after receiving approval from the government and teaming up with major players like FedEx and Walgreens. Wing says it’s the first commercial drone delivery service in the US. Earlier this year, Wing became one of the first drone operators to be certified as a commercial air carrier by the Federal Aviation Administration, allowing it to deliver goods to people who may live miles away and…

Tech leaders pay tribute to Oracle’s Mark Hurd, who died on Friday

Mark Hurd, co-chief executive officer of Oracle Corp., speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld 2014 conference in San Francisco on September 29, 2014.David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesTributes from technology leaders poured in for Mark Hurd, who died on Friday at age 62, just weeks after announcing that he was taking a medical leave of absence from the company he co-led starting in 2014.Hurd, an industry veteran who was CEO of Hewlett-Packard before joining Oracle as president in 2010, was hailed by fellow tech executives, including some former rivals. »We…

Google can’t even get full RCS support for the Pixel 4

Google’s Pixel 4 won’t launch with support for RCS messaging on some of the biggest US networks. Verizon and T-Mobile both said on Twitter that the phone was not supported, as spotted by 9to5Google, and AT&T has yet to say whether it’ll be supported. Only Sprint has said, in an email to The Verge, that it will support RCS, which adds features like read receipts, typing indicators, and higher-quality attachments to the standard Android Messages app. The rollout of RCS messaging has been a complete mess. The standard, which is…

Here’s how Google Pixel Buds 2 and its wireless earbud competition actually look in your ear

Google announced a new version of its two-year-old Pixel Buds headphones on Tuesday, alongside the new Pixel 4 phone. The Pixel Buds 2 are smaller and lighter, and they also ditch that fabric-colored cord that connected the original pair. They’re truly wireless earbuds now, and that makes them a better contender against Apple’s AirPods, the Samsung Galaxy Buds, and others. We won’t know exactly how they sound or how well they’ll work till 2020, since Google won’t be shipping them until then. But what we can talk about right now…

Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle, dies at 62

Co-CEO of Oracle Mark Hurd died on Friday, CNBC confirmed.Hurd announced a leave of absence from Oracle in September 2019 due to unspecified health reasons. Oracle stock had gone up about 37% since he and Safra Catz were appointed as CEOs in September 2014. »Though we all worked hard together to close the first quarter, I’ve decided that I need to spend time focused on my health, he said in the announcement of his leave. « I love Oracle and wish you all success during my absence. »During Hurd’s five…

Snap just got an upgrade, but analysts warn TikTok is a looming risk in the fight for ad dollars

Evan Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of SnapchatGetty ImagesBank of America Merrill Lynch analysts upgraded Snap to a « buy » on Friday, but warned that the rise of social media rival TikTok could be a risk to the call.TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is a mobile app on which users can share and easily edit short videos. Across its suite of apps and around the globe, ByteDance now claims 700 million daily active users. Meanwhile, Snap said its user base grew to 203 million daily active users in…

Vergecast: Pixel 4 hands-on and Mark Zuckerberg’s speech on free speech

There are two big things we need to talk about today: Google’s new gadgets and Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks on free speech. So this week on The Vergecast, hosts Nilay Patel, Dieter Bohn, and Paul Miller go through all the products Google announced at its hardware event on Tuesday, then invite senior reporter Adi Robertson and Silicon Valley editor Casey Newton on to discuss Zuckerberg’s speech at Georgetown University on Thursday. In the first half of the show, the crew discuss what we saw Google announce this week: the Pixel 4,…

History will not be on Facebook’s side, no matter what Zuckerberg says

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in a ‘Conversation on Free Expression » in Washington, DC on October 17, 2019.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty ImagesIn Mark Zuckerberg’s view, this funky political moment we’re living through is just a temporary blip. And Facebook’s role in that moment — allowing election interference, fake news and hate speech to spread across its network of more than 2 billion users — will ultimately look great in the history books.In his address at Georgetown University Thursday, Zuckerberg detailed his thoughts on free…

Warren slams Zuckerberg’s speech, saying Facebook’s political ad policy could help Trump win again

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts and 2020 presidential candidate (L), and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.Bridgett Bennet | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesSen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., took another jab at Mark Zuckerberg Thursday, accusing the Facebook CEO of helping Donald Trump win the presidential election in 2016 and aiding his re-election at a profit. »Facebook is actively helping Trump spread lies and misinformation, » Warren said in a tweet, adding that Facebook is « unprepared » to deal with the 2020 election.Warren lodged her latest attack after Zuckerberg gave…

Samsung admits to major security flaw in its phones that lets anyone bypass fingerprint sensors

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+Todd Haselton | CNBCSamsung on Friday explained a major security flaw that affects its Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 family of phones. The flaw, which surfaced on Thursday, could potentially let anyone’s fingerprint unlock a phone. »This issue involved ultrasonic fingerprint sensors unlocking devices after recognizing 3-dimensional patterns appearing on certain silicone screen protecting cases as users’ fingerprints, » Samsung said, referring to the in-screen fingerprint reader on its newest phones. « To prevent any further issues, we advise that Galaxy Note10/10+ and S10/S10+/S10 5G users…

Alibaba’s Jack Ma spent 10 years preparing for his retirement

When Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma retired from the company last month, it was not a decision he took lightly.The 55-year-old announced in September 2018 that he would step down as executive chairman in 12 months’ time, bringing an end to his 20 years at the helm of the tech giant. But, he recently revealed, it was a plan he’d had in mind for more than a decade.Speaking at the Forbes Global CEO Conference on Tuesday, Ma said he was first awoken to the idea of retiring in 2004, when a…

Google appoints former Obama health official Karen DeSalvo to new chief health officer role

An employee passes the Google logo.Carsten Koall/Getty ImagesGoogle confirmed on Thursday that it’s hired Karen DeSalvo, a former health official in the Obama administration, as its first chief health officer.The addition of DeSalvo, who’s spent the past two years teaching at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School, comes weeks after Alphabet tapped former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert M. Califf to lead the company’s health and strategy policy.Both Califf and DeSalvo will start later this year.Google and parent company Alphabet are investing broadly in the health…

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls on the Senate to pass immigration reform

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook greets customers at the grand opening of the new Apple Carnegie Library store in Washington, May 11, 2019.Joshua Roberts | ReutersApple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday encouraged the U.S. Senate to pass legislation that would phase out per-country limits on green cards. »Immigrants make this country stronger and our economy more dynamic. As a first step toward needed comprehensive reform, I urge the Senate to move quickly to pass the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, » Cook tweeted. « The contributions of these workers…

Mobile bank Chime goes dark for millions of customers as it seeks $5 billion valuation

Chris Britt, CEO, ChimeSource: ChimeChime, the leading branchless bank in the U.S., is in the midst of a service outage that has left millions of customers without access to their accounts.Issues cropped up Wednesday, leaving users stranded at restaurants, parking garages and gas stations, unable to use their debit cards or pay their bills, according to interviews and complaints posted to the bank’s Twitter account.Card transactions and ATM withdrawals have since been restored, and employer deposits are posting, Chime said Thursday in a statement. But the main touchpoint for Chime’s…

Google Maps on iOS will soon let you report speed traps and traffic slowdowns

Since 2018, Google has slowly added ways to report incidents on the road like accidents, road closures, and traffic slowdowns — something made popular by Google-owned Waze — to Google Maps on Android. Starting this week, though, Google says Google Maps users on iOS will soon be able to report road incidents as well. In a blog post (via 9to5Google), Google says that iPhone users will be able to report those crashes, speed traps, and traffic slowdowns now too. To report an incident, you’ll tap a new button under the…

Zuckerberg blasts Facebook rival TikTok for censorship in China, and he might be right

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg meets Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma (not pictured), at the China Development Forum in Beijing, China, March 19, 2016. Shu Zhang | ReutersIn his speech today at Georgetown University on free speech, Mark Zuckerberg briefly called out Facebook’s young Chinese-owned competitor TikTok. »While our services like WhatsApp are used by protesters and activists everywhere due to strong encryption and privacy protections, on TikTok, the Chinese app growing quickly around the world, mentions of these protests are censored, even in the U.S.,…

Airbnb’s cash numbers could show that it’s not another WeWork in the making

Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, speaks to the Economic Club of New York at a luncheon at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. March 13, 2017.Mike Segar | ReutersAirbnb, the room-sharing site that plans to go public next year, has more than $3 billion on its balance sheet, according to a person familiar with the matter.Following a report from the Information earlier on Thursday, which showed the company’s loss doubled in the first quarter from a year earlier, Airbnb’s cash position could soothe investors…

NBA-China controversy shows why US needs to be careful about Huawei, FCC commissioner says

The recent NBA-China controversy illuminates why the U.S. must cautiously approach any decision to allow Huawei’s 5G technology into the country, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said Thursday on CNBC. »This NBA issue over the last couple weeks shows how China can leverage all sorts of different levers to exert and have people toe its own political line, » Carr said on « Squawk Alley. » »So I think that is a threat that that same type of influence could be exerted through Chinese-owned equipment in the U.S. market, which is…

Google’s Rick Osterloh shows off new Pixel and Nest hardware on The Vergecast

On Tuesday, Google held their annual hardware event in New York City to announce all their upcoming products under the Pixel and Nest line. Vergecast hosts Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn attended and were able to record an interview with Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh, the company’s senior vice president of devices and services. Osterloh talked about the new products Google announced, including the Pixel 4, the Pixelbook Go, the Nest Mini, and the all-new Pixel Buds. The conversation also touched on Google’s approach to marketing its many hardware products,…