In their first Russia hearing, tech giants try to placate Congress (with mixed results)

 On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the first of three hearings this week examining the relationship between social media and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The hearings mark the first time that lawmakers will hear testimony from Google, Facebook and Twitter around how their platforms were and are manipulated as part of Russian political… Read More

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I feel like I know these computer-generated celebrities already

 If there’s one thing this Earth of ours is short on, it’s celebrities. I mean, if there were enough, why would they keep making them? We need the help of our computer friends. Luckily they are obliging. An AI that in its existence has only known the faces of celebs (how I envy it!) was tasked with making up new ones by the dozen. The results are… well, you should see for… Read More

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The Golden Knights, live gambling and the future of live sports attendance

 One of the biggest early season NHL stories has been the success of the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights. If they can maintain anything close to current attendance and demand levels, their sports-gambling-friendly approach may do more than just help the NHL solve the “warm-weather problem” — it could be the biggest boon to event attendance since the advent of the dome. Read More

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Signal escapes the confines of the browser with a standalone desktop app

 If you’re an active Signal user (and why aren’t you?) you likely already know about the desktop app — or what passes for one. It’s actually Chrome App, requiring Google’s browser to function. Well, that nightmare is over, as Signal has released a standalone app with no troubling dependencies on billion-dollar companies. Read More

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Creative-focused app PicsArt hits 100M MAUs, attracting brands tired of trolls

 You would think that social networks are more or less “done” now. What would be the point of another in a world filled with so many options? But in fact, there remains a niche which has been growing steadily in the creative corners of the Internet. PicsArt has been building growing since it was started in 2011. It’s now announced new growth figures which have hit 100… Read More

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Early cancer-detection startup Grail is reportedly trying to raise more money

 Just months after Grail raised a $900 million Series B round, the startup that aims to detect cancer early on is looking for additional funding, CNBC reports. Prior to the $900 million round, Grail raised $100 million last year to develop initial studies of its blood test technology. Citing sources, CNBC says Grail is mostly focused on sovereign funds. Grail has reportedly been in touch… Read More

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Congress grills Facebook, Twitter, Google on shells hiding election meddlers

 How can Internet giants know that innocent-seeming US companies aren’t actually shell vehicles for malicious foreign actors to buy ads to interfere with elections? The short answer is they can’t, and that drew questioning from a congressional probe today into Facebook, Twitter, and Google being used to manipulate the 2016 presidential election.. One member of the committee… Read More

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