EU fines Google 1.49 bn euros for anti-trust breach

The EU’s powerful anti-trust regulator slaps tech giant Google with a new fine over unfair competition, in Europe’s latest salvo against Silicon Valley. SOUNDBITE

Alex Gibney’s ‘The Inventor’ goes inside Theranos fraud

Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney has always been interested in the psychology of fraud and self-deception. His latest film, “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley,” zeroes in on blood-testing startup Theranos and its charismatic young leader Elizabeth Holmes. (March 8)

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A ‘virtual’ border instead of Trump’s wall?

A Silicon Valley company specializing in motion and obstacles detection presents its new application at the CES in Las Vegas: a completely ‘virtual’ border, where the slightest movement would be immediately detected thanks to laser sensors, “a much cheaper solution than the wall wanted by the American president” according to Quanergy.

Calif. startup builds indoor farm run by robots

(3 Oct 2018) A Silicon Valley startup is ready to sell vegetables grown by robots in its indoor farm. Iron Ox wants to build robot farms near cities to supply restaurants and supermarkets with fresh produce. Other automated indoor farms haven’t panned out. (Oct. 3)

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Senegal’s Silicon Valley? Budding entrepreneurs seek investors

In Senegal, young entrepreneurs are teeming with ideas, but investors remain cautious, especially when it comes to funding tech startups. But things could be starting to change.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: VICE News Tonight Interview (HBO)

Seven years into his tenure as Apple CEO, Tim Cook remains a popular guy, especially in an Apple store in New York, where he recently waded through a sea of adoring Apple fans pleading for selfies before he sat down with VICE News Tonight for an interview.

This is partly because Cook’s competitors in Silicon Valley have set a low bar. Already under fire for being a tool for voter suppression and misinformation during the 2016 election, Facebook announced Friday that it had discovered the largest security breach in the company’s history, affecting 50 million users.

Cook said that kind of data breach won’t happen at Apple, because the personal data Apple collects stays locked on iPhones, and even Apple can’t access it. “We’re not in the business of building the detailed profile of you,” Cook said. “The way we go into product design, we challenge ourselves to collect as little as possible. And when we have it, we challenge ourselves to encrypt it in the end.”

That has come at a cost to Apple’s business. Apple Music, for example, could build detailed profiles of users and sell that to advertisers, as competitors Spotify, Pandora, and Google Music do. But Cook considers that an affront to the basic promise of the Apple brand. “We don’t read your messages,” he said. “These things, even in our heads, are offensive, right? To think about, these are private communications and intimate conversations that you are having. And so we wouldn’t even think about that.”

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Groceries delivered by car; no driver necessary

(4 Sep 2018) A Silicon Valley startup is using autonomous cars to deliver groceries to residents in San Jose, Calif. AutoX is just the latest company seeking to bring driverless delivery to consumers. (Sept. 4)

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Judge Who Gave 6-month Sentence To Stanford Rapist Brock Turner Could Be Recalled For It (HBO)

Two years ago last week, Stanford freshman Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in county jail after a jury convicted him of sexually assaulting a drunk, passed-out woman.

That verdict sparked national outrage, and in Santa Clara County, California, a pitched effort to recall Judge Aaron Persky at the ballot box.

Much of the country has moved on from Brock Turner and his crime. Those who remember it, remember a bad judge making a bad decision and that’s about it. But in Santa Clara county, the debate has changed into something different — an argument about how best to correct a mistake.

On both sides of the recall question you’ll find county leaders who hate the sentence. Recall supporters say they’re exercising their democratic rights. Opponents say a recall will endanger judicial independence and ensure that there are more bad sentences, not fewer.

VICE News spent the last weekend of the recall campaign in Silicon Valley, home of Stanford — and the case that made national headlines in 2016.

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