LASTEST TECHNOLOGY NEWS

SENATORS BLAST  GOOGLE EXECUTIVES FOR NOT SHOWING UP TO HEARINGS ON ELECTION MEDDLING
Sometimes an empty chair can speak volumes. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence intentionally set up an unoccupied seat to shame Google parent company Alphabet at Wednesday's hearing on foreign meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The committee wanted either Alphabet CEO Larry Page or Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai to testify alongside Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, but the company offered its top lawyer and senior vice president of global affairs, Kent Walker, instead. That decision rankled committee leaders Sen Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who rejected the substitution, hence the pointedly vacant chair.

"I'm disappointed Google decided against sending the right senior level executive," Burr, the chair of the committee, said in his opening remarks.

Warner, vice chair of the committee, echoed Burr's statement. "I'm deeply disappointed that Google — one of the most influential digital platforms in the world – chose not to send its own top corporate leadership to engage this committee," Warner said.

TWITTER & FACEBOOK ARE TOO SLOW  TO TACKLE MEDDLING
Facebook and Twitter have said that they took too long to tackle foreign campaigns to meddle in US elections. Responding to lawmakers, Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said the social network was "too slow" to act on election interference.

Twitter's chief executive Jack Dorsey said his platform was "unprepared and ill-equipped" for the "weaponisation" of debate.Google did not show up to the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Opening the hearing, Democratic senator Mark Warner said he was "deeply disappointed" that Google "chose not to send its own top corporate leadership".

The senate committee focused on what the technology giants were doing to prevent future election meddling.

It followed claims that Russia and other foreign actors spread misinformation and propaganda ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

"With the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious that serious mistakes were made by both Facebook and Twitter. You, like the US government, were caught flat-footed by the brazen attacks on our election. Even after the election, you were reluctant to admit there was a problem," said Mr Warner. He warned that the social networks could face new regulations. "The era of the wild west in social media is coming to an end. Where we go from here is an open question," he told the hearing.





SAMSUNG: TIME  FOR FOLDING SMARTPHONES
Samsung's head of mobile has said it is "time to deliver" foldable smartphones, fuelling speculation the company is about to reveal a bendable device.

In an interview with CNBC, DJ Koh said Samsung's consumer research suggested there was demand for a foldable phone.

Several phone-makers are rumoured to be developing devices with flexible screens that can be folded in half, without a hinge or seam in the middle. However, Samsung told the BBC it did not currently have "anything to share".

TWITTER: ALGORITHMS WERE NOT ALWAYS IMPARTIAL
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey has told US law-makers that the company's algorithms have not always been "impartial".

He said the platform "unfairly" reduced the visibility of 600,000 accounts, including some members of congress.

But he was unable to immediately say whether a majority of them were Republican, Democratic or otherwise. Mr Dorsey is being questioned by senators over allegations that Twitter censors conservative voices.

Several republicans, including US President Donald Trump, have accused Twitter of bias, which the company denies.

"Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules," said Mr Dorsey.

However, he said the company had made mistakes. On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice said it would investigate "growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms".

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