Facebook has successfully completed a second test of an unmanned aircraft, the social giant announced on Thursday. At some point, the massive drones are expected to provide Web access to people in remote regions of the world. “Unlike in the first test, [this latest] drone did not crash,” Reuters notes. Long term, “Facebook plans to develop a fleet of drones powered by sunlight that will fly for months at a time, communicating with each other through lasers and extending internet connectivity to the ground below. ”
Twitter might let users flag tweets that they suspect include misleading, false, or threatening content, The Washington Post reports. However, according to cited sources, the social giant is concerned that people use the system for nefarious ends.
Germany is threatening social media companies operating within its borders with upwards of $57 million in fines. Targeting illegal, racist and slanderous comments, “The law reinforces Germany’s position as one of the most aggressive countries in the Western world at forcing companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter,” The New York Times reports. “But the new rules have also raised questions about freedom of expression,” it notes.
Adobe is adding voice analytics to the Adobe Analytics Cloud to “better understand how people consume media and marketing via voice-enabled devices,” according to Adweek. “The voice analytics offering will also integrate Sensei, Adobe’s artificial intelligence and machine learning service, which will be able to make sense of trends within massive data sets.”
Google has hired Danielle Brown as its new VP of Diversity. Brown previously served as Intel’s head of diversity. “Back in April,” TechCrunch recalls, “Brown was promoted into an expanded role of VP of Human Resources and Group Chief Human Resources Officer at Intel.” Looking back, "Brown joined Intel in 2009 as an associate for the company’s accelerated leadership program.”
Microsoft has agreed to buy Israeli cloud-monitoring software-as-a-service vendor Cloudyn. The deal is worth between $50 million and $70 million, sources tell TechCrunch. As for the rationale, TC writes: “As companies continue to pursue a multi-cloud strategy, this gives Microsoft a cloud billing and management solution that provides it with an advantage over competitors, particularly AWS and Google Cloud Platform.”
Charter Communications alleges in a new complaint that it was unable to meet its obligation
to extend broadband service in New York because its access to utility poles was blocked by Verizon. "In the face of Verizon’s intransigence, Charter has been unable to satisfy the milestones in the Buildout Condition," Charter reportedly said.
As expected, Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren has announced plans to relinquish his roles as CEO of the music streaming company. As Variety reports: “Westergren will also exit the board of directors, and CFO Naveen Chopra will serve as interim CEO while the board searches for a permanent replacement.” Per the change, “Westergren will not be remaining with Pandora … in any capacity.”
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction of Matthew Keys, who was sentenced to two years in prison for violating a federal anti-hacking law by sharing his username and password with members of the hacking group Anonymous. After Keys shared the credentials, someone briefly changed the headline of a Los Angeles Times article.
Tech giants including Facebook and Twitter are teaming up to fight terrorists online. “The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism builds on several existing initiatives, which are designed to scrub terrorist recruitment material from the internet and promote counter-narratives to potential recruits,” The Verge reports. “The forum is supposed to make it easier for its members to cooperate with each other.”