Musk Reinstates Trump’s Twitter Account
On the evening of Nov. 19, Musk launched a poll on Twitter asking whether former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Twitter account should be reinstated, according to CNN. In the end, more than 15 million people participated in the poll, and the results showed that 51.8 percent of the votes were in favor. Musk then posted, “People have spoken. Trump will be reinstated.” This differs from Musk’s earlier promise to users and advertisers that he would first convene a content review committee of people with “widely divergent views” to collectively make a decision on whether to reinstate the account. Earlier this week, Musk had already unilaterally announced via tweet the reinstatement of several accounts that had been blocked for violating the platform’s policies.
In early 2021, following the riots at the U.S. Capitol, Twitter “permanently blocked” Trump’s personal account, which had more than 88 million followers before it was blocked, citing “the risk of further incitement to violence. When asked if he planned to return to Twitter, Trump said he “didn’t see any reason to” and said he would stick with Truth Social, a social media platform he created.
Google and Amazon Provide Police with Identities of Z-Library Operators
On November 3, U.S. law enforcement agencies arrested Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova, the Russian founders of the pirate e-book site Z-Library, in Argentina, indicted them on charges of copyright infringement, wire fraud and money laundering, and sought their extradition to the United States for trial, according to an indictment released by the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the published search warrants, FBI agents requested and received cooperation from Google and Amazon in providing information about the defendants. Among other things, Google provided information indicating that Napolsky used his email address registered with a Russian service provider to sign up for a series of Gmail accounts associated with Z-Library, tied his personal cell phone number, and signed up for a Google Adwords advertising account. The FBI also obtained receipts for relevant domain name registrations and task records on the project management software Atlassian, among other things.
Waymo Demonstrates Next-Generation Prototype, Approved for Full-Day Operation
On November 18, Alphabet’s Waymo demonstrated its next-generation fully autonomous driverless prototype, custom developed by Geely Holdings’ brand Extreme Krypton based on the ZEEKR M-Vision concept car. The vehicle is a fully electric, fully automated driverless car that will be fitted with Waymo’s autonomous driving system, Waymo Driver, which has Level 4 fully automated driving capability but still offers manual controls. The vehicle has no steering wheel, pedals or reflectors, and features four fully automated sliding doors for up to five passengers.
In addition, on Nov. 20, California granted Waymo a new driverless pilot permit that allows the company to offer a driverless online taxi service that operates 24/7. Waymo said it will open the service to the public in the coming weeks. Waymo has previously piloted driverless cab operations in parts of the U.S. using models based on the Chrysler Pacifica and Jaguar I-Pace, both of which are designed for manned driving.
Microsoft restores SwiftKey, its input method, to the App Store
On November 19, Microsoft relaunched SwiftKey, its swipe gesture input method, on the App Store, after saying in September that it had cancelled the iOS version of SwiftKey and removed it from the App Store without explaining why. SwiftKey had been a popular alternative to the default iOS keyboard for iPhone users in the U.S. market, and Microsoft’s decision caused a lot of dissatisfaction among users.
Originally released in July 2010, SwiftKey was released for iOS in September 2014 following iOS support for third-party keyboards; in addition to featuring swipe input, the input method can also provide predictions based on the currently typed text and training based on previously typed content. in February 2016, SwiftKey was acquired by Microsoft for $250 million.
According to Ross Young, a leading display industry analyst, panel shipments for the iPhone 14 Plus were close to zero in December. According to a previous report, Apple has actually halted production of the device. However, overall display purchases for the iPhone 14 series are expected to increase by 10 percent over the previous generation, thanks in large part to the sales success of the Pro series models. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max expected shipments as shown on Apple’s China website have now been delayed until January.
According to Wccftech, Nvidia will release its next-generation RTX 40 mobile graphics card on January 3. It is expected to bring about 30% average performance improvement over the previous generation, where the RTX 4070 mobile version will have 15% higher performance than the RTX 3080 Ti.
Epic Says Google Paid Blizzard to Avoid App Store Competition
Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, recently filed an amended complaint in its antitrust lawsuit against Google, in which it alleges that Google and Activision Blizzard agreed to pay $360 million over a three-year period in exchange for a promise that Blizzard would not build its own app store to compete with Google Play. The agreement is part of what Google internally calls “Project Hug,” and payments include YouTube ad space, as well as credits for Google AdWords and cloud services. Other signatories include Nintendo, Ubisoft and others.
Both Google and Activision Blizzard have since denied Epic’s allegations. Google said the agreement with the developer was intended to encourage development of apps for Google Play; Activision Blizzard said it was never asked or pressured by Google to not compete with Google Play.