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Black Adam Trailer Showcases Dwayne Johnson As Titular Anti-Hero

A Black Adam trailer was released during DC FanDome, giving us […] The post Black Adam Trailer Showcases Dwayne Johnson As Titular Anti-Hero appeared first on ComingSoon.net.
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    China five-year plan aims for supremacy in AI, quantum computing

    China's tech industry has been hit hard by US trade battles and the economic uncertainties of the pandemic, but it's eager to bounce back in the relatively near future. According to the Wall Street Journal, the country used its annual party meeting to outline a five-year plan for advancing technology that aids "national security and overall development." It will create labs, foster educational programs and otherwise boost research in fields like AI, biotech, semiconductors and quantum computing. The Chinese government added that it would increase spending on basic research (that is, studies of potential breakthroughs) by 10.6 percent in 2021, and would create a 10-year research strategy. China has a number of technological advantages, such as its 5G availability and the sheer volume of AI research it produces. This is one of the few countries where completely driverless taxis are serving real customers. In that light, the country is really cementing some of its strong points. However, this may also be a matter of survival. US trade restrictions have hobbled companies like Huawei and ZTE, in part due to a lack of cutting-edge chip manufacturing. The US also leads in overall research, and the Biden administration is boosting spending on advancements for 5G, AI and electric cars. As experienced as China is in some areas, it risks slipping behind if it doesn't counter the latest American efforts.

    Big Tech net and critic neutrality advocate Tim Wu is joining the White House

    The man who coined net neutrality is heading back to work for the government. President Joe Biden has appointed Columbia law professor Tim Wu to the White House's National Economic Council. According to The New York Times, he'll serve as a special assistant to the president, advising him on technology and competition policy. It's an appointment that does not require approval from the Senate. Happy to say I'm joining the Biden White House to work on Technology and Competition Policy at the National Economic Council. Putting this twitter feed on hold for now -- so long! — Tim Wu (@superwuster) March 5, 2021 While he's best known for advocating for a free and open internet, Wu has also called for the breakup of Facebook and other Big Tech companies in more recent years. In 2018, he published The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age. There he argues the concentration of economic power in just a few companies has led to the current political climate of low wages and extreme nationalism. This is not Wu's first stint in government, nor is it his first time on the National Economic Council. He was also a member of the organization during the Obama administration, which did little to check the growth of companies like Facebook and Amazon. "I worked in the Obama administra­tion, and I worked in antitrust, so I will take some personal blame here, but we have not provided the merger oversight we should have," he said of his time on the Council in a 2019 interview. 

    Facebook bowed to demands from Turkey to block among its military opponents

    When Turkey launched its Afrin offensive in early 2018 to dislodge Kurdish minorities from Northern Syria, the country ordered Facebook to block the page of a prominent militia group in the area known as the People’s Protection Units or YPG. Forced to make a decision, the company prioritized staying online over objecting to censorship, new internal emails obtained by ProPublica show. Since then, the social media giant has blocked users in Turkey from accessing the YPG’s Facebook page. Facebook complied with the order even though, like the US government, it does not consider the group a terrorist organization. “... We are in favor of geo-blocking YPG content if the prospects of a full-service blockage are great,” the team that accessed the situation wrote to Joel Kaplan, the company’s vice-president of global public policy. “Geo-blocking the YPG is not without risk — activists outside of Turkey will likely notice our actions, and our decision may draw unwanted attention to our overall geo-blocking policy.” The subsequent discussion was short. When Kaplan told Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and CEO Mark Zuckerberg he agreed with the recommendation, Sandberg sent a single-sentence response. “I am fine with this,” she said. When asked about the emails, Facebook confirmed it blocked the page after it received a legal order from the Turkish government. “We strive to preserve voice for the greatest number of people. There are, however, times when we restrict content based on local law even if it does not violate our community standards,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told ProPublica. “In this case, we made the decision based on our policies concerning government requests to restrict content and our international human rights commitments. Publicly, Facebook has also said free speech is one of its core tenets. “We believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, and we work hard to protect and defend these values around the world,” it said in a recent blog post on Turkey. In many ways, the story of Facebook's YPG ban is one of poor transparency. In the same above statement, the company noted it discloses content restrictions in its biannual transparency reports. However, YPG isn’t explicitly mentioned on the section of its website it has dedicated to Turkey. And if you try to visit the group’s page through a Turkish server using a VPN, the only error message you will see is one that says, “the link may be broken, or the page may have been removed.” 

    Senate Democrats introduce a bill to limit Section 230

    A trio of Democratic senators have introduced a bill that would make online platforms more liable for the content that their users post, particularly if those posts lead to harm. The SAFE TECH Act aims to limit the protections that social media companies are afforded under Section 230, a provision of the Communications Decency Act 1996 that shields them from accountability for user activity. Sens. Mark Warner, Mazie Hirono and Amy Klobuchar said in a joint statement that the bill would make the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube more liable for "enabling cyberstalking, targeted harassment and discrimination." According to Protocol, staffers for the three senators consulted with civil rights groups and experts in online harm as they drafted the bill. If the act becomes law, platforms wouldn't be able to claim Section 230 liability for ads or other paid content — many of them have been limiting political ads to varying degrees. The provision would not shield companies from complying with court orders or alleged violations of civil rights, antitrust, cyberstalking or human rights laws at state and federal level. Additionally, the bill makes it clear that Section 230 would not protect platforms from civil actions stemming from wrongful deaths. The bill also aims to limit Section 230 at a broader level to ensure the provision applies only to speech and not all online activity, such as the dealing of illicit goods. It would modify the language of Section 230 (currently "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider") by replacing "information" with "speech." For years, Section 230 provided a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card to platform companies as their sites are openly and repeatedly used by bad actors to cause damage and injury. Section 230 will be brought into the present-day with the SAFE TECH Act creating targeted exceptions. (2/8) — Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) February 5, 2021 Although the Democrats hold power in both houses of Congress, it remains to be seen whether the senators can muster enough support to push through their bill. While there's a general consensus among politicians (and even the likes of Facebook and Twitter) that Section 230 should be changed, there are differing opinions on how best to do so. Other senators have recently introduced proposals to reform the provision, which underscores the fact many politicians are training their sights on it.

    Apple's Irish tax deal will be scrutinized by Europe's highest court

    Sponsored Links Yves Herman / reuters The European Commission refuses to back down in its long-running legal battle against Apple and the Irish government’s tax arrangements. Today, the executive branch of the European Union announced that it would appeal a decision granted by the General Court in July that sided with the juggernaut technology company. The Commission believes that the Court “made a number of errors of law” and wants the case re-examined by the European Court of Justice — the highest form of scrutiny in the EU. “We need to continue our efforts to put in place the right legislation to address loopholes and ensure transparency,” Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition said in a statement. So what exactly are they fighting over? Money. Specifically, how much Apple has been paying in taxes to the Irish authorities. The company has operated in the country for decades and, like many other large multinationals, benefitted from its historically low tax rates. In the metaphorical eyes of the Commission, though, Apple has been given preferential treatment. That’s why the company has been paying an effective rate of tax that’s close to one percent. The Commission launched an investigation in 2014 and declared three months later that Apple’s situation should be categorised as state aid. Then, in 2016, it ruled that Apple owed Ireland roughly $14.5 billion in unpaid tax. Unsurprisingly, Apple disagreed. The company’s appeals were initially unsuccessful, however. In 2016, it started transferring money into an escrow account that would only be emptied once a final decision was made. By September 2018, the company had all of its unpaid taxes, plus interest, in that holding account. Apple hasn’t given up on its legal defence, however, and won a remarkable decision this year. The General Court said the Commission couldn’t prove that Apple was given preferential treatment and, as a result, the deal can’t be declared as state aid. The Commission is desperate to win the case, however, to bring more taxes back into the EU market, which is currently grappling with a pandemic-fuelled downturn. “If Member States give certain multinational companies tax advantages not available to their rivals, this harms fair competition in the European Union in breach of State aid rules,” Vestager said. “We have to continue to use all tools at our disposal to ensure companies pay their fair share of tax. Otherwise, the public purse and citizens are deprived of funds for much needed investments – the need for which is even more acute now to support Europe’s economic recovery.” Apple thinks differently. “The General Court categorically annulled the Commission’s case in July and the facts have not changed since then,” a spokesperson for the company said. “This case has never been about how much tax we pay, rather where we are required to pay it. We will review the Commission’s appeal when we receive it, however it will not alter the factual conclusions of the General Court, which prove that we have always abided by the law in Ireland, as we do everywhere we operate.” In this article: politics, EU, Ireland, taxes, apple, europe, news, gear All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Comments 43 Shares Share Tweet Share

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