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Techlife News

Techlife News #500

Read the most relevant news of the week about the world of technology and its influence on our lives. New products, Apps, acquisitions in the industry, highlights about the digital world and everything about your favorite iGadgets and upgrades. Everything you need to keep well informed. A new concept of light, intelligent, innovative reading at your fingertips. A global view of Tech LifeStyle and its influence on our lives.

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United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
52 Issues

in this issue

4 min
gm now says it will support union at new battery factories

General Motors now says it will support efforts by the United Auto Workers union to organize employees at two U.S. electric vehicle battery factories that it’s building in Ohio and Tennessee with a joint-venture partner. The company’s statement this week about the plants departs from its past stance that the joint venture, called Ultium LLC, would decide on a bargaining strategy. But it falls into line with President Joe Biden’s promise to create good-paying union jobs in the transition from combustion vehicles to electric. It also comes after the UAW has made strong statements that Detroit-based GM and crosstown rival Ford have a “moral obligation” to pay top union wages at joint-venture battery plants. Experts say the union’s future could be imperiled if it can’t represent workers at the plants and get…

4 min
census bureau’s use of ‘synthetic data’ worries researchers

First came the “noise” — small errors the U.S. Census Bureau decided to introduce into the 2020 census data to protect participants’ privacy. Now the bureau is looking into “synthetic data,” manipulating the numbers widely used for economic and demographic research, to obscure the identities of people who provided information. The moves have some researchers up in arms, worried that the statistical agency could sacrifice accuracy in its zeal to protect privacy. Census Bureau statisticians disclosed at a virtual conference last week that over the next three years they will work toward developing a method to create “synthetic data” for files on individuals and homes that already are devoid of personalized information. These files, known as American Community Survey microdata, are used by researchers to create customized tables tailored to their research. Census…

2 min
german regulator probes google’s market position, data use

German regulators have launched an investigation into Google’s position in the market, and how the search engine and advertising giant handles user data. The Federal Cartel Office, or Bundeskartellamt, said this week that it has started proceedings against Google entities in Germany, Ireland and California based on new provisions in German competition law that apply to large digital companies. Similar probes were launched into the activities of Facebook and Amazon in recent months. Google denied that its practices breach German competition rules. Under provisions which came into force in January, the Federal Cartel Office can ban companies that are of “paramount significance for competition across markets” from engaging in practices deemed to be anti-competitive. “Due to the large number of digital services offered by Google, such as the Google search engine, YouTube, Google Maps,…

4 min
ford ceo says us needs to regulate automated driving systems

The CEO of America’s second-largest auto company is calling for the federal government to set standards for fully or partially automated vehicles to tighten the safety of electronic driving systems. In urging federal regulation, Ford CEO Jim Farley becomes the highest-profile auto executive to publicly recognize a need to more closely monitor the emerging technology, which is becoming more prevalent on America’s roadways just as questions are being raised about the potential risks to motorists. In limited areas, companies are beginning to deploy fully autonomous ride-hailing services. Farley’s statements, in an interview, follow increased scrutiny by regulators of Tesla’s partially automated “Autopilot” driver-assist system, which has been involved in a series of high-profile crashes. Tesla also is using selected owners to test its “Full Self-Driving” software on public roads. “Absolutely,” Farley said when…

2 min
best buy raises 2021 comparable store sales expectations

Three months after saying that comparable store sales may actually fall in 2021, Best Buy on Thursday released a much more optimistic outlook after reporting booming sales in the first quarter. Though government stimulus played a roll in the most recent quarter, the Richfield, Minnesota, company believes sales and services will continue to thrive. “Customer demand for technology products and services during the quarter was extraordinarily high,” said CEO Corie Barry in a prepared statement. “This demand is being driven by continued focus on the home, which encompasses many aspects of our lives including working, learning, cooking, entertaining, redecorating and remodeling.” Best Buy was not broadsided during the pandemic like many other retailers because Americans stuck at home stepped up spending on webcams, laptops and other technology used to get them through…

2 min
nbc hopes for more indycar as contract comes to an end

NBC Sports heads into its third Indianapolis 500 not ready to wave the checkered flag on its partnership with Roger Penske’s open-wheel racing series. IndyCar’s current deal with NBC Sports is in its final season and contract negotiations are unclear. There have been reports Penske will take a higher rights fee from a new partner and that NBC has fallen out of the running on a renewal. Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production of NBC Sports, said Wednesday the network wants to keep the racing series. “We love IndyCar, we love the Indy 500, we love the partnership we have and hope we can continue that partnership,” Flood said. “All I know is we are fans of this relationship and want it to continue.” ABC aired the Indianapolis 500 for 58 years…