Less, please! Google responds to pressure to eliminate cookies collecting our data
Google recently announced some big privacy changes for its internet browser Chrome. It’s planning to make obsolete what are known as third-party cookies. Cookies are the trackers that advertisers plant so when you shop for shoes one time, you’ll then see ads for them … forever. It’ll also put a limit on the amount of data websites can collect. Other browsers have already made moves to cut tracking and preserve privacy, but what Google does might be significant in that it may change the way the whole web works.
Can we count on tech to protect the online 2020 Census?
This year’s census is going digital — the first one in history to be available to complete online, instead of on paper. That’s fitting in a world that’s much more connected, compared to 10 years ago, but our online lives mean there’s some risks, too. Disinformation is a big one — mainly fake news designed to influence people’s thinking, which led to intense criticism of social media platforms after the 2016 elections. The Census Bureau is warning that false information could affect the number of people who take part in the upcoming Census.
Microsoft’s billion-dollar investment in carbon removal
A lot of tech companies have pledged that their operations are — or will — become carbon neutral. But this week, Microsoft announced plans to become carbon negative in the next 10 years. That means it will invest $1 billion in technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere in addition to using more renewable energy or offsetting the emissions it creates. In fact, Microsoft announced that by 2050, it wants to remove the equivalent of all the carbon that the company has ever emitted in its 44-years. Ikea is the only other major company that’s made a similar promise, which, let’s be honest, sounds expensive.
Qualcomm is at the center of 5G. We’re still, almost, there.
When it comes to rolling out 5G, there are a lot of moving parts. At the heart of the 5G story sits Qualcomm, the company that makes wireless chips for your phone and develops and licenses other technology in the wireless industry. Qualcomm has been pushing 5G hard, but there are aspects of the 5G rollout it can’t control. The company is also the subject of a Federal Trade Commission investigation over whether it abused its monopoly position in 4G technology. Host Molly Wood spoke with Cristiano Amon, the president of Qualcomm, about all this at CES in Las Vegas last week.
Delta’s CEO wants to use tech to make airports happier places
This year at CES, the big electronics and tech show in Las Vegas held every January, the kickoff keynote presentation for the first time was by an airline CEO, Delta Air Lines’ Ed Bastian. He talked about how tech should help take the stress out of flying and, of course, make you want to pay more to fly Delta. The airline announced a few new features, like updates to its app to include other parts of the trip, like ride-share and hotel. Also, artificial intelligence to improve scheduling, investment in updating airports, including something called “parallel reality” and high-tech displays in airports that can show personalized flight information to lots of different people at the same time.