Amazon’s search for a second headquarters was never just about finding a new home.
Throughout the process, Amazon skillfully obtained data from 238 cities and metro areas in North America for free, including proprietary information about real estate sites under development, details about their talent pool, local labor cost and what incentives cities and states were willing to cough up to bring the company to town.
“Amazon was not going through this exercise to pick a single HQ2,” said Richard Florida, a leading urbanist and professor at the University of Toronto. “It was part of a broader effort — a corporate relocation strategy — to crowdsource a wide variety of data.”
The country’s chief statistician says his agency’s controversial plan to harvest individuals’ banking information is on hold until the privacy commissioner completes an investigation into widespread concerns about the project.
Statistics Canada recently caught nine financial institutions off-guard by asking them to share the private banking information of Canadians in 500,000 dwellings across the country.
Canadian law could require the institutions to hand over the private information to Statistics Canada as the agency works to modernize and improve its data-collection efforts.
For those who’ve been paying attention, Facebook’s growth appears to be slowing. It’s not clear why, but one theory is that we’re reaching a saturation point, particularly in North America. Basically, everyone has already signed up for an account. Facebook is literally running out of new people to bring aboard.
This is a problem (for Facebook, to be clear) for a number of reasons. Most notably, North American users are Facebook’s most valuable. Facebook makes more dollars from each user in Canada and the U.S. than it does anywhere else in the world. If you accept the theory that Facebook is running out of new users — a once-reliable source of new revenue — then it has to find a way to squeeze more out of those it already has.
Who is going to decide how we travel around our cities – Californian tech giants or local transport businesses?
On Tech Tent we hear from the UK firm helping local taxi operators take the fight to Uber and from an American scooter firm trying to change the law in Britain.
I took a trip to Manchester this week and leaving the station, I had a number of options to get to my destination in Cheadle, on the outskirts of the city.
I could have grabbed a cab from the station rank or used the ubiquitous Uber – but instead I downloaded an app called Streetcars.
This enabled me to order a minicab from the local firm of that name and it deposited me at the headquarters of Autocab – the company that built the app for Streetcars and about 500 other local taxi firms across the UK.
1) “Tens of others had technology just as good as Uber that never went anywhere. The difference is Uber has been heavily financed by Wall Street and they’ve raised more than $13bn. We didn’t have the same access to capital.” Is this really only about money?
2) “Uber with its early “move fast and break things” approach, which saw it clash with local regulators” Why is it that regulations take time to catch up with technology innovation?
Companies like Mendix (https://www.mendix.com/) and Salesforce are saying that this is the start of a “low-code revolution”, where business people can build applications without knowing much, if any, code at all.
The SWEEPER robot is the first sweet pepper harvesting robot in the world demonstrated in a commercial greenhouse. It is designed to operate in a single stem row cropping system, with a crop having non-clustered fruits and little leaf occlusion.
New privacy rules designed to better safeguard the personal data of Canadians and let them know when it has been breached kick in Thursday, but even security experts say they are far from perfect.
The legislation, known as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (or PIPEDA) does a lot of things, but most importantly from a consumer’s perspective, it requires Canadian companies to alert their customers any time their personal information may have fallen into the wrong hands.
Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, pledged to fix how it handles political and issue ads in the wake of Russian meddling in 2016. But just days before the midterm elections, a key part of Facebook’s effort is broken, and it’s unclear if the company is doing anything to fix it.
The company has touted new rules for political ad-buyers as a major component of its work to combat disinformation on its platform. In 2016 Russian trolls with links to the Kremlin bought ads targeting Americans in the run-up to the presidential election. They were able to do so without giving any information to Americans seeing those ads about who was paying for them.
Political ads on the platform are now supposed to say who paid for them, but Facebook allows buyers to fill in that information themselves. And if anyone or any system at the company is supposed to be ensuring that the information these ad-buyers submit is the truth, they appear to be asleep at the wheel.
Earlier this week, Vice News, posing as a political ad-buyer, got approval from Facebook to run ads in the name of every single one of the US’ 100 senators. Vice News did not end up buying the ads. This came after Vice News had previously received approval from Facebook to run ads “Paid for” by Islamic State and Vice President Mike Pence.