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Google Fined $1.7 Billion by E.U. for Unfair Advertising Rules

LONDON — European authorities on Wednesday fined Google 1.5 billion euros for antitrust violations in the online advertising market, continuing its efforts to rein in the world’s biggest technology companies.The fine, worth about $1.7 billion, is the third against Google by the European Union since 2017, reinforcing the region’s position as the world’s most aggressive watchdog of an industry with an increasingly powerful role in society and the global economy. The regulators said Google had violated antitrust rules by imposing unfair terms on companies that used its search bar on their websites in Europe.Europe’s regulatory approach was once criticized as unfairly focusing on technology companies from the…

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In Andrew Yang, the Internet Finds a Meme-Worthy Candidate

If you visit the online betting market PredictIt, you’ll see a long list of 2020 Democratic candidates, ranked in order of their odds of winning the party’s nomination for president, according to the site’s users.Joe Biden, the former vice president, and Senator Bernie Sanders top the list. Then come other well-known Democrats: Senator Kamala Harris, former Representative Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Yang, Senator Elizabeth Warren.Wait, hang on a minute. Andrew Yang?This is not an algorithm glitch, it turns out. Mr. Yang, 44, an entrepreneur and a political neophyte running on the idea that the United States should provide a universal basic income, is popping up in unexpected places…

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Tech We’re Using: Talking to Taffy Is Low Tech. And Intense.

How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Taffy Brodesser-Akner, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine who occasionally writes for Arts, discussed the tech she’s using.You’re known for writing profiles of people like Tonya Harding and Bradley Cooper. What tools do you use to make sure people forget they’re in an interview and that they open up?I have a small Olympus WS-801 recorder, but I don’t think they ever forget about it because I don’t. I’m constantly checking to make sure it’s really running and the volume is really up. But it’s not, like, equipment. I’m…

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Amazon and Union at Odds Over Firing of Staten Island Warehouse Worker

Amazon’s plan for a major corporate presence in New York ran headlong into concerns about the company’s labor practices in the city. The giant project fell apart, but the labor friction lives on.A former employee at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island is accusing the company of firing him last month in retaliation for speaking out about what he says are difficult working conditions there.A union trying to organize a few thousand workers at the Staten Island warehouse formally complained to the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday on behalf of the former employee, Justin Rashad Long, opening a new phase in the organizing push.“Instead of firing…

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Watches Are Yet Another Easy Way Rich People Make Their Money Into More Money

As tattooed rockers, tech bros and Instagram influencers pile into the tweedy world of watch collecting, prices for sought-after classics from brands like Rolex, Omega and Patek Philippe are shooting up. In some cases, they have doubled in just a couple of years.These next-generation collectors see old timepieces not just as a subtly stylish way to dress up a T-shirt and jeans, but also as a hot new asset in their investment portfolios. In a market where stocks, bonds and real estate seem at an unsteady peak, do vintage watches present a Bitcoin-in-2017-like growth opportunity? Or are they in a Bitcoin-in-2017-like bubble? Time — elegantly monitored —…

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A Dating App for Three, Plus

Feeld is a dating app with options that put the Kinsey scale to shame. If you’re single, you can set up an account stating your preferences and curiosities, as you might with any other service. The app lists 20 possibilities for sexuality alone, including heteroflexible (straight-ish) and homoflexible (gay, for the most part).But couples and partners can sign up, too, in service of finding a third — or a fourth.The app was released in 2014 by Dimo Trifonov and Ana Kirova, two graphic designers living in London, as 3nder (pronounced “Thrinder”). They hoped to appeal to individuals and partners looking to join or have threesomes. But after…

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The New Social Network That Isn’t New at All

SAN FRANCISCO — My favorite new social network doesn’t incessantly spam me with notifications. When I post, I’m not bombarded with @mentions from bots and trolls. And after I use it, I don’t worry about ads following me around the web.That’s because my new social network is an email newsletter. Every week or so, I blast it out to a few thousand people who have signed up to read my musings. Some of them email back, occasionally leading to a thoughtful conversation. It’s still early in the experiment, but I think I love it.The newsletter is not a new phenomenon. But there is a growing interest among…

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Disney Moves From Behemoth to Colossus With Closing of Fox Deal

LOS ANGELES — “Everything the light touches is our kingdom.”It’s a line from Disney’s “The Lion King,” spoken by Mufasa to young Simba as they sit atop Pride Rock. And on Wednesday morning, just after midnight on the East Coast, it seemed to describe the Walt Disney Company itself, as the conglomerate closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets. It is now an entertainment colossus the size of which the world has never seen.The ripple effects may not become clear for years. Analysts say that Disney could force smaller studios to merge as they scramble to compete. It will have greater leverage over theater…

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Facebook Halts Ad Targeting Cited in Bias Complaints

After years of criticism, Facebook announced on Tuesday that it would stop allowing advertisers in key categories to show their messages only to people of a certain race, gender or age group.The company said that anyone advertising housing, jobs or credit — three areas where federal law prohibits discrimination in ads — would no longer have the option of explicitly aiming ads at people on the basis of those characteristics.The changes are part of a settlement with groups that have sued Facebook over these practices in recent years, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Fair Housing Alliance and the Communications Workers of America. They also…

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Instagram Wants to Be Your Mall

ImageZara is among the brands that will be shoppable in-app on Instagram. Instagram has introduced a tool designed to shore up its hold on shopping. The company announced today that it will be rolling out an in-app checkout function to users in the United States, a secure and, Instagram hopes, friction-free method for purchasing products on the app without ever leaving.At its introduction, 23 brands in fashion, apparel and beauty have signed on as partners, including Adidas, Burberry, Dior, Nike, H&M, Zara, Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty (Kim Kardashian West’s cosmetics line). The tool will begin appearing in some users’ apps today and roll out to all…

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