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Trump Campaign Floods Web With Ads, Raking In Cash as Democrats Struggle

On any given day, the Trump campaign is plastering ads all over Facebook, YouTube and the millions of sites served by Google, hitting the kind of incendiary themes — immigrant invaders, the corrupt media — that play best on platforms where algorithms favor outrage and political campaigns are free to disregard facts.Even seemingly ominous developments for Mr. Trump become fodder for his campaign. When news broke last month that congressional Democrats were opening an impeachment inquiry, the campaign responded with an advertising blitz aimed at firing up the president’s base.The campaign slapped together an “Impeachment Poll” (sample question: “Do you agree that President Trump has done nothing…

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High Schools to TikTok: We’re Catching Feelings

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. — On the wall of a classroom that is home to the West Orange High School TikTok club, large loopy words are scrawled across a whiteboard: “Wanna be TikTok famous? Join TikTok club.”It’s working. “There’s a lot of TikTok-famous kids at our school,” said Amanda DiCastro, who is 14 and a freshman. “Probably 20 people have gotten famous off random things.” The school is on a quiet palm-tree-lined street in a town just outside Orlando. A hallway by the principal’s office is busy with blue plaques honoring the school’s A.P. Scholars. Its choir director, Jeffery Redding, won the 2019 Grammy Music Educator Award.Amanda was…

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Biden Escalates Attack on Facebook Over False Political Ads

WASHINGTON — A 30-second video ad that ran on Facebook this week falsely accused former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. of blackmailing Ukrainian officials to stop an investigation of his son.“Send Quid Pro Joe Biden into retirement,” a narrator in the ad intoned.The video wasn’t released by the Trump campaign, which has produced ads on Facebook with similar accusations in recent weeks. Instead, it was made by an independent political action committee, or super PAC. And it was allowed to run on Facebook with false information, in violation of the social network’s policies on misinformation, the Biden presidential campaign wrote in a letter to Facebook on…

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Mark Hurd, Co-Chief Executive of Oracle, Is Dead at 62

SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Hurd, who was known for both success and scandal at Hewlett-Packard and most recently served as co-chief executive of the software company Oracle, died on Friday. He was 62.Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chairman and chief technology officer, announced the death but did not give a cause or say where Mr. Hurd died. Mr. Hurd, who lived in the Bay Area, had taken a medical leave of absence in September.“Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle,” Mr. Ellison wrote.Mr. Hurd spent 25 years at the business technology company N.C.R.,…

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In House Antitrust Hearing, Lawmakers Focus on Harms to Privacy

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers on Friday pressed experts on how the market power of major tech platforms could hurt consumer privacy, showing that an antitrust investigation into Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon is growing to include deeper questions about their business models.Lawmakers from the Judiciary Committee heard testimony that the tech giants have amassed vast quantities of data that give them an advantage over rivals, and that their dominance allows them to get away with more aggressive data collection.But some Republicans expressed concerns that efforts to regulate privacy, including aggressive data protection regulations in Europe, could hurt competition among internet firms.The hearing was the latest in a…

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The Week in Tech: Amazon Muscles In on Seattle Election

Each week, we review the week’s news, offering analysis about the most important developments in the tech industry.Greetings from Seattle, where we have seven straight days of rain in the forecast. I’m Karen Weise, the tech correspondent here. Let’s start with our local giant, Amazon:Amazon may have taken some hits in the Democratic debate on Tuesday, but in its hometown, it has come out swinging. Seattle is fast approaching one of the most contentious local elections in recent memory, and Amazon this week dropped an additional $1 million into the fray.Amazon’s new contributions, made to the political action committee run by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce,…

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China’s Cryptocurrency Plan Has a Powerful Partner: Big Brother

BEIJING — When Facebook announced plans this year for a cryptocurrency called Libra, it said its goal was to reinvent money for the internet age. What the company probably didn’t imagine was that its efforts might spur China to get there first. China wants to start replacing the cash that people carry with a digital currency soon, a long-discussed project that went into overdrive after Libra was unveiled in June. Facebook has been fighting to defend its initiative against skeptical regulators, and key corporate partners have pulled out of the project. But Beijing’s ambitions appear to be moving ahead at full speed. The system emerging in China…

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Defiant Zuckerberg Says Facebook Won’t Police Political Speech

WASHINGTON — Senator Elizabeth Warren recently accused Facebook of being a “disinformation-for-profit machine.” Marc Benioff, chief executive of the online software maker Salesforce, said the social network “needs to be held accountable for propaganda on its platform.” And regulators around the world are examining whether to break the company up or clip its power.Under fire on all sides, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, went on the offense on Thursday against his critics.In a winding, 35-minute speech at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall — where presidents and foreign heads of state have delivered addresses — Mr. Zuckerberg fought back against the idea that the social network needed to be…

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Why Don’t Rich People Just Stop Working?

“Billionaires should not exist,” Senator Bernie Sanders said last month. And, at the Democratic presidential debate this week, he said that the wealth disparity in America is “a moral and economic outrage.”“Senator Sanders is right,” said Tom Steyer, a businessman from California who happened to be the only billionaire onstage that night (as far as we know).“No one on this stage wants to protect billionaires — not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires,” noted Senator Amy Klobuchar.It’s an idea that’s going around. Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder who is worth close to $70 billion, is apparently open to it. “I don’t know that I have an…

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This Is the Free Jumpsuit You’ll Get With a $250,000 Ticket to Space

YONKERS, N.Y. — Once there was the era of space-age fashion. Now the age of fashion for space has arrived.On Wednesday, Virgin Galactic, the company started by Richard Branson to take people to the edge of space aboard a rocket-powered plane, is unveiling sleek, high-tech garments that passengers will wear during their trips. They are not spacesuits like the ones that NASA astronauts put on for rocket launches and spacewalks. Rather, they are one-piece jumpsuits like those worn by military pilots, with a design that wouldn’t be out of place on the bridge of the starship Enterprise. They come with fancy underwear to help maintain comfort during…

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