Facebook expecting $5bn fine for privacy violations

The Independent - Tech

Facebook has said that it expects to be fined up to $5bn by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations. The penalty would be a record by the agency against a technology company and a sign that the United States was willing to punish big tech companies. The social network disclosed the amount in its quarterly financial results on Wednesday, saying it estimated a one-time charge of $3bn to $5bn in connection with an "ongoing inquiry" by the commission. Facebook added that "the matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome". We'll tell you what's true.


Huawei addresses spy concerns to UK government

The Independent - Tech

Tech giant Huawei's president has denied the firm has any links to Chinese spying operations. In a letter to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the firm's president Ryan Ding insisted the firm was not involved with such practices. But a 2012 US House Intelligence Committee report outlined Huawei's links to the Chinese state, has since been picked up by other western governments, including Australia, Germany and the UK. FBI Director Christopher Wray has also suggested that the company's smartphones could be used to "maliciously modify or steal information." But Mr Ding insisted that Huawei had never and would never assist any country in gathering intelligence on other countries.


Toyota Will Probably Buy Robot Makers From Google

Popular Science

Boston Dynamics' robots are at their best on shaky ground. The wobbly BigDog, its larger LS3 sibling, and the humanoid Atlas all shamble forward and recover from falls. The company, for sale by its owner Google, is now looking for a buyer, and now it appears they may have finally found a firm place to land: Toyota. The Tokyo-based company has nursing care and medical robots in development, in addition to working on self-driving cars. Toyota could add up to 300 personnel to its robotics division with the acquisitions, the report said.


Sonos has new speaker on the way, official filing suggests

The Independent - Tech

Sonos is working on a brand new speaker that could arrive within weeks, according to new filings. Documents made public by the Federal Communications Commission show a brand new speaker that bring a whole host of features to its existing line-up. But those features remain mostly under wraps: the filing is redacted and so many of the most important are hidden. Clues inside the filings appear to indicate what the speaker could be intended to do, however. The filings, first reported by Variety, identify the new speaker as "S18" and describe it as a voice-controlled speaker that can connect using WiFi or Bluetooth and can be controlled with a host of microphones that listen to their owner.


Uber hires Nasa engineer to lead flying car project

The Independent - Tech

Uber has reaffirmed its flying cars ambitions by hiring former Nasa engineer Mark Moore. Moore has 30 years of experience at Nasa, and becomes the director of engineering for aviation at Uber Elevate. "I can't think of another company in a stronger position to be the leader for this new ecosystem and make the urban electric VTOL market real," said Moore, who published a white paper on vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (VTOL) back in 2010. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. Japan's On-Art Corp's CEO Kazuya Kanemaru poses with his company's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' and other robots during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan Japan's On-Art Corp's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' performs during its unveiling in Tokyo, Japan Singulato Motors co-founder and CEO Shen Haiyin poses in his company's concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China A picture shows Singulato Motors' concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China Connected company president Shigeki Tomoyama addresses a press briefing as he elaborates on Toyota's "connected strategy" in Tokyo.