Unemployment claims drop, but Bay Area tech firms prep layoffs

SAN JOSE — Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began in March — but a few Silicon Valley tech companies and at least one big services firm that caters to the tech sector have prepped new layoffs.

In November alone, Hitachi Vantara, Boston Scientific, Marvell Semiconductor and PayPal have revealed plans for job cuts in Silicon Valley, according to official state filings.

Despite the improvement in unemployment claims in California, the tech industry layoffs and weekly jobless filings that remain far higher than what is typical are disquieting reminders that the economy in the state and the Bay Area remains feeble.

“The California economy is in a suspended state,” said Michael Bernick, a former director of the state Employment Development Department and an employment attorney with law firm Duane Morris. “There is little new hiring and no economic uptick over the past two

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Claims of misinformation, censorship place Section 230 in crosshairs

New York

Back in 1996, when the World Wide Web was just beginning to revolutionize the ways human beings could communicate, many of those helping to build the emerging online tech industry were filled with a boundless sense of optimism.

The core of this optimism was the confidence that the internet could be a truly open space for freedom of speech. It was an ethos embodied that year by a much-circulated and somewhat sly “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” by the cyberlibertarian essayist and Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow. He declared that the legal concepts of the world of matter, “concepts of property, expression, identity,” simply did not apply to the internet, a virtually pure digital space for freedom of speech beyond the “governments of the industrial world, you weary giants of flesh and steel.”

“We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or

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Italy Fines Apple $12 Million for Misleading iPhone Water Resistance Claims

Apple has been slapped with a 10 million euro ($12 million) fine by Italy’s antitrust watchdog for unfair commercial practices related to its iPhone marketing in the country.

One of the Apple ads cited in the Italian watchdog’s proceedings (credit: setteBIT)

Specifically, Apple is being charged for misleading claims in promotional messages about how deep and how long iPhones can be submerged in water without being damaged.

In marketing materials related to ‌iPhone‌ 8, ‌iPhone‌ 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, ‌iPhone XS‌ Max, iPhone 11, ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple said its iPhones were water resistant at a depth of between one and four meters for up to 30 minutes, depending on the model.

However, according to the country’s competition regulator, the messages did not clarify that the claims are only true under specific conditions, for example during controlled laboratory tests with the use

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Voter fraud: Social media is playing whack-a-mole with a bunch of bogus claims

Voter Fraud

The 2020 election wasn’t stolen.


Getty Images

With Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania certifying their election results this week, President-elect Joe Biden is a step closer to being officially declared the next president of the United States after the election was called on Nov. 7. That fact hasn’t stopped people on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from claiming President Donald Trump was the election’s true winner. 

Social media is littered with bogus claims — many of them amplified by President Trump — that voter fraud ran rampant, that a supercomputer changed votes and that thousands of zombies voted. None of this is remotely true. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, created by the Trump administration to protect US computer and communications networks against hackers, including threats to elections, called the vote “the most secure in American history.” Election officials across the country have echoed that assessment. (Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the director

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False claims about media’s 2016, 2020 election coverage

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Dr. Anthony Fauci compared the transition of power to a relay race when describing its importance.

USA TODAY

The claim: The media said ‘Russia stole the election’ in 2016 and now says the 2020 election is ‘impossible to steal’

As President Donald Trump’s election challenges fail and he begrudgingly begins to accommodate a transition of power, he is looking at the 2016 election to draw false comparisons and point fingers at journalists he says never accepted his victory. His supporters aren’t far behind, offering up a meme suggesting hypocrisy in media coverage of the 2016 and 2020 elections.

“2016 MEDIA: RUSSIA STOLE THE ELECTION,” reads a meme ForAmerica posted to Facebook Nov. 12. “2020 MEDIA: OUR ELECTIONS ARE LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO STEAL.”

The meme includes two images of CNN anchor Don Lemon and makes a blanket statement about “the media.”

Fact check: Claim that voting noncitizens affected 2020 election

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Social media is playing whack-a-mole with a bunch of bogus claims

With Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania certifying their election results this week, President-elect Joe Biden is a step closer to being officially declared the next president of the United States after the election was called on Nov. 7. That fact hasn’t stopped people on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from claiming President Donald Trump was the election’s true winner. 



a group of people holding a sign: The 2020 election wasn't stolen. Getty Images


© Provided by CNET
The 2020 election wasn’t stolen. Getty Images

Social media is littered with bogus claims — many of them amplified by President Trump — that voter fraud ran rampant, a supercomputer changed votes and thousands of zombies voted. None of this is remotely true. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, created by the Trump administration to protect elections, called the vote “the most secure in American history.” Election officials across the country have echoed that assessment. (Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the director of the CISA, after he debunked rumors of

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Singapore investigating claims Muslim app developer sold user data to US military

Singapore is investigating claims that local-based mobile app, Muslim Pro, has sold “granular location data” to the US military. Clocking more than 98.5 million downloads worldwide, the popular prayer tracking app has denied the allegations, saying it shares only anonymised data with its partners.

The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) confirmed it was investing the allegations and had asked for more information from the developer of Muslim Pro, Bitsmedia. The regulator told local media: “We remind users to also be mindful of the type of permissions and personal data they provide and how it may be used. If in doubt, users should not download or use any application.”

Founded in 2009, the Singapore-based Bitsmedia has offices in Malaysia and Indonesia. Its Muslim Pro app tracks prayer times and shows the direction to Mecca, amongst other features, and has been downloaded by users across 200 countries, according to its website. 

Earlier

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Have Senior Democrats Raised Concerns About the Smartmatic Voting Software, as Trump’s Lawyer Claims?

A lawyer representing President Donald Trump in his legal battle challenging the outcome of the presidential election recently said that some congressional Democrats raised concerns in the past about the trustworthiness of election software used in several states.



Rudy Giuliani, Bernard Kerik standing in front of a sign: Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks to the media at a press conference held in the back parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping on November 7, 2020, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On Sunday, Giuliani and another attorney for Trump, Sidney Powell, spoke with Fox News' Maria Bartiromo to discuss allegations of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 election.


© Chris McGrath/Getty
Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks to the media at a press conference held in the back parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping on November 7, 2020, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On Sunday, Giuliani and another attorney for Trump, Sidney Powell, spoke with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo to discuss allegations of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 election.

Election officials use Dominion Voting Systems in 28 states, including several key battleground states. Members of Trump’s legal team have alleged that the company uses voting software that can be controlled by operators overseas to “steal” elections, much as they alleged the election was stolen from Trump.

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Apple illegally tracks iPhone users to target them with ads, EU privacy activism group claims in lawsuit



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: The complaint against Apple was filed in Germany and Spain. Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images


© Provided by Business Insider
The complaint against Apple was filed in Germany and Spain. Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images

  • European privacy activism group Noyb has filed two complaints against Apple with regulators in Spain and Germany.
  • Noyb claimed the way Apple tracks iPhone users for advertising purposes is unlawful, because the tech giant doesn’t obtain their consent first.
  • The complaint focuses on Apple’s use of unique codes assigned to iPhones which track users’ behavior, and allow advertisers to target them accordingly.
  • Noyb was started by privacy activist Max Schrems, who in July won a landmark case against Facebook. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple is staring down the barrel of a major privacy lawsuit.

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In a complaint submitted to German and Spanish regulators on Monday, prominent privacy activist Max Schrems claimed Apple had broken EU privacy law by allowing iPhones to track users for

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Charter claims Adirondack internet hookups it never made

ESSEX COUNTY — Elizabethtown businessman Larry Bucciarelli got a surprise in early September from the government affairs director of a broadband company that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo tried to banish a few years ago.

Kevin Egan of Charter Communication informed Bucciarelli and six of his neighbors would be getting checks from Charter, splitting $8,845.78.

Yet Egan, whose company is also known as Spectrum, wasn’t promising the money out of generosity: Bucciarelli and his friends in the Essex County hamlet had paid Charter the same amount in the fall of 2016 to install lines and poles to connect to the company’s internet service.

Egan came calling after some investigative work by local officials found Charter had improperly listed Bucciarelli’s Adirondack home and those of his neighbors as new hookups, helping it meet its state-mandated expansion of service.

Charter did not deserve credit for those Blood Hill Road connections toward the 145,000

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