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Biden Revokes and Replaces Trump Order That Banned TikTok

TikTok’s woes subsided with Mr. Trump’s election defeat. Though the company is still under scrutiny with the Biden administration’s new executive order, analysts say the dramatic ups and downs for the company will significantly dwindle.Updated June 9, 2021, 7:03 p.m. ETJames Lewis, a senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Biden administration had shown no easing of the government’s strong stance against China. But the new order lays out much more precise criteria for weighing risks posed by TikTok and other companies owned by foreign adversaries like China.“They are taking …

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Farewell, Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy

A few years ago, while on a work trip in Los Angeles, I hailed an Uber for a crosstown ride during rush hour. I knew it would be a long trip, and I steeled myself to fork over $60 or $70.Instead, the app spit out a price that made my jaw drop: $16.Experiences like these were common during the golden era of the Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy, which is what I like to call the period from roughly 2012 through early 2020, when many of the daily activities of big-city 20- and 30-somethings were being quietly underwritten by Silicon Valley venture capitalists.For years, …

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India and Israel Inflame Facebook’s Fights With Its Own Employees

SAN FRANCISCO — When India’s government ordered Facebook and other tech companies to take down posts critical of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic in April, the social network complied on some posts.But once it did, its employees flocked to online chat rooms to ask why Facebook had helped Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India stifle dissent. In one internal post, which was reviewed by The New York Times, an employee with family in India accused Facebook of “being afraid” that Mr. Modi would ban the company from doing business in the country. “We can’t act or make …

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How China’s Tencent Avoided an Antitrust Push, For Now.

That’s glossing over the huge power imbalance between Tencent and the many satellite companies in its orbit. Colin Huang, founder of Pinduoduo, hinted at that in a 2018 interview, in which he groused that WeChat declined to help censor accusations about fake merchandise on his shopping platform.“Tencent won’t die when Pinduoduo dies,” he said, “because it has tens of thousands of sons.”No matter how decent or humble Tencent may act, it’s a giant conglomerate with $24 billion in profit last year and spends much of it on investment. It picks winners and losers, but the winners won’ …

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Uber and Lyft Surges: What to Know

A few weeks after receiving the second dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Debora Lima returned to an old routine: She pulled out her phone and requested an Uber ride so she could meet friends for dinner.But instead of getting a ride within five minutes as she had expected, Uber surprised Ms. Lima with a 19-minute wait and a pricey fare. It wasn’t a one-time glitch. Ms. Lima, a 28-year-old Miami resident, used to plan on spending $100 a month for frequent Uber trips. Just two recent rides ate through half of her monthly budget.As the coronavirus pandemic appears …

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Why Apple and Google’s Virus Alert Apps Had Limited Success

Sarah Cavey, a real estate agent in Denver, was thrilled last fall when Colorado introduced an app to warn people of possible coronavirus exposures.Based on software from Apple and Google, the state’s smartphone app uses Bluetooth signals to detect users who come into close contact. If a user later tests positive, the person can anonymously notify other app users whom the person may have crossed paths with in restaurants, on trains or elsewhere.Ms. Cavey immediately downloaded the app. But after testing positive for the virus in February, she was unable to get the special verification code she …

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5 Tips to Take Command of Your iPhone

Last month, Apple released an update to its operating system, iOS 14.5, which gives users more control of their personal data. But if you’re looking to gain more control over the iPhone itself, you also have options. Want to put your favorite apps within easy reach, tag friends in Messages or set your preferred browser to open links? You can do all that and more.Here are a few quick tips for enhancing the iPhone experience. Next week’s Tech Tip column will round up a few helpful hints for the Android faithful.1. Customize Your Control CenterThe Control Center — that …

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Apple’s Fortnite Antitrust Trial Ends With Pointed Questions

Tim Cook took the stand for the first time as Apple’s chief executive. The billionaire creator of one of the world’s most popular video games walked a federal judge through a tour of the so-called metaverse. And lawyers in masks debated whether an anthropomorphic banana without pants was appropriate to show in federal court.For the past three weeks, Apple has defended itself in a federal courtroom in Oakland, Calif., against claims that it abused its power over the iPhone App Store, in one of the biggest antitrust trials in Silicon Valley’s history. Epic Games, the maker …

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Mob Violence Against Palestinians in Israel Is Fueled by Groups on WhatsApp

Last Wednesday, a message appeared in a new WhatsApp channel called “Death to the Arabs.” The message urged Israelis to join a mass street brawl against Palestinian citizens of Israel.Within hours, dozens of other new WhatsApp groups popped up with variations of the same name and message. The groups soon organized a 6 p.m. start time for a clash in Bat Yam, a town on Israel’s coast.“Together we organize and together we act,” read a message in one of the WhatsApp groups. “Tell your friends to join the group, because here we know how to defend Jewish …

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In China, Apple Compromises on Censorship and Surveillance

On Chinese iPhones, Apple forbids apps about the Dalai Lama while hosting those from the Chinese paramilitary group accused of detaining and abusing Uyghurs, an ethnic minority group in China.The company has also helped China spread its view of the world. Chinese iPhones censor the emoji of the Taiwanese flag, and their maps suggest Taiwan is part of China. For a time, simply typing the word “Taiwan” could make an iPhone crash, according to Patrick Wardle, a former hacker at the National Security Agency.Sometimes, Mr. Shoemaker said, he was awakened in the middle of the night with demands …

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