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Articles written by Michael Liedtke

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Apple's iPhone privacy clampdown arrives after 7-month delay

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Apple is following through on its pledge to crack down on Facebook and other snoopy apps that secretly shadow people on their iPhones in order to target more advertising at users. The new privacy feature, dubbed "App...

 

Uber, Lyft team up on database to expose abusive drivers

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Uber and Lyft have teamed up to create a database of drivers ousted from their ride-hailing services for complaints about sexual assault and other crimes that have raised passenger-safety concerns for years. The clearinghou...

 

EXPLAINER: Why the power grid failed in Texas and beyond

DALLAS (AP) — The power outages tormenting Texas in uncharacteristically Arctic temperatures are exposing weaknesses in an electricity system designed when the weather's seasonal shifts were more consistent and predictable — conditions that most...

 

'Unprecedented' mail volume delays Christmas gifts

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Some who mailed holiday presents weeks early this year found they didn't act early enough as Christmas arrived with their gifts stuck in transit. The U.S. Postal Service said on its website that it was "experiencing...

 

US airport traffic rising despite holiday travel warnings

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — More than 1 million people have passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints in each of the past two days in a sign that public health pleas to avoid holiday travel are being ignored, despite an alarming surge in...

 

Twilio CEO discusses why pandemic lifted tech to new heights

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Twilio has emerged as a technological backbone for thousands of companies during the pandemic. Its users rely on its digital tools to connect with customers through mobile apps, call centers and messaging services as the...

 

Uber, hard-hit by pandemic, sells its robot-vehicle division

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Uber is selling off its autonomous vehicles development arm as the ride-hailing company slims down after its revenues were pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic. Self-driving vehicle technology company Aurora will acquire th...

 

Salesforce buying work-chat service Slack for $27.7 billion

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Business software pioneer Salesforce.com is buying work-chatting service Slack for $27.7 billion in a deal aimed at giving the two companies a better shot at competing against longtime industry powerhouse Microsoft. The...

 

Zoom reports big 3Q gains, but slowing growth sinks stock

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Zoom's videoconferencing service remains a fixture in pandemic life, but its breakneck growth is showing signs of tapering off as investors debate whether the company will be able to build upon its recent success after a...

 

How Google evolved from 'cuddly' startup to antitrust target

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — In Google's infancy, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin reviled Microsoft as a technological bully that ruthlessly abused its dominance of the personal computer software market to choke off competition that could spawn...

 

Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks

Apple unveiled four new iPhones equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks, hoping that demand for higher data speeds will spark demand for new phones. That might not happen as quickly as Apple would like. In a virtual pres...

 

Samsung's new phones test consumer demand for pricey gadgets

Samsung aims to lift its sinking smartphone sales with three new models that will test consumer willingness to buy high-priced gadgets during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The latest Galaxy phones, unveiled Wednesday during...

 

Ex-Google exec sent to prison for stealing robocar secrets

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — A former Google engineer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing trade secrets before joining Uber's effort to build robotic vehicles for its ride-hailing service. The sentence handed dow...

 

Zoom booms as pandemic drives millions to its video service

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Zoom Video Communications is rapidly emerging as the latest internet gold mine as millions of people flock to its conferencing service to see colleagues, friends and family while tethered to their homes during the...

 

Intel buys Moovit app for $900M to boost bet on robotic cars

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Intel is buying transportation-planning service Moovit for $900 million as the world's largest computer chip maker moves further down the road in its effort to build self-driving cars. The deal announced Monday gives Intel...

 

VIRUS DIARY: In pandemic, a forlorn dog finds new purpose

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — "This feels like a good time to get another dog to help us get over the loss of Surfer," the Professor announced in her FM radio-ready voice. Even though my heart didn't feel quite ready, I knew she was right, and not only...

 

Contagion of fear, uncertainty infect financial markets

The rapidly deteriorating health of the financial markets is being driven by a contagion of fear and uncertainty about a global pandemic that's infecting the economy in ways that seemed unfathomable just a month ago. It almost seems like a distant...

 

Crusading tech mogul aims to prove CEOs can be activists too

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Salesforce founder Marc Benioff oversees a $130 billion software empire from a 62-story skyscraper that towers above everything else in San Francisco. But he sits uneasily in his lofty perch because of a worsening economic...

 

Antitrust regulators pounce on Big Tech as probes widen

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The crackdown on Big Tech is intensifying as flanks of the government across the U.S. try to rein in the industry's immense power. Nearly every state — California and Alabama being the notable exceptions — joined in a bipar...

 

Disney unveils new streaming service to debut late this year

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Disney raised the curtain on a hotly anticipated video steaming service that's aiming to topple industry pioneer Netflix, once a valuable ally of the Magic Kingdom. The service, called Disney Plus, has been in the works for mor...

 

Artificial intelligence pioneers win tech's 'Nobel Prize'

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Computers have become so smart during the past 20 years that people don't think twice about chatting with digital assistants like Alexa and Siri or seeing their friends automatically tagged in Facebook pictures. But making...

 

Zuckerberg promises a privacy-friendly Facebook, sort of

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook, which grew into a colossus by vacuuming up your information in every possible way and using it to target ads back at you, now says its future lies in privacy-oriented messaging that Facebook itself can't read. Mark...

 

From corn to Apple: What's behind the US-China standoff

WASHINGTON (AP) — To hear the Americans tell it, the Chinese have gone on a commercial crime spree, pilfering trade secrets from seed corn to electronic brains behind wind turbines. China has stripped the arm off a T-Mobile robot, the U.S. says,...

 

Samsung folding phone is different - but also almost $2,000

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Samsung unveiled a highly anticipated smartphone with a foldable screen in an attempt to break the innovation funk that has beset the smartphone market. But it's far from clear that consumers will embrace a device that retails...

 

Apple releases update to prevent FaceTime eavesdropping

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple has released an iPhone update to fix a software flaw that allowed people to eavesdrop on others while using FaceTime. The bug enabled interlopers to turn an iPhone into a live microphone while using Group FaceTime....

 

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