Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
- Google announced a huge gaming initiative: A Netflix-like video-game streaming platform named Stadia.The service is intended to run high-resolution blockbuster games on any device that runs Google’s Chrome – from smartphones and tablets to computers and TVs.
- Google unveiled a new controller for its Stadia gaming service on Tuesday, which connects to Google’s data centres and pairs with whichever device the game is being played on. The controller also includes a button for the Google Assistant, which makes it possible to ask for tips when playing a difficult level without having to reach for your phone or laptop.
- Google announced a game studio that will create Stadia-exclusive games and content. The company didn’t reveal much but the studio will be led by Jade Raymond, a former executive at both EA and Ubisoft.
- UiPath is in talks with investors about a major new funding round that could double the buzzy startup’s valuation to as much as $US7 billion, sources told Business Insider. The round will be led by institutional investors and could make UiPath the most valuable AI firm in the world.
- Facebook has faced backlash from civil rights groups like the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that its platform allows advertisers to discriminate against groups through targeting. Facebook is rolling out new rules limiting the targeting parameters that housing, employment and credit advertisers can apply to campaigns.
- President Trump called vaguely for action to be taken against social media companies, saying “we have to do something.” At a press conference, the president repeated allegations, without proof, of anti-conservative bias by Facebook, Twitter, and Google, a popular right-wing talking point.
- Facebook on Monday said no users reported the video of the New Zealand mosque shootings while it was still live. This was disputed by a reporter for Right Wing Watch, who said he was alerted to the live video and raised the alarm immediately.
- Workers at Tesla’s auto plant spent twice as many days away from their jobs due to work-related injuries and illnesses in 2018 than in 2017. While the total number of injuries from Fremont employees increased by around 28%, the rate of injuries per hour worked was about the same as in 2017, according to Bloomberg.
- Kickstarter’s co-founder Perry Chen publicly announced he would step down as the company’s CEO hours after the company’s staff announced that it would unionize on Tuesday. A Kickstarter representative says that the two events are not related, noting that he made his resignation announcement to the company Monday evening.
- Two top Snap executives were grilled by a UK parliamentary committee on Tuesday about failures in Snapchat’s age-verification system, with one admitting that it does not work. The exec, Stephen Collins, said the systems might catch underage users out if they try to sign up via a web browser – but admitted the mobile app is more popular.
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