Tech News Today for January 19, 2017
Tech News for Thursday January 19, 2017
Google is coming under fire for surfacing its own products at the top of search results that are related to hardware the company actually sells. The Wall Street Journal worked with SEMrush to analyse 25,000 total searches on 25 terms like laptops and speakers. 91 percent of the time, Google’s own products were offered up at the top in place of competitors' products. This type of favoring its own products raises the ongoing question of whether Google is violating anti-trust laws as a result. Read more at wsj.com.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed its six month inquiry into the May 7th crash of a Tesla that killed the driver, Joshua Brown, while the car was in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode. NHTSA says Tesla was not at fault. We still don't know what Brown was doing at the time of the accident, but the report showed that he had seven seconds to take action and he did not. NHTSA also released findings that Autopilot decreases accident rates by 40 percent. Tesla has modified Autopilot since the crash. Read more at theverge.com.
Uber is settling a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission and will pay $20 million dollars as a result. The complaint said that Uber misled its drivers about the amount of money that drivers were able to earn in 20 cities including New York City and San Francisco. The settlement amount will be distributed out to Uber drivers by the FTC. Read more at wsj.com.
Netflix announced Q4 earnings and they are crushing it. Subscriber growth appears unstoppable with the addition of 7.05 million new customers in this quarter alone. While Business Insider points out that the company is currently experiencing a free cash flow deficit, that's because they're creating and producing so much of their own original content like Stranger Things, which is cheaper, but only in the long run. Read more at cnbc.com.
Twitter released its 2016 diversity report showing the companies largest gains since the report began in 2014. Women represented 37 percent of the workforce, up from 34 percent in 2015, and African Americans jumped from 2 to 3 percent in that time. Twitter also set its goals for 2017 which include a new goal aimed at focusing on increasing the hiring of underrepresented minorities in non-technical positions as well. Read more at recode.net.
Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Kerry Davis of Engadget. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and download it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.