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Tech News Today for May 22, 2017

Tech News for Monday May 22, 2017

According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon has given away 1.7 million free bananas. The idea origniated from Jeff Bezos himself. His plan was not to force prices down at local businesses selling bananas and things topped with bananas, but that's what they've done. Bezos wanted to offer a free healthy snack to workers and non-workers around the company's headquarters. But now, the “banistas” and “bananagers” are learning that the bananas Amazon has hired them to hand out are disrupting the fruit economy in a way that puts the Juicero to shame. Read more at wsj.com.

Facebook has a rulebook for how its employees are expected to moderate all of the types of content that people share on its network that aren’t good for business, and The Guardian posted parts of those leaked policies in a series of articles called “Facebook Files” over the weekend. The codes and rules cover the gamut of potentially bad behavior on the network, but also reveal the complex determinations a network as big as Facebook must make from an ethical standpoint with a number of inconsistancies within those policies. Read more at theguardian.com.

Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen are just two of the big wigs investing 29 million dollars in Echodyne, an autonomous tech company behind the radar vision used in drones and self-driving cars. Echodynes sensors are bringing in the big bucks in part because they've been around since 2014, which was just before the autonomous vehicle craze really hit and partly because its sensors are designed to work through the rain, snow, and other adverse weather conditions. Echodynes $10,000 radar array for military-grade drones weighs less than two pounds and is about the size of a phablet. Read more at seattletimes.com.

The US Supreme Court saw unanimous support in the case of TC Heartland versus Kraft Foods that will affect how patents are litigated, which has many in tech breathing a sigh of relief. The ruling in the case held that patent litigation cases must be held in the state where the company is incorporated, and not in any state that the company does business. This means that a common technique employed by patent trolls, of choosing districts that are historically friendly to infringment claims, will no longer work as effectively as it has in the past. Read more at reuters.com.

Ford has replaced its CEO with the head of its autonomous car division, Jim Hackett. A representative says the current CEO, who's been in the position less than three years, chose to retire and was not fired. Whatever the case, the car company is clearly taking a step to compete with Tesla and others as they push into the realm of self-driving cars. Before being tapped as CEO, Hacket has been in charge of Ford Smart Mobility and has a history of turning companies around. Read more at axios.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Steve Kovach of Business Insider to talk about the lack of Google's Advanced Technologies and Products group from Google I/O this past week. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live.

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