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Tech News Today For October 21, 2016

Tech News for Friday October 21, 2016

Yesterday, Alex Wilhelm from Mattermark addressed the possibility that AT&T might be interested in acquiring Time Warner.  Today, sources to the Wall Street Journal are saying that a deal could be announced as early as this weekend, with discussions moving swiftly.  This would be one of the biggest media acquisitions in recent years, with Time Warner's market cap of $71 billion, along with AT&T's market cap of $231.7 billion.  Late-morning trading saw Time Warner shares rise 9.6% on the news, with AT&T's shares falling 2.6%.  Read more at wsj.com.

It's time to patch your Linux box and if you have any Linux lovers in your life, it's time to tell them to do the same.  Ars Technica reports that a flaw in the OS could allow an unprivileged local user to gain write access to otherwise read-only memory mappings thereby increase their privileges on the system.  In true vulnerability fashion, it has a memorable name.  Researchers found the so-called Dirty Cow rooting flaw in the way Linux memory handles a duplication technique called copy on write.  Or COW.  Read more at arstechnica.com.

Google's acquisition of the DoubleClick ad network back in 2007 came with assurances from founder Sergey Brin that privacy of its users would be respected in light of the deal, meaning the identity of its users would not be tied to DoubleClick's database of browsing records.  Sometime this summer, lines within Google's privacy policy that proclaimed its commitment to not sharing that information between services was crossed out.  In its place, Google substituted new verb-age that opens that door, sharing browser activity "may be" combined with the information Google has on its users.  Google attributes the change to the "smartphone revolution", and added that users experience won't change if they don't explicitly opt into it.  Read more at propublica.org.

Those of you feeling guilty about letting your under two-year-olds have some screen time can now feel redeemed.  Today the American Academy of Pediatrics lifted the recommended ban on screens for the under 2 set.  The guidelines first introduced in 1999 have been overhauled to focus on what is on the screen and who else is in the room.  If your child is under 18 months, they still don't recommend any screens except video chatting with relatives and of course watching Tech News Today.  Read more at slate.com.

There have been a number of incidents in recent months where Facebook has removed posts, not based on the context of the content, but based simply on the presence of Facebook announced that it will leave certain posts published to the site that may breach its own community standards if those posts are considered to be newsworthy, further challenging the company's repeated claim that it is not a media company.  Facebook plans to work with their partners and community in order to determine the best way to do this effectively.  Read more at theverge.com.

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