CEOs of 3 Tech Giants to Testify at Oct. 28 Senate Hearing | Washington, D.C. News

By MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CEOs of technology giants Facebook, Google and Twitter are expected to testify for an Oct. 28 Senate hearing on tech companies’ control over hate speech and misinformation on their platforms.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted last week to authorize subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to force them to testify if they didn’t agree to do so voluntarily. Spokespeople for the companies said Monday that the CEOs will cooperate.

The hearing “must be constructive and focused on what matters most to the American people: how we work together to protect elections,” Twitter said in a tweet in its policy channel.

The hearing will come less than a week before Election Day. It marks a new bipartisan initiative against Big Tech companies, which have been under increasing scrutiny in Washington and from state

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Look up Tuesday night! Mars hasn’t been this bright in October in over 30 years

Look up Tuesday night! Mars hasn't been this bright in October in over 30 years
Look up Tuesday night! Mars hasn’t been this bright in October in over 30 years

Mars has been growing brighter in the night sky throughout the year so far. On Tuesday night, the planet will be at the brightest we’ve seen it in October in 32 years.

According to NASA, on October 6, 2020, Mars will be 62.1 million kilometres away from Earth. That’s the closest it’s come to us since July and August of 2018, when it reached a distance of 57.6 million km on July 31.

21868 Mars 2018-2020 revised metric NASA
21868 Mars 2018-2020 revised metric NASA

Mars was just 57.6 million km from Earth on July 31, 2018, the closest since 2003. By August 21, 2018, it was farther away than it is now, in October 2020. Credit: NASA/Scott Sutherland

According to NASA, Mars came even closer to Earth in 2003 – 55.7 million km on August 27 – which was the

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Cybersecurity firm Censys hires new technology chief

Fresh off an investment round that netted the company $15.5 million, Ann Arbor cybersecurity firm Censys Inc. has a new executive running innovation and technical strategy.

The company announced Monday that Derek Abdine, a veteran of cybersecurity companies, had been hired as the company’s new chief technology officer. Abdine, 37, will remain based in Los Angeles but travel to Ann Arbor quarterly once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

“I joined Censys because companies still face significant challenges securing systems despite a robust cybersecurity industry and there is a shared belief that one of the core issues for this stems from problems with internet-facing configuration and computing infrastructure,” Abdine said in a news release. “Censys is one of the few companies I’ve seen that is truly innovating in cybersecurity, and their team is loaded with some of the brightest, focused people in the industry.”

Prior to joining Censys, Abdine worked as the

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Smule Integrates with the Snap Camera to Empower Music Creators with AR Lenses

Smule’s AutoRap goes live with Lenses, powered by the Snap Camera, bringing Snap’s AR innovations to Smule’s music-first community

​Smule​ Inc., the global leader in interactive music creation, today ​announced its integration with Snap to bring imaging and augmented reality (AR) capabilities directly into the Smule app ecosystem, starting with hip-hop music app AutoRap. Smule has integrated Lenses, powered by Snap Camera Kit,​ showcasing the potential of AR to create even more engaging musical performances through dynamic visual elements.

Smule and Snap are bringing together the best of social music and digital imaging to offer both user bases even more immersive experiences. AutoRap, Smule’s recently revamped app for hip-hop enthusiasts, rappers and beat makers, is a fitting launch pad for the new Lenses, considering the significant role that creativity and individualism play in the genre.

See Lenses in action in AutoRap here.

“Hip hop artists have long been pushing the

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Java leverages innovation to maintain its relevance in fast-paced tech environment

Java is the world’s most popular programming language and the leading application development platform — and it wants to remain a cornerstone of enterprise application stacks for years to come.

Its bet for continuing to thrive in the fast-paced technology industry is a strategy based on three pillars: trust, innovation and predictability, according to Manish Gupta (pictured, right), vice president of global marketing at Oracle and a Java steward since 2010.

“As Oracle acquired Sun [Microsystems] over 10 years ago, it’s really kept front of mind two aspects of what we want to do: The first one was to ensure there was broad accessibility to the technology and the platform for anybody that wanted to benefit from it. And the second one was to ensure that the ecosystem remained vibrant and thriving throughout,” Gupta said. “Underpinning these two objectives are really the three pillars of our strategy.”

The Java programming

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Militia groups like Oath Keepers pledge to protect property amid charges of racism

More than 100 protesters — some wearing all black and carrying pistols — marched up to the approximately 20 people who had gathered Thursday evening awaiting instructions from the Oath Keepers, a heavily armed civilian group that has guarded private businesses during racial justice demonstrations this year.

The man leading the protesters, Chris Will, 34, criticized the people in fatigues for showing up to defend property but not the life of the 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by Louisville police in her apartment in March.

“Why didn’t every single one of you motherf—ers put this s— on to come help Breonna Taylor when they killed her?” Will asked the armed men, pointing at their body armor.

Oath Keepers leaders urged members not to respond; escalating tensions with demonstrators would only feed public perception that they were the problem, not the solution.

Oath Keepers is one of numerous vigilante groups

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Houston Arboretum rolls out Science Spooktacular for families in October

Take heart, Houston families. Not all of our Bayou City Halloween celebrations are lost due to the pandemic.

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is rolling out a week-long event for children and families October 19-24 called “Science Spooktacular: A Week of Halloween Fun!” Science Spookacular is actually being held in lieu of the Arboretum’s popular ArBOOretum fall festival, which won’t happen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Science Spooktacular promises a cool Halloween alternative for kids with activities ranging from spooky bedtime stories to creating slime in a fun science show in both virtual and socially distant on-site offerings.

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“While we are disappointed that we can’t welcome our usual crowds to the beloved ArBOOretum Fall Festival, we believe Science Spooktacular will be an excellent alternative, spreading out science education and the fun of

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Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Promotes Dr. Jennifer Buss to Chief Executive Officer and General Al Gray to Chairman, Board of Directors

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Board of Directors of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Jennifer Buss to Chief Executive Officer, and selection of General Al Gray as the new Chairman of the Board. Dr. Buss will immediately assume all duties and responsibilities that accompany the CEO position at the Institute. She was also named a member of the Board of Directors.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to lead the Institute. I’ve been invested in its mission since I arrived,” Dr. Buss said. “I am committed to progressing the Institute and its contributions to policy in ever-changing science and technology.”

Dr. Buss replaces Mike Swetnam, who passed away in September. “Mike challenged and inspired me every day. It is because of his mentoring, and the leadership of General Al Gray, that I am ready for this new opportunity.”

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Quarter of employees at gaming firm Ubisoft report misconduct

A quarter of employees at the French video game giant Ubisoft have been victims of professional misconduct at work or were witnesses to it, according to a survey carried out by the group following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The creator of hit games including Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry launched a probe and announced the departure of its chief creative officer and other senior executives in July after claims about the group’s toxic work culture.

Chief executive and co-founder Yves Guillemot, who admitted earlier this year that the group had “fallen short”, said that 2,000 employees had participated in “listening sessions” and nearly 14,000 had responded to an anonymous survey.

The results showed that “roughly 25 percent have experienced or witnessed some form of workplace misconduct in the past two years, and that one in five do not feel fully respected or safe in the work environment”, said a statement

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How Microsoft’s customer data tools are competing with Salesforce

  • Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 tools for customer service and financial planning, are becoming an increasingly important part of its business, particularly its customer data platform.
  • Microsoft’s customer data platform is meant to help companies collect customer information in one central place, so that they can use it to improve customer service. 
  • Dynamics 365 as a whole has the potential to become a much bigger and stronger competitor to Salesforce in the customer data space, Futurum Research analyst Dan Newman told Business Insider. 
  • Microsoft’s product is designed to connect to any data collection tool, whether Microsoft owns it or not, which gives customers more flexibility than Salesforce does, he said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 tools for customer service and financial planning, are becoming an increasingly important part of its business and seeing healthy growth, too: Last quarter the product’s revenue jumped 38% year-over-year.

The centerpiece of

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