1. Zuckerberg’s Uneventful Testimony
Tuesday’s Senate committee hearing was a 5-hour clown fiesta. Zuckerberg came out largely unscathed, having done his homework. It was apparent that the Senators, on the other hand, had not, asking seemingly basic questions about how Facebook works. Talk about a generation gap. One of our favorite quotes from the hearing is the following: “How do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?” “Senator, we run ads,” Zuckerberg replied. It’s these types of questions that demonstrate the unprofessional preparation on the Senate side, allowing another big win for Facebook.
Financial Note: Facebook stock closed on Tuesday at $165.04 having risen 4.50%
(Source: The Verge, CNN, TechCrunch)
2. Apple’s Fight Against Patent Troll
On Tuesday, Apple was ordered by a federal court in Texas to pay $502.6 million to a patent troll called VirnetX. This is the latest turn in an eight-year-old legal battle over FaceTime and iMessage patents. Providing some background information, VirnetX is a patent-assertion entity, which essentially means that they make money from suing actual companies that develop and sell a product. They exploit old patent infringement laws and loose interpretations of intellectual property regulations to make such endeavors possible. The US Court of Appeals is reviewing the case and to make a final decision on whether Apple must pay $500 million to a patent troll or not.
(Source: The Verge)
3. Lucrative Facial Recognition AI Firm
SenseTime, a Chinese facial-recognition technology company, just received $600M in funding, cementing its #1 spot as the most valuable AI startup. Their success is largely attributed to China’s dystopian facial recognition surveillance plan. China plans to integrate SenseTime’s software into their 170M public surveillance cameras to help the government catch “criminals.” We can only hope China’s definition of criminals is not applied too liberally to scare off free speech and a feeling of safety.
(Source: The Hustle)
Featured Image Source: NBC News