Philip Ellis
News & Views
Weekly Tech Roundup: September 15

Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia

Content from the Qatari-backed broadcast network Al Jazeera is no longer available to view on Snapchat’s Discover channel in Saudi Arabia, following a request from Saudi authorities. Snapchat has stated that it always makes an effort to comply with local laws in all of the countries where it operates.

Facebook is testing a snooze feature that temporarily mutes your friends

Because unfriending someone feels particularly savage, and the more diplomatic measure of unfollowing can still feel too permanent, Facebook is now working on a tool which will allow users to avoid seeing updates from specific people for set periods of 24 hours, a week, or a month.

Bitcoin value plummets after China orders trading to cease

Chinese authorities have ordered exchanges to cease trading in Bitcoin as part of a wider crackdown on the crypto-currency, in response to concerns that an influx of consumers into this market could cause longer term financial issues. The value of Bitcoin dropped below $3,000 on Friday.

Facebook to trim ad categories aimed at anti-Semites

Researchers at ProPublica have found that Facebook’s ad targeting system includes categories geared towards users who have stated they “hate Jews.” The company is now reviewing its system, and states that these categories were created automatically by algorithm.

Waymo wants to postpone self-driving car trial with Uber

A federal circuit appeals judge has ordered Uber to hand over the due diligence report it commissioned before acquiring autonomous truck start-up Otto. Waymo is now petitioning for extra time to review these documents, as they believe they will back up their claims that former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski stole company secrets and took them to Uber.

Hulu becomes first streaming service to win Outstanding Drama Emmy

Hulu’s highly anticipated adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale won eight awards at last night’s Emmys. The wins included Outstanding Drama Series, something which has so far eluded competitor Netflix.

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