L.A. Times Tech Blog


The business and culture of our digital lives, from the L.A. Times






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U.S. regulators consider slapping Facebook with a record-setting fine

U.S. regulators have met to discuss imposing a record-setting fine against Facebook Inc. for violating a legally binding agreement with the government to protect the privacy of its users’ personal data, according to three people familiar with the deliberations but not authorized to speak on the...

Snap CFO Tim Stone’s exit after just 8 months adds to concerns about exec turnover

When Tim Stone joined Snap Inc. as chief financial officer in May 2018, investors breathed a sigh of relief. With 20 years at Amazon under his belt, Stone was hailed as a veteran who could bring stability to the social media company, led by 28-year-old co-founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel,...

Square’s new e-commerce play: helping businesses process payments in their own apps

Square Inc. is rolling out a feature that enables developers and sellers to process payments within mobile apps, deepening the company’s push into online commerce and increasing its competition with rivals Stripe Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. Known for helping small bricks-and-mortar businesses...

Roku reports 40% surge in active users, and its stock soars

Roku Inc. stock had its best day in 14 months Monday after saying the number of active accounts in the fourth quarter rose 40% from the year-earlier quarter, giving investors confidence that viewers are doubling down on streaming platforms. People are embracing streaming as their preferred method...

Slack will skip IPO and do a direct listing instead, source says

Slack Technologies Inc. plans to forgo a traditional initial public offering and instead intends to sell its shares to bidders in a direct listing, a person familiar with the matter said. The messaging platform company is choosing the unusual method for going public because it doesn’t need the...

Bungie splits from Activision, retains rights to its Destiny game series

Two giants of the video game industry — Santa Monica’s Activision Blizzard and Washington-based game developer Bungie — are getting a surprise divorce, with just one year left to go on a 10-year contract inked in 2010 . Bungie announced the split in a blog post Thursday afternoon, and both companies...

Google shareholder sues board, alleging cover-up of sexual misconduct claims

When Google was revealed to have paid large severance packages to executives accused of sexual misconduct, outrage swelled, criticism piled on and employees stopped working and walked out of their offices. Months later, the company is still dealing with the repercussions. A shareholder on Thursday...

Facebook literally can’t be deleted on some Samsung phones

Facebook will always be around, at least for some people who own Samsung smartphones. Some Samsung devices come preloaded with a Facebook app that owners can’t remove; the app can only be disabled. Facebook Inc. said Wednesday that the disabled version of the app acts as if it has been deleted...

Connecting your bank account to an app is now a $3-billion business

When you link your checking account to Venmo or use it to buy bitcoin, a startup called Plaid Inc. is likely facilitating the connection with your bank. You punch in your user name and password; Plaid checks those credentials with the financial institution and, if they’re accurate, passes banking...

'Snitch-tagging' destroys any subtlety that was left on Twitter

First came Twitter. Then came Twitter fights. Then came Twitter passive aggression: Insults that don’t explicitly identify the person being criticized are so pervasive they have a name, the subtweet. Now that subtlety is being punctured by a rising Twitter behavior — snitch-tagging. A snitch-tagger...

L.A. is suing IBM for illegally gathering and selling user data through its Weather Channel app

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office alleges in a lawsuit that a subsidiary of IBM deceptively mined the private location data of users of the Weather Channel app and sold it to advertising and marketing companies. When users download the app, a prompt asks them to grant access to their location...

Apple’s iPhone problem goes beyond China: It’s falling short on innovation, analysts say

Apple Inc. stock plummeted about 9% on Thursday morning after Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company lowered quarterly sales estimates for the first time in more than 15 years. Cook pinned the shortfall on a deteriorating economy in China, inflamed by President Trump’s trade war. But as Cook...

Mark Zuckerberg stopped selling his Facebook stock last year as its price tumbled

Mark Zuckerberg’s multibillion-dollar stock sale ground to a halt in the final months of 2018. The Facebook Inc. co-founder didn’t sell a single share in the fourth quarter, when the social media company’s stock tumbled 20% amid a broader market rout. It’s the first quarter in more than two years...

These are the 2019 court fights that will decide the future of net neutrality

The battle over net neutrality is far from over. Although the Federal Communications Commission last year officially nixed its rules governing the conduct of internet service providers such as Verizon and AT&T, the move kicked off a backlash by states, internet activists and other supporters of...

What is Ryuk, the malware believed to have hit the Los Angeles Times

Malware comes in many forms. Bad links can lead to obnoxious adware that unleashes a plague of pop-ups. Nefarious attachments can hijack your processor for a bitcoin-mining botnet. Ryuk, a malware program believed to have been used in an attack this weekend that hobbled newspapers nationwide, including...
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