Justice Dept. to File Landmark Antitrust Case Against Google

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

The Justice Department is expected to file a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Google has been abusing its online dominance in online search to stifle competition and harm consumers, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

The lawsuit marks the government’s most significant act to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago. It could be an opening salvo ahead of other major government antitrust actions, given ongoing investigations of major tech companies including Apple, Amazon and Facebook at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

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DOJ Expected to File Antitrust Action vs. Google

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

The Justice Department is expected to bring an antitrust action against Google in coming weeks, focusing on its dominance in online search and whether it was used to stifle competition and hurt consumers, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press Thursday.

The department also is examining Google’s online advertising practices, said the person, who could not discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Antitrust officials at the department briefed state attorneys general Thursday on the planned action against Google, seeking support from states across the country that share concerns about Google’s conduct.

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Big Tech Pandemic

By Leo Goldstein – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Patients in Wuhan, China, are being saved with high-dose vitamin C. In the U.S., you can get your Twitter or Facebook account deleted or your video scrubbed for even talking about it.

American Association of Physicians and Surgeons

The Statistics

Strikingly, the 10 countries with the highest COVID-19 mortality rates are large Western countries, including the US, UK, France, Spain, and Italy. The non-Western country with the highest mortality rate is Ecuador, ranked at #13. Ecuador only has 195 deaths/million, however, compared with the median of around 450 deaths/million in the “top 10”. No Asian countries make the top-20 list despite being close to the epicenter of the epidemic and having high population densities. No African country makes the list despite many having much traffic from China.

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David v. Goliath in Cyberspace

Reposted from The Pipeline

By Clarice Feldman – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In his 20007 book, An Army of Davids, Glenn Reynolds, the founder of Instapundit, wrote optimistically that an army of ordinary people (“Davids”) could use technology and the market to beat the Goliaths of “Big Media, Big Government and other Goliaths.” Thirteen years later, big media is on the ropes but the Silicon Valley Goliaths, using the technology and market forces at their disposal, have shut out of the marketplace Davids opposed to their preferred opinions. Not the least of their favored views has been the notion that we are in an existential crisis of climate change for which the only remedy is killing reliance on traditional energy sources.

Vintage antique illustration and line drawing or engraving of biblical story about David who beaten Philistine warrior Goliath.From Biblische Geschichte des alten und neuen Testaments, Germany 1859. Samuel 17.

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DOJ and state attorneys general likely to bring antitrust lawsuits against Google

The Justice Department and some state attorneys general are reportedly likely to file antitrust lawsuits against Google focused on how it has used its search dominance in the online advertising business.

The Justice Department will likely bring a case as soon as this summer, and some state attorneys general will likely file a case in the fall, according to the Wall Street Journal. The states will be led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican. DOJ Attorney General William Barr has been leading the Google probe and has considered it a top priority.

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Big Tech Platforms Can’t Have It Both Ways on Free Speech

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Quantum Supremacy

Rumors have been circulating for weeks that tech megacorporation Google has achieved quantum supremacy, meaning it’s used an experimental quantum computer to perform a calculation significantly faster than a regular binary computer.

In a mysterious paper spotted by the Financial Times on NASA’s Technical Reports Server in September, Google researchers claimed to have beaten a supercomputer by a wide margin. But the paper was quickly deleted, prompting much debate about the claim’s validity.

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Nasdaq De-FAANGed?

By Zachary Mannes – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

We generally chart the regular NASDAQ — the NDX, QQQ, and the futures — but when you consider that a mere five momentum names, affectionately given the acronym “FAANG,” comprise nearly 40% of the weighting of the entire index, a glance at the Equal Weight version is not a bad idea. I prefer the First Trust  (QQEW) to the Direxion (QQQE) as it seems to chart slightly cleaner and the “EW” is easier to remember.

Watching for nuanced differentiation in the patterns between the QQEW and NDX, it is possible to see the potential for the former to lead a bit. For example, back in August/September of 2018, QQEW marked a divergent high. More recently, the QQEW began to count more like the blue 5th wave extension of (5) of Primary Wave 3 before the NDX shifted from it’s “(B)” wave.

More importantly, though, is that fact that the Equal Weight does not get pulled to such price extremes by the disproportionate momentum of a scant few stocks. The Primary Wave 3 in NDX has stretched all the way to the 223.6% Fibonacci extension as measured in log-scale off the July 2010 low for Primary 2. By contrast, the QQEW hit a more perfect 161.8% Fibonacci extension for it’s Primary wave 3 top.

The disproportionate extension, though, also appears to affect the downside corrective moves.

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Should We Regulate Big Tech?

By Luigi Zingales – Re-Blogged From Imprimis & Hillsdale College

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the invention of the automobile liberated individuals from the yoke of distance. While people could travel before the invention and widespread use of the automobile, they were bound in their daily lives by the limited distance horses could cover. Railroads alleviated but did not eliminate those restrictions—movement was confined by the location of railroad tracks and by train schedules. It was only the automobile that gave individuals the freedom to move at their own leisure.

A century after the invention of the automobile, the invention of the smartphone triggered a similar revolution. And while history never repeats itself, sometimes it rhymes, and these rhymes can help us understand the present.

Before the smartphone, people were tethered to their landlines. In the 1990s, the proliferation of mobile phones and increased access to the Internet greatly expanded our freedom to communicate and our access to information. But it was the introduction of the smartphone in 2007, coupled with mobile communication and the Internet, that brought unprecedented access to information to the Western world and to a significant portion of the developing world.

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PragerU v Google/YouTube

Re-Blogged From Prager University

For more than two years, YouTube has continued to restrict access to more and more of our videos – simply because they present a conservative point of view. There are currently over 80 PragerU videos that are restricted – more than double the amount of restricted videos since filing our lawsuit against YouTube. Silicon Valley giants like YouTube continue to censor the ideas they don’t agree with. They promote their Leftist ideology and restrict conservative speech.

Help us fight against the censorship of our videos.

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Google, Facebook, Amazon May Be ‘Antitrust Situations’

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump, stepping up his criticism of technology firms he says are favoring liberal points of view, said they may be in a “very antitrust situation” but repeatedly said he can’t comment publicly on whether they should be broken up.

“I won’t comment on the breaking up, of whether it’s that or Amazon or Facebook,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday with Bloomberg News. “As you know, many people think it is a very antitrust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.”

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GOOGLE and the ‘Adjustment’ of Inconvenient Viewpoints

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

 

google_kicks_minoritiesDisclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, Kip Hansen,  and do not reflect the opinions of WUWT or Anthony Watts, owner and editor of this blog.  This is an independent Opinion Piece.  It is published here by the kind forbearance of Anthony Watts and does not necessarily reflect Mr. Watts’ personal or professional viewpoints. Any errors are mine alone — Kip Hansen.

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Long Item Warning:  This piece is 3600 words long and is estimated to take the average reader 18 minutes to read (every minute worth your effort).  I urge you to set it aside and return to it when you really have the time to read it in its entirety.  This is an important issue for most readers here. — Kip Hansen

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NEWS FLASH: World’s Library Sabotaged

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

BREAKING NEWS — SABOTAGE  @ The Library of The World

The Library of the World — the greatest collection since the Ancient Library of Alexandria — is the world’s largest and most complete library ever collected —  and which is claimed to hold a nearly complete written record of human knowledge — has been found to have been secretly sabotaged by a cabal within the library’s Indexing Department.

library

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Prager University Suing YouTube for Censoring Videos

By Marissa Streit, CEO of Prager University

As you know, PragerU’s videos are available on a number of platforms, one of which is YouTube. And as you may also know, YouTube has chosen repeatedly to restrict some of our videos for violating their “Community Guidelines.”  Those guidelines are meant to protect users against viewing sexual content, violent or graphic content, and hate speech.

As a PragerU viewer, you know as well as I do that our videos contain nothing even remotely close to any of these categories.

To date, YouTube has restricted nearly 40 PragerU videos, addressing topics ranging from religion and freedom of speech to the history of the Korean War.

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Google Truth Algorithm

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Google’s efforts to filter out positions which they think are fake news, like climate skeptic posts, have hit an unexpected snag: Google have just noticed large groups of people across the world hold views which differ from the views championed by the Silicon Valley monoculture.

Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt: It can be ‘very difficult’ for Google’s search algorithm to understand truth

Catherine Clifford
2:38 PM ET Tue, 21 Nov 2017

In the United States’ current polarized political environment, the constant publishing of articles with vehemently opposing arguments has made it almost impossible for Google to rank information properly.

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How Google and MSM Use “Fact Checkers” to Flood Us with Fake Claims

By Leo Goldstein – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The Left implemented a novel technique of the Big Lie that I will call a Flooding Fake here.  This technique was especially widely used by climate alarmism.  This is what it looks like:

  1. An important figure or organization on the Left is caught doing something wrong, saying something outrageous, or blatantly lying.
  2. The Left injects into public discourse an absolutely fake, but believable, account of this action and immediately “debunks” this account.
  3. The fake narrative is accepted by the public as truth because the public knows that something similar has happened.  The immediate debunking is rejected as a cover-up attempt.
  4. Later, when people accuse the original wrongdoer they use elements of the fake narrative.  This is when “fact checkers” jump on them.  Fake news networks accuse honest statesmen and commentators of spreading fake news.  The liberals’ conviction that the conservatives are stupid and uninformed gets deeper.  Google buries honest pieces far from public sight.  Facebook tries to prevent their sharing.  Leftist politicians cry that they lost elections because of fake news.

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Prager Suing YouTube for Censoring Their Videos

Re-Blogged From Prager University

[I’ve added  few videos from Prager University recently, and it turns out that YouTube has blocked them, and Prager is suing them for censorship. Here’s a note I got from Prager asking me to sign their web site petition and for a donation. -Bob]

As you know, PragerU’s videos are available on a number of platforms, one of which is YouTube. And as you may also know, YouTube has chosen repeatedly to restrict some of our videos for violating their “Community Guidelines.”  Those guidelines are meant to protect users against viewing sexual content, violent or graphic content, and hate speech.

As a PragerU viewer, you know as well as I do that our videos contain nothing even remotely close to any of these categories.

To date, YouTube has restricted or “demonetized” 50 PragerU videos, addressing topics ranging from the Ten Commandments to the history of the Korean War.

More than a year ago, we filed a complaint with YouTube, hoping that there was some kind of innocent mistake.

That’s when we were told by YouTube that after reviewing our videos they determined that they were indeed “not appropriate for a younger audience.” Of course, we have this in writing.

Think about the millions of actually inappropriate videos on YouTube and then ask yourself, “Why is our content restricted?”

Unfortunately, the answer is rather obvious, isn’t it?  YouTube has restricted PragerU videos for only one reason: Ideological discrimination.

Of course, YouTube is owned by Google, which was founded to, ironically, “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

YouTube has made some of our most important videos inaccessible to the very audience PragerU seeks to reach: young people.

Let me be clear: they don’t like what we teach and so they intend to stop us from teaching it. This kind of censorship is what we have seen on college campuses for years. But it is far more dangerous in this circumstance because the internet is where the world goes to get informed.

Can you imagine if the left owned the internet the way they own our universities?

Can you imagine what the world would look like if Google is allowed to continue to arbitrarily censor ideas they simply don’t agree with? 

Well, this is why Prager University filed suit again YouTube and Google. We are not fighting this only for PragerU—we are taking this on for America and possibly the world.

Now, I have to tell you … this was not an easy decision.

Over the summer, former Governor of California Pete Wilson — who has been a longtime supporter of PragerU — approached us and posited the idea: “We have to sue them,” he said. “Google is hubris.”

Those words weighed heavy on our entire team as we considered our options.

Obviously, a fight with Google will be hugely difficult and costly, and we hate the idea of deploying energy and resources away from producing more content and reaching new audiences.  We simply cannot do that.

So, before taking any such action, we decided we’d attempt a more diplomatic approach one last time. On the one-year anniversary of Google blocking our content, or the “BANniversary” as we had come to call it, we renewed our complaints to YouTube and re-circulated an online petition urging Google to change course. Many articles have been written and many people, including many very prominent and influential people, rallied in support of our cause. To date, well over a quarter-of-a-million people have added their names to our petition.

What was the result of our efforts?

Nothing. YouTube ignored us. In fact, they have since restricted 11 more PragerU videos.

With our hands tied, we knew Governor Wilson was right—Google’s hubris had to be challenged.

So, we have built an all-star legal team, including Governor Wilson’s Law Firm, Eric George, Alan Dershowitz, Barak Lurie, Kelly Shackelford, Mat Staver, and more.

It’s an impressive group, because this is an important case; not only for PragerU, but for the fundamental American right to freedom of speech.

But this is not going to be easy and it isn’t going to be cheap.

Despite the fact that our amazing attorneys have agreed to reasonably cap their legal fees, there will be additional personnel, research, marketing and public relations costs to PragerU.

This case will be tried in the court of public opinion as much as in the courtroom, and we intend to win in both venues.

However, we cannot deplete our operating budget to fight this case. Thanks to you, PragerU has reached more than 1-out-of-4 Americans on the internet. Sixty-three percent of them are under 34. We plan to continue to focus on this growth and reach 3 out of 4 Americans. We can’t let up now.

We are fully committed to the lawsuit but we won’t let them slow the growth of PragerU.

This is why our board of directors and many staff members have donated, in addition to our annual gift, to what we are calling the “YouTube Action Fund.” Dennis Prager, Allen Estrin, and I have all given extra this year.

Now, here is how you can help:

  1. Please go to our website and sign the petition against YouTube censorship. It already has nearly 300,000 signatures; please add yours if you haven’t done so already, and ask 10 of your friends to do the same.
  2. More importantly, please contribute to our action fund if you can, over and above your planned support for PragerU. Our initial goal for the legal fund is $1 million, and we think we can reach that goal with your help.

Many of you have already given so generously and I am embarrassed to ask for more. But if you think this fight is important please support us in whatever way you can.

It seems like a lot to ask…until you consider how much we have to lose.

Perhaps Goliath could teach Google a little bit about where hubris leads … when a David comes slinging.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Marissa Streit
CEO, PragerU

Making the Case — Again — for Micron

By Vitaliy Katsenelson – Re-Blogged From IMA USA

I made a case for Boise, Idaho–based chip maker Micron Technology in April 2014. For a while I looked brilliant: The stock went vertical from $22, peaking at $36. Nine months later its price halved, giving me two opportunities: Buy more Micron, and write more about it. In fact, this write-up comes with a bonus — a product review.

In 2014 my thesis for Micron was simple: The structure of the memory industry has changed. It went from dozens of state-subsidized players to just three in DRAM (more formally known as dynamic random-access memory) and four in NAND (memory that goes into solid-state drives, or SSDs). Each remaining player has sufficient scale and is focused on profitability and return on capital. Additional capacity will be added very cautiously, which in turn will result in industry growth and much more profitable business for everyone, including Micron.

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California Has a Bill That Would Disable Encryption on All Phones

By Andrew Crocker – Re-Blogged From Electronic Frontier Foundation

Smartphone users in California take notice: a new CA State Assembly bill would ban default encryption features on all smartphones. Assembly Bill 1681, introduced in January by Assemblymember Jim Cooper, would require any smartphone sold in California “to be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.” This is perhaps even more drastic than the legal precedent at stake in Apple’s ongoing showdown with the Justice Department, in which the government is trying to force a private company to write code undermining key security features in specific cases.

Both Apple and Google currently encrypt smartphones running their iOS and Android operating systems by default. A.B. 1681 would undo this default, penalizing manufacturers and providers of operating systems $2,500 per device that cannot be decrypted at the time of sale.

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Apple and Google Pour Billions Down a Green Drain

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Business has been captured by Climatism, the belief that humans are causing dangerous global warming. Leading businesses announce plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, purchase renewable energy, use vehicle biofuels, and buy carbon credits. But there is no evidence that commercial policies to “fight” climate change have any measureable effect on global temperatures.

Apple and Google, the darling companies of the millennial generation, have spent billions trying to halt global warming. Apple has brought us the Mac personal computer, the I-Phone, the I-Pad, and other trend-setting electronic devices, becoming the world’s highest-valued company. Google has been called the most innovative technology company in the world, delivering the Google search engine that revolutionized use of the internet, Google Books, Google Maps, and now developing a self-driving car. But both of these leading companies have swallowed the misguided theory of human-caused climate change, hook, line, and sinker.

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The Week That Was

(Re-Blogged from SEPP, the Science and Environment Policy Project)

Quote of the Week:Skepticism is the first step to Truth
–Denis Diderot
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Number of the Week:1.42 times area of USA (all territory)
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THIS WEEK:
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) Science Adviser:
Recently, the once obscure position of official science adviser has garnered the attention in the popular press. John Holdren, President Obama’s chief science adviser, has been active in the US National Climate Assessment, which is little more than the alarmist version of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5) of the UN

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