SAN FRANCISCO — Apple once had grand aspirations to build its own electric self-driving car and lead the next generation of transportation. Over time, the tech giant’s ambitions ran into reality. So Apple curtailed its original vision, first by focusing on software for self-driving cars and then by working solely on an autonomous shuttle for…

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Microsoft Tries a New Role: Moral Leader

SEATTLE — Facebook and Google are under the microscope for the ways their technologies can spread misinformation, while Amazon’s growing market power is a regular target of President Trump. And Apple pioneered the modern smartphone, a device increasingly seen as too addicting. Then there’s Microsoft, a giant that spent most of the 1990s and early…

SAN FRANCISCO — Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warming up to Bitcoin, a virtual currency that for nearly a decade has been consigned to the unregulated fringes of the financial world. The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange has been working on an online trading platform that would allow…

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Adam’s Week in Tech: Hello From Europe!

Each week, Kevin Roose, technology columnist at The New York Times, discusses developments in the tech industry, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two. Kevin is away this week, so Adam Satariano, The Times’s European tech correspondent, is stepping in. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here. Hello! All your regular newsletter…



In a ruling with potentially sweeping consequences for the so-called gig economy, the California Supreme Court on Monday made it much more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employers. The decision could eventually require companies like Uber, many of which are based in California, to follow minimum-wage and overtime laws…

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How Democracy Can Survive Big Data

Only a few years ago, the idea that for-profit companies and foreign agents could use powerful data technologies to disrupt American democracy would have seemed laughable to most, a plotline from a Cold War espionage movie. And the idea that the American system would be compromised enough to allow outside meddling with the most basic…

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Twitter Plans to Open Ad Data to Users

Twitter said on Tuesday that it would bring more transparency to advertisements on its site, including political ads, in the latest response by a technology company to criticism about its role in spreading foreign propaganda during the 2016 presidential campaign. The company said that under its new rules, users would be able to see who…

A company making “smart thermometers” that upload body temperatures to its website claims to be tracking this year’s flu season faster and in greater geographic detail than public health authorities can. This year’s flu season — which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers “moderately severe” — has left Missouri and Iowa the “sickest…

SHANGHAI — The only Chinese social-media company to build a major network outside China will be taken over by a fast-growing Chinese upstart. Musical.ly, a video-based social network popular with teenagers in the United States and Europe, is being sold for between $800 million and $1 billion to Bytedance, the company that controls the Chinese…

SAN FRANCISCO — Computer security experts have discovered two major security flaws in the microprocessors inside nearly all of the world’s computers. The two problems, called Meltdown and Spectre, could allow hackers to steal the entire memory contents of a computer. There is no easy fix for Spectre, which could require redesigning the processors, according…

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The Best Toys That Teach Kids How to Code

Coding is a fundamental skill for children to learn in school, but it is more than just feeding programming into a computer. Learning to code teaches valuable cognitive skills like critical thinking and problem solving. As coding moves from school to home, many toy manufacturers are responding with gadgets that turn homework into a game….

You could almost hear the trumpets blaring in the background of Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement last week that Facebook would now promote local news stories in its News Feed. “People who know what’s happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference,” the Facebook chief wrote, espousing an eat-your-vegetables view of…