Feds Investigating Facebook; Uber After Funds for Self-Drive Unit; HP Laptop Battery Recall; Tumblr Traffic Whacked After Porn Ban

Federal prosecutors are digging into the data deals Facebook arranged with tech companies. Engadget.com reports that subpoenas went out to get records from 2 or more ‘prominent makers of smartphones.’ Facebook had deals with the likes of Apple, Microsoft, and Sony. Facebook has acknowledged the probe, and says says they are ‘cooperating with investigators’ and was taking the probes ‘seriously.’ Most of these deals ended a while back, but the probe may be why Mark Zuckerberg pledged recently to make it a ‘privacy-focused’ social network.

Uber is in late stage talks to pick up a billion dollars for their self-driving car group. Businessinsider.com says the funding would primarily come from Softbank, which has already kicked in $1.25 billion…giving it 15% of the ride hailing company. Toyota may also be involved. This deal would bring the valuation of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group at $5-10 billion dollars.

HP is now recalling 78,500 laptop batteries due to possible fire and burn hazards. According to zdnet.com, there have been 8 new reports of issues including overheating and melting. In January, they had recalled 50,000, and this batch is in addition to those. HP has set up a website so you can check. It affects models sold between April 2015 and 2018. Many of the batteries are non-removable and the laptops will need to be taken in for a free replacement.

After banning porn and adult content in December, Tumblr took a 17% hit in views…100 million sets of eyeballs in 30 days! The nextweb.com says SimilarWeb did the analytics. The platform took the action after temporarily getting kicked off Apple’s App Store over child porn. Unfortunately, Tumblr was also a refuge for folks in the LGBTQ community and others, who have bailed to find other platforms where they can feel safe and like they belong.

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