UK to Facebook (Meta)-Sell Giphy; Facebook Whistleblower to Testify Again Tomorrow; iRoomba Updates for Xmas Trees; Amazon Gears Up for ‘Multi-Robot’ World

The competition watchdog in the UK has ordered Meta (Facebook) to back out its acquisition of animated GIF platform Giphy. According to Stuart McIntosh, who chairs the independent inquiry heading the Competition and Markets Authority,  “The tie-up between Facebook and Giphy has already removed a potential challenger in the display advertising market. Without action, it will also allow Facebook to increase its significant market power in social media even further, through controlling competitors’ access to Giphy GIFs.”

Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, will be back in front of a House Committee on Wednesday, December 1st. Cnet.com reports that this time, the committee will focus on Section 230, that critical internet law that protects social media companies from lawsuits over content posted by their users. In her previous testimony, Haugen pushed Congress to provide more active oversight of the social network, contending that Facebook’s platforms “harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy.”

Roomba software has been updated. It will now avoid shoes and socks, and more to the point of the Christmas season, steer around Christmas trees, while vacuuming up the pine needles. This is for the j7 and j7 Plus, according to theverge.com. They also got an update to avoid pet poop. (It should be noted that other robot vacuums have already been able to do this since the first of the year, but it’s still a welcome upgrade.)

Amazon is launching a new cloud service, RoboRunner, that will oversee the operation of robots from multiple vendors. Geekwire.com says the tech was originally developed for tis own warehouses. AWS IoT RoboRunner, unveiled by Amazon Web Services at its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, lets companies connect robot fleets to the cloud, operate different types of robots as part of the same system, and develop apps that optimize the operations of an automated fleet using real-time data from the warehouse or factory floor. I, for one, welcome our Amazon controlled, robot overlords. 😦



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