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Larry Page is quietly amassing a ‘flying car’ empire

One flying car seems absurd; Larry Page has three.

He started with Cora, a two-seater flying taxi, then added a sporty flying boat called Flyer, both developed by a company called Kitty Hawk. And last week, The Verge discovered a third: Opener, which just came out of stealth mode. There was no mention of the Google co-founder in the startup’s announcement, but when confronted with evidence of Page’s involvement, Opener quickly issued a press release admitting it.

Flying cars (more formally known as eVTOLs — for electric vertical takeoff and landing) are the electric scooters of aviation. Everyone from Uber to Airbus is working to build the lightweight aircraft and the aerial networks they will require, to say nothing of a host of...

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Comcast gives up on buying 21st Century Fox assets and leaves Disney a

Comcast has formally withdrawn its competing $65 billion bid to acquire 21st Century Fox, ceding the rights to the entertainment company to Disney’s upped $71.3 billion offer. Comcast says it will instead shift all focus to its ongoing efforts to acquire Europe’s Sky instead.

Per an official statement from the company, “Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky.”

Disney first announced its bid for Fox’s assets — which include the movie studio 20th Century Fox, the company’s TV production arm 20th Century Fox Television, Fox-owned cable networks (including FX and National Geographic),...

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Europe’s giant Google fine is too little, too late

Google was hit with a $5 billion fine from the European Commission over Android app bundling yesterday. While the fine is the biggest the EU has ever levied against a single company, it’s the changes to Android that Google now has to make that are far more significant. But they’re probably too little, too late.

Google will now be forced to unbundle its Chrome browser and Google search apps from Android; meaning that phone makers won’t have to ship Android phones with these apps preinstalled. Additionally, phone makers will be able to fork the open-source version of Android and still be allowed to also manufacture devices with Google’s Android software, meaning we could see more competitive variants of Android from big phone makers....

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Six questions you were afraid to ask about Google’s EU antitrust cas

Google has been hit with a massive $5 billion fine by the EU this week for Android antitrust violations, with the European Commission claiming that Google has been taking advantage of Android to impose its own services — Google Search, Chrome, and the Play Store — upon consumers and device makers.

It’s a confusing case, so I’ve taken a few minutes to try to break things down here and answer some of the bigger questions about what’s going on. It might stir memories of Microsoft’s ugly antitrust battle with the US government but there are some differences between the two. Here’s what’s going on with Google and the EU:

1. What exactly did Google do wrong here?

In short, the European Commission has ruled that Google has been unfairly...

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Siri’s last co-founder has left Apple

Is Apple shaking up its Siri team? It certainly seems that way. According to a report from The Information, the last remaining cofounder of the digital assistant, Tom Gruber, has left the company. This follows from the announcement earlier this month that Google’s former AI chief, John Giannandrea, will be taking on a new role as Apple’s “chief of machine learning and AI strategy” — overseeing Siri and other AI efforts.

Gruber, along with Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, cofounded Siri Inc, the company which created the original Siri app and which Apple purchased in 2010 for $200 million. Siri was introduced in the iPhone 4s the following year, with its then-unique combination of speech recognition and “assistant” features wowing critics....

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The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 has a giant screen and a battery to match

Xiaomi has announced the Mi Max 3, the latest and biggest yet in its line of colossal phones. This time around the screen is 6.9 inches, and Xiaomi is using an 18:9 screen for the first time in the series. Top and bottom bezels are present, though pretty thin in relation to the vast expanse of the screen. The resolution is 1080p, so you’ll probably be able to make out pixels, but that’s not likely to be a huge concern for users that want something like this as a primary video device.

Powering all this is a 5,500mAh battery, which Xiaomi has managed to cram into a 7mm-thick chassis. The company says it can be charged to 71 percent in one hour. Other specs include a 12-megapixel plus 5-megapixel dual-camera system, a Snapdragon 636...

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Fujifilm’s XF10 is a small compact camera with a big sensor

Fujifilm has announced the XF10, a new fixed-lens compact camera that will serve as the successor to 2016’s X70. Like the X70, it pairs an 18.5mm (28mm-equivalent) f/2.8 lens with a large APS-C sensor in a small, pocketable body. The XF10 ups the resolution to 24 megapixels and is capable of 4K video (albeit only at 15 frames per second). There’s still a touchscreen, but the XF10 also now has the focus point selection joystick as seen on other Fujifilm cameras. The weight has been cut from 340g (0.75lbs) to 280g (0.62lbs).

The XF10 isn’t quite a straight upgrade to the X70, however, and owners of the older camera may miss several features on the newer model. There’s no tilt screen, flash hotshoe, or aperture ring on the XF10, and the...

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YouTube bans account of parents whose prank videos depicted child abus

YouTube has terminated the FamilyOFive account that belonged to Maryland parents Mike and Heather Martin. Both parents were charged with child neglect last fall, sentence to five years probation, and lost custody of two of their five children after using the kids to make viral prank videos that featured depictions of child abuse. Pressure has been mounting on YouTube to take action against the account after it was discovered the Martins were still active on the platform. The account’s most recent video was posted four days ago.

The Martins claimed their children, the youngest of whom was 10 years old as of last year, were largely acting in the videos. However, verbal shouting matches and depictions of physical violence, alongside...

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Facebook says it will begin removing misinformation that leads to viol

Hours after CEO Mark Zuckerberg spurred history by defending the rights of Holocaust deniers to post on Facebook, the company said it had begun removing misinformation that contributes to violence. “There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down,” the company said in a statement. “We will be begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”

Under the new policy, Facebook will begin reviewing posts that are inaccurate or misleading, and are created or shared with the intent of causing violence or physical harm. The posts will be reviewed in partnership with local organizations including threat intelligence...

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