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This Week in Technology: Ford, YouTube, and More


Ford Recalls 322,000 Cars Due To Battery Fire

Ford recalled about 322,000 cars whose batteries could catch fire due to acid leakage. According to a report, the recall affects Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy vehicles. They produced the models between February 2014 to February 2019. They also added that nearly 101,000 cars were affected in Germany.

No representative for Ford was available for comment. The report, released by German trade publication kbz-Betrieb, cited the KBA federal motor authority.

YouTube Changes Verified Status Back After Protest

YouTube recently reversed a controversial decision about their Verified status. When they first introduced the badge, they designed it to be a guarantee of identity. This was to help people searching for a specific person, organization or channel. They gave it to channels that had reached 100,000 subscribers. However, in a recent change, they said that the badge had become an “endorsement of content” rather than an ID check.

With the change, only “prominent channels that have a clear need for proof of authenticity” would receive the badge. However, this prompted widespread protests from famous YouTubers, who said the badge helped establish their authority and longevity on the site. Because of this, YouTube announced that they will revert the change. YouTube boss Sarah Wojcicki apologized, saying the change “missed the mark”.

Google Launches Subscription Service

Google announced its new Google Play pass on Monday. This service gives Android users access to nearly 400 apps and games without ads or in-game purchases. Priced at $4.99, it is Google’s response to Apple’s Apple Arcade, a similar service for Apple users. The service is currently available in the US, with a roll out to future countries planned.

The service will also have new games and apps every week. It currently comes with a 10 day trial period. It will cost $1.99 a month for the entire year for a limited time.

Facebook Suspends Tens Of Thousands Of Apps

Facebook announced that it had suspended tens of thousands of apps as part of an investigation into the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal. The suspended apps were associated with nearly 400 developers. However, they also said not all of the apps posed a threat to their users.

Facebook has also released little information about the suspended apps. They banned some for sharing data obtained from Facebook or making data public without protecting user identity. They found that one banned app called myPersonality shared information with researchers and companies with only limited protections in place and then refused to take part in an audit.

No Crowds in China After iPhone 11 Release

Apple’s iPhone 11 hit the Chinese market on Friday, opening to small crowds of die-hard fans. The lines at the Shanghai and Beijing stores, which combined added up to few dozen customers, was a stark change to previous years when hundreds used to wait for hours to be the first to own the latest smartphone.