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This Week In Technology: Strike, Facebook, and More


Wikipedia Founder Calls For Social Media Strike

Dr. Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, called for people to stop using social media for 48 hours. This strike is an effort to force social media giants to return control of private data to users. However, people questioned whether or not this would be effective. “We’re going to make a lot of noise,” wrote Dr. Sanger. In a blog post, he listed out his reasons for the strike.

Right now, the strike is planned for the 4th and 5th of July. In addition, many social networks including Reddit and Twitter have circulated the strike. Many people are hesitant to join, however. “[E]ven if everybody who cared went on strike, the difference in daily visitors would probably be in the error margin,” one person said.

Facebook To Ban Anti-Voting Ads

Facebook announced that they will ban ads that urge people not to vote, according to its second Civil Rights Audit released Sunday. They also plan to roll this out before fall, just ahead of the US 2020 presidential elections. This is just an expansion of last years system, however.

The new system is still in developmental stages. Facebook has also announced that the system will only affect the US. “We focused on ads because there is a targeted component in them,” Facebook Public Policy Director Neil Potts said. “We recognize it as a political tactic, which is much more in line with voter suppression.”

Microsoft Ends E-Book Support

Anybody who bought an e-book from Microsoft will no longer have access to them. Back in 2017, Microsoft launched its competitor to the Kindle and Nook, however, without a dedicated app, it failed to gain any popularity or user base. Because of this, Microsoft warned users in April of an upcoming loss of service. However, users with notes or highlights in e-books will receive a $25 refunds, among other offers.

Japan To Tighten Export Rules For South Korea

Japan announced plans to tighten restrictions on technology exports to South Korea starting July 4th. This is a response to a dispute with South Korea over rulings on war-time forced labor. The materials listed include technology used in smartphone manufacturing and semiconductors.

US Manufacturing Giants To Launch “Microfactories”

Bright Machines, a US group consisting of many manufacturing giants, recently announced their plans for “microfactories” on Wednesday. They plan for the microfactories to speed up the production of electronics. The microfactories are a small, refrigerator sized pod, filled with sensors, robotics, and software. In order to help combat the frequent design changes, the pods also learn how to manage tasks usually completed by a human.