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2024: The British Post Office scandal in which hundreds of subpostmasters were prosecuted between 1999 and 2015, many being jailed, over shortfalls actually caused by Fujitsu's faulty 'Horizon' software system drags on, e.g., see the BBC [www][28/2/2024] and The G [www][27/2/2024]. The TV drama 'Mr Bates vs The Post Office' did much to raise the public profile of the case.

2024 February 24: "AI chip firm Nvidia valued at us$2 trillison ... now [4th] behind Microsoft, Apple and Saudi Aramco. ..." — [bbc][25/2/2024]. . The firm's GPUs are used extensively in training large language models #LLMs (big artificial neural nets #ANN).

2023 September 29: "Australian authors' works feature in Books3 dataset of pirated ebooks used to train generative AI ..." — [abc][29/9/2023]. There are several court cases on such matters under way around the world (esp. USA) but it is an interesting question if such use of books is (i) ethical and (ii) legal (not necessarily the same thing). #copyright #books3 #meta #LLaMA #BloombergGPT EleutherAI
2023 December: "New York Times sues Microsoft and OpenAI for 'billions' ... alleges that when asked about current events, ChatGPT will sometimes generate 'verbatim excerpts' from New York Times articles, which cannot be accessed without paying for a subscription. ..." — [bbc][28/12/2023]. #NYT #microsoft #chatGPT

2023 July: Actors and screen writers (May] went on strike in part over concerns about the use of AI in their professions. E.g., "SAG strike: Actors join writers on Hollywood picket lines" — [bbc][15/7/2023]. #AI #movies #actors
November 10: "Hollywood actors' union Sag-Aftra agrees tentative deal to end four-month strike ..." — [bbc][10/11/2023].

2023 July 9: "AI robot asked 'will you rebel against humans'? The world's first robot-human press conference has taken place in Geneva, Switzerland. ..." — [bbc][9/7/2023]. #chatGPT #chatBot

2023 May 5: "TikTok tracked UK journalist via her cat's account ... TikTok has confirmed members of its internal audit department looked at the location of Cristina's IP address – the unique number of a device – and compared it with the IP data of an unknown number of their own staff, to try to establish who was secretly meeting with the press. ..." — [bbc][5/5/2023]. #TikTok #China #CCP #surveillance

Late 2022 - early 2023: 'OpenAI' released its generative AI, large language model, 'chatGPT'. This sparked a round of hand-wringing about matters such as, would it be hard to detect chatGPT's output when marking homework. Microsoft, a major investor in OpenAI, added chatGPT features to its lagging search engine, 'Bing', and market-leader google felt compelled to release its own AI search tool, 'Bard'. E.g., see [bbc][7/12/2022]. Note, chatGPT is far from infallible but it will get better (and OpenAI is not "open"). #chatGPT #openAI #microsoft #Bing #google #Bard

2022 November 17: Cryptocurrency exchange 'FTX' filed for bankruptcy. Bitcoin and other crypto currencies "fell 20%." E.g., see [www][17/11/2022], [bbc][11/11/2022]. A layperson might think that the assets of an exchange's customers would be kept separate, and safe, from the assets, and debts, of the exchange; time will tell.

2022 May 12: A so-called "stablecoin", Terra Luna, "fell from a high of us$118 (£96), last month, to $0.09 on Thursday ... [and] TerraUSD fell to $0.4 ..." [bbc][13/5/2022] Other crypto-currencies fell by significant amounts. Why would anyone hold a crypto-currency pegged to the dollar (say) rather than the dollar itself?
2022 June 14: "Bitcoin: Why is the largest cryptocurrency crashing? ... [now] $21,974 (£18,000) [was] almost $70,000 in November ..." [bbc][14/6/2022].
2022 November 11: see 'FTX' above.

2022 April 26: The board of Twitter agreed to Elon Musk (Tesla, Space-X) buying Twitter for us$44 billion, e.g., [bbc][26/4/2022]. (Not yet a done deal.)
2022 July 9: Musk withdrew his offer for Twitter — expect court cases.
2022 October 5: The purchase seems to be back on.
2022 October 28: The deal was finally done, e.g., [bbc][28/10/2022].
Within days there were reports that half of Twitter's staff would be fired.
2023 July: Changed the name of 'Twitter' to 'X'.
2023 November 2: It was reported that "X is now worth half of that, valued at us$19 billion." — [abc][2/11/2023].

2022 February 24: Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine. Cyber attacks preceded and accompanied the physical attacks. A law was passed in Russia threatening jail to anyone publishing "fake" news, i.e., the truth, about the war to try to stifle opposition there, e.g., [bbc][4/3/2022].

2022 February 4: Mark Zuckerberg had announced that Meta was losing out to TikTok and youtube and ...  "Facebook's owner Meta Platforms saw its stock market value slump by more than us$230bn (£169bn) [26.4%] on Thursday, in a record daily loss for a US firm. ..." — [bbc][4/2/2022].

2022 January 3: The share-market valuation of Apple touched us$3 trillion (up 3× since August 2018 and up 58× since 2007).
(2022 May 12: Oil producer Aramco (Saudi Arabia) regained #1 spot as high tech and risky stocks were sold off. Also see Nvidia, 24 Feb. 2024, above.)

2021 August 19: Elon Musk announced that Tesla was working on a humanoid robot, 'Tesla Bot', prototypes maybe next year. Real Humans anyone?

2021 February: Google agreed to pay media outlets in various countries to use their content in 'Google News Showcase'. These included 'News Corp' – boss Rupert Murdoch had long argued that social media companies should pay up. Google had earlier threatened that it could remove Google search from Australia if Australia passed legislation forcing internet platforms into arbitration with news outlets if they could not agree in terms. Meanwhile (18 Feb.) Facebook blocked the news feeds of its Australian users.
2021 March 16: Facebook agreed to pay News Corp Australia for news content.

2021 January 9: Twitter permanently suspended the account of Donald Trump (the out-going US president) "due to the risk of further incitement of violence" after he addressed a mob that later rioted and invaded the Capitol Building (6 Jan.). Five people died.  7/1: Facebook also suspended Trunp's account "for at least two weeks - and possibly indefinitely", i.e., at least until 20 Jan. when Joe Biden is inaugurated as President. Some other social media sites acted similarly.
2021 June 6: Facebook suspended Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts for two years. The company also said that in the future it would suspend politicians who incite violence.

2020 was a bad year for the world with the covid-19 pandemic but a good year for Amazon as online shopping boomed. Nevertheless by January 2021 Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX), with us$194.8 billion, pipped Jeff Bezos (amazon) by us$9.5 billion in terms of nominal personal wealth according to Bloomberg [www][7/1/2021]. Can this last?

2020 October: The US Department of Justice opened an antitrust case against Google. The EU may do likewise. See, for example, the [abc][21/10/2020].

2020 August: US President Donald Trump issued executive orders that firms should stop doing business with Chinese apps 'TikTok' and 'WeChat', [bbc][7/8/2020]. Chinese companies can be compelled to cooperate with the CCP. (Note that Google, Facebook and Wikipedia are banned in China.)

2020 January 16: The value of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, exceeded one trillion dollars (us), e.g., see [The G][17/1/20]. (Apple and Microsoft are also valued at more than us$1tr.)
29/8/2020: "Apple first US company to be valued at us$2tn ..." — [bbc][20/8/2019].

2019 May 10: 'Uber' floated on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shared closed at us$41.51, 7.6% down from $45. (See Lyft, 29 March below.)
8 August 2019: "Uber shares tumble as profit figures disappoint Wall Street ..." — [bbc][8/8/2019].
9/8/2019: Uber share price us$42.90.

2019 April: "Pinterest valued at us$10bn ahead of float ..." — [bbc][18/4/2019]. Initial share price of us$19.
2019 March 29: The ride-sharing company 'Lyft' floated on the Nasdaq stock exchange. From an initial price (IPO) of us$72 (valuing Lyft at $24 billion), shares rose to $87 and closed at $78. Lyft lost us$910 million in 2018 but that did not seem to matter. However, Lyft shares closed at us$56.25 (i.e. –20%) on 16 April. (See Uber, 10 May above.)
2019 January 7: Amazon (us$797bn) passed Microsoft (us$789bn) to become the most valuable public company. (Apple was down to a mere $702bn.)
2018 December 1: Microsoft's market value (us$851 billion ↑) exceeded Apple's (us$847bn ↓), e.g., [bbc][1/12/2018].
2018 August 2: The nominal share-market value of Apple reached us$1 trillion (one shares = us$207.39), e.g., [bbc][2/4/2018].
2018 July: The European Union (EU) fined Google €4.3 billon because it was judged that Google used illegal tactics to favour Google search on the Android mobile O/S, e.g., [bbc][18/7/2018].
2018 April: "Shares in the music streaming firm Spotify will be publicly traded for the first time later on Tuesday when the firm debuts on the New York market. The flotation marks a turning point for the firm, that, after 12 years, has not yet made a profit. Spotify's listing, which could value it at $20bn (£14bn) ... It is now the global leader among music streaming companies, boasting 71 million paying customers, twice as many as runner-up Apple. ..." — [bbc][3/4/2018].
2018 March: Cambridge Analytica was accused of improperly using the Facebook data of 50 million members to influence the 2016 US Presidential election in favour of Donald Trump, e.g., [bbc], [2][20/3], and [3][21/3].
"An academic who created an app that harvested data from 50m Facebook users says Cambridge Analytica and the social media firm have made him a 'scapegoat'. Dr Aleksandr Kogan said he did not know his work for Cambridge Analytica in 2014 violated Facebook's policies. ..." — [bbc][22/3].
And, "An undercover investigation by Channel 4 News reveals how Cambridge Analytica secretly campaigns in elections across the world. ... Senior executives at Cambridge Analytica - the data company that credits itself with Donald Trump's presidential victory - have been secretly filmed saying they could entrap politicians in compromising situations with bribes and Ukrainian sex workers. ..." — Channel 4 [19/3].
"The US Federal Trade Commission is reported to be investigating Facebook ... CA head Alexander Nix has now been suspended by the company board. ..." — [bbc][21/3].
"Facebook believes the data of up to 87 million people was improperly shared with the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica - many more than previously disclosed. ..." — [bbc][5/4/2018].
"Cambridge Analytica has filed for bankruptcy in the US. ... Regulators have said that, despite the firm's shutting down and laying off staff, they will still pursue a probe into how the firm used Facebook data. ..." — [bbc][18/5/2018].
2018 January: Security problems with Intel, AMD and ARM CPUs became public. "Spectre" and "Meltdown" exploit the CPUs' "speculative execution" to reveal data — such as passwords — that other programs may be processing. Software patches were released to cover up for the hardware problems, but they slow the CPUs down — various, e.g.,
"... Smartphones and other devices containing the vulnerable Intel, AMD and ARM chips are open to either both or one of the attacks. Furthermore, Spectre attacks can be exploited over the Web just by visiting a website running the requisite malicious code; Meltdown attacks require the hacker to already have access to the computer. ..." [forbes][4/1/2018],
"... As technology companies race to fix two major vulnerabilities found in computer chips, the ways in which those chips could theoretically be targeted by hackers are becoming clear. ..." [bbc][4/1/2018].
2017 December: "... US media regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to roll back so-called 'net neutrality' rules that stop telcos from blocking websites or charging more for different services. ..." — [abc][16/12/2017].
2017 November: "Tencent Holdings - China's biggest social network company - is now worth more than Facebook. ..." — [bbc][25/11].
2017 June 27: "Google has been fined 2.42bn euros ($2.7bn; £2.1bn) by the European Commission after it ruled the company had abused its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results. ..." — [bbc].
2017: "Snapchat hopes its planned flotation in New York will value the five-year-old photo-sharing app company at up to $25bn (£20bn) ..." — The G. [www][4/2].
"... Snap Inc shares jumped by $US7.58, or 44%, to close at $US24.48 after the company priced its initial public offering (IPO) of 200 million shares at $US17 each yesterday. ... Snapchat's parent company raised $3.4 billion ... [the] closing price on Thursday valued the Los Angeles company at $US34 billion (au$44.9 billion). ..." — [abc][3/3/2017].)
"... [Snap's] shares tumbled 21% on slowing user growth and revenue in its first results as a public company. ..." — [bbc][12/5/2017].
2016: Oxford Dictionaries (as in the OED) chose post-truth as its word of the year, "an adjective defined as 'relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.'"
Fake news stories, spread by social media such as Facebook, were widely held to have played some part in the "Brexit" referendum (the UK to leave the EU), and the US presidential election (Donald Trump (Rep.) defeated Hilary Clinton (Dem.)). (See [www][11/2016].)
And, Jan. 2017: "The [MacQuarie Dictionary] Committee's Choice for the 2016 Word of the Year is fake news. Honourable mentions go to enby and halal snack pack. ..." — MD [www][25/1/2017].
2016, August: Governments have been struggling to combat aggressive tax minimisation schemes run by tech companies in particular.
"Ireland should recover up to €13bn (£11bn) from Apple in back taxes, the European Commission has ruled. After a three-year investigation, it has concluded that the US firm's Irish tax benefits are illegal. ... In 2011, as in previous years, every Apple product sold in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India was recorded as a sale by Apple Sales International [&euro16bn] in Ireland. ... the final 10 million euros tax paid by Apple was equivalent to a rate of 0.05% - this fell to 0.005% by 2014 as profits rose ..." — [bbc][30/8/2016]. Note, Ireland doesn't want the €13bn. There will be appealsa.
2020 July 15: The EU's General Court (the 2nd highest) granted an appeal by Apple (and the Irish government!) against the 2016 ruling.
2015, March: It is not the first, but Apple finally announced its own smartwatch, to go on sale on 24 April. See [bbc][9/3].
2014 December: Sony cancelled the release of the movie 'The Interview', a comedy about the assassination of the President of North Korea, after hackers attacked Sony Pictures releasing stolen emails and data, and threatened to attack cinemas that showed the film. See [bbc][17/12/2014] & [19/12]. It was widely suspected that the attacks were by N. Korea or its supporters.
Sony later decided to show the Interview "in 200 mostly independent and art-house cinemas on Thursday [25th]" [bbc][24/12/2014], and also released it online.
2014 May 19: A US grand jury charged in absentia five officers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) with hacking US companies to steal industrial secrets. China vigorously denied the charges. See [.gov][19/5/2014], and [bbc][19/5/2014].
2014 May 6: Chinese e-commerce company 'Alibaba' (Alibaba Group Holding Limited) filed Form F-1 for a public share sale in the US, hoping to raise us$1 billion. See [bbc][7/5/2014] and [SEC][6/5/2014].
18 September 2014: "... Alibaba has set the price of its shares at $68 (£42) a day before its debut on the [NYSE]. That values [A.], which accounts for 80% of all online retail sales in China, at $167.6bn. The company raised about $21.8bn, making it one of the biggest share offerings in US history. The final amount could change, depending on how many shares the company's underwriters chose to buy. ..."[bbc][18/9/2014].
2013, November 7: Twitter, which has never made a profit, made in IPO, offering 70 million shares at us$26. On opening, the share price rose as high as us$50 before closing at us$44.90 valuing the company at us$25 billion — the G. [7/11], [bbc][25/10].
2013, October 18: "Google shares have topped $1,000 (£617) for the first time ... Google's market value is about [us]$334bn ... still well below Apple's $461bn. ..." — [bbc].
2013, September 6: US [NSA] and UK [GCHQ] crack online encryption, "... [NSA SigInt] $254.9m for this year ... The NSA's codeword for its decryption program [is] Bullrun ... [GCHQ's] Tempora program ..." — the G. [www] & [index], NYT [www], [bbc]. #NSA #Bullrun
10/9: "A Johns Hopkins computer science professor [Matthew Green] blogs on the NSA and is asked to take it down. ... area of expertise, which is cryptography. ... note from the acting dean of the engineering school asking him to take the post [5/9] down ..." — the G. [www]. (Apparently the dean later changed his mind.)
21/10: "... Amongst the thousands of documents extracted from the NSA by its ex-employee there is a graph which describes the extent of telephone monitoring and tapping (DNR - Dial Number Recognition) carried out in France. ... over a period of thirty days - from 10 December 2012 to 8 January 2013, 70,3 million recordings of French citizens' telephone data were made by the NSA...." — Le Monde [21/10/2013].
24/10: "... [Chancellor] Angela Merkel of Germany called Barack Obama to demand explanations over reports that the US [NSA] was monitoring her mobile phone. ..." — the G. [www], and more [25/10].
31/10: "NSA revelations boost corporate paranoia. German groups say US nearly as big an espionage threat as China ..." — Financial Times (left wing rag), 31/10/2013.
2013, September 3: "Microsoft has agreed a deal to buy Nokia's mobile phone business for €5.4bn (us$7.2bn; £4.6bn) ..." — [bbc].
"Nokia shareholders have approved the sale of its mobile phone division to Microsoft ..." — The G. [19/11].
"Microsoft has completed its purchase of Nokia's mobile phone business ..." — bbc [25/4/2014].
"Microsoft has confirmed it will close its mobile phone unit in Finland, cutting 1,350 jobs. The US software giant paid us$7.2bn (£5.5bn) for Nokia's handset business in 2014, but failed to make a success of new devices. In May, Windows-powered smartphones accounted for fewer than 1% of global smartphone sales. ..." — bbc [12/7/2016].
2013, July 30: Private Bradley Manning (later Chelsea Manning), the US Army whistleblower who leaked 700,000 documents, including the "Collateral Murder" video, to WikiLeaks "was found guilty of all eight offences of which he'd been accused under the 1917 Espionage Act", but not guilty of aiding the enemy — the G. [www].
21/8: Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison; see The G. [www] & [index], and [bbc]. (It has been pointed out, as a comparison, that 2nd Lt William Calley "served three and a half years under house arrest at an army base" for leading his platoon in the murder of "70 [to] 80 villagers" at My Lai, S. Vietnam, 1968 — [www]['13].)
Also see C.M.@['uTube][2010], and Wikileaks revelations @[bbc][8/2/2012].
2013, June 7: The Guardian reported that "The [USA] National Security Agency [NSA] has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants ... a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chat ..." — [www], [10/6], [index], [indx2].   Microsoft, Yahoo. Google, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, Apple were listed as members of Prism. Also see [bbc] & [2][8/6].
But, "... In a number of similarly worded statements the technology companies responded denying US government agencies had direct access to its servers and data. ..." — [abc][8/6].
10/6: "... Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA employee, outed himself as the Guardian's source ..." — [www], [bbc], [abc].
uk: The British foreign secretary, Mr Hague, "refused to confirm or deny claims GCHQ has had access to a US spy programme called Prism since June 2010. ..." — [bbc].
22/6: "US charges Edward Snowden with spying ..." — [bbc].
4/7: "France's foreign intelligence service [DGSE] intercepts computer and telephone data on a vast scale ..." — [bbc], after Le Monde.
12/7: "Microsoft helped the NSA get around its encryption systems ..." — [bbc].
31/7: 'XKeyscore' (X-keyscore) "allows [NSA] analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories" — the G. [www], [bbc].
2013, March 6: The EU fined Microsoft "€561 million (us$731m, £484m) for failing to promote a range of web browsers, rather than just its Internet Explorer program, to users in the European Union. ..." — [bbc].
2012, October 3: The US Senate Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations. 'A two-year bipartisan investigation ... has found that Dept of Homeland Security [DHS] efforts to engage state and local intelligence "fusion centers" has not yielded significant useful information to support federal counterterrorism intelligence efforts. ... produced intelligence of "uneven quality - oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens' civil liberties ...' — [.gov].
2012, June: It was a long time coming but Australian print newspapers officially went over the edge of the cliff when Fairfax (the Age & Sydney Morning Herald) announced that it would favour internet publication, close its printing presses in Melbourne and Sydney, reduce staff by 20%, and possibly stop printing the Age and SMH in a year or three.
(Coincidentally, mining billionaire Gina Rinehart had recently bought 19% of Fairfax, and asked for three board positions, apparently also having the intention to be able to influence editorial content, for example, to promote the views of climate-change sceptics. Also see [abc][26/6/2012].)
2012, May 18: Facebook shares floated at us$38 (IPO) which valued FB at $104bn — [bbc]. The shares had fallen below us$29 by the 29th May, and dipped under us$20 on 2nd August — Grauniad [www].
(31 July 2013: The shares rose to the "$38-a-share float price ... before slipping down to $37.63" after an increase in mobile ad$ — the G. [www].)
(30 July 2015: "... currently trading at around us$97 a share ..." — [bbc].)
(27 June 2017: "Facebook hits two billion users ..." [bbc].)
2012, March 1: "Apple's stock market value closed above us$500bn (£314bn), ... world's most valuable company. ... once worth as little as $3.19 in 1997, when it faced the possibility of bankruptcy. ... share price closed at $542.44 on Wednesday ..." — [bbc] ... iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad.
(Exxon Mobil regained the "lead" in January 2013 — [bbc][25/1/'13].)
2012, February 2: Facebook, the social-network site, announced plans for a stock market flotation hoping to raise us$5 billion which would value the company at up to us$100 billion — [bbc], [][3/2/'12]. (See 18 May.)
2011, May: Linked-in, the work-oriented social network site, floated on the stock exchange.
2011, May: Microsoft announced a takeover of the internet phone system, Skype.
(2012, February 15: "Cisco said it would challenge Microsoft's $8.5bn (£5.4bn) takeover of Skype in the European court [calling for] open standards similar to those used for mobile phones." — [bbc].)
2010: The movie, The Social Network, portrayed events around the creation of Facebook.
2004: Google, the internet search engine, floated on the stock exchange, raising us$1.67 billion. (Also see 18/10/2013.)
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