‘Shame!’ Amazon gets $23m from Virginia county amid fierce protests

  • Tech giant will build second HQ in Crystal City
  • Protesters echo New Yorkers who forced company out

Protesters repeatedly shouted “shame” as a northern Virginia county board unanimously approved a $23m incentives package for Amazon to build a new headquarters there.

Related: ‘Amazon isn’t bigger than New York’: meet the man who killed the deal

Continue reading… …read more

‘Americans have a fascination with fraudsters’: Alex Gibney on the fall of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes

The Oscar-winning director presents a sympathetic portrait of the Silicon Valley CEO who fooled the world into believing she had built a better blood test

We can’t get enough of Elizabeth Holmes. The founder and CEO of Theranos once captivated the imaginations of venture capitalists and magazine profile writers with her too-good-to-be-true tale of a revolutionary blood testing technology. Three years, numerous federal investigations, and eleven felony counts later, our appetite has shifted to devouring the tale of how Holmes fooled the world. The Silicon Valley morality tale – a true crime saga with a dash of Fyre Fest-schadenfreude and the added bonus of an icy blonde with a mysteriously deep voice – has thus far inspired a best-selling book, a popular podcast, and two documentaries, with a feature film and real-life criminal trial still to come.

One of the documentaries, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, debuts Monday on HBO. The film, by Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney, presents a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of Holmes as a modern-day Thomas Edison-gone-wrong. The Wizard of Menlo Park, Gibney reminds us, was a master of “faking it until you make it” who raised money off a promise long before he figured out how to make the incandescent light bulb work. Of course, Edison eventually came through, while Holmes is facing up to 20 years in prison, and her company was forced to void tens of thousands of blood tests for patients in Arizona.

Continue reading… …read more

Age ID check for pornography websites ‘puts users’ data at risk’

A date will soon be set for the launch of a UK-wide age block on visiting adult websites – but campaigners fear a threat to privacy

The government will this week confirm the launch date for a UK-wide age block on online pornography, as privacy campaigners continue to raise concerns about how adult websites and age-verification companies will use the data they collect.

The plan for implementing the long-delayed age block, which has been beset by technical difficulties, is expected to be announced alongside the government’s other proposals for tackling online harm, although it could be several months before the system is up and running.

Continue reading… …read more