One of the most anticipated congressional hearings in the era of Big Tech takes place today, with House Judiciary lawmakers expected to grill four top tech CEOs over whether their companies have grown too powerful. Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Tim Cook (Apple), and Sundar Pichai (Alphabet/Google)—whose companies combine for $5T in market value (see charts)—will testify together.
Critics argue the companies unfairly squash competition and antitrust protections haven't kept pace with the digital age. Accusations include using their market power to suppress competitors in adjacent industries; in one high-profile example, audio firm Sonos said Google stole intellectual property and flooded the market with artificially low-priced in-house products. Lawmakers are also said to have evidence of "copy-kill-acquire"
strategies where the companies purchase smaller rivals only to shut them down. Separately, the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission have been investigating the four since last year.
A breakthrough blood test for Alzheimer's has been shown to accurately identify patients with the disease, researchers announced yesterday. The experimental findings suggest a potential route to early diagnosis of the neurodegenerative condition as early as 20 years before symptoms appear.
Despite afflicting nearly 10% of elderly Americans, the precise cause of Alzheimer's is unclear. Scientists believe it is generally linked to tau proteins and beta-amyloid
plaques—tangles of molecules that accumulate, interfering with neurological processes (video explainer)—but confirmation is typically made through brain cross sections after a patient dies. The test, which measures a certain type of tau protein in the bloodstream, distinguished cases of Alzheimer's from healthy patients as well those with other types of dementia with accuracy between 89% and 98%.
Researchers said the
approach may be ready for clinical use in as little as three years.
Streaming Dominates Emmy Nominations
Nominations for the 2020 Primetime Emmys were revealed yesterday, with streaming giant Netflix earning 160 Emmy nominations and smashing the previous record of 137 set by HBO last year. The nods for the best in prime-time television also recognized Apple TV+ (19) and Disney+ (18). The lofty numbers reflect the rapidly growing importance of digital platforms in the industry.
Despite ceding front-runner status, HBO had a strong showing with the second-most nominations at 107
(see breakdown). The network's "Watchmen"—which helped drive the 1921 racial massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, back into public consciousness—led all shows with 26 nods. Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" came in second with 20 nominations, followed by HBO's "Succession" (18) and Netflix's "Ozark" (18). NBC, which finished third behind Netflix and HBO, had 47 total nominations. See the full list here.
Awards will be announced Sept. 20 (8pm ET, ABC).
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CAN YOU TEACH INNOVATION?
Starting to feel a little guilty for plopping your kid in front of the TV while you get a day's work done? Wish there was some way to engage their minds and teach STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) in a fun and engaging way? Well thankfully, there's a flexible solution that delivers hands-on projects to your doorstep. And KiwiCo wants to inspire kids (of all ages) to see themselves as "makers."
KiwiCo offers incredible crates spanning a variety of interests and age ranges to keep minds sharp and learning hands-on. Crates span from the Panda Crate (targeting ages 0-24 months) for playing and exploring, all the way to the Maker Crate (targeting ages 14-104) for kids and kids-at-heart to take pride in a finished project that's both fun and functional. Every crate comes with an activity booklet featuring illustrated kid-friendly instructions, along with all the required materials to inspire creativity and inspiration.
>Universal Pictures and AMC Theatres sign landmark deal to allow Universal’s films to premiere on video-on-demand within three weeks of their theatrical release (More) | The 2020 Venice Film Festival competition lineup unveiled (More)
>Scaled-down hajj began yesterday in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia; officials expect fewer than 10,000 participants due to the coronavirus, down from 2019’s 2.5 million(More) | What is hajj? (More)
>Miami Marlins season paused until
Monday as half the roster tests positive for COVID-19 (More) | Super Bowl champ Patrick Mahomes becomes part owner of MLB’s Kansas City Royals (More)
Science & Technology
>Twitter temporarily suspends Donald Trump Jr.'s account for retweeting a promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a cure for COVID-19 (More) | The original Breitbart video had more than 20 million views before being taken down by social media companies (More) | See the FDA page on the drug (More)
>New artificial intelligence model can identify individual birds for the first time; program may allow avian and other ecological research without tagging animals (More)
>Scientists revive 100-million-year-old
microbes found on the seafloor; recovered from the nutrient-limited South Pacific Gyre, the organisms only had enough energy to repair cell damage, but not grow and divide (More)
Business & Markets
>US stock markets down (S&P 500 -0.7%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq -1.3%) on consumer confidence decline and contracting earnings results (More) | US consumer confidence declines sharply in July, following large increase in June (More)
>Eastman Kodak awarded $765M loan to produce pharmaceutical ingredients from US government, shares surge more than 300% (More)
>Gunmaker Remington files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in two years (More)
>Attorney General William Barr defends administration's use of federal officers in Portland, Oregon, during House testimony; accuses local officials of tacitly condoning riots (More) | Sources
say US, Oregon in talks to remove federal agents (More)
>The American Federation of Teachers threatens strikes if schools don't meet health and safety demands ahead of reopening (More) | The US reports a total of 4.35 million coronavirus cases and 149,258 deaths as of this morning; see the moving three-day average here (More) | Read the latest federal state-by-state report (More)
>Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to announce running mate next week (More)
Historybook: Italian dictator Benito Mussolini born (1883); RIP Vincent van Gogh (1890); NASA is established (1958); 700 million worldwide watch wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana (1981); RIP Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dorothy Hodgkin (1994).
"I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
- Vincent van Gogh
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