The social network has been under scrutiny for many, many things over the past years, including consumer privacy, election security and high-profile acquisitions. Just over a month ago, the FTC reportedly started looking into the company’s Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions as part of an antitrust investigation. That happened shortly after the agency reached a record-high $5 billion settlement agreement with the company over various privacy violations, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The President, who previously accused Facebook of being anti-conservative, tweeted a photo of the meeting in the Oval Office:
It’s not clear what went on in the White House, but the company said Zuckerberg “had a good, constructive meeting” with the President. The lawmakers he met with didn’t hold back, though, with Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley challenging him to sell Instagram and WhatsApp to prove that he’s serious. There’s been an increasing pressure on authorities and regulators to break up “big tech” companies, which are being accused of snapping up competition to dominate the industry.
Another lawmaker, Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said they talked about the tech industry’s repeated failures to protect election security and consumer privacy. Both Blumenthal and Hawley questioned the FTC over its $5 billion settlement with the company over concerns that the amount is “woefully inadequate” considering Facebook’s size and the magnitude of its privacy mishaps.
Zuckerberg’s Capitol Hill tour isn’t done yet: he’s meeting with the House Judiciary Committee, which grilled Google and Facebook over online hate speech and racially motivated violence earlier this year, later today.
This year, both sets of 6-series 4K televisions include quantum dot LED technology — also used recently in Samsung and Vizio TVs — to improve their color performance even further, and the 55-inch version has a few more local dimming LED zones than before. They also are some of TCL’s first with “Auto Game Mode” that automatically detects when you’re playing on a console or PC and need to use low-latency mode. That feature is part of the HDMI 2.1 spec but TCL didn’t say if this is the same as ALLM. Their remote includes voice control, plus the TVs are compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant.
A 75-inch 6-series with 2019’s specs is supposed to arrive later this year, along with the higher-end 8-series TVs that use a new “mini-LED” backlighting setup with up to 25,000 individual lights. The 8-series TVs will cost $1,999 for a 65-inch, or $2,999 for the 75-inch.
“Sustainability has been one of Google’s core values from our earliest days. Over the years we’ve worked hard to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations, build products with people and planet in mind, and drive change at scale through our supply chains,” said CEO Sundar Pichai in a statement.
The company plans to more than double its global solar portfolio, with investments in solar farms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. It is also investing in a hybrid technology deal in Chile which will combine both solar and wind. Pichai plans on announcing the company’s plans in Europe tomorrow during a visit to Finland.
Hundreds of Google employees have nonetheless criticized the tech giant for not taking the environment seriously enough, pointing out the carbon footprints of its data centers and the company’s funding of lawmakers who vote against climate legislation. More than 1,600 Google employees signed a letter this week laying out a list of cross-tech climate goals for the company. “Tech is not ‘green’. The carbon footprint of the tech industry’s data centers alone is on par with aviation. While Google makes a commitment to sustainability, stating that its global business operations are carbon neutral (its emissions are offset with equivalent renewable energy investments or carbon offset purchases) and aspiring to long-term 24×7 carbon-free energy consumption (but with no set commitment date), this doesn’t tell the whole story,” said the group in the letter.
Google’s announcement comes in advance of Friday’s Global Climate Strike. Hundreds of employees of tech companies such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon are expected to participate in the protest, which will occur in at least 150 countries over the course of a week.