Today’s topics include Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he will meet with leading conservatives to discuss reports of bias in the way news stories are posted on the social network, Mozilla’s legal challenge to the FBI to disclose flaws in the Firefox Web browser, Sony’s talks of consolidating its smartphone lines and Microsoft’s news that its Power BI Q&A feature now works with on-premises data sources.
Conservative commentator and personality Glenn Beck has accepted an invitation to meet with Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg May 18 to discuss reports of bias in the way stories are selected for Facebook’s Trending Topics section.
Carly Fiorina, former HP CEO, presidential hopeful and Ted Cruz running mate, may also be in attendance, according to Beck. Political writer and commentator S.E. Cupp posted to Twitter that she’ll also be in attendance.
Open-source organization Mozilla wants the FBI to reveal details about software flaws that might impact its Firefox Web browser.
Denelle Dixon-Thayer, Mozilla’s chief legal and business officer, is optimistic that a legal challenge will be successful and help Mozilla protect its own users.
At issue is the FBI’s alleged use of an undisclosed vulnerability in the Tor Web browser to help take over a criminal child pornography Website. The alleged operator of the Website, Jay Michaud, is currently on trial, and as part of the case the FBI has been asked to reveal the vulnerability it used to hack Tor. The Tor Web browser is built on top of Firefox, providing built-in extensions to access the Tor onion router network that is designed provide users with a degree of anonymity.
On May 11, Mozilla filed a legal motion to get access to whatever disclosure the FBI makes about the software vulnerability.
Sony’s Xperia Z, Xperia C and Xperia M smartphone lines could soon be reduced to one Xperia X product line as the company fights for market share in the very crowded global smartphone business.
Sony’s coming changes were rumored in a May 13 posting in the independent Xperia Blog. Sony has “ended the Xperia Z series, [and] apparently the Xperia C and Xperia M series have also been cancelled,” according to the article. “This means that Sony may exclusively use the Xperia X as a single brand to push all future handsets.”
With fewer product line designations, Sony could focus on one promotional and sales campaign, rather than spreading itself thin in the market against huge competitors like Samsung and Apple.
Power BI, Microsoft’s cloud-based business intelligence application, is finally allowing users to derive business insights from their on-premises data sources by simply asking.
The product’s Q&A feature, which enables users to conduct natural-language queries, is now available for on-premises data sources linked by Power BI Enterprise Gateway, starting with SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services.
“Using Q&A with on-premise data sources has been a top community ask from the very first time we introduced the Q&A feature,” wrote Patrick Baumgartner, Microsoft principal program manager, in a blog post. Microsoft plans to extend the functionality, currently in beta, to additional data sources in the coming weeks, Baumgartner wrote.