Good morning, Austin! We scrolled the internet to bring you the latest in tech news. Here’s what’s happening:
Facebook, Google and Twitter get grilled on Capitol Hill
Facebook, Google and Twitter were in Washington yesterday for the first of three public hearings with congressional committees to discuss Russia’s attempt to influence last year’s U.S. presidential election by spreading misinformation online.
The three companies have already admitted that, unknown to them, Russian-backed accounts used their respective sites to share and promote content aimed at stirring political unrest. On Facebook, as many as 126 million people may have seen content from accounts tied to Russian sources.
Now Congress is trying to determine how that happened, and what impact those misinformation campaigns may have had on last year’s election, in which President Donald Trump surprisingly beat Hillary Clinton.
Sony’s robotic dog is back with new tricks
Sony is bringing back its iconic robotic dog, aibo.
The new version (which Sony is marketing as “aibo” instead of the prior “AIBO”) comes equipped with a powerful computer chip, OLED displays for eyes and the ability to connect to mobile networks. Like its predecessor, the new pet toy responds to voice commands and can bark, sit and wag its tail. Pre-orders for the Japan-only 198,000 yen ($1,740) gadget begin Wednesday, with shipments starting Jan. 11.
The AI-enabled canine is another sign of Sony’s willingness to take new risks. After a deep restructuring that gutted its workforce and product lineup, the electronics maker now expects to report its highest-ever operating profit this year.
Austin’s Pain Therapeutics reports third quarter loss
Austin drug development company Pain Therapeutics on Wednesday reported a loss of $2.6 million in its third quarter.
The company said it had a loss of 40 cents per share.
Pain Therapeutics shares closed at $3.53 on Tuesday. A year ago, they were trading at $3.93.
In September, the company announced it received two grants totaling $4 million to continue its development of a drug for severe pain and a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s.
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