This week, we learned that Facebook now cares about how long we linger on News Feed posts, Sean Parker’s new political discourse app, and got introduced to Microsoft’s new Xbox One controller. These are the tech stories you don’t want to miss this week.
1. Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and the engineers on the WebKit project announced that they have teamed up to launch WebAssembly, a new binary format for compiling applications for the web.
2. The California Labor Commission ruled that at least one Uber driver is an employee – turning Uber into a transportation startup instead of a logistics software company. The ruling puts Uber in a position to face a number of legal obstacles.
3. Ingrid Lunden sizes up the market for who will purchase Nokia’s Here mapping technology.
4. We spent some time with the OS X 10.11 El Capitan preview, and these were our first impressions.
5. At E3, Microsoft announced the Elite Wireless Controller for Xbox One and Windows 10. It costs $150 and Romain Dillet calls it the “gamer’s dream.”
6. Facebook tweaked its algorithms to account for a new metric: the amount of time you spend looking at things in the News Feed, regardless of whether or not you actively interact with it.
7. Amazon is reportedly working on an app that would allow the average consumer to make a little cash by picking up Amazon packages at various retail locations and delivering them to their final destination.
8. The Electronic Frontier Foundation published a report detailing online service providers’ transparency and privacy practices when it comes to government requests for accessing user data. The report lauded Apple and Dropbox, but slammed Verizon.
9. Ron Miller wrote that this year’s Boston Red Sox could be an argument against data-driven decision making, in that you cannot always rely on data to give you the desired outcome.
10. Square announced it is bringing in Earvin “Magic” Johnson to its board of directors this summer.
11. Kim-Mai Cutler and Josh Constine introduced Sean Parker’s new app Brigade, which was designed to get people engaged in articulating and debating political positions.
12. Guest writer Tad Milbourn argued that contract work is now the new normal in “In the Future, Employees Won’t Exist.”