Unemployment claims drop, but Bay Area tech firms prep layoffs

SAN JOSE — Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began in March — but a few Silicon Valley tech companies and at least one big services firm that caters to the tech sector have prepped new layoffs.

In November alone, Hitachi Vantara, Boston Scientific, Marvell Semiconductor and PayPal have revealed plans for job cuts in Silicon Valley, according to official state filings.

Despite the improvement in unemployment claims in California, the tech industry layoffs and weekly jobless filings that remain far higher than what is typical are disquieting reminders that the economy in the state and the Bay Area remains feeble.

“The California economy is in a suspended state,” said Michael Bernick, a former director of the state Employment Development Department and an employment attorney with law firm Duane Morris. “There is little new hiring and no economic uptick over the past two

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Trump’s misleading claims about Section 230 could last beyond his showdown with Congress

with Tonya Riley

President Trump’s last-ditch salvo to crack down on Silicon Valley by dismantling a key Internet law appears unlikely to work. 

Even Republicans who are open to restructuring the decades-old law that protects tech companies and other website operators from lawsuits for content moderation decisions are united in their opposition to tacking it onto a key defense bill during a lame-duck session.  

  • “[Section] 230 has nothing to do with the military,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), a Trump ally. “I agree with his sentiments, we ought to do away with 230 — but you can’t do it in this bill.” 
  • “I will vote to override,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), an Air Force veteran, tweeted in response to Trump’s veto threat. “Because it’s really not about you.” 

If Trump follows through on his threat to veto the must-pass military operations bill unless it contains

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Facebook pledges to remove false claims about COVID-19 vaccines

As the UK is on the brink of starting to administer COVID-19 vaccinations, Facebook has updated its misinformation policy to reflect that it will remove false claims about vaccines. The tech giant updated its Coronavirus Newsroom post on Thursday with its commitment to taking down false information that has been debunked by public health experts regarding vaccines across Facebook and Instagram. 

graphical user interface, application: Facebook will remove vaccine-related falsehoods. Facebook

© Provided by CNET
Facebook will remove vaccine-related falsehoods. Facebook

Facebook said that it has been removing misinformation about COVID-19, including conspiracy theories linking it to 5G or posts that claim it doesn’t exist, since January. To date, the company says, it has pulled down around 12 million pieces of content of this type on Facebook and on Instagram, which it also owns.

News last month that three COVID-19 vaccines — one by Pzifer, one by Moderna and one by Oxford University and Astra Zeneca — have proved

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The Technology 202: Trump’s misleading claims about Section 230 could last beyond his showdown with Congress

  • “[Section] 230 has nothing to do with the military,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), a Trump ally. “I agree with his sentiments, we ought to do away with 230 — but you can’t do it in this bill.” 
  • “I will vote to override,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), an Air Force veteran, tweeted in response to Trump’s veto threat. “Because it’s really not about you.” 

Whatever happens in the coming week, the issue certainly won’t go away. 

And Trump’s powerful megaphone, which he’s using to spread misleading claims about the law, could have a long-term impact on how some lawmakers approach Section 230 as they review the power and influence of technology companies – even after Trump leaves office. 

Here are some of the biggest myths the president has pushed this week: 

Trump made the misleading claim that Section 230 is a “liability-shielding gift from the

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European regulator hits Apple with a fine over iPhone water-resistance claims

The iPhone 11 Pro Max
Enlarge / The iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Samuel Axon

Italy has again hit Apple with a fine for what the country’s regulators deem to be misleading marketing claims, though the fine is only €10 million ($12 million)—a pittance from a company like Apple.

This time around, Italy’s Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) claims that Apple told consumers that many iPhone models are water resistant but that the iPhones are not as resistant as Apple says. In one example, Apple claimed the iPhone 8 was rated IP67 for water and dust resistance, meaning the phone could survive for up to 30 minutes under three feet of water. But the Italian regulator says that’s only true under special lab conditions with static and pure water conditions.

An announcement by the AGCM specifically names the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone

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Italy Fines Apple $12 Million for Misleading iPhone Water Resistance Claims

Apple has been slapped with a 10 million euro ($12 million) fine by Italy’s antitrust watchdog for unfair commercial practices related to its iPhone marketing in the country.

One of the Apple ads cited in the Italian watchdog’s proceedings (credit: setteBIT)

Specifically, Apple is being charged for misleading claims in promotional messages about how deep and how long iPhones can be submerged in water without being damaged.

In marketing materials related to ‌iPhone‌ 8, ‌iPhone‌ 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, ‌iPhone XS‌ Max, iPhone 11, ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple said its iPhones were water resistant at a depth of between one and four meters for up to 30 minutes, depending on the model.

However, according to the country’s competition regulator, the messages did not clarify that the claims are only true under specific conditions, for example during controlled laboratory tests with the use

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Apple fined $12M by Italy over iPhone water-resistance claims



Italy has fined Apple 10 million euros (~$12 million) over “aggressive and misleading” business practices centring around the iPhone’s water-resistance, according to the country’s national competition authority.

In a statement published on Monday, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) said Apple has marketed several of its iPhones as water-resistant for years, but has failed to clarify that it only applied under certain circumstances. AGCM says that some iPhone models did not prove to be water-resistant for thirty minutes at a depth of up to 4 meters (13 feet) depending on the model, as Apple has advertised. Those claims, it said, only held up in lab-controlled tests with pure water as opposed to real-world conditions. 

Apple’s claims date back several years and span several generations including the iPhone 8  

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Rumor claims Apple is attempting to secure Patents & Cooperation from Suppliers to bring a Powerful Zoom Lens to Future iPhones


In July Patently Apple posted a report titled “While a Periscope Camera Module was supposed to be ready for iPhone 11, a new Rumor claims that the Project is still ongoing.” The report looked back to a 2018 report where Apple supplier described a new 5P periscope lens for Apple’s 2019 iPhones. That never panned out and Huawei went on to bring this valued feature to market first.


Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecast during this past summer that Apple might have a powerful zoom periscope lens for 2021 iPhones using Korean supplier SEMCO.


Today, the rumor of Apple seeking to adopt periscope lens technology to greatly enhance zoom power has returned in a Digitimes rumor. Their snippet states that “Relevant people in the South Korean industry said that in order to enhance the optical zoom function of the iPhone, Apple is looking for folding camera technology and patents, and cooperation

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Tech Antitrust During Biden, ADR for Copyright Small Claims and Cybersecurity in State and Local Governments

This week in Washington IP news, Senate committees will convene a series of business meetings, including one by the Senate Judiciary Committee to look at a proposed bill that would create an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) pathway for resolving copyright small claims. The Senate Environment Committee will also discuss a proposed legislative draft designed to restore American dominance in nuclear energy in part by supporting the licensing of advanced nuclear energy technologies. Elsewhere, the Brookings Institution will host a pair of events exploring the impacts of smart machines on the American labor force as well as the future of antitrust policy in the tech sector during the Biden Administration.

Tuesday, December 1 

Brookings Institution 

The Future of Tech Antitrust in the Biden Administration

At 11:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

In the United States and around the world, especially in Europe, government antitrust regulators have honed their focus onto

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Twitter claims it has reversed ban of link to Sidney Powell’s Georgia election lawsuit

Twitter claims it has reversed its censorship of a link to the lawsuit filed by attorney Sidney Powell that seeks to change the outcome of Georgia’s 2020 election results.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday evening, alleges multiple constitutional violations, citing experts, fact witnesses and statistical improbabilities within the results. The plaintiffs seek to decertify the 2020 election results in the state and have Trump declared the winner.

“The URL referenced was mistakenly marked under our unsafe links policy — this action has now been reversed,” a Twitter spokesperson told FOX Business. The warning still appeared when FOX Business clicked on the link.

Twitter says it sometimes takes action to block links to content outside Twitter. Links are blocked if they are deemed to be malicious and used to steal personal information, spam that mislead people or

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