Senate pushes TikTok sell-or-ban bill.
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

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Senate pushes TikTok sell-or-ban bill

The U.S. Senate has decisively passed a bill aimed at compelling ByteDance to divest its immensely popular video platform, TikTok, or face a nationwide ban. The move could potentially disrupt TikTok’s access to millions of American users. With 79 senators in favor and 18 against, the bill, intricately tied to a foreign aid package for nations including Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, awaits President Joe Biden’s signature to become law. Should the ban materialize, TikTok would vanish from major app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Although legal challenges are anticipated, ByteDance has been granted a one-year window to offload the app, which boasted 150 million U.S. users in the previous year.

Google fires 20 more employees over Protests

Google has fired an additional 20 employees in response to protests concerning the company’s cloud computing deal with Israel. This brings the total number of dismissals related to the issue to 50, according to an activist group representing the workers. A Google spokesperson confirmed the firings, stating that an investigation conducted on April 16 revealed more employees involved in sit-ins at company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California. The protests were initially addressed in a memo by Google’s head of security, Chris Rackow, who condemned the behavior as “unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and threatening.” Following the investigation’s commencement, 28 employees were initially fired.

Meta opens Quest OS to third-party manufacturers

Meta announced on Monday its initiative to license the operating system for its Quest headsets to external hardware companies such as Lenovo, ASUS, and Microsoft. The company aims to forge a new ecosystem of mixed-reality devices, facilitating developers in crafting mixed-reality apps more efficiently, according to a blog post. Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta is not only venturing into partnerships for expanding its hardware reach but also exploring alternative app store options.

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