Bobby Allyn

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued to block a $40 billion deal in which the Silicon Valley chip maker Nvidia sought to buy British chip designer Arm.

Officials with the FTC say the deal, which would be the largest semiconductor-chip merger in history, would give Nvidia unlawful power, hurt competition and raise prices for consumers.

Three former Google employees have sued the company, alleging that Google's motto "Don't be evil" amounts to a contractual obligation that the tech giant has violated.

At the time the company hired the three software engineers, Rebecca Rivers, Sophie Waldman and Paul Duke, they signed conduct rules that included a "Don't be evil" provision, according to the suit.

Elizabeth Holmes told the jury in her criminal fraud trial on Tuesday that she personally put the letterhead of pharma giants Pfizer and Schering-Plough on documents sent to potential business partners and investors without the companies' consent.

It was the most damning admission Holmes has made under oath in three days of testifying in her own defense. The former CEO of the blood-testing company Theranos is attempting to persuade the jury that she is innocent of 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.

There's a buzzword that tech, crypto and venture-capital types have become infatuated with lately. Conversations are now peppered with it, and you're not serious about the future until you add it to your Twitter bio: Web3.

It's an umbrella term for disparate ideas all pointing in the direction of eliminating the big middlemen on the internet. In this new era, navigating the web no longer means logging onto the likes of Facebook, Google or Twitter.

Gustavo Ajche is about to begin his shift in Lower Manhattan. He makes sure his e-bike is powered up and his iPhone mounted to his handlebars, then nods approvingly.

"Now we're gonna connect it to the app," he said. "I'm gonna start working."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In New York, food delivery workers zip around on electric bikes, adding to already chaotic streets. NPR's Bobby Allyn delivered food with one of the workers to understand the challenges they face.

Lawmakers in the Senate hammered representatives from Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube on Tuesday, in a combative hearing about whether the tech giants do enough to keep children safe online.

It marked the first time Snapchat and TikTok have landed in the hot seat in Washington, D.C., and for nearly four hours lawmakers pressed the officials about how the apps have been misused to promote bullying, worsen eating disorders and help teens buy dangerous drugs or engage in reckless behavior.

Former Apple program manager Janneke Parrish received some unwelcome news last month from her manager on the messaging app Slack.

"I was told that I was under investigation," she said.

Someone had leaked to the press details of a company meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook and an internal memo warning against leaking. Parrish denies any involvement, but Apple had its suspicions. It confiscated her phone and other devices, she said.

Shortly after, Apple reached a decision.

Updated October 21, 2021 at 11:34 AM ET

Facebook's Oversight Board said in a report on Thursday that the social network "has not been fully forthcoming" about how it lets millions of prominent users escape the content moderation rules it applies to everyone else, a practice known inside the company as "cross-check."

Updated October 15, 2021 at 2:46 PM ET

Apple has fired a lead organizer of the #AppleToo movement, as the company investigates multiple employees suspected of leaking internal documents to the media.

Janneke Parrish, a program manager who had been with the company for more than five years, told NPR that she was fired on Thursday. Apple claimed she had deleted files and apps from her company phone amid an investigation into how details of a company meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook leaked to the press, Parrish said.

Updated October 5, 2021 at 9:30 PM ET

Facebook is facing a historic crisis.

Revelations brought to light from whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former data scientist at Facebook, has led to what may be the most threatening scandal in the company's history.

Selling an idea in Silicon Valley takes not only a grand vision but also swagger and bluster, says Margaret O'Mara, a historian of the tech industry.

"Being able to tell a good story is part of being a successful founder, being able to persuade investors to put money into your company," she said.

During the first day of jury selection at the federal fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, an incognito San Diego hotel magnate pulled a large Rice Krispie Treat from his pocket.

Loudly. So loudly, in fact, that the judge's voice was barely audible in the back of the courtroom over the sound of his wiggling the brick-shaped snack out of tightly-wrapped plastic.

"My name's Hanson," said the man, wearing a baseball cap and a Patagonia puffer jacket.

A federal judge on Friday issued a long-awaited ruling in Fortnite maker Epic Games' legal battle with Apple over its App Store policies.

Both sides are using the 185-page ruling to double down on their own positions, which is possible because the details are complicated.

If anything, though, Apple and Google did land small wins, but neither got what it wanted.

Updated September 10, 2021 at 1:18 PM ET

A federal judge ordered Apple on Friday to crack open the tightly controlled App Store and allow people to use payment methods other than Apple's own processor, which usually collects a 30% commission on app purchases.

Jurors in the fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes heard vastly different portrayals on Wednesday of the onetime whiz kid who amazed Silicon Valley with promises of biotech breakthroughs at her company, Theranos.

In a stinging opening statement on Wednesday, federal prosecutors described Holmes as a manipulative fraudster who duped investors and patients alike and knew the whole time that she was hoodwinking them.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Jury selection in the criminal fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes starts on Tuesday, the beginning of a highly anticipated legal showdown over one of the most spectacular Silicon Valley scandals in recent history.

Federal prosecutors have charged Holmes and her former business partner and ex-boyfriend, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, with defrauding investors and patients of their blood-testing company Theranos, which Holmes and Balwani claimed would revolutionize laboratory medicine.

Updated August 28, 2021 at 8:54 AM ET

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood-testing startup Theranos, plans to defend herself at her federal fraud trial starting next week by arguing that her ex-boyfriend, who was an executive at the company, emotionally and sexually abused her, impairing her state of mind at the time of the alleged crimes, according to newly unsealed legal filings in her case.

TikTok has quietly expanded how much information it will collect from its more than 100 million users in the U.S. to include "faceprints and voiceprints."

In response, a bipartisan duo of senators are asking TikTok to open up about what exactly that means.

Updated August 13, 2021 at 3:31 PM ET

About a decade ago, a member of Ann's family was arrested for taking sexually abusive photos of her child and distributing them online.

"Imagine the very worst thing that has ever happened to you was recorded and then it was shared repeatedly for other peoples' pleasure," Ann told NPR. She did not want to reveal her full name to preserve her family's privacy.

Jenny Park landed recently at Los Angeles International Airport from New York and planned to take an Uber home to her place in the Highland Park neighborhood.

Before she ordered the car, she was hit with sticker shock: the trip would be $150, or about half the price of her flight from New York.

"Roll my eyes to the back of my head until I can't roll them anymore," Park said. "Like literally that's how I felt."

She tried Lyft. The fare was not much different.

Both ride-hailing apps predicted cars would not reach Park for a half hour.

Say WeWork and one person comes to mind: Adam Neumann, the lanky founder and former CEO with flowing black hair and a rock-star persona who would carry on about the "energy" of the company's communal work spaces.

He also embraced a "party-boy life style," said Eliot Brown, whose new book with co-author Maureen Farrell, The Cult of We: WeWork and the Great Start-Up Delusion, was published on Tuesday.

Well before noon, Neumann was known to offer potential investors shots of tequila from a bottle he kept behind his desk.

Jeff Bezos stepped down as Amazon's CEO on Monday, exactly 27 years since he started the e-commerce giant in a garage in West Bellevue, Wash.

Bezos is handing day-to-day duties to his longtime deputy Andy Jassy but will continue to hold considerable sway as the company's executive chairman.

Many journalists who cover technology have no idea what Marc Andreessen, one of the most powerful investors in Silicon Valley, has tweeted lately.

American software pioneer John McAfee, 75, was found dead on Wednesday in a prison cell in Barcelona, Spain, according to McAfee's lawyers.

Just hours earlier, a court in Spain had approved the extradition of McAfee to the U.S., where he was set to stand trial on federal tax-evasion charges.

Authorities are investigating the cause of death.

An eccentric and brash millionaire known widely for his eponymous antivirus software, McAfee sold his stake in the company in the mid-1990s and spent his life globe-trotting and stumbling frequently into legal trouble.

The maker of the Snapchat app is eliminating a feature known as the "speed filter" that lets users capture how fast they are moving and share it with friends, NPR has learned.

The move is a dramatic reversal for Snap, Inc., which introduced the feature in 2013.

Updated June 15, 2021 at 4:55 PM ET

President Joe Biden has named Lina Khan as the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, giving the regulatory authority's top spot to one of Silicon Valley's most prominent critics.

The surprise move elevating Khan to one of the most powerful regulatory positions in Washington was announced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., at the start of a hearing on Tuesday. It came shortly after the Senate confirmed Khan as a commissioner in a 69-28 vote.

Buying a coffee and grabbing a train is already possible with an iPhone, but Apple wants to replace the physical wallet completely.

To that end, earlier this week Apple announced a new feature to let users scan their driver's licenses and save it to their iPhones to use as a legitimate form of identification.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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