Eyes in the Skies: Is Drone Maker Exporting Data to China?
It was only a matter of time before the drone phenomenon became weird and creepy. The latest data point in the narrative is an allegation that D.J.I., a major Chinese maker of consumer drones, is sending data about U.S. infrastructure back to China.
"D.J.I. is fighting a claim by one United States government office that its commercial drones and software may be sending sensitive information about American infrastructure back to China, in the latest clash over the power of data in the growing technological rivalry between the two countries. It also shows how consumer technology companies have become increasingly central to debates about national security," writes Paul Mozur in The New York Times.
As Mozur notes in his article, modern drones "are the stuff of espionage dreams." It remains to be seen whether there's any substance to the government's claims. But it's easy to imagine how drones and robots could be used for nefarious purposes. Stay tuned: this story will only get more interesting.
A Bad Week for Major Tech Stocks
It was a strong week for the market overall, but a bad week for major tech stocks. The FANG stocks - Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google - lost about $60 billion in market value on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg Technology.
"While the 3.7 percent drop in an index tracking Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google was the biggest in 21 months, the amount of lost money exceeded any other single day on record," writes Lu Wang in Bloomberg Technology.
The recent volatility of tech stocks will add to the general sense that tech is peaking. Frankly, I think this is just a simple case of investors rotating cash from one sector into another. The rally of tech sector stocks might have suffered a temporary setback, but it's not over yet and I don't foresee anyone throwing in the towel soon.
Has Santa Got Any Spare Pilots?
When in doubt, blame it on the computer. American Airlines is pointing fingers at its computer systems for accidentally leaving itself with fewer pilots than necessary for the Christmas week.
Apparently, the airline unwittingly offered too many pilots the chance to take the week off. Being human, the pilots gladly accepted the offer. The shortfall could potentially impact 15,000 flights.
“The airline blames some sort of computer glitch. It looks like the scheduling system it uses to assign pilots to flights indicated that there were plenty of captains and first officers to go around. Meanwhile, a separate system, which assigns holiday leave based on seniority, got carried away with the festive spirit and gave way too many people time off,” writes Jack Stewart in Wired.
The airline says it has enough reserve pilots to keep its planes flying throughout the holidays.