Contrite Zuckerberg Faces Lawmakers, But Offers No Real Signs of Meaningful Change
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified on Capitol Hill this week, but after 10 hours of testimony it's not exactly clear how Facebook will transform itself from an unruly social media giant into a trusted steward of personal information.
Zuckerberg's testimony was slick, but most of his questioners seemed manifestly unqualified to render judgment on a global phenomenon they don't really understand. That might lead to some high-fiving at Facebook, but it also leaves the door wide open for numerous rounds of restrictive or damaging legislation.
Nobody can predict with certainty what Congress will do. It would be highly unwise for Zuckerberg to rate his appearance as an unqualified victory and sit on his laurels.
Unquestionably, his two days of testimony "kick-started a new era of government scrutiny of Facebook, whose swift emergence outpaced any regulations on the books at its founding," writes Sarah Frier of Bloomberg Technology. "While questions ranged from data privacy to prescription drug sales to employee diversity, most lines of inquiry highlighted the challenge of trying to grasp and confront Facebook's immense power in consumers' lives, in ways most of its users don't completely understand."
The battle between Facebook and the U.S. government is just beginning. Meanwhile, European lawmakers are sharpening their swords and preparing to confront Facebook executives with their own set of questions. As the old saying goes, "You can run, but you can't hide."
Stock Market Bounces as Syria Crisis Simmers; Defense Stocks Still Looking Like Good Investments
The stock market rallied yesterday as an attack on Syria seemed less imminent. But from my perspective, defense stocks still look like great bets.
Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics are among the aerospace stocks picked by Stephen Guilfoyle of TheStreet as strong leaders in the defense sector.
"The current situation in Syria serves to remind us that the world remains dangerous, and dangerous 'toys' are not just simply in demand, but demand is increasing rapidly both home and abroad," writes Guilfoyle.
Get Ready for New Gmail Design
Google has redesigned the Gmail user interface, promising a "fresh clean look for Gmail on the Web," according to a published report.
"Google's Gmail redesign will be available in the coming weeks as an early access program for G Suite customers and personal Gmail accounts. Google is looking to test critical Chrome extensions, to ensure the new Gmail experience is compatible before it's widely available," writes Tom Warren of The Verge.
Gmail has become so commonly used that it's virtually faded into the background of our collective consciousness. The updated design will remind people that Google hasn't forgotten about one of its most successful products.