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Recode Daily: Uber’s self-driving cars still need lots of help from humans

Plus: Spotify closes in on big record label deals, and Canada makes it harder to fly drones for fun.

An Uber driverless Ford Fusion drives down Smallman Street on Sept., 22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

Uber’s robot cars drove themselves more than 20,000 miles last week, but internal company metrics show that “safety drivers” — human ones — still have to intervene more often than Uber would like.

[Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]

Spotify is closing in on licensing deals with the world’s largest record labels, hoping to clear a hurdle in its path toward an IPO. Music companies have agreed to trim the royalty fees Spotify pays for their songs, while the streaming service would restrict the biggest album releases — by the likes of Taylor Swift — to its paid tier for a period of time.

[Anna Nicolaou / Financial Times]

Trump’s bloodbath budget is bad news for medical and science research. Not only does the preliminary plan slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, the president is also proposing cuts to the National Institutes of Health, one of the biggest funders of biomedical research in the world.

[Angela Chen and Alessandra Potenza / The Verge]

Why didn't Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon join the new anti-travel-ban legal brief that was signed by more than 50 tech companies? They all signed a version of the amicus document aimed at the first ban, a month ago.

[Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Google is deploying its army of 10,000 content-monitoring contractors to flag “fake news” and content that might come across as “upsetting or offensive,” in an attempt to improve the quality of its search results.

[Barb Darrow / Fortune]

Can technology read your mind? Yes, says entrepreneur Mary Lou Jepsen, a former executive at Google and Facebook who is now the CEO of Opnwatr. On the latest Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast, recorded in front of a live audience at South by Southwest, Jepsen talked with Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode about her career, what’s next and the privacy implications of Opnwatr’s “wearable MRI” plans.

[Eric Johnson / Recode]

Top stories from Recode

Canada passed new laws making it even harder to fly drones for fun

The new rules are more restrictive than in the U.S., and violating them could result in a $3,000 (Canadian) fine.

Sony’s March Madness ‘boss button’ is an online ad that works

Branded content you actually want to see.

Jessica Alba’s Honest Company is replacing its CEO after a sale to Unilever fell through

Clorox executive Nick Vlahos is the new chief executive.

YouTube’s employees are now almost a third women

The company has made gains since Susan Wojcicki joined as CEO.

Full video: Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron at Code Media

“We’re not at war with the administration, we’re at work.”

This is cool

ABBApocalypse now!

Here’s the first trailer for the final season of dark end-of-days drama “The Leftovers,” which returns April 16 on HBO. [via Previously.TV]

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