clock menu more-arrow no yes

Recode Daily: Tech CEOs take on Trump; AT&T plans more ad and media acquisitions

Plus, Goldman Sachs invests $500 million in businesses run by women; Amazon’s Alexa moves into hotel rooms; show some love for the humble battery.

“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane
“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane said he was “disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews.” 
Roy Rochlin / Getty Images

Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla’s Elon Musk are among the prominent tech industry CEOs who denounced President Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents who are arrested at the border. Other tech leaders spoke out on Twitter, including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. In an internal open letter to CEO Satya Nadella, more than 100 Microsoft employees protested the company’s work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Microsoft has a $19.4 million contract with ICE for processing data and AI capabilities. Meanwhile, Seth MacFarlane and other Fox creative talent publicly condemned Fox News’ coverage of the crisis. [Casey Newton / The Verge]

AT&T is getting ready to buy all of Otter Media, the internet video company it co-owns with The Chernin Group. The deal, which will give AT&T full ownership of assets like Crunchyroll, has been delayed until AT&T’s Time Warner deal closed. AT&T has a big M&A appetite: It is also in talks to buy ad tech company AppNexus for $1.6 billion. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

AT&T and Verizon said they will no longer sell customers’ real-time location information to third-party brokers after an investigation by Sen. Ron Wyden found that law enforcement agencies could use the data to track people without their consent. More than 75 companies had access to user location data, and Verizon had little to no control over how those companies used that data. Sprint and T-Mobile both issued statements saying they are moving to end their contracts with third-party data brokers. [Nick Statt / The Verge]

Waymo, Uber, Ford and other tech giants and automakers are joining forces to explore the “human impact” of self-driving cars. The newly formed group includes most of the major companies that are building and testing autonomous vehicles, including FedEx and the American Trucking Association. More than 3.8 million people in the U.S. operate motor vehicles for their livelihood; truck driving is the most common profession in 29 states. When autonomous vehicle saturation peaks, U.S. drivers could see job losses at a rate of 25,000 a month, or 300,000 a year. [Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge]

Amazon is launching a special version of its Alexa voice-activated assistant for hotels and other hospitality spaces. Echo devices will be customized to each location; guests will be able to ask location-specific questions and order room service, request a housekeeping visit or adjust room controls (thermostat, blinds, lights) using voice commands. Amazon says recordings of Alexa voice commands are deleted daily and hotels are not give access to the recording, but they can use Alexa to “measure engagement through analytics.” [Chris Welch / The Verge]

Top stories from Recode

Now Facebook is putting autoplay video ads inside Messenger.

The big question: Do users want to see video ads next to their private messages?

Silicon Valley has become a “moral cesspool,” says management expert Tom Peters.

On the latest episode of Recode Decode, Peters talks with Kara Swisher about his new book, “The Excellence Dividend: Meeting the Tech Tide with Work That Wows and Jobs That Last.”

This is cool

How about some love for the humble battery?

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.