Plus, Amazon and Nest aren’t playing nice in the smart home, the man behind the Steele Dossier, and the money behind colors
The Academy Awards celebrated diversity. And Best Actress winner Frances McDormand called on stars to demand diversity, via an “inclusion rider” — a contract clause requiring films to cast actors that “match or reflect the demography of where the story is taking place”. Here’s more about the idea from Stacy Smith, an academic who proposed it in a 2016 Ted Talk. Meanwhile host Jimmy Kimmel made jokes about Harvey Weinstein, “Black Panther” and last year’s EnvelopeGate, Kimmel offered a Jet-Ski for the shortest winning speech and called a giant onstage Oscar statuette “Hollywood’s perfect man: Keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word — and, most importantly, no penis at all.” Here’s who won awards last night — and here’s who the internet thought should win. [Brooke Barnes and Cara Buckley / The New York Times]
Apple is planning a new line of high-end headphones. Apple’s wireless AirPods, which sell for $ 160, are a surprise hit. Now the company is working on more expensive, “over the ear” noise-cancelling headphones, which would compete with models from Bose — and Apple’s own Beats line. [Mark Gurman / Bloomberg]
Amazon won’t sell new products from Google’s Nest unit, including its new smart thermostat and home-security system. In response, Nest said it will stop selling via Amazon altogether; some are asking whether Amazon’s decision violates antitrust rules. Amazon and Google are competing for control of connected home devices; last week, Amazon announced that it was acquiring Ring, a Nest competitor. [David Z. Morris / Fortune]
Related to the Amazon/Google fight: If the Supreme Court decides for American Express in a current case on antitrust exemptions, tech platforms might feel freer to engage in anticompetitive behavior if they can claim no harm to users. [Lina M. Khan / The New York Times}
Your location data is being sold — often without your knowledge. With the rise of location-aware advertising — like that Jack in the Box ad that appears whenever you get near one — the potential for leaking or exploiting this personal data has never been higher. In 2017, marketers spent $ 16 billion on location-targeted ads served to mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers — that’s 40 percent of all mobile ad spending, and experts expect that spending to double by 2021. [Christopher Mims / The Wall Street Journal]
Here’s a deep look at the man behind the “Steele Dossier,” a controversial secret report on Trump’s ties to Russia. A former British spy turned private investigator, Steele spent more than 20 years in M.I.6 before agreeing to do opposition research on Trump’s murky relationship with Russia. [Jane Mayer / The New Yorker]
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