Facebook takes down anti-NATO pages linked to Russian news agency Sputnik

New York (CNN Business)Facebook removed hundreds of pages on Thursday it said posed as independent news sites in eastern Europe and elsewhere but were actually run by employees at Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik. Sputnik’s partner company, RIA Global LLC, is registered as a foreign agent in the United States. CNN has reached out to Sputnik for comment. Another takedown Separately, Facebook said it had removed another 107 pages, groups and accounts that were designed to look like they were run from Ukraine, but were in fact part of a network that originated in Russia. “We identified some technical overlap with Russia-based activity we saw prior to the US midterm elections, including behavior that shared characteristics with previous Internet Research …

SpaceX ditches plans to develop Mars spaceship at Los Angeles port

New York (CNN Business)SpaceX has abandoned plans to open up shop at the Port of Los Angeles. Last year, a board of harbor commissioners approved SpaceX’s plan to renovate an area of the port that had been vacant since 2005. Under the terms of the deal, SpaceX would have avoided rent payments for the facility for more than two decades through $40 million in rent credits for the renovations. SpaceX said in a statement Wednesday that it abandoned the port plan in order to “streamline operations.” LA Councilman Joe Buscaino said Wednesday that he was “crushed” that SpaceX had decided to pull out of the deal. “I feel confident that other innovators will see the huge value they get” at …

SpaceX launches final batch of next-generation satellites

New York (CNN Business)SpaceX completed a major upgrade to a key telecommunications satellite network on Friday after two years of launches. “We’re not quite across the finish line yet, as there is still some work to do to put these satellites into operation,” Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a statement. “Once that’s complete, our future will be in place. I’m just incredibly proud of our team right now.“ Iridium stock jumped nearly 6% Friday. Separately, SpaceX said it once again recovered its booster during Friday’s mission. SpaceX pioneered the maneuver of guiding first-stage rocket boosters back to Earth so they can be reused and reduce launch costs. It was the first rocket landing for SpaceX since a December 5 …

China’s top gay dating app stops accepting new users after claims it put minors at risk

Beijing (CNN Business)China’s most popular gay dating app has temporarily stopped accepting new users after allegations that it put underage people at risk by letting them sign up. Founded by a former police officer, Blued has expanded rapidly in recent years despite homosexuality remaining a delicate subject in China. The app has moved beyond straightforward matchmaking services into live-streaming and gaming. Last year, it raised $100 million in funds, and its CEO has talked about issuing shares in the company on a US stock exchange. Caixin’s article questioned whetherthe company took enough steps as it grew to prevent underage people from using it. According to the researcher it cited, Qingdao University sexologist Zhang Beichuan, multiple high-school students said they had …

Rollable TVs and butler robots: Gadgets that caught our eye at CES 2019

Las Vegas (CNN Business)A visit to CES, the annual consumer electronics show, is like wandering through 2.7 million square feet of a SkyMall catalog. There were more connected treadmills, weights and workout equipment than we could count. A new BowFlex service offers on-demand classes on its elliptical machines. JaxJox’s smart $349 kettlebell tracks your reps and sets and FightCamp’s equipment setup is complete with punch-tracking sensors, a pair of boxing gloves and wraps, a free-standing punching bag and a mat. But at $995, it’s not for the casual fighter and requires a monthly membership of $39 to access unlimited online workouts. AI is everywhere, even the wilderness Artificial intelligence was the buzzword of CES 2019. Television makers said they’re adding …

Apple brings iTunes to Samsung TVs as it seeks new revenue

Las Vegas (CNN Business)Apple is opening up its ecosystem to one of its biggest rivals by giving owners of Samsung TVs direct access to iTunes content. Apple showed signs of loosening its grip in November when it announced that Amazon’s (AMZN) Echo devices would support Apple Music. The two companies also struck a deal that allows Amazon to sell Apple devices directly, in exchange for cracking down on unauthorized third-party sellers on the site. A year earlier, Apple finally allowed the Prime Video app on Apple TV. Still, a deal with Samsung is even more interesting, as the giant smartphone makers have a complicated history. They spent years locked in a costly legal battle over patents after Apple claimed Samsung …