Hashtag Trending – Washington sues Google and Facebook; ZTE strikes deal with U.S.; Sonos’ new Alexa-enabled speaker

The state of Washington has sued Google and Facebook for allegedly not disclosing who purchased election ads. Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE’s U.S. operations officially get to stay in business. And users appear very interested in Sonos’ new Alexa-enabled smart speaker.

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Trending on Reddit: The state of Washington has sued Facebook and Google for allegedly violating its campaign finance laws by failing to maintain information about who buys election ads. As reported by Reuters, Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson is seeking penalties against both companies and an injunction for failing to disclose ad spending in state elections since 2013. Facebook told the wire service that it looks forward to resolving the lawsuit quickly after recently introducing tools for people to see who is buying political ads on its network, while a Google representative could not be reached for comment.

Next, trending on LinkedIn: Chinese telecom firm ZTE has reached an agreement with U.S. officials to lift a ban against selling its products in the U.S. In an interview with CNBC, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed that ZTE has agreed to pay a fine of at least $1 billion USD for breaking embargoes against shipments of American components and technology to Iran. Under the agreement, ZTE must also replace its board and allow U.S. inspections officers to verify its compliance with American sanctions. The telecom firm had been designated a threat to U.S. security until Donald Trump tweeted his support for the company a few weeks ago.

Finally, on Google, users appear to be interested in Sonos’ newest smart speaker, the Sonos Beam, an Alexa-enabled soundbar scheduled to go on sale for $499 in July 17. An early look in the Verge makes the 25-inch device sound like a glorified television speaker, but Sonos argues that as sound quality on TV shows has gone up, the sound quality on TVs themselves has gone down, and the Alexa support means Amazon Fire TV owners can use the speaker to activate their devices. Sonos also plans to add support for the Google Assistant later this year.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former IT World Canada associate editor turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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