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In a complicated legal battle that touches on questions of free speech, copyright law and personal safety, a federal appeals court has overturned an order that had forced the Google-owned YouTube to remove an anti-Muslim video from its website last year.

Using telescopes in Hawaii and California, astronomers have found two super-Earth-size planets orbiting a star a mere 54 light-years away.

This brings to three the total number of exoplanets around the star HD 7924.

The discovery is important for two reasons. NASA's Kepler telescope has shown that giant rocky planets orbiting close to their stars are fairly common for distant stars. The new finding confirms that such planets exist around local stars, as well.

The feeling that tech giants such as Facebook and Google know exactly where we are and what we're doing can be uncomfortable. Targeted advertisements or suggestions based on our location can feel like an invasion of privacy.

But the collection of our digital data has an upside in certain circumstances, and the aftermath of the massive earthquake in Nepal provides a good example.

Texas Self-Driving Car Bill Stalled By Google, Carmakers

Apr 22, 2015
Courtesy: Scott Schrantz / The Texas Tribune

A bill to update Texas law for the age of driverless cars has stalled due to two serious roadblocks: Google and major car manufacturers. Both the technology giant and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry group, have come out against a proposal from state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, to create a pilot program aimed at monitoring and encouraging autonomous vehicle testing in Texas. 

Google has previously encouraged the development of similar laws in other states including California and Nevada, yet is refusing to publicly explain why it is opposed to such a measure in Texas.

AUSTIN — Music flooded into the streets around Austin’s convention center as South by Southwest’s music festival kicked off and the interactive portion wrapped up. The head of Google’s (X) division talked about testing driverless cars and delivery drones, gender bias in tech was a hot topic and event-goers checked out the latest products and companies on the trade show floor.

Here are some highlights as South by Southwest Interactive draws to a close.

GOOGLE X

Some of Google’s most secretive projects like Google Glass and driverless cars have come out of its five-year-old (X) division, so attendees flooded in Tuesday to hear Astro Teller, head of the division, talk about how the most ambitious projects require a lot of failure before succeeding. Testing products in the real world is key, he said. The company drives thousands of miles on city streets every day to test how its driverless cars function in every imaginable situation. “Nothing beats going out into the real world and seeing if what a simulator says will work is actually possible,” he said.

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