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Do You Know What Happened In Tech News The Week Of May 9?

The Senate took a look at Facebook, Instagram changed its logo, and a Hyperloop moved for the first time.

Posted on May 13, 2016, at 3:01 p.m. ET

  1. 1. Facebook

    Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images

    This week, the US Senate Commerce committee launched an inquiry into Facebook, penning a letter to Mark Zuckerberg asking to be briefed on the social network's standards and practices. Why is the Senate looking at Facebook?


    It's potentially filtering conservative voices.

    Following a report from Gizmodo that alleged Facebook's trending news tab was deliberately leaving conservative news outlets out of the section, Senate GOP members sent an inquiry to the Facebook founder and CEO.

  2. 2. Instagram


    Instagram just shed its retro icon for a new one. What does it look like now?


    It's.... that one!

    Yup, that one.

    Via Instagram
  3. 3. Artificial Intelligence


    The creator of Siri, Dag Kittlaus, is back in action with .... another virtual assistant, unveiled this week at New York's TechCrunch Disrupt. What is its name?


    It's Viv.

    Following a the tradition of bestowing all virtual assistants with female names, Kittlaus' newest work is called Viv. Nomenclature set aside, the technology sounds powerful: "For anyone who’s found themselves screaming at their smartphone for an answer to the most basic question, it felt like a tangible little leap forward," BuzzFeed News' Charlie Warzel writes.

  4. 4. Hyperloop

    BuzzFeed News

    This week, the Hyperloop β€” Elon Musk's city-to-city fever dream β€” got its first public test, courtesy of Hyperloop One, one of the startups racing to get Musk's idea off the ground. In its first outing, how far did the (unmanned) pod travel?


    It went a half mile.

    According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the trip took "about two seconds." Of course, this is just a tiny step on the way to Hyperloop becoming an actual thing β€” if anything, this was just proof that we are able to shoot a large pod very, very fast.

  5. 5. Palantir


    A BuzzFeed News investigation revealed, among other things, that Palantir β€” the highly valued, highly secretive data mining startup β€” used code names for all of its clients, including companies like BP, Coca-Cola, and Bank of America. Which of the following nicknames are real?


    All of them are real.

    To find out which company each nickname stood for, read William Alden's story, Inside Palantir, Silicon Valley’s Most Secretive Company.

  6. 6. Google


    Google just made a keyboard for iOS, called β€” sigh β€” Gboard. It looks to be legitimately useful. What CAN'T Gboard do?


    It can't move things directly to a Google calendar.

    While Gboard adds a lot of features to Apple's Messages app, it won't take a date and time from your messages and put it in your calendar.

  7. 7 Messaging


    This week, a major messaging service got its first desktop application. Which service was it?


    It's WhatsApp.

    The Facebook-owned, 500-million users-strong messaging service just released its first desktop app ever.