10 things in tech you need to know today


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  1. Oracle has thrown fresh confusion on its deal to buy part of TikTok after saying that owner ByteDance will have no ownership stake in the new TikTok Global. In a statement on Monday, Oracle announced that its new TikTok venture will be entirely divested from ByteDance, contradicting previous reports of the agreed deal between the two companies, per The Verge. 
  2. Microsoft bought the massive video-game publisher behind game franchises like ‘Doom,’ ‘Fallout,’ and ‘The Elder Scrolls’ in a major coup that cost $7.5 billion. The announcement came one day before preorders open for Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
  3. Chinese leaders are split over the potential release of a blacklist of US companies. Officials in Beijing are wary of targeting US tech firms until after November’s presidential election, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  4. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked in an interview how top Facebook employees can ‘look themselves in the mirror’ because they ‘make money off poison.’ House Speaker Pelosi has criticized Facebook in the past, particularly after the company last year refused to take down a doctored video that made her appear drunk. 
  5. Quibi is reportedly exploring strategic options including a possible sale. Quibi, which launched in April, has struggled to attract subscribers with its short-form, mobile-focused originals in the increasingly crowded streaming space.
  6. The US Justice Department is poised to brief states on its pending antitrust lawsuit against Google. The renewed spotlight comes as tech giants more broadly face a reckoning over their scale and influence, the Washington Post reported. 
  7. Nikola founder Trevor Milton resigned from the company’s board following fraud allegations. Hindenburg Research, a short-seller, published a lengthy report accusing the electric truck maker Nikola of fraud on September 10.
  8. A new startup is recruiting gig workers to help landlords evict people from their homes, describing itself as the fastest-growing moneymaking gig because of COVID-19. The CDC is imposing a moratorium on all evictions across the US, but Civvl’s terms appear to pass on responsibility to landlords to ensure that evictions carried out through the startup are legal.
  9. Arm’s cofounder Hermann Hauser warned that Donald Trump would take the ‘opportunity to screw China’ with the $40 billion Nvidia deal. The sale of Arm to Nvidia has provoked controversy in the UK amid fears Arm could become a pawn in US President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.
  10. Twitter is investigating after users found its picture-cropping tool favored white faces. Users began to notice that the algorithm behind Twitter’s automatic cropping tool appeared to be systematically favoring white faces.

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10 things in tech you need to know today


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Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

  1. Facebook took down a Chinese disinformation network that spread propaganda across Southeast Asia and the US. Facebook said in a blog post that it had removed two coordinated disinformation campaigns, one from China and another from the Philippines.
  2. Facebook says it is ready for violent unrest in the US election, and has plans to restrict the spread of inflammatory posts. Nick Clegg, the firm’s head of global affairs, said the network has plans for scenarios like widespread civil unrest, or an unclear result if mail-in votes are counted slowly.
  3. Arm’s cofounder Hermann Hauser claims the chip designer’s licensees are ‘not happy’ about its $40 billion sale to Nvidia. His concerns echo worries by analysts that Arm’s sale to a large chipmaker would compromise its successful licensing model.
  4. President Trump and Beijing both hinted at blocking the Oracle-TikTok deal amid huge confusion about who will own the app. Each party is attempting to publicly spin the deal to their advantage, causing huge confusion over the final shape of the deal or even whether it will take place.
  5. The DOJ is reportedly narrowing the focus of its antitrust case against Google to the company’s search dominance. Attorney General William Barr has pushed to sue Google before the election, overruling DOJ attorneys who said they needed more time to build their case. 
  6. Activists are chasing Palantir across the US this week to protest its contracts with ICE. The groups staged a “good riddance” protest outside Palantir’s former Palo Alto office, as well as an “unwelcome” protest at Palantir’s new Denver headquarters, where it just moved.
  7. Tim Cook said parts of Apple’s home-working model would stay forever. The Apple CEO said that the success of remote working during the pandemic meant the tech giant would not “return to the way we were.”
  8. Trump’s claim that the TikTok deal includes a $5 billion payment is terrible for venture capital and appears ‘illegal,” according to an expert. Trump keeps claiming that the TikTok deal includes a $5 billion payment from the companies involved that will be used to fund a new education program.
  9. Jeff Bezos is about to open a tuition-free preschool called the Bezos Academy where ‘the child will be the customer.’ The Amazon CEO shared a photo of one of the classrooms on his Instagram, revealing that the school, which is located in Des Moines, Washington, will open on October 19.
  10. Check out the pitch deck kitchen startup Kbox Global used to raise its second fundraise of 2020 amid a major food delivery boom. The ghost kitchen startup has raised £12 million ($15 million) in a fresh funding round from Balderton Capital to disrupt the soon to be $1 billion dark kitchen market. 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on June 30, 2020.


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Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

  1. Facebook announced on Tuesday it had uncovered an operation on its site linked to Russian’s Internet Research Agency, which interfered in the 2016 US election to help elect President Donald Trump. The target audience of the operation, called Peace Data, was “Democratic Socialists, environmentalists, and disgruntled Democrats,” according to an analysis by the social media experts at Graphika.
  2. Amazon contract drivers are hanging smartphones in trees outside Whole Foods stores and delivery stations to more quickly grab new online orders, according to a new Bloomberg report. Amazon’s system chooses drivers based on who is closest to the pickup location — meaning drivers with access to phones even slightly closer to the stores and delivery stations have a leg up on accepting orders before competing drivers.
  3. A fourth suspect is being investigated on suspicion of being involved in last month’s massive Twitter hack that hijacked dozens of high-profile accounts. According to The New York Times, federal authorities are looking into a 16-year-old in Massachusetts who sources claimed may have played a key, if not leading role in the hack, though he has not yet been charged.
  4. Amazon posted — and then deleted — a job listing for an ‘intelligence analyst’ to monitor workers’ efforts to unionize. The analyst’s job duties would also include gathering information for use in Amazon’s legal actions, including restraining orders against labor groups, according to the now-deleted listing. 
  5. Facebook has threatened to block Australians from sharing news content on its platforms if the government’s proposed media bargaining code goes ahead. The code would set out standards for big tech platforms like Facebook to pay news publishers for displaying their content.
  6. Facebook is warning it can remove any content that might put it at regulatory or legal risk. Facebook has started issuing a warning to users that from October 1 it will reserve the right to take down content if it thinks it necessary to “avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.”
  7. Five incredible charts show Zoom’s meteoric rise in the past year — including a 355% revenue boost — as the pandemic has turned it into a household name. Zoom is now halfway through its fiscal year, and its first two quarterly reports revealed what analysts described as “historic” growth, as it soared past analyst expectations.
  8. Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Fold 2 will be available for preorder starting September 2, and will cost $2,000. The company’s second-generation flagship foldable smartphone features several upgrades over the previous version, including an improved screen and hinge system.
  9. Apple is said to be manufacturing about 75 million new iPhones in 2020, according to a new Bloomberg report — about the same amount the company made in previous years. Apple is expected to launch four new models of the iPhone this year, all with 5G connectivity: the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
  10. Netflix announced on Tuesday that it is developing a series based on the sci-fi “Three-Body Problem” book trilogy by the Chinese author Liu Cixin. The former “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are writing and executive producing along with Alexander Woo, who recently executive produced AMC’s “The Terror: Infamy.”

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  1. Oracle has reportedly entered the race to buy TikTok’s US operations, competing with rival Microsoft for the viral app as Trump’s deadline looms. The Financial Times reported Oracle has been working with US investors, including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, who own a stake in TikTok already.
  2. Epic Games has filed a temporary restraining order against Apple with the intention of getting “Fortnite” back on Apple’s App Store. If granted by a judge, the restraining order would legally stop Apple from “removing, de-listing, refusing to list or otherwise making unavailable the app ‘Fortnite,’ including any update thereof.”
  3. A British school student threatened to sue the UK government over an algorithm that was used to determine final grades after national exams were cancelled due to the pandemic. The algorithm has been widely criticized for hurting bright students at disadvantaged schools, costing them life-changing places at top colleges.
  4. Facebook ‘actively promotes’ Holocaust denial content to certain users, a new study has found. Facebook’s search algorithm was found to “actively promote” Holocaust denial content to users who had previously interacted with similar content.  
  5. Amazon is considering buying a minority stake in Rackspace in a deal that would strengthen the ties between the two firms, sources say. Rackspace helps companies migrate their data to Amazon Web Services, and the investment would strengthen the ties between the two companies.
  6. An open letter from Google warning that new Australian regulation would damage YouTube and Google Search in the country contains “misinformation,” according to the country’s competition watchdog. The draft regulation would force Facebook and Google to pay news publishers for their content.
  7. Europe’s hot challenger banks Monzo, Starling Bank, and Revolut all posted ballooning losses for 2019, raising questions about their long-term viability. The additional challenge of COVID-19 may make the prospect of profitability even more remote, even after the trio have raised a collective $1.9 billion from investors.
  8. Quibi CEO Meg Whitman will speak at the Democratic National Convention Monday night, the DNC announced. Whitman previously ran for governor of California as a Republican and she is one of several current and former Republicans who oppose Trump billed to speak at the DNC.
  9. Russian billionaire and former Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is quietly backing a virtual reality startup trying to rival Facebook with a multiplayer world. The former Brooklyn Nets owner said he expected “explosive growth” in the virtual reality market over the next decade.
  10. A college student made a fake blog post using an AI text generator and it was upvoted to the top of Hacker News by people who thought it was real. University of California, Berkeley student Liam Porr created several blog posts using OpenAI’s GPT-3 text generator and several people subscribed to his account, believing he wrote the posts himself.

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Home Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.Tech

2020-08-28T06: 37: 11Z

Walmart store in New JerseyWalmart store in New Jersey

Walmart has joined the fray to buy TikTok.

Kena Betancur/Getty Images


Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning. The 10 Things in Tech newsletter will return on Tuesday September 1.

  1. Walmart confirmed it’s working with Microsoft in a bid to acquire TikTok’s US business. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is expected within the next few days to announce a deal to sell off the app’s US operations in an effort to avoid a nationwide ban on the app.
  2. Walmart reportedly tried to become TikTok’s majority owner by teaming up with Alphabet and SoftBank before the Trump administration nixed the idea. According to CNBC, US government officials vetoed the idea saying that a tech company needed to lead the deal so that it could effectively secure TikTok’s data.
  3. TikTok has enacted a hiring freeze and drawn up a shutdown contingency plan ahead of threat of a ban. Sources say the company isn’t onboarding any new hires until after September 15.
  4. TikTok launched a store selling $70 “Not Going Anywhere” hoodies hours before CEO Kevin Mayer quit. TikTok said the store will sell other apparel, games, and more in the coming months.
  5. The next iPhone update will let you see COVID-19 exposure notifications without downloading any contact-tracing apps. Apple’s COVID-19 contact tracing tech uses Bluetooth to notify people when their iPhone comes into close contact with someone who has self-identified as positive for COVID-19.
  6. Protesters set up a guillotine outside Jeff Bezos’ mansion and demanded higher wages for Amazon workers after the CEO’s net worth surpassed $200 billion. Protesters, led by former warehouse worker and outspoken Amazon critic Christian Smalls, called on the company to raise its minimum wage to $30 per hour.
  7. The DNC warned campaign staffers to “swipe carefully” on dating apps because matches could be political opponents digging for dirt. A Democratic official told Business Insider that the warning is “nothing new” and campaign staff are frequently reminded to be vigilant online.
  8. Trump got hit with another lawsuit over his executive order targeting social media companies, this time from voting rights groups who say he’s suppressing accurate election info. The groups also argue that Trump is violating social media companies’ First Amendment rights by retaliating against them for disagreeing with him.
  9. The PlayStation 5 will be in such limited supply that Sony’s asking customers to sign up for the chance to preorder the console. Despite reports of increased production, Sony warned this week that only a “limited quantity” of PS5 consoles would be available via preorder at launch.
  10. Amazon announced its new wearable “Halo,” which it says can judge the emotion in your voice and scan your body to calculate body fat. The launch is coming as tech giants like Apple and Google are diving more deeply into health.

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    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. Apple unveiled a redesigned iPad Air, new Apple Watches, Fitness service, and more at its big September event. Apple device owners can tune into guided workouts from top trainers, and even view their Apple Watch metrics onscreen.
    2. Kim Kardashian said she would freeze her Facebook and Instagram accounts in protest at the ‘spreading of hate’ on the platforms. “Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy,” she wrote.
    3. Microsoft reportedly upset TikTok’s owner during negotiations by describing the app as a security risk. Sources also told Reuters that Microsoft’s bid — which was more than $20 billion — did not satisfy ByteDance’s investors.
    4. The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly working on an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook. The agency hasn’t decided yet whether to sue Facebook, but is building its case as part of its year-long investigation into the company, according to the report.
    5. US senators gave Google a grilling over its ad dominance – and a glimpse at what an upcoming antitrust lawsuit might hold. It follows an historic antitrust hearing with the big four tech giants — Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple – in July. 
    6. Swedish fintech Klarna became Europe’s latest decacorn startup after raising $650 million at a $10.65 billion valuation. The company specializes in “buy now, pay later” credit for retailers and customers and operates across Europe and the US.
    7. A new survey showed women in tech still report high rates of harassment three years after the #metoo movement. Almost half of female tech employees said they had been harassed, and the majority of those who reported it to HR said their harasser faced no repercussions.
    8. Anonymous founders are posting brutal reviews of venture capitalists on VC GuideSome of the reviews discuss which VC has offered “exceedingly non-standard term sheet that harms companies,” which one is a “legend,” and which one is “really a hidden gem in the investment community.”
    9. Bill Gates Sr., father of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, has died at the age of 94. Gates Sr. was an accomplished attorney and a fixture in the Seattle-area community.
    10. Minecraft partnered with a supercomputing startup that boosted its maximum player numbers by 900%. Hadean CEO Craig Beddis told Business Insider he was extremely proud to have Minecraft — the world’s biggest video game — as the first paying customer for the firm’s new Aether Engine.

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    Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. The Treasury Dept. has reportedly reached a deal for Oracle, Walmart, and other US investors to take a majority stake in TikTok. The deal will have to be approved by Donald Trump, as well as the Chinese government, before it’s finalized.
    2. Facebook employees with video camera glasses are prowling the streets to do research on privacy. The research is intended to inform best practices for the future, including getting ahead of potential privacy concerns, Facebook said. In practice, the project will capture a lot of photos of public spaces.
    3. Podcaster Joe Rogan falsely claimed that ‘left-wing’ activists set forest fires in Oregon. According to Vice, there are currently internal discussions over Spotify’s decision to host his podcast.
    4. Twitter is ramping up account security measures for high-profile US politicians and media to prevent hacking ahead of 2020 elections. Twitter has made several election-related policy changes in recent weeks as it seeks to bolster the platform’s security after hackers hijacked dozens of high-profile accounts in July.
    5. 2 US senators demanded Amazon stop spying on its workers via social media after news surfaced that the tech giant was monitoring drivers’ plans to protest or strike. Amazon has a track record of being staunchly opposed to its workers organizing, even listing a job opening for an analyst to come on board to monitor employees’ efforts to unionize.
    6. TikTok reportedly approached Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom about becoming the app’s CEO. TikTok’s last CEO, Kevin Mayer, resigned in late August after just three months on the job.
    7. Google is reportedly cracking down on employee message boards after seeing a rise in posts flagged for racism or abuse. The company will now require more active moderation from the owners of internal discussion groups and mandate that they participate in moderation training.
    8. Bed Bath & Beyond just made a five-year commitment to Google Cloud as the pandemic pushes it towards a pivot to e-commerce.The firm has been pivoting to focus more on e-commerce during the coronavirus pandemic.
    9. Amazon reportedly had dozens of listings for doping drugs, but told reporters they were allowed for ‘research’ despite being shown evidence of human use. According to the investigation, sellers were able to bypass Amazon’s ban and list the non-FDA approved drugs, which are commonly used for doping.
    10. Bessemer Venture Partners released memos showing why they invested in small companies that later made it big like LinkedIn, Twitch, and Shopify. The memos contain the stark analyses a partner made of startup’s strengths and weaknesses at the time and why they thought these companies could succeed.

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    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. A Facebook engineer quit in protest after accusing the company of ‘profiting off hate’. Ashok Chandwaney criticized Facebook’s failure to remove a militia group’s event inciting violence against protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
    2. The Biden campaign took over an Instagram fan account started by a 15-year-old. The account’s teenage creator will now be volunteering for the campaign in an official capacity. 
    3. ByteDance will give its 60,000 employees cash bonuses to ‘thank everyone for their efforts’ amid a potential TikTok deal. In an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg, ByteDance said the bonuses are intended to “thank everyone for their efforts and dedication”.
    4. Shares in Slack sunk almost 20% after reporting showed how the pandemic and its rivalry with Microsoft put pressure on its growth. Compared to other remote work beneficiaries like Zoom, Slack’s numbers have been underwhelming to many observers.
    5. Apple is holding a big event this month where it may unveil the iPhone 12, new Apple Watches, and more. The new iPhone is expected to represent a notable overhaul, bringing 5G connectivity, a fresh design, new size options, and better performance.
    6. US fintech Melio has raised $144 million and says its payments volume surged 700% during the pandemic. Melio targets the B2B market by offering small businesses an easy-to-use tool for paying suppliers and controlling cash flow.
    7. Reed Hastings says Netflix offices won’t reopen until ‘a majority of people’ are vaccinated. “Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
    8. Uber said all of its rides will be in electric vehicles by 2040 and it’s spending $800 million to help drivers switch. Some of the costs will be be partially offset by an additional small fee charged to customers who request a “green trip.”
    9. A Volkswagen executive said it will sell more electric cars than Tesla by 2023. Bernd Osterloh, the head of VW’s works council, says the company will sell more electric vehicles than Tesla by 2023 thanks to its modular electric drive platform.
    10. One of Europe’s most bullish software investors raised $400 million for the post-pandemic future. London-based Dawn Capital has had a number of unicorn hits in its portfolio, such as email security startup Mimecast and payments firm iZettle.

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    Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019.

    Reuters/Erin Scott


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. Facebook will prohibit all new political ads in the week before the November 3 US presidential election, as part of a wide range of measures the company is billing as an attempt to prevent misinformation and voter suppression. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Thursday that he feared civil unrest as the election is finalized in November.
    2. The Trump campaign claimed Facebook’s new election policies meant the president “would be silenced by the Silicon Valley mafia.” Deputy spokeswoman Samantha Zager said: “In the last seven days of the most important election in our history, President Trump will be banned from defending himself on the largest platform in America.”
    3. Beijing has successfully set roadblocks into the acquisition talks between TikTok and various prospective American buyers according to multiple reports from Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg. China’s introduction of new export controls may give it veto power over any deal, and has slowed talks between TikTok’s parent firm ByteDance and prospective buyers.
    4. Facebook claimed it removed en event encouraging violence against protesters in Kenosha, but a new BuzzFeed report reveals the event was actually removed by the its own organizers. That revelation contradicts Zuckerberg’s remarks to Facebook staff, when he said Facebook should have removed the Kenosha Guard event sooner but failed to do so due to an “operational mistake.”
    5. The Department of Justice is planning to file antitrust charges against Google as soon as this month, The New York Times reported Thursday.
    6. The Indian government has blocked 118 more Chinese apps, including Tencent-published video game “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” internet search engine Baidu, and Alibaba’s payment app Alipay. India banned 59 Chinese apps in June, including TikTok, after its forces clashed with Chinese troops on the nations’ Himalayan border.
    7. Brad Porter, Amazon’s VP of robotics, wanted the pay range for his position to increase before he left for Scale AI, according to people familiar with the matter. While other factors, like the allure of working for a richly valued startup and moving back to the Bay Area where his family lives, were important motivators, Porter’s failure to adjust his compensation structure at Amazon also played a role in his departure, these people said.
    8. Airbnb’s Brian Chesky told Business Insider that nothing about being a public company CEO will be as tough as seeing revenue plunge 80% in 8 weeks. The experience “toughened us up … And I think we’re ready for whatever kind of challenge and opportunities come our way,” Chesky told Business Insider in an interview.
    9. Facebook has banned a right-wing politician in India with a history of Islamophobic comments for violating its rules on promoting violence and hate. The politician, T Raja Singh, is a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, the BJP.
    10. Israeli ‘no code’ startup Anima has raised $2.5 million in a seed funding round backed by Hetz Ventures. The firm was cofounded in 2016 by Or Arbel, who previously set up Yo – the app that only let you send the word “Yo” to your contacts. 

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    Fall Guys is a cartoon version of an obstacle course game show.

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    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. US video-sharing app Triller believes China’s new export rules strengthen its $20 billion bid to acquire TikTok’s US business from Chinese parent ByteDance. One source involved in the discussions told Business Insider that China’s new rules favor Triller because the company could take on TikTok’s branding while still using its own code.
    2. Apple, Amazon, and and Google hiked their developer and ad client fees to pass on the costs of paying new digital taxes in Europe. Apple on Tuesday announced a group of new developer fees motivated by new digital services taxes in Italy, France, the UK, and Turkey.
    3. PayPal told Business Insider it has terminated at least four accounts linked to a Russian influence operation exposed on Tuesday. Business Insider obtained the list of accounts from freelance writers who said they had been duped into writing for the Russian operation, which posed as a progressive website called “Peace Data.”
    4. Mediatonic, the British studio that created the smash hit game “Fall Guys”, nearly failed in 2016, its CEO told Business Insider. “Fall Guys” has hit 7 million downloads on Steam, and the game was created after Mediatonic lost all its client business in 2016.
    5. The dating and networking app Bumble is readying to go public as soon as early 2021, according to Bloomberg. Bumble could seek an initial-public-offering valuation between $6 billion and $8 billion, the news agency reported.
    6. Google has resumed performance reviews, but some employees are anxious that the new, longer 12-month cycle will hurt their chances to get promotions. The new reviews will assess performance for the past 12 months, whereas previously reviews typically assessed a 6-month period.
    7. The founder and former CEO of Virtudent, a Boston teledentistry startup, has sued his former company as well as its some of its directors, officers, and investors, saying that he was unjustly ousted for pushing back on the directors’ grow-at-all-costs strategy. Hitesh Tolani launched Virtudent in 2014 as one of the first commercial teledentistry firms; its hygienists conduct exams in corporate offices or other places and then consult with its dentists over the internet.
    8. A federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the NSA’s sweeping program to collect Americans’ phone records was illegal and possibly unconstitutional. In its ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the NSA broke the law by collecting “phone metadata,” or bulk records of Americans’ phone call history.
    9. A Facebook employee sparked outrage after defending “well-intentioned law enforcement officers” and disputing that there’s racial bias in policing in a post on internal company messaging boards, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday. According to The Daily Beast, the backlash was so strong that Mark Zuckerberg alluded to the post in a note to employees, saying some people weren’t “appreciating the impact their words are having on our Black community.”
    10. Microsoft on Tuesday announced the launch of Microsoft Video Authenticator, a tool designed to spot when videos have been manipulated using deepfake technology. Microsoft said it’s inevitable deepfake technology will adapt to avoid detection, but that in the run-up to the election its tool can be useful.

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    GettyImages 1227952586GettyImages 1227952586

    The TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on August 7, 2020 in Washington, DC.

    Drew Angerer/Getty Images


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. TikTok is hiring hundreds more US staff in a show of confidence against Trump. Many of the listings involve the company’s trust-and-safety team, which has been tasked with proving the app does not harvest or handle data differently from other platforms.
    2. An anti-vaxxer group is suing Facebook for putting fact-checking labels on anti-vaccine posts. The complaint accuses Facebook of violating the First Amendment — a law that only applies to government entities and not private companies.
    3. Alphabet’s Wing named a new head of operations as the drone-delivery company looks to expand its global reach. David Kunst will oversee “a further expansion of our global operations and the use cases we can support,” a Wing spokesperson said.
    4. Experts say Oracle’s reported interest in buying TikTok could be a ploy to drive up the price for the popular video app, which rival Microsoft is looking to acquire. Buying a popular consumer brand doesn’t make sense for an enterprise powerhouse like Oracle, analysts say.
    5. Uber and Lyft are considering franchise models to avoid shutdowns in California. Uber and Lyft are considering a gig-work model that harkens to the days of livery cab fleets. 
    6. Amazon is investing $1.4 billion to expand into 6 cities outside of Seattle. The move could allow Amazon to expand its talent pool and potentially adjust salaries down in more affordable cities.
    7. Netflix has canceled ‘Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj’ as it continues to struggle with topical talk shows. The streaming giant has struggled with the talk show genre, having previously canceled shows like “Chelsea,” “The Break with Michelle Wolf,” and “The Joel McHale Show” after one or two seasons. 
    8. Oculus will require people to log in through Facebook before they can use its VR devices. The move comes as Facebook remains subject to a congressional antitrust probe investigating the firm and other tech giants over anticompetitive business practices.
    9. Elon Musk has tripled his wealth during the pandemic, joining a list of 12 Americans collectively worth more than $1 trillion. Musk’s wealth climbed another $8 billion Monday as Tesla stock soared to an all-time high, making him the fourth wealthiest person in the world.
    10. Carnival says ransomware hackers were able to access personal data of cruise ship guests and workers. The cruise operator said it had launched an investigation into a ransomware attack on one of its brand’s IT systems.

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    Zhang YimingZhang Yiming

    ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming.

    Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. The CEO of TikTok’s parent firm, ByteDance, has told employees that President Trump’s “real objective” for TikTok is to ban it, not force a sale to Microsoft. Trump said on Monday that he has given Microsoft a deadline of September 15 to buy TikTok’s US business and that a substantial cut of any deal should go to the US Treasury.
    2. The EU announced it is launching a full-blown antitrust investigation into Google’s Fitbit acquisition. The EU investigation will focus on whether the acquisition would give Google an unfair advantage over competitors in the advertising space by hoovering up Fitbit user data.
    3. Apple’s longtime head of marketing Phil Schiller is stepping aside, marking the third high-profile leadership shakeup at the company in the last 18 months. Schiller will remain at the company as an Apple Fellow, while another longtime employee, Greg Joswiak, takes his place.
    4. The UK cleared Amazon’s deal to buy a 16% stake in online food platform Deliveroo. The deal has been cleared less than week after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was grilled by US lawmakers over what they described as monopolistic behavior.
    5. Employees at video game publisher Blizzard were reportedly paid so little they were forced to skip meals to pay rent while the CEO made $40 million. Blizzard is facing major internal pushback after employees circulated a salary document that exposed major pay disparities.
    6. WhatsApp users can now fact-check forwarded message chains as another way to fight the spread of misinformation. In early April, WhatsApp set a limit for how many times a message can be forwarded at one time in response to a rise in misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
    7. Big YouTube accounts are being plagued by hackers promoting Bitcoin scams. This new hack bears similarities to the tactics used by hackers who compromised hundreds of high-profile Twitter accounts last month.
    8. T-Mobile launched its standalone 5G network in the US. T-Mobile is the first major phone carrier to launch such a standalone architecture.
    9. Amazon’s UK sellers are getting hit with a fee hike next month as the company passes along the cost of a new digital tax aimed at large corporations. Amazon will be raising the fees for sellers on its UK marketplace by 2%, starting in September.
    10. A new bill was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday aimed at curtailing the use of facial recognition by private companies, requiring them to obtain people’s consent before scanning them with facial recognition tech. It would also ban companies from selling people’s biometric identifiers, like face ID or fingerprint.

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    donald trumpdonald trump

    US President Donald Trump attends meeting in the Oval Office on June 24, 2020.

    Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. Trump reportedly said TikTok has until September 15 to find a US buyer or it will be banned — and that the US Treasury should get payment as part of the sale. Trump previously threatened to imminently ban the app, which is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company.
    2. TikTok’s owner ByteDance is looking outside of the US for its new TikTok headquarters. In a statement Monday to Reuters, ByteDance said it’s “evaluating the possibility of establishing TikTok’s headquarters outside of the US” to demonstrate it’s a “global company.”
    3. Ubisoft fired executive Tommy Francois after he was accused of sexual harassment. Sources with knowledge of the matter told Business Insider Francois was fired following an internal investigation into complaints made against him.
    4. Google released its new phone the Pixel 4a, which costs $350. The Pixel 4a comes with a 12.2-megapixel camera that offers many of the same features as the Pixel 4.
    5. Twitter could be facing an FTC fine of up to $250 million over allegations that it violated an agreement over user data privacy. Twitter said the FTC notified it of allegations that it improperly targeted ads at users based on information they had provided for “safety and security purposes,” in violation a 2011 agreement.
    6. GPS company Garmin reportedly paid hackers a multimillion dollar ransom to recover files after a cyberattack that left their services offline for several days last month. The malware used against Garmin has been attributed to Evil Corp, a Russia-based hacker group that was placed on a US sanctions list last year, according to Bleeping Computer.
    7. Elon Musk says Tesla will create a normal pickup truck if the Cybertruck doesn’t sell as a “fallback strategy.” Despite hundreds of thousands of Cybertruck pre-orders, Elon Musk told Automotive News that Tesla will build a “normal truck, no problem” if people don’t buy the unique design.
    8. Amazon is reportedly facing a new antitrust investigation into its online marketplace led by the FTC and attorneys general in New York and California. The agencies will coordinate on the probe and plan to interview witnesses starting in the next few weeks, according to Bloomberg.
    9. Snapchat is rolling out a new TikTok-like feature that will allow users to play popular songs over the videos they record. Users will have access to a selection of music from Warner Music Group and other music publishing companies.
    10. Singapore will make travelers wear electronic tags to enforce quarantine. Punishments for non-compliance can include fines of up to $7,272, imprisonment of up to six months, or both.

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    Super MarioSuper Mario



    Nintendo


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. The CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon are set to testify before Congress in a historic antitrust hearing. The CEOs, who will likely appear remotely over video, will have to defend the growing power of their tech companies to skeptical lawmakers.
    2. Amazon posted CEO Jeff Bezos’ prepared testimony Tuesday on its blog ahead of his appearance at the historic Congressional tech antitrust hearing on Wednesday. Bezos plans to argue that Amazon’s size benefits consumers, sellers, and the economy, and that it faces plenty of competition from rivals including Walmart, Instacart, and Shopify.
    3. Google is laying a giant new undersea internet cable stretching from New York to the UK and Spain. The Grace Hopper cable, named after the famous US computer scientist, will connect New York to Bude in the UK and Bilbao, Spain.
    4. Money transfer unicorn TransferWise is now worth $5 billion after some employees and early investors cashed out. The new valuation maintains the company’s position as one of Europe’s most valuable fintech startups and the secondary trade serves to diversify its funding pool.

    5. Facebook and Instagram removed the accounts of British rapper Wiley after he posted a series of anti-Semitic posts, CityAM reported. The deletion came after a number of celebrities staged a virtual 48-hour walkout from Twitter over its refusal to ban Wiley from its platform.
    6. Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday that Tesla would consider licensing its self-driving software and supplying battery technology to other automakers. Musk’s comments came in response to a blog post about German automakers looking to close the technological gap between them and Tesla.
    7. Microsoft paid at least $270 million in stock for telecom software company Metaswitch Networks, filing shows. The acquisition comes just months after Microsoft likely paid more than $1 billion for 5G software company Affirmed Networks.
    8. Trump retweeted complaints of censorship after Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter take down a video of doctors pushing hydroxychloroquine. Trump has again accused social media companies of censorship after the removal of videos touting hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus cure.
    9. Wearing a face mask makes it harder for facial recognition algorithms to see you, according to a new government study. The study was carried out with the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection, both of which use facial recognition technology.
    10. A massive leak of confidential Nintendo information confirmed a decades-old conspiracy theory involving ‘Super Mario 64’ and Luigi. One of the most prominent ones was just proven to be true: Despite not appearing in the game, Mario’s brother and partner-in-heroism, Luigi, is apparently buried within the game’s code.

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    Steve WozniakSteve Wozniak

    Apple Steve Wozniak at Apple announcement in San Francisco, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010.

    Paul Sakuma/AP


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. Amazon invested in startups and gained proprietary information before launching competitors, often crushing the smaller companies in the process, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal spoke with startups who said Amazon made similar hardware and software products after purchasing stakes in the companies.
    2. Former Wirecard COO and fugitive Jan Marsalek appears to have deep ties to Russian intelligence, sources told Insider. “There’s a million reasons [for the Russians] to get involved with Wirecard,” a Dutch official told Insider. “Russian officials always need to move money to the West, and Wirecard was raising lots of money but not as much as they told investors.
    3. Intel’s shares tanked 10% late Thursday after the chip giant announced that production problems have delayed the rollout of its next generation chips. Intel CEO Bob Swan said the company found “a defect mode” in its manufacturing process which will push back its production schedule.
    4. Facebook has undergone considerable internal strife, as its employees reckon with the firm’s stance on refusing to remove posts from politicians containing lies or threats of violence, according to BuzzFeed. One engineer who left on July 1 posted in an internal goodbye note that he thought “Facebook is hurting people at scale.”
    5. Trump ads on Facebook claiming ‘TikTok is spying on you’ reached up to 5 million Americans and targeted younger voters. In the five days between July 17 and July 21, accounts tied to Donald Trump’s campaign posted 450 separate adverts on Facebook and Instagram lambasting TikTok for spying on users and siphoning data to China.
    6. Tesla stock rose on Thursday after the company made a profit for the fourth quarter in a row. Elon Musk’s electric-car company reported $104 million in net income, a big improvement from its $408 million loss in the second quarter of 2019.
    7. Twitter shares spiked as much as 5.8% on Thursday after the social network reported record growth in daily active users in the second quarter. The company added 20 million users in the period, fueling a 34% year-on-year increase in its userbase to 186 million.
    8. The UK is hoping its next $50 billion tech success story after fintech will be law. London is home to 44% of Europe’s law startups and the city has been flagged by The Law Society as one of 10 emerging “lawtech” ecosystems.
    9. Analytics startup Quantexa has $65 million in a Series C funding round led by Evolution Equity Partners – and backed by HSBC and Accenture. With hundreds of clients in more than 70 countries, including HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, Quantexa uses the advancements in big data and AI to uncover hidden risk and opportunities across financial crime, credit risk, and fraud. 
    10. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak has filed a complaint against YouTube over an ongoing bitcoin scam using his image and likeness as well as those of other tech executives. The lawsuit comes after several high-profile executives, celebrities, and politicians had their accounts taken over as part of a bitcoin scam on Twitter.

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    FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Cybertruck at the TeslaDesign Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The cracked window glass occurred during a demonstration on the strength of the glass.Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Cybertruck at the TeslaDesign Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The cracked window glass occurred during a demonstration on the strength of the glass.Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY/File Photo

    FILE PHOTO: News: Tesla Cybertruck

    Reuters


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. Jan Marsalek, the ex-COO of collapsed German payment service Wirecard, likely fled to Russia, not Belarus or the Philippines, intelligence sources have told Insider. Marsalek entered Russia over 60 times in the past decade on six Austrian passports and three “diplomatic” passports issued by another, unidentified country, sources said.

    2. UK companies are marketing and selling spy tech to countries accused of using such technology to abuse human rights. Data analysed by Business Insider showed firms were licensed during the first three months of 2020 to sell surveillance kit to Pakistan, Oman, and the UAE, among other nations.
    3. Twitter said on Wednesday that the hackers who breached its systems last week likely read the direct messages of 36 accounts, including one belonging to an elected official in the Netherlands. In tweets from its support account and an updated blog post, Twitter said it had no indication that the private messages of any other elected officials were obtained.

    4. Workplace chat service Slack filed an EU antitrust complained against Microsoft Teams, saying bundling the software within Office 365 was anti-competitive. Microsoft shot back, saying Slack had suffered from a lack of videoconferencing functionality.
    5. US states are turning to NearForm, the company that made Ireland’s contact-tracing app, for help with their contact-tracing efforts. Other countries and US states have already asked permission to retool the app for themselves, and NearForm told Business Insider it’s started work with Pennsylvania authorities.
    6. Pakistan’s telecoms regulator has issued TikTok with a “final warning,” threatening to ban it over complaints about “immoral, obscene and vulgar content.” The regulator has already blocked live streaming app Bigo on the same grounds.
    7. Uber-backed scooter startup Lime and German challenger Tier have been chosen as two of three companies that can operate electric scooters in Paris. Paris was inundated with scooters until it decided to pick just three operators, and the city is seen as Europe’s most profitable market. 
    8. Microsoft reported earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter and the full 2020 fiscal year earnings at market close on Wednesday, beating analyst expectations for overall results but missing estimates on a key business unit including its Office products. The firm reported revenue of $38 billion, and earnings per share of $1.46.
    9. Tesla will build its newest factory in Austin, Texas, the company said Wednesday, and the new plant will make the Cybertruck. Austin, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and other cities had fiercely competed in recent months to win the $1 billion investment. 
    10. Researchers have created a machine-learning technique that can identify disinformation campaigns on social media. The algorithm finds patterns of suspicious posts and accounts, which could help companies shut down these campaigns early on.

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    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos robotAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos robot

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Amazon is currently working on a home robot.

    Twitter/JeffBezos


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. Snapchat’s parent company is investigating allegations of racism and sexism within the company after some employees complained of a ‘whitewashed’ culture. Snap has hired a third-party law firm to investigate after former employees alleged discrimination inside the company, sources say.
    2. Two Chinese hackers are accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of trade secrets from companies and targeting firms developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, in a new US indictment. The US has accused two Chinese hackers of targeting firms developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
    3. Some US investors of ByteDance, including Sequoia Capital, are reportedly considering buying a majority stake in TikTok. The US investors involved in the deal could possibly include Sequoia Capital, a famed Silicon Valley venture firm.
    4. Research lab OpenAI has released a “natural language generation” tool called GPT-3 that learns from a massive set of data to write impressively human-like text. Developers have been using GPT-3 to write creative fiction, design websites, and write business proposals with very little indication a robot created them.
    5. Amazon is debating a price point over $1,000 for its new Alexa home robot under development, code-named “Vesta,” according to people familiar with the matter. The high price tag would be a change for Amazon’s hardware strategy, which typically releases affordable products that are more commonly used.
    6. A female exec is suing $3 billion software firm Carta, alleging that the CEO likened her to an alcoholic and called her an ‘a–hole.’ Emily Kramer said she faced discrimination and retaliation at the company after she became more vocal about the lack of women and people of color in leadership positions at the company.
    7. Home insurtech startup Hippo said Tuesday it had secured $150 million in Series E funding, bringing the unicorn’s valuation up to $1.5 billion. Hippo plans to hire 100 new employees and is building a new office in Austin, Texas as it prepares for an IPO it hopes to complete in 2021.
    8. Elon Musk says his space company SpaceX will try launching a full-size Starship prototype ‘later this week,’ and the rocket may fly 150 meters high. SpaceX has been working feverishly to develop a potentially revolutionary rocket system called Starship in Boca Chica, a remote region in southeastern Texas that sits on the Gulf of Mexico.
    9. Instagram is rolling out a tool that will allow users to raise money on the app, GoFundMe-style. Only users 18 years old and older can create a Personal Fundraiser for a small business or for a “cause that’s important to you.”
    10. London-based fintech startup Plum has raised $10 million in fresh VC funding amid a boom in its services during the coronavirusFounded in 2017, the financial management app raised funds from Global Brain and the EBRD to expand its services and products across Europe. 

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    A man wearing a face mask to protect against the new coronavirus talks on his smartphone as he walks past a Huawei store in Beijing, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. China on Wednesday demanded Washington stop A man wearing a face mask to protect against the new coronavirus talks on his smartphone as he walks past a Huawei store in Beijing, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. China on Wednesday demanded Washington stop

    A man wearing a face mask to protect against the new coronavirus talks on his smartphone as he walks past a Huawei store in Beijing, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. China on Wednesday demanded Washington stop “oppressing Chinese companies” after U.S. regulators declared telecom equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE to be national security threats. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

    Associated Press


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. UK officials have reportedly told Huawei its 5G ban could be revisited if Trump loses the 2020 election. UK officials told Huawei that the decision to ban it from the 5G network was partly geopolitical, and could be reversed, The Observer reported.
    2. Facebook is slowing its donations to US politicians, even as a hotly contested presidential election approaches. The social media company is on track to spend significantly less via its political action committee in 2020 than it did in either 2016 or 2018 — despite tripling revenues since 2016.
    3. Employees working at Google-owned health firm Verily have described the extreme pressure to create a nationwide COVID-19 testing service, after President Trump announced the service unexpectedly in March. When the project, nicknamed Code Red, started, some employees said they were thrown into an extremely stressful period of feeling pressured to work around-the-clock to scale the company’s COVID-19 programs.
    4. Uber drivers are suing the company requesting access to personal data held on them. Drivers are concerned that information about late arrivals, cancellations, and complaints about attitude and inappropriate behaviour from customers is counted against them.
    5. Microsoft president Brad Smith has spoken to the United States House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee ahead of an antitrust hearing on big tech, according to The Information. Smith reportedly discussed Apple’s approvals process for the App Store.
    6. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied speculation that he and President Donald Trump have some sort of deal over how Facebook manages the president’s posts, calling the allegations “ridiculous.” “I’ve heard this speculation, too, so let me be clear: There’s no deal of any kind,” Zuckerberg told Axios.
    7. Chinese fintech giant Ant Group is preparing a dual public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the company announced Monday. Ant is the parent company of Alipay, and was founded by billionaire Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma.
    8. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said the company has decided not to offer a new financial guidance for 2020 due to the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.Krishna said economic recovery was looking longer and more protracted than the firm previously thought.

    9. Crypto exchange site Coinbase said it saved almost $280,000, or 30.4 bitcoin, from transferring to the attackers that orchestrated last week’s hack on Twitter. The company said just 14 users sent a total of $3,000 to the hackers before Coinbase blacklisted the scam address.
    10. People are spending more time on TikTok daily in the US than on Instagram. Q2 data from financial services firm Cowen showed people who used TikTok were spending an average of 41 minutes daily on the app, while Instagram users were spending 33 minutes on that app.

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    Jack DorseyJack Dorsey

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

    AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

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    1. Twitter has said up to 8 accounts had all their data downloaded during its giant hack. Twitter said in total 130 accounts were targeted of which 45 had their passwords reset and tweets sent by the hackers.
    2. A hacker forum obsessed with super-short ‘OG’ handles was selling Twitter account access for $3,000 days before the giant hack. Executives at two cybersecurity firms told Reuters Wednesday’s hack didn’t appear to be particularly sophisticated.
    3. UK government officials have been warned not to take meetings with smart speakers in the room. “I was effectively told to put mine in the bin,” one civil servant told Business Insider. 
    4. TikTok has abandoned plans for a UK headquarters, in part thanks to increasing UK-China tensions with China. According to The Guardian, the UK’s recent ban on Huawei 5G kit was seen as a factor.
    5. The FTC may depose Facebook bosses Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg in its antitrust investigation into Facebook. The FTC is looking into whether Facebook has acted anti-competitively — and it may seek to speak to Facebook’s top two executives.
    6. Microsoft is giving retail employees until July 26 to meet certain conditions to keep their jobs, find new roles, or resign, sources say. With Microsoft closing its retail stores, the company announced plans to move store employees into remote support roles and said there would be no layoffs as a result of the decision.
    7. Google will block ads from appearing on sites that spread coronavirus conspiracy theories. Google will prohibit sites from running ads on “dangerous content” that goes against scientific consensus during the coronavirus pandemic.
    8. Netflix shed $19 billion in market value on Friday with an earnings miss and disappointing subscriber-growth forecast. The video-streaming giant’s stock slumped as much as 8% even though it added 10 million subscribers last quarter.
    9. Cloud robotics and AI startup CloudMinds has ditched plans to go public in the US and has returned to China, as the trade war impacted its business, according to the South China Morning Post. CloudMinds was founded by Chinese-born engineer Bill Huang.
    10. Scientists successfully put tiny GoPro-style wireless cameras on beetles, and it’s paving the way for miniature robots. Researcher Vikram Iyer told Business Insider the beetlecam is an important step forward for developing wireless camera technology.

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    michelle obamamichelle obama



    Erika Goldring/Getty Images


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.

    Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. The FBI is leading an inquiry into the colossal Twitter hack that impacted high-profile accounts on Wednesday. The hackers posted tweets through the hijacked accounts asking people to donate Bitcoin to cryptocurrency addresses. 
    2. Cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs thinks the hack may have been carried out by a 21-year-old SIM-swapper who has ties to the hacking group that hijacked Jack Dorsey’s account in August last year. The hacker is known as PlugWalkJoe, and a mobile industry security source told Krebs his real name is Joseph James Connor.
    3. Russian hackers linked to the Kremlin targeted coronavirus vaccine research facilities in the US, the UK, and Canada, UK security officials announced on Thursday. The hacking group — known as APT29, Cozy Bear, or the Dukes — has previously been linked to various cyberattacks, including the hacking of the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 US presidential election.
    4. Mark Zuckerberg called the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 “really disappointing” in a Facebook interview with Anthony Fauci. “Now that we’re here in July, I just think it was avoidable, and it’s really disappointing that we still don’t have adequate testing,” Zuckerberg said.
    5. European venture capitalists have chosen startups including Benevolent AI, Deep Render, and Darktrace among their 15 AI startups to watch in 2020. AI could contribute a whopping $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, according to PwC estimates.
    6. Facebook is planning to bring its competitor to TikTok — called Reels — to Instagram users in the US in early August. Reels, which has already debuted in India and other select countries, will live inside of Instagram Stories as an option for sharing short-form video content similar to that on TikTok.
    7. Facebook is adding an information label to all posts about voting from federal officials and political candidates, including the president. The labels point Facebook users to a voting information page, which is currently hosted on USA.gov.
    8. Microsoft quietly cut under 1,000 jobs across its business this week, as it enters its new fiscal year. Earlier this week, Microsoft reportedly cut several roles at MSN.com, its online news portal, as it shifted to an AI-powered algorithmic feed. 
    9. Scooter charging startup Charge has signed a $3.1 million deal for new charging stations as it banks on the summer scooter boom. Charge offers a range of scooter charging options, and was founded by a number of senior executives from scooter unicorn Lime.
    10. Michelle Obama is hosting a new podcast exclusively on Spotify, titled “The Michelle Obama Podcast.” The podcast is scheduled to debut on July 29, and will feature “candid, human, and personal conversations” with a variety of familiar faces.

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    Home Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.Tech

    2020-07-15T06: 54: 55Z

    boris face mask

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

    Ben Stansall/pool via AP


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

    1. The UK government announced it will remove Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, and telecoms companies will be banned from purchasing Huawei 5G equipment from next year. UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the decision was due to major sanctions imposed on the Chinese firm by the US government.

    2. Amazon is launching 20 healthcare clinics in five US cities as part of a pilot program for warehouse workers and their families. The clinics were in the works before the pandemic and will not offer testing or care related to COVID-19, a company spokesperson told Business Insider.

    3. Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against Uber and Lyft accusing the companies of misclassifying drivers as contractors and denying them benefits and workplace protections. The companies argue that reclassifying drivers as employees would put many of them out of work and reduce their flexibility.

    4. When you search for identical videos on Google it pushes YouTube results above others, the Wall Street Journal reports. Google owns YouTube, and sources familiar with the matter told The Journal executives at Google decided to engineer it so YouTube gets priority.
    5. The US reversed a new visa policy requiring international students to take in-person classes after it was challenged by universities and tech companies, Bloomberg reports. The US government announced the new requirement last week.
    6. Amazon said it made a policy relaxing its rules on workers’ “time off task” to let them wash their hands, but workers suing the company say they were never told this. Amazon made the claim as part of a court case brought by six workers who claim it didn’t do enough to protect them following the onset of the pandemic.
    7. A company half-owned by the Chinese government has been planting ‘back doors’ in the tax software American companies need to do business in China since 2018, researchers say. In June, Trustwave first published a report that the giant IT firm Aisino planted malware in its tax software.
    8. A startup founded by former AWS engineer Bindu Reddy has released open source tools to help counteract one of the biggest problems in artificial intelligence, biased data. This new tool is launching as Abacus.AI raises $13 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures.
    9. Airbnb is asking guests to donate money to hosts. Airbnb rolled out a new tool that encourages guests to send “kindness cards” and cash donations to their former hosts “impacted by COVID-19.”
    10. A class-action lawsuit was filed against Google claiming it tracks people on hundreds of thousands of apps even when they opt out. The lawsuit accuses Google of violating wiretap law and California privacy law by recording what users are looking at in apps.

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      Jeff Bezos

      Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

      MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images


      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

      1. Amazon sent an email to employees telling them to delete TikTok from their phones because of “security risks,” then said the email was sent in error. TikTok’s data-collection practices have come under scrutiny from US lawmakers. 
      2. Facebook is reportedly considering a “blackout” on political ads in the days running up to the US presidential election. Facebook hasn’t officially decided whether it will introduce the ban and it’s not yet clear how long it might last, per Bloomberg.
      3. President Trump told the Washington Post he authorized a cyberattack on a notorious Russian troll farm to try to deter it from interfering with the 2018 mid-terms. This is the first time Trump or the White House has confirmed the operation took place.
      4. Three more executives are leaving French gaming company Ubisoft over allegations of sexual harassment, The Guardian reports. This brings the total of departed executives up to five after employees started detailing allegations of sexual misconduct on social media.
      5. Microsoft founder Bill Gates said COVID-19 drugs and vaccines should not go “to the highest bidder” at a virtual conference, Reuters reports. “One of the best lessons in the fight against HIV/AIDS is the importance of building this large, fair global distribution system to get the drugs out to everyone,” Gates said at the conference, which was hosted by the International AIDS Society.
      6. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says ride-hailing will make up only 50% of the company’s business moving forward. The coronavirus pandemic has decimated Uber’s core ride-hailing business, with trips plummeting as much as 94% earlier this year and the company losing $2.9 billion last quarter.
      7. The new CEO of Intercom, a $1.3 billion startup backed by Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, says she’ll lead the company to profitability and an IPO in a ‘few years.’ In June, the former CIO of $1.3 billion customer messaging startup Intercom — Karen Peacock — took the role of CEO, replacing cofounder Eoghan McCabe. 
      8. Tesla slashed the price of its Model Y by $3,000 on Saturday, Electrek reported. The cheapest version of the Model Y has now been reduced to $49,990.
      9. Tesla confirmed its annual meeting and highly anticipated “battery day” will be held in-person on September 22 at its Fremont factory. Both events have previously been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic that’s also forced shutdowns of Tesla’s factories in California and China.
      10. A document published by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance says its sister app Douyin uses facial recognition to keep foreigners out, The Telegraph reports. The system described in the document scans users’ faces and matches them with state ID cards, automatically booting out foreigners.

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      kanye west maga white house trump

      FILE PHOTO: Rapper Kanye West speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss criminal justice reform in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2018.

      REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo


      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

      1. Facebook removed disinformation accounts it says were linked to Roger Stone, the longtime friend of President Trump. The accounts involved posted about “candidates in the 2016 primaries and general election, and the Roger Stone trial,” Facebook said. 
      2. President Trump has said he’s considering banning TikTok to punish China over the coronavirus. Trump implied a ban on TikTok would be a way of punishing China for the coronavirus, which originated in the city of Wuhan.
      3. The US government is investigating TikTok for failing to change how it collects children’s personal information following last year’s $5.7 million privacy fine. In 2019, the viral video-sharing app TikTok agreed to pay a $5.7 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission to settle allegations it was illegally collecting personal information belonging to users who are children.
      4. Google has abandoned plans for a cloud service in China after the COVID-19 pandemic aggravated political tensions with the US. The project, known as “Isolated Region,” would have allowed Google to strike up partnerships with local companies and government agencies in the country. It would also let countries control data inside their borders.
      5. An EU court will rule next week on an appeal by Apple and Ireland against a ruling that would force the company to pay 13 billion euros ($16 billion) in back taxes. Europe’s competition watchdog said in 2016 that Apple would have to pay the money.
      6. New records show Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have thousands of previously unreported military and law enforcement contracts. Microsoft has more than 5,000 previously unreported subcontracts with the Department of Defense and federal law enforcement while Amazon and Google each have hundreds of similar subcontracts, records show.
      7. Websites that spread false information and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 could make millions in ad revenue this year, according to a new study. The bulk of the ad revenue comes from Google’s ad platform, along with other tech companies including Amazon and OpenX. 
      8. Facebook’s refusal to fact-check or moderate politicians like President Trump is its biggest civil rights issue, according to a new internal audit. The audit’s authors expressed “grave concerns that the combination of the company’s decision to exempt politicians from fact-checking and the precedents set by its recent decisions on President Trump’s posts, leaves the door open for the platform to be used by other politicians to interfere with voting.”
      9. A ‘staggering’ failure to adopt basic security habits led to 70% of companies storing data with Amazon, Microsoft, or other big cloud vendors getting hacked or exposing data last year, researchers say. Seventy percent of companies using cloud computing vendors get hacked or leak data, Sophos found, often due to basic security lapses.
      10. Kanye West has said Tesla CEO Elon Musk is advising him on his 2020 presidential bid and they’ve been talking about it for years. In an interview with Forbes, the singer said Musk is one of only two people currently advising him on his presidential bid — the other being his wife Kim Kardashian West.

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      Sheryl Sandberg

      Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

      Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Vanity Fair


      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

      1. Civil rights groups called their meeting with Facebook execs a ‘disappointment’ and said the company isn’t ready to address the platform’s ‘vitriolic hate.’ Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and Chris Cox “showed up to the meeting expecting an A for attendance,” according to the groups.
      2. Apple is ‘assessing’ the human rights impact of Hong Kong’s new national security law, but has not paused data requests from local police. An Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg that it was up to the US Department of Justice to block requests that might infringe on human rights, under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties.
      3. Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Sundar Pichai are set to appear before Congress on July 27 in an antitrust hearing. Congress’s investigation is one of several federal antitrust probes into Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon. 
      4. Magic Leap has announced that Microsoft executive Peggy Johnson will join the company as CEO, replacing Rony Abovitz. Johnson, who will start work in August, has served as Microsoft’s vice president of business development since 2014.
      5. Amazon has put a 15-year company veteran who most recently ran the Prime program in charge of its new COVID-19 testing project, codenamed ‘Ultraviolet’. Cem Sibay is a trusted exec with a proven track record in the Prime business — but no healthcare background. 
      6. Facebook is publishing the results of a two-year civil-rights audit on Wednesday. But Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Tuesday that not every change it recommended would be carried out.

      7. Apple and T-Mobile are being hit with a class action lawsuit over a security flaw that exposed iMessages and FaceTime calls. Apple and T-Mobile are facing a complaint over an issue that caused Apple IDs to stay tethered to old SIM cards, exposing FaceTime and iMessage chats. 
      8. London-based fintech startup Wagestream has raised $25 million during the COVID-19 pandemic, while its CEO worked out of a garden shed. Wagestream lets employees draw down their wages early in exchange for a flat fee.
      9. Post-quantum security startup PQShield has raised $7 million to protect against future quantum attacks. Experts predict the post-quantum cryptography market will be worth $3.8 billion by 2028. 
      10. Will-writing startup Farewill has raised $25 million to help people write their will online. The UK-based startup says it has seen an increase in demand during the pandemic.

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      Tesla shortsTesla shorts

      Tesla’s limited-edition shorts.

      Tesla


      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.

      1. Uber confirmed it will buy smaller food delivery firm Postmates in a $2.65 billion all-stock deal. Food delivery has come front and center for Uber since March, when a near complete drop-off in global travel decimated its core taxi business. 
      2. Facebook, Google, and Twitter have all suspended complying with Hong Kong police requests for user data thanks to a new Chinese national security law. Hong Kong citizens previously had free access to the internet, but China has imposed a new law in the city that grants the government more leeway to monitor and crack down on online dissent.
      3. Viral video app TikTok says that it is ceasing operations in Hong Kong. A spokesperson for TikTok told Business Insider that it decided to stop operations in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory “in light of recent events.”
      4. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Fox News the US is ‘certainly looking into’ banning TikTok over privacy concerns. Pompeo told Fox News that Americans should be wary of using TikTok unless they want their private data “in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
      5. Palantir has confidentially filed for a public listing. The secretive data company announced in a press release Monday that had submitted its S-1 form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
      6. Venture capital company Spark Capital is a major winner of Uber’s $2.65 billion Postmates acquisition, extending a streak of hits in a gloomy 2020. Spark Capital, an investor in Postmates, Mirror, and other buzzy startups, has seen a number of big acquisitions and valuations in its portfolio.
      7. Disney’s streaming service Disney Plus got a huge boost in app downloads from the ‘Hamilton’ movie. Data suggest that the “Hamilton” movie, which was originally set to hit theaters next year, helped drive mobile app downloads up 74% higher in the US over the weekend, compared with the previous four June weekends.
      8. Prominent direct-to-consumer brands including Casper, Glossier, Harry’s, and Smile Direct Club are continuing to pump money into Facebook and Instagram despite the ad boycott. Direct-to-consumer brands depend on Facebook’s advertising platform to not only market but sell their goods and services.
      9. Internet comparison website HighSpeedInternet.com’s contest could pay you $1,000 if you log 50 hours playing Nintendo’s ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons.’ The contest winner must play between Aug. 16 and Sept. 30, at which point they will be awarded the money.
      10. Tesla CEO Elon Musk started triumphantly selling literal red satin Tesla short shorts to celebrate the firm’s stock climbing. Tesla’s stock rose last week after the company reported second-quarter delivery figures that beat Wall Street’s expectations.

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      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

      facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

      Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019.

      REUTERS/Erin Scott


      1. Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said Facebook is ‘not gonna change’ its policies on policing hate speech, in response to a boycott by more than 500 advertisers over the company’s hate speech policies. Major brands like Coca-Cola, Ford, Starbucks, and Verizon have joined the boycott.
      2. Apple is re-closing 30 more stores in the US as coronavirus cases have spiked across the country. Apple will be re-closing stores in Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma.
      3. Facebook and Google may be forced to share their data with rivals, as the UK seeks to check their power. The UK’s competition regulator has recommended closer scrutiny of the two platforms, noting their ‘unassailable’ market positions in digital advertising.
      4. A team of advocacy groups is urging antitrust regulators around the world to take a hard look at the Google-Fitbit merger, saying the deal ‘is not in the interest of citizens’. A letter signed by 20 consumer and citizen advocacy groups is asking regulators to closely scrutinize Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit.
      5. SoftBank-backed insurance startup Lemonade has reportedly raised $319 million in its IPO. Lemonade priced 11 million shares at $29 per share, according to a source.
      6. Apple CEO Tim Cook has agreed to testify in House antitrust investigation. Cook’s acceptance makes him the last of the four major tech CEOs to signal their intent to testify to the House’s Judiciary Committee antitrust probe, Apple Insider reported. 
      7. Palmer Luckey’s military contracting startup Anduril is now worth $1.9 billion. Anduril, founded by Luckey, nearly doubled its valuation with a $200 million round of funding, which it plans to invest in developing its surveillance tech. 
      8. The feds are reportedly looking into Tesla’s Model S battery cooling system. The Los Angeles Times reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into Tesla’s Model S battery cooling system.
      9. MIT is taking its highly cited dataset that trained AI systems to potentially describe people using racist, misogynistic, and other problematic terms offline. The Register suggested that the university’s training set would be removed following its reporting. 
      10. NDAs in tech are causing a wall of silence which prevents racial progress at companies. Protocol reported that former tech employees had experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace but didn’t speak out for fear of legal retribution from employers.
      11. The UK House of Lords Gambling Committee says video game loot boxes should be regulated under gambling laws. “If a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated as gambling,” their report says, per the BBC. 

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      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

      mark zuckerberg

      Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

      Drew Angerer/Getty Images


      1. Facebook has banned hundreds of groups and accounts linked to the far-right boogaloo movement. The social media giant said it removed 220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 pages, and 106 groups linked to the boogaloo network it identified from its platform.
      2. The Federal Communications Commission has designated the Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei and ZTE as national security threats. The New York Times reported that the move cuts off the two firms from millions in broadband subsidies.
      3. Alphabet’s healthcare unit Verily has suspended bonuses mid-pandemic to fund diversity programs instead, frustrating employees, according to a memo obtained by Business Insider. Employees wrote in a letter to the company that the decision “implies that these efforts are charity causes not worthy of their own investment.”
      4. SAP has said it will suspend advertisements on Facebook and Instagram as it endorsed the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign against the social network. The company said it would suspend all paid ads until Facebook signaled “a significant, action-driven commitment to combating the spread of hate speech and racism on its platforms.”
      5. Google has confirmed it will buy smart glasses maker North, in a move that hints at higher ambition in augmented reality tech. The price of the deal is unknown, although a previous report claimed Google was buying the company for $180 million. 
      6. The UK is set to finally legalize electric scooter rentals from Saturday as it tries to avoid floods of people on public transport. The UK Department for Transport (DfT) will this week publish its legal framework for allowing pilots of e-scooter rental schemes to get underway.
      7. Europe’s $1.9 billion ride-hailing unicorn Bolt is rolling out electric bikes just weeks after Uber flamed out of the market. Bolt’s e-bike launch follows Uber pulling out of the scooter and bike-sharing market with the sale of its Jump business to Lime in May.
      8. Facial-recognition software fails to correctly identify people ‘96% of the time,’ according to Detroit’s police chief. Police around the US use facial-recognition software, though several major cities have banned its use.
      9. A Bay Area politician is pushing to rename the Zuckerberg San Francisco Hospital as anger swirls around Facebook’s lax hate speech policies. In 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $75 million to the hospital, which renamed itself in their honor.
      10. A Tesla on Autopilot slammed into a police car, according to a new report — and now the driver is facing criminal charges. A Tesla slammed into a police cruiser during a traffic stop in Massachusetts in December 2019 but the driver could now face negligence charges. 

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      facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

      Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

      REUTERS/Erin Scott


      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

      1. The Washington Post reports that as far back as 2015 Facebook started altering its policies to accommodate Donald Trump. The Post’s report relies on information from a dozen former and current employees plus previously unreported documents.
      2. Facebook shares sank 7% on Friday after Coca Cola announced it was pausing all social media advertising. The stock plummet wiped $7 billion off CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth.
      3. Starbucks has also said it’s stopping advertising on social media platforms, CNBC reports The coffee shop chain will continue to advertise on YouTube however.
      4. Unilever is halting ads on Facebook and Twitter in the US for the rest of 2020. “There is much more to be done, especially in the areas of divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the US,” Unilever said in a statement.
      5. One of the organizers of the Facebook ad boycott “Stop Hate for Profit” told Reuters they want to take the campaign global, focusing on Europe next. Jim Steyer from nonprofit Common Sense said the campaign is urging big global companies like Honda to pull their advertising.
      6. As the ad boycotts over hate speech on social media snowballed, Donald Trump retweeted a video on Sunday which showed an apparent supporter repeating the words “white power.” The tweet was deleted a few hours later, and a spokesman said the president had not heard the chant of “white power.”
      7. Facebook announced on Friday it’s banning ads which claim people from a specific race, ethnicity, nationality, caste, gender, sexual orientation or immigration origin are a threat, CNBC reports. “I […] stand against hate or anything that incites violence or suppresses voting, and we’re committed to removing that content too, no matter where it comes from,” said Mark Zuckerberg.
      8. The EU’s space chief told Reuters Europe is accelerating its spaceflight programs because of competition from SpaceX and China. The EU has signed a 1 billion euro deal with satellite launch company Arianespace to speed up its spaceflight ambitions.
      9. Singapore has started distributing physical devices for tracking and tracing the coronavirus, the BBC reports. The bluetooth-enabled “tokens” are being handed out to elderly and vulnerable people first.
      10. A group of young techies revealed themselves as being behind “It Is What It Is,” a mysterious meme that succeeded in getting Tech Twitter to donate to Black Lives Matter charities and clamor for invites to an app that doesn’t exist. According to team member Regynald Augustin, “It Is What It Is” has raised more than $200,000 for charities supporting Black trans people and the Black Lives Matter movement.

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      FILE PHOTO: A man stands next to the logo of Verizon at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

      Verizon joined the Facebook ad boycott.

      Reuters


      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.

      1. Verizon has joined the Facebook ad boycott, making it the biggest advertiser to do so thus far, CNBC reports. The ADL published an open letter on Thursday in which it mentioned it found a Verizon ad next to an anti-Semitic video.
      2. Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill that would ban the use of facial recognition technology by federal law enforcement. Democratic Sens. Ed Markey and Jeff Merkeley and Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Pramila Jayapal introduced the bill Thursday.

      3. Amazon purchased the naming rights to a Seattle sports arena, renaming it “Climate Pledge Arena.” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Instagram Thursday that the company chose not to name it Amazon Arena so that the name would serve “as a regular reminder of the urgent need for climate action.”
      4. Apple is launching a new Safari feature that will show users a list of the advertising trackers attempting to follow them around the web. The feature is part of Apple’s software updates coming to Macs, iPhones, and iPads in the fall.
      5. Top Trump officials and Republicans are encouraging followers to migrate to Parler, an alternative social network beloved by far-right agitators kicked off Facebook and Twitter. Parler, similar to social networks like Gab and MeWe, has advertised itself as a haven for free speech and protector of user rights.
      6. SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son is stepping down from Alibaba’s board as he focuses on shoring up SoftBank’s shaky finances. Son was one of Alibaba’s earliest backers, making a $20 million investment in the company two decades ago that was worth $60 billion by 2014.
      7. Sidewalk Labs laid off half of its Toronto employees after the Alphabet moonshot abandoned plans for a $900 million smart city. “Sidewalk Labs remains committed to reimagining cities for the future and tackling big urban problems,” a spokesperson told Business Insider.
      8. Amazon is launching a new service called Honeycode that enables AWS customers to build apps for their business without any coding experience. Honeycode is designed for businesses that need apps for tasks like event scheduling and inventory management, and Slack is one of its first users.
      9. The Information reports Amazon has agreed to buy self-driving car startup Zoox for $1 billion. The deal could be announced as early as today, according to The Information.
      10. Facebook will now warn users if they’re sharing an old news story with a pop-up, TechCrunch reports. The pop-up will appear if you try to share a story older than 90 days.

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      Facial recognition protestFacial recognition protest



      Fight for the Future


      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

      1. Amazon announced it’s going to suspend police use of its controversial facial-recognition technology for one year. Amazon Web Services has sold its facial-recognition software, called Rekognition, to police departments across the country, but numerous studies have found bias in the software that disproportionately targets Black people and other people with darker skin. 
      2. Grubhub, following failed talks with Uber, is now planning to merge with European food delivery service Just Eat. Just Eat’s proposed stock-swap deal values Grubhub at $7.3 billion and comes after Uber abandoned talks due to antitrust concerns. 
      3. Facebook worked with cybersecurity experts to quietly help the FBI hack a child predator. Facebook employees said the company felt it had no other choice, but the approach renews questions about tech’s cooperation with law enforcement. 
      4. Twitter is trying out a new feature that gently suggests you actually read an article before sharing it. The prompt reads: “Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.”
      5. Amazon is investigating the arrest of one of its delivery drivers on Tuesday in Warren, Michigan. A top Amazon executive on Tuesday shared a news report with a video appearing to show a white police officer restraining a Black driver who was facedown on the ground.
      6. Brex, a three-year-old fintech that had skyrocketed to a $3 billion valuation, has laid off 62 members, or roughly 17%, of its staff. It had announced a $150 million fundraise less than two weeks prior.
      7. Microsoft has asked managers to cancel meetings and events on Juneteenth to give employees a ‘day of listening, learning, and engagement’. The decision comes as employees share personal experiences with the ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism. 
      8. IBM has won praise after saying it would halt all sales of its facial recognition tech, but experts say it may have left itself a loophole. A researcher who specializes in IBM told Business Insider that ambiguity around what “general purpose” software means could leave the company wiggle-room to pursue custom-build facial recognition software for specific clients.
      9. New York-based data privacy startup Ethyca has raised $13.5 million from IA Ventures and PayPal cofounder Max Levchin’s SciFi VC. Founded in 2018, Ethyca helps businesses better assess their data privacy needs and comply with regulations around the use of customer data.
      10. Telemedicine app Babylon Health accidentally leaked videos of people’s medical consultations to other patients. Babylon Health is one of several telemedicine startups that have seen an influx of users amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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      2020-05-20T06: 29: 57Z

      mark zuckerberg

      Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

      1. Facebook is adding a new e-commerce feature called Shops to let businesses sell products through the social network. Facebook said it accelerated the rollout of the feature to help small businesses affected by COVID-19.

      2. Google said it will no longer build custom AI tools for fossil fuel extraction as it looks to distance itself from the oil and gas industry. The announcement followed a Greenpeace report revealing a number of cloud computing services provided by tech companies to the energy industry.

      3. Uber paid its laid-off hourly workers far fewer weeks of severance than others, but the company now plans to retroactively pay them more. The hourly workers are still largely unaware of Uber’s plans to pay them more, according to a source familiar with the matter.
      4. EasyJet says hackers stole 9 million customers’ personal data, including email addresses and credit card details. EasyJet said it has closed off the unauthorized access and will notify affected customers this week.
      5. Google CEO Sundar Pichai refuted a report that the company scaled back its diversity programs in order to avoid conservative backlash. “We probably have more resources invested in diversity now than at any point in our history as a company,” said the Google chief.
      6. Mark Zuckerberg said he is “worried” about China setting the agenda for tech regulation during a live streamed conversation with an EU commissioner. “I think the best antidote to that is having a clear regulatory framework that comes out of Western democratic countries and that can become a standard around the world that we can show works well,” Zuckerberg said.
      7. A court in Texas selected its first jury via Zoom. The case is a summary jury trial, which means the jury’s verdict will be non-binding.
      8. Joe Rogan’s podcast is moving exclusively to Spotify. It’s the platform’s latest addition to the podcast empire it’s building to compete with Apple and Google
      9. When Facebook reopens its offices in July it will limit them to 25% occupancy and require employees to wear masks, Bloomberg reports. Sources told Bloomberg the company outlined to staff globally how it plans to handle a return to major job sites starting July 6.
      10. Zoom no longer lets users in China sign up for free accounts, Nikkei Asian Review reports. This is reportedly due to “regulatory requirements” in China forcing users to sign up for paid accounts.

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        Apple store

        Apple is reopening 25 of its US stores.

        Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images


        Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

        1. This week Apple is reopening 25 of its US stores plus 12 in Canada, Bloomberg reports. People going into Apple stores will have their temperatures checked at the door and will be provided with a face mask if they don’t have one.
        2. Uber is expected to begin another round of layoffs on Monday, cutting thousands of jobs just weeks after laying off 14% of its workforce. A source familiar with the matter told Business Insider thousands more employees will have their jobs cut.
        3. Google Meet’s downloads have soared from 5 million to 50 million since March, Android Police reports. Google made the premium version of its video conferencing service Google Meet free last month.
        4. China pushed back on the United States to stop “unreasonable suppression” of Huawei and other Chinese businesses. Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have spiked in recent weeks, with officials on both sides suggesting they could abandon a hard-won deal that defused a bitter 18-month trade war.
        5. A cybergang who last week dumped data relating to Lady Gaga has now threatened to leak President Trump’s data. The hackers on Thursday dumped thousands of Lady Gaga’s legal documents, demanding a $42 million ransom from her law firm, which was hacked.
        6. Amazon is handing out “Thank you” t-shirts to warehouse workers as it cuts their hazard pay. One worker based in Indiana shared a picture of the shirt they received, the front reads “Thanks to you” and on the back: “Together, we’ll deliver.”
        7. Police in China, Dubai, and Italy are using these surveillance helmets to scan people for COVID-19 fever as they walk past. The helmets are made by Chinese firm KC Wearable and use thermal imaging to take people’s temperatures at a distance of around two meters.
        8. Google employees say the company culture that made it famous has almost entirely vanished, as it continues to be less transparent and more