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10 things in tech you need to know today

10 things in tech you need to know today

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Amazon warehouse staffAmazon warehouse staff New Amazon documents obtained by Reveal suggest Amazon warehouses are not as safe as the company says.

Ina Fassbender/AFP 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. Nearly two years since Google Health came together, it’s still unclear how the group fits into Alphabet’s bigger vision for healthcare or how it’ll make money. The health division is still battling public distrust and has lost out on some major deals as it tries to hammer out its road map, insiders told Business Insider.

  2. Hedge funds and private equity are piling into late-stage startups ahead of hotly anticipated IPOs. Nontraditional investors have participated in more than $50 billion in deal value so far in 2020, according to PitchBook data.
  3. Amazon is letting customers pay for groceries by scanning their palm at its Go convenience storesAmazon is trialing its new Amazon One palm-scanning payment tech at two of its Seattle convenience stores.

  4. DuckDuckGo complained Android’s choice screen in Europe is “rigged” after Google picked a bunch of alternative search engines. Google started letting competitors auction for space on Android phones after the EU slapped it with a $5 billion fine for anti-competitive behavior in 2018.
  5. A cache of Amazon company records show the company has misled the public about the frequency of injuries inside its warehouses, Reveal reports. Last year one the warehouse with the highest injury rate experienced 22 serious injuries for every 100 workers, per the documents seen by Reveal.
  6. Joe Biden’s campaign declared war on Facebook, accusing it of failing to live up to its promises to rein in Trump. The Biden campaign said Facebook had not lived up to its own promises to clamp down on misinformation on topics like voting.
  7. Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit takeover is set for regulator approval after the tech giant made new concessions on user data. Google has promised it will not use Fitbit data to personalize adverts for 10 years.
  8. A number of people on Clubhouse, the audio-only chat app used by tech founders and investors, revealed a chatroom conversation erupted with anti-Semitic opinions on Monday evening. Users present in the chatroom said it spiralled into a tirade against Jewish people using anti-Semitic tropes.
  9. Uber’s push to expand its food delivery empire just hit another roadblock as the DOJ scrutinizes its plan to buy Postmates. The DOJ put in a “second request,” which signals it’s “concerned about the deal” according to former DOJ antitrust lawyer Sam Weinstein.
  10. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstong drew both scorn and praise after forbidding employees to engage in activism at work. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong wrote in a blog post over the weekend that corporate activism was a “distraction” from his company’s mission of increasing global access to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

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10 things in tech you need to know today

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Donald Trump phoneDonald Trump phone
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images


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

  1. Oracle announced it will become a minority investor in TikTok Global after President Trump indicated his approval. In a statement Saturday evening, TikTok confirmed the news and said it was also working with Walmart on a commercial partnership.
  2. The US decided to postpone its ban on TikTok downloads after parent firm ByteDance reached agreements with Oracle and Walmart. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement Saturday that “recent positive developments” meant the deadline for the ban has now been moved to 11:59 p.m. on September 27.
  3. A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s WeChat download ban. The US Department of Commerce had issued an order that would have required Apple and Google to remove WeChat from their respective app marketplaces in the US.
  4. The EU wants to give itself the power to kick US tech giants out of Europe. A regulatory blueprint includes massive penalties to force tech companies to sell off their European operations and even shut them out of the European single market.
  5. Trump said he has requested $5 billion from any TikTok deal directed toward teaching American children “the real history of our country.” Trump claimed on Saturday that he had asked the leaders of Oracle, ByteDance, and Walmart for the $5 billion cut.
  6. Trump’s travel ban likely accelerated the spread of the coronavirus in the US, according to Bill Gates. Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that the government’s travel ban earlier this year may have made the coronavirus outbreak in the US worse.
  7. Jack Ma’s Ant is lifting its IPO funding target to $35 billion putting it on track for a record debut. Ant’s record IPO would value firm at about $250 billion, according to Bloomberg.
  8. Twitter said it would investigate whether the neural network that selects which part of an image to show in a photo preview favors showing the faces of white people over Black people. Users posted examples over the weekend, notably of Mitch McConnell and Barack Obama which seemed to prioritize white faces on the social media app’s photo previews, per Mashable.
  9. Kindred Capital, a European tech investor which shares profits with founders, has raised a $105 million second fund. The fund has a novel model which shares profits with founders who it has previously invested in.
  10. Kids in the UK are now spending more money on ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Roblox’ than candy and books. Kids are also saving 14% more money than they did in 2019 — that’s £104 ($135) a year, per data from RoosterMoney.

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facebookfacebook In this photo illustration a Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket 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. 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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10 things in tech you need to know today

10 things in tech you need to know today

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Alex Karp — CEO of Palantir Alex Karp speaks to the press as he leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 23, 2018 after the Alex Karp — CEO of Palantir Alex Karp speaks to the press as he leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 23, 2018 after the Palantir CEO Alex Karp.

Photo by Julien Mattia/NurPhoto 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. Palantir officially laid out its plans to go public in a direct listing. Sources previously told Business Insider that shares could begin trading as soon as September 24.
  2. Palantir’s CEO wrote Silicon Valley companies are unpatriotic “engineering elites” and allied the company with the Trump administration. Palantir, which has several high-profile contracts with agencies like the Pentagon and ICE, claimed in the filing that other tech companies were less loyal to US interests.
  3. Jack Ma’s Ant Group filed for its IPO, which could reportedly be the biggest ever. The company is targeting a $225 billion valuation and could raise as much as $30 billion in the offering if demand holds up, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
  4. Customs and Border Protection paid $476,000 to Venntel, a firm that gathers and sells location data from people’s phones, according to government procurement records published this month. Venntel is currently being investigated by House lawmakers, who have raised concerns about its business of collecting people’s location data and selling it to government agencies and other third parties.
  5. Investors in TikTok’s parent company are reportedly pushing for Trump-friendly Oracle to acquire the viral-video app. TikTok is facing pressure to sell off its US operations in the face of Donald Trump’s executive order threatening to ban the app.
  6. Netflix was reportedly approached by TikTok to acquire its US operations. According to the Wall Street Journal, Netflix passed on the deal.
  7. A new, more powerful Nintendo Switch is reportedly coming in 2021. The new version of the wildly popular Nintendo console could be capable of outputting 4K visuals, a report in Bloomberg said, and come with increased processing power.
  8. Business schools concerned about attracting MBA students are scrambling to improve their online courses during COVID-19. Executive-education startup Jolt said it has held talks with numerous leading business schools about helping to improve their online offerings.
  9. Israeli firm Cellebrite has been accused of selling software which was used to hack into the phones of 4,000 Hong Kong citizens, MIT Tech review reports. Beijing’s recent crackdown on Hong Kong allows authorities broad powers to limit free speech.
  10. Elon Musk tweeted there will be a live demonstration from Neuralink, his brain chip interface company, on Friday. Musk said there will be a webcast of a “working Neuralink device” on Friday at 3 p.m. Pacific time.

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