- Shona Ghosh/Business Insider
Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
1. Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has made his first public appearance since being pushed out of the company. Kalanick took the stand on the ongoing court battle between Uber and Waymo, with his testimony set to continue today.
2. Reviews for Apple’s high-end HomePod speaker are in, and they’re unusually brutal for an Apple product. Reviewers universally criticised how poorly Siri performed on the smart speaker, but did praise its sound quality.
3. Snap reported higher growth in revenue and users on Tuesday, convincing investors that the Snapchat redesign can help it fight off Instagram. Revenue rose 72% to $285.7 million (£204 million), beating analyst expectations of $253.2 million (£181.2 million).
4. There’s an internal fight at Airbnb between employees and investors over whether the company should go public, according to Bloomberg. Ex-CFO Laurence Tosi expected the firm to go public in 2018, but the plans were reportedly nixed by CEO Brian Chesky.
5. Facebook employed a pollster to track CEO Mark Zuckerberg while he toured the US – but the man quit after six months. “I couldn’t change the values. I couldn’t change the culture. I was probably far too optimistic,” Tavis McGinn said.
6. Russian trolls used Tumblr to pose as black activists and spread anti-Hillary Clinton and pro-Bernie Sanders memes, according to BuzzFeed research. This is the first time Tumblr has been implicated in the wider scandal around Russian groups using social media to spread misinformation around elections.
7. Alphabet’s fiber broadband group has appointed its third new CEO in 16 months. Dinesh Jain is an industry veteran who will now run Access, which operates Google Fiber.
8. Apple’s acquisition of Shazam has triggered a competition review from European authorities. Seven countries have requested the EU’s Competition Commission to scrutinise the takeover over concerns it could affect competition.
9. Apple may offer rebates to customers who bought new batteries for their slowing iPhones at full price, before the firm began offering discounts. Top Republican lawmakers are investigating why Apple throttled iPhones without telling consumers first.
10. Tech sites including Twitter and Pornhub have banned AI-generated porn, a disturbing new trend where users create fake porn featuring celebrities’ faces. Both sites said such content was non-consensual.