Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
- Facebook has been collecting audio from some voice chats on Messenger and paying contractors to listen to and transcribe it. Facebook told Bloomberg it collected audio data only from users who opted into having their chats transcribed.
- Google reportedly has a massive culture problem that’s destroying it from the inside. Google has been struggling with internal and external criticism over the past several years on a variety of issues, from lacking diversity in its workforce to its work in China.
- Uber’s CEO told employees that he’s cutting costs like ‘anniversary balloons’ as nervous engineers worry about layoffs. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi held an all-hands meeting on Tuesday, and the big topic under discussion was cost cutting.
- Facebook sent a legal warning to developer who made an Instagram location-tracking app to demonstrate data issues. The developer of the tracking app Who’s in Town said he built the app to highlight privacy issues with Instagram’s services.
- Amazon has added fear detection and age ranges to its facial-recognition tech Rekognition as the Border Patrol looks to award a $950 million contract. Rekognition is a controversial technology and has been the subject of much criticism and protests – from both inside and outside Amazon.
- An anonymous user on 4chan posted specific medical information about Jeffrey Epstein’s death by apparent suicide before the news became public on Saturday. The 4chan post at 8:16 a.m. ET said Epstein died from hanging and cardiac arrest, ABC reporter Aaron Katersky broke the news on Twitter at 8:54 a.m.
- PewDiePie and T-Series quietly settled a court battle over “racist” diss tracks following their epic YouTube battle. The YouTube star PewDiePie and the Indian record label T-Series duked it out for months earlier this year to become the YouTube channel with the most subscribers.
- A Tesla owner implanted her car’s key into her arm so that she can start her Model 3 with her body. Engineer Amie DD, who documented the saga on her YouTube page and blog, said the project was completed without a hitch.
- Twitter will start letting users follow topics rather than just specific accounts, the Verge reports. The topics (sports for example) will be curated by Twitter’s AI.
- Snap has a new, much more expensive set of augmented-reality Spectacles coming this November for $380. More than just a new design, the smart glasses feature new cameras and additional storage.
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