10 things in tech you need to know today

The Snapchat hotdog.

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The Snapchat hotdog.
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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

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

1. Amazon will spend a reported $1 billion (£719 million) to acquire doorbell startup Ring. Ring offers a video-enabled doorbell that beams footage of whoever’s outside to the homeowner’s phone.

2. Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth has disputed claims that Donald Trump’s camp paid more for Facebook ads during the 2016 election campaign than Hillary Clinton’s. Bosworth shared a chart showing Trump’s cost-per-impression surged in the final weeks.

3. Snapchat downloads surged after its redesign, despite massive criticism over the changes. Snapchat’s average growth in first-time installs was up 55% week on week, when comparing the week before and after the redesign.

4. Bill Gates said cryptocurrencies had “caused deaths in a fairly direct way” unlike almost any other technology. In a Reddit AMA, Gates noted cryptocurrencies were used to buy drugs, launder money, and fund terrorists.

5. Ex-Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has shut down his new venture, a fitness app called Chorus. The idea was that a group of friends would sign up and declare their fitness goals to motivate each other, but the app struggled to keep users beyond a few weeks.

6. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak said he had $70,000 (£50,000) in bitcoin stolen from him. A scammer paid him for the bitcoin via a credit card, but the card number turned out to be stolen.

7. Secretive data firm Palantir has been quietly using New Orleans as a testbed for its “predictive policing” technology, according to The Verge. The tool traced gang members’ connections to other criminals.

8. Uber executive Frances Frei, who was hired to fix the company’s culture, is leaving after less than a year. Now that ex-CEO Travis Kalanick is out, many of the company’s cultural problems have seemingly been resolved.

9. Google said it’s complied with about 43% of 2.4 million “right to be forgotten” takedown requests received over three years. Most requests come from individuals, but a growing number come from celebrities and politicians.

10. Moonfruit cofounder Wendy Tan White may set up her own artificial intelligence and deep tech fund after leaving as a partner at BGF Ventures. White said AI will shake up computing in the way mobile did.