- Reuters/Lindsey Wasson
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Google confirmed it will appeal its recent $57 million fine for breaching Europe’s strict new privacy rules. Google said it was concerned about how the ruling would impact publishers.
- Canada’s ambassador to China said that Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has a strong case to avoid extradition to the United States. Ambassador John McCallum said that Meng has “quite good arguments” including “political involvement by comments from Donald Trump on her case.”
- Microsoft’s president says tech’s bruising 2018 has left scars that will result in US federal regulation as early as this year. Brad Smith said federal US privacy regulation was inevitable.
- Amazon revealed a new autonomous-delivery robot named ‘Scout.’ The vehicle can navigate around anything in its way, including pets and pedestrians, the company said.
- Tesla employees who were let go on Friday described to Business Insider an abrupt, impersonal process that left them wondering why they had been chosen. CEO Elon Musk suggested this round of layoffs was necessary for Tesla to become consistently profitable while introducing lower-priced vehicles, such as the long-awaited $35,000 version of the Model 3.
- The ‘Apple of China’ teased a double-folding smartphone just 2 months after Samsung. A senior Xiaomi executive posted a video of the prototype device, which features a central panel, with two folding panels on either side.
- A millionaire who was suing Facebook over scam bitcoin ads has dropped his suit and fired a warning shot to Google. British millionaire Martin Lewis has come to an agreement with Facebook, but said scam ads are rife on other ad platforms, such as Google’s.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella were snapped having dinner with Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing Brazilian president with a history of racist, misogynist, and homophobic remarks. The three were at a dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
- Property tycoon Nick Candy has rescued augmented reality startup Blippar from total collapse. Candy acquired the assets of Blippar, which fell into administration in late 2018.
- At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, tech experts embraced Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s comparison of Facebook to smoking. “The incentives to manipulate attention are all about preying on the weakest elements of human psychology,” Mark Zuckerberg’s former mentor Roger McNamee told Business Insider.
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