10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.

  1. Trump accused Twitter and Facebook of censoring him and conservative commentators during a bizarre “social-media summit.” President Trump led a freewheeling press conference following the White House’s first social-media summit on Thursday.
  2. Trump blasted Bitcoin and said cryptocurrencies, including Facebook’s Libra, should be “subject to all banking regulations.” Trump joined politicians from both sides of the aisle in expressing skepticism about Facebook’s ambitions with Libra.
  3. Amazon Web Services employees circulated an internal letter demanding that Amazon stop working with big data company Palantir and that it take a stand against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Palantir runs its software on Amazon’s cloud, and has a $51 million contract with ICE.
  4. President Trump is on course for a new trade war with France over its plans to hit US tech firms with giant new taxes. Trump is worried that France’s new digital-services tax, which would place a 3% levy on the French revenue of firms like Amazon, unfairly targets US companies.
  5. Shaquille O’Neal says he “quadrupled” his net worth after adopting an investment strategy he learned from Jeff Bezos. O’Neal’s personal investments include a 1999 investment in Google and a stake in Apple.
  6. Apple shut down its Walkie Talkie app after a mysterious security flaw allowed people to listen in to your iPhone. Apple gave few details about the nature of the vulnerability but said it found no evidence the flaw was exploited by anyone before its discovery.
  7. Google says its workers are listening to and transcribing people’s Google Assistant commands. Independent contractors are asked to listen to the recordings and transcribe them in order to make the technology better at understanding different languages and accents.
  8. Facebook won’t release the code for its AI poker bot that can beat human pros because of “the potential impact on the poker community.” Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University announced that a joint team of researchers have managed to build artificial intelligence-powered software capable of beating some of the world’s best poker professionals in games of six-player no-limit Texas Hold ’em poker.
  9. A former Tesla employee admitted to uploading Autopilot files to his iCloud account, but denied he’s using them at the Tesla competitor where he now works. Tesla sued Guangzhi Cao in March, saying he could be using the files at the electric-vehicle startup Xpeng Motors, where he now works.
  10. Netflix dropped the trailer for its documentary about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. The documentary, titled “The Great Hack,” features journalist Carole Cadwalladr who broke the story, as well as Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser.

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