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Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
1. Snap is reportedly planning a layoff round to its engineering department, the largest to date. About 100 people are said to be affected, which is less than 10% of the unit.
2. Google has released a preview of Android P with support for an iPhone X-style notch. The new build has updates to Android’s Quick Settings and notifications, as well as other design tweaks.
3. Amazon is updating Alexa to fix an issue that reportedly made it laugh at random. The company said the laugh was triggered when Alexa mistakenly heard “Alexa, laugh,” and is changing the command to “Alexa, can you laugh?” to make sure it doesn’t happen anymore.
4. Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 S will no longer be a dedicated operating system. It will instead become a mode of the regular Windows 10 in 2019.
5. Google has updated its Duo video-messaging app with the ability to leave 30-second videos for users who miss or decline calls. The feature will roll out as part of an update for both iOS and Android users later this week.
6. Microsoft is launching a new AI platform for Windows 10 developers ahead of its annual Build developer conference. The platform, which includes the ability to import different learning models, will be available inside of Visual Studio.
7. Uber founder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick is launching a venture fund focused on India and China. 10100 will focus on “large scale job creation,” Kalanick said.
8. Magic Leap has raised $461 million (£332 million) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The cash injection goes on top of its recent $502 million (£361 million) round in October, and brings the total Series D funding to $963 million (£693 million).
9. A consortium of 61 Japanese banks is planning to use Ripple’s blockchain technology for a consumer payments app. The project will be starting with a trial in three banks in Autumn 2018.
10. Uber is reportedly seeking $1.25 billion (£900 million) for its second leveraged loan. The company is said to have approached loan investors directly instead of going through banks.