Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
1. Eric Alexander, an executive who was fired from Uber in 2017, has filed a lawsuit against Rachel Whetstone, a well-known and powerful PR and public policy pro who was Uber’s PR boss at the time. According to Alexander, Whetstone spread false rumours about him.
2. Multiple Google employees are leaving the company over its plans to re-enter China, according to BuzzFeed. One employee, research scientist Jack Poulson, said he was shocked by the plans.
3. Jeff Bezos is launching a $2 billion fund to support homeless families and education using Amazon’s methods. A little bizarrely, Bezos said that “the child will be the customer” when describing plans for early education schools.
4. Google’s introverted cofounder, Larry Page, has mysteriously disappeared from public life and is reportedly spending more time on his private Caribbean island. Page has been noticeably absent as scrutiny of Silicon Valley steps up, focusing less on Google’s day-to-day dealings and more on investing in futuristic projects like flying cars.
5. Tesla’s biggest institutional investor, Baillie Gifford, said it was questioned by US securities regulators about Elon Musk’s now-abandoned plans to take Tesla private and that Musk needed help running the company. Baillie Gifford’s James Anderson said: “He needs help, and I mean that psychologically as much as practically.”
6. Mark Zuckerberg has warned 2 months before the US midterms that Facebook can’t fight election interference alone. In a lengthy essay about how Facebook will protection upcoming elections, Zuckerberg said governments, journalists, and non-profits could all help.
7. SpaceX announced on Thursday night that it plans to launch “the world’s first private passenger” around the moon. CEO Elon Musk said the person will be named on Monday.
8. Uber is spending millions of dollars in Toronto to open an engineering hub and expand its self-driving car operations. The new indicates that the company hasn’t totally given up on autonomous vehicles.
9. There’s speculation that Apple may have made a rare blooper with the AirPower wireless charger. Apple didn’t announce the charging accessory, originally teased last year, on Wednesday, and earlier reports suggest its development has hit setbacks.
10. British startup Babylon Health announced it would put $100 million into expanding the use of its artificial intelligence tech in healthcare. But CEO Ali Parsa was scathing of critics who questioned the firm’s impact on the UK’s health service, and who asked why the firms claims had not been submitted to peer review.
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