10 things in tech you need to know today

source
Jan Pecek/Flickr

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

1. Google has acquired part of HTC’s mobile team for $1.1 billion (£815 million). The team joining Google already worked on its Pixel phones, and HTC will continue to run the rest of its smartphone division.

2.Facebook has promised to add more human oversight to its ad targeting platform, after media outlets discovered advertisers could show ads specifically to users who described themselves as “Jew haters.” COO Sheryl Sandberg described the targeting issue as a “fail on our part.”

3. The UK government reportedly asked WhatsApp to backdoor the encryption in its chat app, but the company refused. Home Secretary Amber Rudd has previously criticised end-to-end encryption, which prevents third parties from snooping on messages sent between users.

4. Reviewers have slammed the Apple Watch 3, which purportedly doesn’t require an iPhone connection but has many issues finding a data connection. Reviewers also panned the device’s battery life.

5. Mark Warner, a senior US senator, has said there are probably many more fake Russian accounts on Facebook than what the company has disclosed to date. Warner said Facebook had disclosed 470 accounts so far, but found 30,000 fake accounts ahead of the French presidential election earlier this year.

6. A former Tesla factory employee is suing the firm, claiming it prevented him from buying 625 shares that would now be worth around $240,000 (£178,000). Tesla described the claim as “questionable.”

7. Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel may be handed a top intelligence job after months of close involvement with the White House. Thiel is being considered for the role of chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, which monitors the intelligence community and advises the president.

8. After suffering a massive hack, credit-reporting agency Equifax has been directing its customers to a spoof phishing site rather than its own legitimate one. The site – securityequifax2017.com – was created by a software developer to show how easy it would be to spoof the webpage.

9. Tesla may bring chip development in-house for its future self-driving car system, reducing its reliance on current partner Nvidia. Tesla is reportedly working with semiconductor firm AMD on its own chip.

10. US grocery firm Albertsons has acquired meal delivery startup Plated for between $175 million to $200 million (£130 million to £148 million). The firm will become a subsidiary and customers will be able to pick up meals in-store or for delivery.