10 things in tech you need to know today
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
- Google fired an engineer who built a tool that notified employees of their labor rights. Kathryn Spiers is the fifth employee this month to accuse the company of illegal retaliation.
- Amazon has helped protect some vendors from Trump’s tariffs on Chinese products by paying them up to 25% more for the goods it resells. Analysts say last week’s trade agreement could have a positive financial impact on Amazon’s margins.
- Vladimir Putin reportedly runs an outdated version of Windows on his computer, which is vulnerable to hacking. Putin is known for his distrust of the internet and smartphones.
- Facebook is hiring part-time contractors as fact-checkers, Axios reports. The contracted workers are called “community reviews,” and will bolster the efforts of Facebook’s fact-checking partners.
- Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly taking advice on political decisions, including how the company handles political ads, from Trump adviser and Facebook board member Peter Thiel. Zuckerberg, Thiel, and President Trump shared a private dinner together in October, but the details of the meeting haven’t been disclosed.
- Amazon is trying to combat sellers who find products in the trash, clean and shrink-wrap them, and sell them to oblivious shoppers. The Wall Street Journal found sellers who admitted to dumpster diving, and also ran a successful experiment where it set up its own Amazon store offering items its reporters found in the trash.
- Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel quietly acquired French citizenship last year because “he loves France.” Spiegel was naturalized through a procedure that allows French-speaking foreign nationals who contribute to the country through “exceptional action” to acquire citizenship there.
- Ucommune, sometimes known as the “WeWork of China,” is preparing to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Ucommune isn’t profitable yet, and the company explains its path to profitability using language that’s almost identical to WeWork’s IPO prospectus.
- Mark Zuckerberg’s semi-dormant Twitter account followed one person this entire year. The person followed by Zuckerberg is Cat Valdes, an Atlanta woman who self-describes as an “ex-influencer,” “bulldog mom,” “swiftie” and “mental health advocate.”
- Twitter is denying that it failed to warn a Saudi Arabian political dissident after his account was hacked by an employee, Bloomberg reports. The employee fled to Saudi Arabia after Twitter discovered he had been hacking the accounts of multiple dissidents.
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