10 things in tech you need to know today
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
- Facebook just bought Beat Games, the developers behind virtual reality mega-hit “Beat Saber.” Beat Games will operate as a standalone studio within Facebook’s Oculus Studios
- WeChat users in the US say the app is censoring their messages about Hong Kong. This is the latest in a pattern of Chinese censorship extending into the US.
- Facebook tried to buy wearable tech company Fitbit but was outbid by Google, CNBC reports. Google announced its acquisition of Fitbit for $2.1 billion on November 1.
- Indian cab app Ola announced plans to take on Uber in London in 2020, just one day after Uber lost its license to operate in the city. Ola shares a major investor with Uber, Japanese mega-investor SoftBank.
- Adult performers are slamming Instagram for deleting their accounts, saying they’re held to a higher standard than other users. Instagram says that the accounts were deleted for violating community standards, and some have been reinstated.
- An anonymous Microsoft engineer appears to have written a chilling account of how Big Oil might use tech to track its workers’ every move. Writing in Logic Magazine, the engineer recounted how managers at an oil firm wanted to use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data from GPS trackers to analyze CCTV video footage to track workers’ behavior.
- A vintage Macintosh floppy disk signed by Apple cofounder Steve Jobs and valued at $7,500 is up for auction. Back in August, a “Toy Story” movie poster with Jobs’ signature went up for auction with a minimum bid of $25,000.
- WeWork offered about 1,000 people a surprisingly good deal to move to a contractor then sent some of them a letter with another deal. In addition to cutting 2,400 jobs last week, WeWork is also moving roughly 1,000 people on its janitorial and facilities staff off its payrolls by sending them to contract companies.
- Amazon is partnering with a pharmacy chain so Alexa can now remind people to take their medication, TechCrunch reports. At first only customers of Giant Eagle Pharmacy, a chain in the Midwest and East Coast, will be able to access the feature.
- Twitter is going to delete any accounts that haven’t signed in for six months on December 11, The Verge reports. The purge will leave a lot of usernames open for use again.
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