10 things in tech you need to know today
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
- Former Facebook employees reportedly say the corporate culture is like a cult where you have to be happy all the time. More than a dozen former Facebook staffers spoke to CNBC, and put much of the blame on Facebook's biannual peer-review system, where employees are "stack-ranked" and assigned a grade by management.
- A Motherboard investigation found US phone companies sell customers' data in real time, allowing bad actors to potentially track their location to within a few hundred metres. The investigation found data sold to firms like credit checkers can end up on the black market.
- Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's resolution is to host public debates about the effects of tech on society. Every year Zuckerberg poses himself a challenge, and this year he pledged to talk with "leaders, experts, and people in our community from different fields," every few weeks.
- Tim Cook appeared on "Mad Money" and repeated one of Steve Jobs' favorite sayings to defend Apple during its slump. Twice Cook repeated the phrase "it just works" - one of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs' mantras.
- Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says there's a chance the company may not IPO in 2019 after all. Khosrowshahi told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Tuesday that he and investors would be "disappointed" if there was no IPO but that "the company would be just fine."
- Google made a heap of announcements about its AI-powered "Google Assistant" at CES. Among other things it showed off "Interpreter mode," letting people talk to each other in different language while the virtual assistant translates.
- Google is moving in to a former Los Angeles shopping mall to open a massive new 584,000-square-foot office. Dubbed "One Westside," the offices will take up part of what is today the Westside Pavilion mall.
- "Fortnite" made nearly half a billion dollars on just Apple devices in 2018, according to a new report. In December 2018 alone, the game reportedly made just under $70 million on Apple devices.
- A gamer tried to go pro by pretending to be a woman in a scandal that exposed an ugly truth about esports. "Overwatch" is one of the most successful esports titles in the world, with the Overwatch League and other events supporting more than 200 professional players.
- Facebook cleared political ads for a British far-right group it banned just 8 months ago. Facebook allowed political ads for far-right British political group Britain First to run on its platform in December, which ran for several days in late December.
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