10 things in tech you need to know today
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Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
- Larry Page "bypassed" Alphabet's board to personally give Andy Rubin a $150 million stock package while he was under investigation for sexual misconduct, according to a lawsuit. According to the filing, Alphabet's leadership committee ultimately finalized the stock-option deal, but it was Page who personally gave initial approval.
- Facebook removed ads from Elizabeth Warren about breaking up Facebook, Amazon and Google. Facebook has now restored the ads and says they were removed because they violated its policies against use of its corporate logo.
- Elizabeth Warren called Facebook a "censor" for temporarily blocking her ads about breaking Facebook up. This isn't the first time critics of Facebook have fallen foul of its checks.
- A former Tesla employee has filed a whistleblower tip with the SEC corroborating a claim that the company hacked employee cellphones and computers. The new tip also claims that a proposal to take Tesla private in 2018 was discussed and viewed with skepticism by "many" Tesla employees before CEO Elon Musk tweeted about it in August.
- Former Google exec Amit Singhal exec was awarded a $45 million exit deal amid accusations of sexual harassment, according to a lawsuit. Details of Singhal's exit package, combined with Android creator Andy Rubin's $90 million deal, now puts Google at having agreed to pay two former executives accused of sexual harassment a combined $135 million upon their departures.
- Instagram's co-founders slammed Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up tech giants at SXSW, saying it is not "nuanced." Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom said on stage Monday at the SXSW festival that, "being big, in and of itself, is not a crime."
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she isn't afraid of the rise of robots, but she agrees with Bill Gates that they should be taxed for taking jobs. Speaking at SXSW, Ocasio-Cortez said people should be "excited" for automation because it would leave people free to be more creative.
- Waymo is reportedly looking for outside investors. Alphabet's autonomous-driving division is reportedly targeting Volkswagen and other European automakers.
- The non-profit org founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman to save the world from artificial intelligence has decided to pursue profits. OpenAI was supposed to be the antidote to the terrors of artificial intelligence by eschewing profits.
- Donald Trump lashed out over the "Tim Apple" snafu, reportedly claiming he did say Tim Cook's surname. Axios reported on Sunday that Trump told an audience at Mar-a-Lago last week that he had said "Tim Cook Apple" but pronounced "Cook" quietly.
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