10 things in tech: Bezos' mystery passenger, Instacart ad business, bitcoin conference
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1. The first tourist on Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft has bid $28 million for the privilege. The winner's name will be released in the coming weeks, and they will sit aboard the craft with founder Jeff Bezos and his brother. More on the auction here.
2. Here's how tech companies reacted to Trump-era government demands for data on journalists and political rivals. Apple said it was gagged from discussing orders. More on tech firms' statements here.
3. Instacart is building a $1 billion advertising business that's trying to rival Facebook and Google. A former Amazon executive is behind the new business - which has been more profitable than delivery. Get the full scoop in our exclusive report.
4. Congress unveiled five bipartisan bills that mark its biggest step yet in regulating tech giants. The new legislation is specifically aimed at Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook, and would give regulators more power to keep them from holding too much market dominance. We describe the bills here.
5. NFTs are a pump-and-dump scheme designed to make a few insiders rich. The intrinsic value of these digital assets is zero, and NFT purchasers are not buying the physical object. Why the concept makes no sense.
6. In 1953 a scientist predicted a person titled "Elon" would lead humans to Mars. In his book, German American astronautical engineer (and one-time Nazi scientist) Wernher Von Braun predicted the person would crown himself "Martian Emperor" and colonize the planet. Sound familiar?
7. An Amazon employee's husband was sentenced to prison for insider trading - and earning a $1.4 million profit. Between 2016 and 2018, Viky Bohra, husband of a former senior manager in Amazon's tax department, illegally traded the stock for a massive profit. More on that here.
8. New videos show the Tesla Model S Plaid rip to 100 mph in five seconds. Taken at the car's launch event, videos show just how fast the sedan really is. Watch the videos here.
9. Thousands of crypto-crazed fans in Miami partied and watched money burn at the bitcoin conference. Billing itself as the world's largest cryptocurrency event, the conference involved everything from partying with socialites to announcing groundbreaking global developments (but several crypto influencers have claimed to contract COVID-19 since). Here are five of the wildest stories from the event.
10. Travis Kalanick's CloudKitchens lost its second exec in a month. The company's head of Americas is leaving for a healthtech startup, just weeks after its head of recruiting left - and after hundreds of employees left earlier this year. Read up on the most recent departures.
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