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 Thursday.
- Lawmakers grilled Mark Zuckerberg about his company's big plan to upend the way we send money around the world. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday to answer questions from lawmakers about its ambitions for its Libra currency.
- WeWork held an all-staff meeting on Wednesday to talk about SoftBank's takeover and the company's future. The embattled coworking company is moving past cofounder Adam Neumann's leadership toward more transparency, a soon-to-be leaner staff, and better accountability, Marcelo Claure, WeWork's new chairman, told employees on Wednesday at an all-staff meeting.
- Mark Zuckerberg tried to drum up support for the firm's wild new currency by amping up worries of China's financial dominance. Zuckerberg argued that Libra, the Facebook-backed digital currency, will "extend America's financial leadership as well as our democratic values and oversight around the world" and if it doesn't innovate financially, China might gain more influence over the global financial system.
- WeWork's co-CEOs would walk away with millions in severance payments if SoftBank replaced them. According to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday, WeWork's recently named co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham will each receive a multi-million-dollar exit package if they are removed as part of SoftBank's negotiations to save the struggling coworking startup.
- Google scientists claimed a massive breakthrough in cutting-edge computing with 'quantum supremacy.' Google scientists ran an experiment to demonstrate just how much faster quantum computers would be compared to today's computers.
- Microsoft reported a huge quarter that blew away expectations but its stock went nowhere. Despite strong results, Microsoft stock was down less than 1% to around $135 per share in after-hours trading immediately following the earnings release.
- The FTC said it wants to shut down 'stalkerware,' apps that can hide inside people's phones and spy on their activity. "Stalkerware" is the term for consumer spyware that gives someone access to another person's phone without that person's consent.
- Google employees have raised alarms about a new tool that keeps tabs on their internal meetings. Employees are worried that the tool is a kind of spyware meant to discourage labor activism or organization but Google's official line is that it is benign and was developed in response to an increase in spam, Bloomberg's Ryan Gallagher reported Wednesday.
- Huawei started taking orders in China for its delayed Mate X foldable smartphone. Prices start at $2,400, according to Reuters.
- Google employees are raising alarms about a new tool that keeps tabs on their internal meetings, but the company says it's nothing to worry about. The tool can detect whether employees are scheduling meetings with large numbers of people, but Google said the service was developed in response to spam calendar invites.
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