10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

susan wojcicki

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

  1. SoftBank is backing out of its plan to buy $3 billion of WeWork shares, including nearly $1 billion from former CEO Adam Neumann. A special committee of WeWork's board has threatened to take legal action against SoftBank.
  2. YouTube is planning to launch an in-app rival to viral video-sharing app TikTok before the end of 2020. The feature, called "Shorts," will live as a feed inside the existing YouTube mobile app, meaning users can make use of YouTube's licensed music and songs.
  3. Apple has softened its controversial 30% tax on some streaming sites that sold movies and TV shows in app. Amazon Prime's video service has started selling TV shows and movies through its iOS app as a result.
  4. Google is providing free internet across the state of California after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced schools would remain closed through the spring. Google is setting up 100,000 WiFi access points to increase broadband access for the state of California.
  5. Amazon is investigating claims that its workers in the Philippines have suffered 'inhumane' conditions. Call center workers say coronavirus travel restrictions have left them sleeping in close quarters on makeshift beds, the Financial Times reported.
  6. Amazon workers in Detroit are set to walk out after a third case of the coronavirus was confirmed there. The third worker infected with the virus was last at the facility on March 28, and Amazon told workers it learned of the case on Wednesday.
  7. A group of technology and privacy experts in Europe is close to launching smartphone traceability software to track coronaviruss. The initiative is set to be launched in the coming days and is compliant with Europe's strict privacy rules.
  8. The game studio Rockstar Games announced on Tuesday that it would donate 5% of revenue from in-game purchases from its online games "Grand Theft Auto Online" and "Red Dead Online" to coronavirus relief funds. Rockstar has not yet made clear exactly where the money will be going, but its focus seems to be on economic relief.
  9. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has stepped down after the company officially closed its merger with Sprint. President and COO Mike Sievert is taking over as CEO effective immediately.
  10. College students are rebuilding their universities in Minecraft as campuses close due to Covid-19. Students at the University of Pennsylvania rebuilt large parts of their campus to scale within the popular game in order to graduate online, per The Verge.
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