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10 things in tech you need to know today

Shona Ghosh   

10 things in tech you need to know today
Tech2 min read
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Amazon is currently working on a home robot.    Twitter/JeffBezos

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

  1. Snapchat's parent company is investigating allegations of racism and sexism within the company after some employees complained of a 'whitewashed' culture. Snap has hired a third-party law firm to investigate after former employees alleged discrimination inside the company, sources say.
  2. Two Chinese hackers are accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of trade secrets from companies and targeting firms developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, in a new US indictment. The US has accused two Chinese hackers of targeting firms developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. Some US investors of ByteDance, including Sequoia Capital, are reportedly considering buying a majority stake in TikTok. The US investors involved in the deal could possibly include Sequoia Capital, a famed Silicon Valley venture firm.
  4. Research lab OpenAI has released a "natural language generation" tool called GPT-3 that learns from a massive set of data to write impressively human-like text. Developers have been using GPT-3 to write creative fiction, design websites, and write business proposals with very little indication a robot created them.
  5. Amazon is debating a price point over $1,000 for its new Alexa home robot under development, code-named "Vesta," according to people familiar with the matter. The high price tag would be a change for Amazon's hardware strategy, which typically releases affordable products that are more commonly used.
  6. A female exec is suing $3 billion software firm Carta, alleging that the CEO likened her to an alcoholic and called her an 'a--hole.' Emily Kramer said she faced discrimination and retaliation at the company after she became more vocal about the lack of women and people of color in leadership positions at the company.
  7. Home insurtech startup Hippo said Tuesday it had secured $150 million in Series E funding, bringing the unicorn's valuation up to $1.5 billion. Hippo plans to hire 100 new employees and is building a new office in Austin, Texas as it prepares for an IPO it hopes to complete in 2021.
  8. Elon Musk says his space company SpaceX will try launching a full-size Starship prototype 'later this week,' and the rocket may fly 150 meters high. SpaceX has been working feverishly to develop a potentially revolutionary rocket system called Starship in Boca Chica, a remote region in southeastern Texas that sits on the Gulf of Mexico.
  9. Instagram is rolling out a tool that will allow users to raise money on the app, GoFundMe-style. Only users 18 years old and older can create a Personal Fundraiser for a small business or for a "cause that's important to you."
  10. London-based fintech startup Plum has raised $10 million in fresh VC funding amid a boom in its services during the coronavirus. Founded in 2017, the financial management app raised funds from Global Brain and the EBRD to expand its services and products across Europe.

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