10 things in tech you need to know today
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- US video-sharing app Triller believes China's new export rules strengthen its $20 billion bid to acquire TikTok's US business from Chinese parent ByteDance. One source involved in the discussions told Business Insider that China's new rules favor Triller because the company could take on TikTok's branding while still using its own code.
- Apple, Amazon, and and Google hiked their developer and ad client fees to pass on the costs of paying new digital taxes in Europe. Apple on Tuesday announced a group of new developer fees motivated by new digital services taxes in Italy, France, the UK, and Turkey.
- PayPal told Business Insider it has terminated at least four accounts linked to a Russian influence operation exposed on Tuesday. Business Insider obtained the list of accounts from freelance writers who said they had been duped into writing for the Russian operation, which posed as a progressive website called "Peace Data."
- Mediatonic, the British studio that created the smash hit game "Fall Guys", nearly failed in 2016, its CEO told Business Insider. "Fall Guys" has hit 7 million downloads on Steam, and the game was created after Mediatonic lost all its client business in 2016.
- The dating and networking app Bumble is readying to go public as soon as early 2021, according to Bloomberg. Bumble could seek an initial-public-offering valuation between $6 billion and $8 billion, the news agency reported.
- Google has resumed performance reviews, but some employees are anxious that the new, longer 12-month cycle will hurt their chances to get promotions. The new reviews will assess performance for the past 12 months, whereas previously reviews typically assessed a 6-month period.
- The founder and former CEO of Virtudent, a Boston teledentistry startup, has sued his former company as well as its some of its directors, officers, and investors, saying that he was unjustly ousted for pushing back on the directors' grow-at-all-costs strategy. Hitesh Tolani launched Virtudent in 2014 as one of the first commercial teledentistry firms; its hygienists conduct exams in corporate offices or other places and then consult with its dentists over the internet.
- A federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the NSA's sweeping program to collect Americans' phone records was illegal and possibly unconstitutional. In its ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the NSA broke the law by collecting "phone metadata," or bulk records of Americans' phone call history.
- A Facebook employee sparked outrage after defending "well-intentioned law enforcement officers" and disputing that there's racial bias in policing in a post on internal company messaging boards, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday. According to The Daily Beast, the backlash was so strong that Mark Zuckerberg alluded to the post in a note to employees, saying some people weren't "appreciating the impact their words are having on our Black community."
- Microsoft on Tuesday announced the launch of Microsoft Video Authenticator, a tool designed to spot when videos have been manipulated using deepfake technology. Microsoft said it's inevitable deepfake technology will adapt to avoid detection, but that in the run-up to the election its tool can be useful.
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