10 things in tech you need to know today
Hello, readers. At least six Amazon employees were killed when a warehouse collapsed during a tornado on Friday. Plus, Better's CEO is taking time off, effective immediately.
Let's get to it.
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1. A tornado tore through an Amazon warehouse, killing at least six employees. The warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, collapsed Friday due to severe weather. In addition to six confirmed deaths, an unknown number of people are still missing. Here's what we know so far:
- Officials said the collapse was caused by tornadoes and severe storms that ripped through Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri.
- The victims include a new mother and a 29-year-old US Navy veteran. What we know about each of the workers.
- In the aftermath, employees are pushing back against a controversial phone ban at Amazon warehouses, Bloomberg reported. Though it had been relaxed during the pandemic, the ban's being reinstated around the country — and workers are expressing concerns for their safety.
- Jeff Bezos has come under fire. As the situation unfolded, the Amazon founder was celebrating a Blue Origin human spaceflight, which launched six people including "Good Morning America" anchor Michael Strahan into space. Bezos acknowledged the disaster several hours later, describing it as "tragic."
In other news:
2. Why does everything go offline when Amazon's servers have issues? Last week, Amazon Web Services had an outage that not only affected its own operations, but also brought down major sites like Netflix and Tinder, which rely on AWS for its web hosting and cloud infrastructure. We explain why everything breaks when AWS goes down.
3. Inside the NFT parties and crypto invasion of Miami's Art Basel. While partying on a $40 million superyacht, our correspondent experienced the collision of the crypto revolution and the art world — and learned that even some art collectors are expressing an interest in NFTs. Here's what she experienced at the glitzy, weeklong art fair.
4. Better's CEO is "taking time off effective immediately." While CEO Vishal Garg takes leave, Better has engaged an independent third party to "do a leadership and cultural assessment," per an internal memo seen by Insider. What we know about Garg's leave so far.
5. Amazon Music wants to overhaul the company's controversial performance review system. Leaked documents show the Amazon Music team wants to scrap the companywide "unregretted attrition rate," or the percentage of employees the company doesn't mind losing, which some people say unfairly fires employees. What we learned from the leaked documents.
6. Tesla has been hit with a second sexual harassment lawsuit in a month. An assembly line worker at a California Tesla factory has accused the company of retaliation and failing to prevent "a pattern of continuous and pervasive" sexual harassment at the factory. More on the lawsuit here.
7. Leaked emails and photos show complaints that ghost kitchen startup Reef sent out raw meat. In more than 100 complaints, customers repeatedly say they received raw chicken or undercooked burger patties — with some even claiming they got food poisoning from the meat. See what else customers said about the food.
8. A group of Apple Watch customers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit claims that an Apple Watch defect caused the watches' batteries to swell, cracking the screens and exposing "razor-sharp" edges. Get the full rundown here.
9. Microsoft offered to bring top Xbox games like "Halo" to iPhones. Court documents show that if Apple would loosen its App Store rules, Microsoft would have brought major Xbox games to Apple's App Store. Why Apple won't budge.
10. MGM Resorts is letting job hunters try out roles using VR. As it looks to reduce employee churn, the casino and hotel company is letting applicants test out a job using virtual reality before they commit. Here's how it'll work.
What we're watching this week:
- The TIME Person of the Year will be revealed today.
- The Bloomberg Technology Summit takes place Dec. 14-15.
Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Michael Cogley in London.
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