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10 things in tech you need to know today

Jordan Parker Erb   

10 things in tech you need to know today

Happy Tuesday, readers. Apple's latest software upgrade comes with new privacy features, and Elon Musk was named Time's "Person of the Year."

Shall we?

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1. Apple's latest software comes with a variety of upgrades. After a long beta period, iOS 15.2 is being rolled out to iPhones with a number of much-anticipated new features, including:

  • The Digital Legacy program: While Apple has previously refused to unlock iPhones after someone died, this new feature will let users choose five people who can access their iCloud account after they die. Here's how to set up Legacy Contacts.
  • The Apple Music Voice Plan: This lower-priced Apple Music subscription — $4.99 per month rather than $9.99 — can only be used via Siri. A look at how that'll work.
  • App Privacy Report: iPhone users can now read a report of which apps are tracking them. If they don't like what they see, they can alter permissions.
  • Nudity detection: If the system detects any nudity in child-owned iPhones, iPads, or Macs, it will blur the image, issue a warning, and give the children the option to report it to their parents. More on that here.

Check out six other features — like an emergency call trigger and "hide my email" — here.

In other news:

2. Elon Musk is Time's 2021 "Person of the Year." "2021 was the year of Elon Unbound," the publication wrote, pointing to his accomplishments over the past year: SpaceX winning NASA's contract to put people on the moon, Musk hosting "SNL," Hertz announcing it will add 100,000 Teslas to its fleet — to name a few. Read Time's profile of Musk.

3. These 55 VCs shook up the industry in 2021. Insider asked the venture capitalists we named on last year's rising-stars list to nominate this year's most promising VCs — and they gave us 55 investors wowing their peers in the industry. Meet this year's rising-star VCs.

4. A union says that Amazon asking staff to work during severe weather is "inexcusable." The company shouldn't have had staff working at a warehouse when a tornado caused its roof to collapse, killing at least six, with many others missing. Here's what the union president said.

5. Wall Street banks are desperate for tech talent. With competition for software developers and back-end engineers heating up, banks like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are cutting down the recruiting process from two months to a few weeks. More on the frenzied hiring process.

6. Some members of Congress who blast Facebook are investing in the social-media giant. Insider counted 31 lawmakers holding Facebook stock in 2020 — some of whom sit on committees tasked with overseeing the very company from which they stand to profit. See which Facebook critics held stock in the company.

7. A year after Trump pardoned an investor in the college admissions scandal, our correspondent took a ferry to his island mansion for a tech party. While exploring Miami's Art Basel, correspondent Becky Peterson popped by a party at investor Robert Zangrillo's house to see how the Miami tech scene compares to those in California and New York. Here's what she learned.

8. Alibaba fired a female employee who accused a former supervisor and a client of sexual assault. The Chinese e-commerce giant said the employee disseminated false information about her assault and the company's handling of the case. More on that here.

9. An artist's @metaverse Instagram account was disabled after Facebook rebranded to Meta. Instagram said the user's account was taken down because she was impersonating someone, and it wasn't until a month later that the platform apologized and reinstated her account. What we know about @metaverse.

10. Rivian's first electric pickup truck is MotorTrend's Truck of the Year. The award comes as Rivian works to prove itself as a worthy rival to Tesla, with its $67,500 R1T offering a rugged, more outdoorsy alternative to Tesla's cars and SUVs. A look at the Truck of the Year.

What we're watching today:

Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Michael Cogley in London.


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