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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
Tech3 min read

Happy Monday, readers. Facebook is paying employees more to make up for its deteriorating reputation, and TikTok is launching its own ghost kitchens.

Let's dive in.

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1. As Facebook's reputation sinks, it's paying even more to hire and retain talent. The company used to be a place people rarely left, given its perks, pay, and reach. Now, with a deteriorating public image, Facebook has to outbid other major tech companies to keep employees around.

  • Based on data and interviews with industry recruiters and former employees, we found that some tech workers fear Facebook could be seen as a "black mark" on their career.
  • To combat that, Facebook has instituted what some are calling a "brand tax": bumping up base pay and stock grants to hire workers and keep them happy.
  • For example, some positions at the company have seen a $20,000 increase in their yearly salary, and compared to Google, Facebook offers more in stock grants, significantly increasing total compensation.

Everything you need to know about Facebook's "brand tax."

In other news:

2. As Big Tech focuses on the metaverse, demand for vintage tech is surging. Typewriters, record players, film cameras, and old-school video games are making a comeback, even as tech companies push further into virtual and augmented realities. Why people are looking for a blast from the past.

3. Inside Better CEO Vishal Garg's fall from grace. After laying off 900 employees via Zoom, Garg went from the visionary atop America's best startup to the poster child for bad bosses. Current and former employees detailed Garg's long history of questionable behavior — here's what they told us.

4. Amazon shareholders are reportedly calling for an audit of its workplace practices. The resolution urges a review of the practices that have made Amazon "a leader in workplace injuries." Meanwhile, Amazon's retail CEO Dave Clark defended the company's response to the deadly Illinois tornado, saying "fast action saved lives."

5. The Elizabeth Holmes trial: She may well walk. The Theranos founder's fraud trial has concluded, and the jury has begun its deliberations. In the end, correspondent Adam Lashinsky writes, the prosecution gave them enough evidence to convict Holmes — but the defense may have confused them enough to let her walk free. More from inside the courthouse.

6. SpaceX engineers used to manually log data about rocket part tests into spreadsheets. A former SpaceX employee said the manual input could make testing "very slow," and that nobody trusted that the spreadsheets contained up-to-date data. Here's what else he told us.

7. Google employees consider quitting for rivals that offer permanent remote work. Some workers told us Google is at risk of losing top talent over its resistance to remote working. Inside the return-to-office plan that's fueling attrition at Google.

8. Elon Musk talks Autopilot. In an interview with Time Magazine, the Tesla CEO said the company doesn't get "rewarded" for lives saved by its Autopilot technology, but instead gets "blamed" for the individuals it doesn't. Here's what else he said.

9. TikTok is pushing into food delivery. The short-form video app is opening a chain of 300 restaurants, dubbed TikTok Kitchens, that will deliver some of its most viral food trends — like feta pasta and corn ribs — across the US. Everything we know about TikTok Kitchens so far.

10. A $9.3 million smart prefab home is designed to attract local tech execs. Located in the Bay Area, the home has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and an elevator. Check out the 5,380-square-feet smart home.

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.