Good morning! Here’s the tech news you need to know to start your week.
1. Dropbox cut a load of perks and told employees to brace for the cold. The company has been spending $25,000 (£17,000) a year per employee on perks.
2. Palantir’s cofounder has shot back at recent reports that the company is struggling. Joe Lonsdale responded to a BuzzFeed report that the company has faced employee departures and the loss of high-profile customers.
3. Uber and Lyft will shut down in Austin, Texas after losing a vote that will require tougher background checks for drivers. The companies spent $8 million opposing the plan to mandate fingerprint checks, but failed.
4. Google is quietly making progress on one of its most jaw-dropping tech projects. Project Soli lets the user make gestures in the air to control software.
5. Google-backed UK startup Yieldify’s battle with a US rival that accuses it of stealing code is getting ugly. It has bought a patent from an alleged patent troll in order to open up a new front in the legal fight.
6. Microsoft say it is going to stop prompting people to upgrade to Windows 10. The unexpected popups have been infuriating some people.
7. We just got a look at what Facebook’s Slack competitor is like to use, and what its first users are saying about it. The Facebook exec in charge of the project says its launch date is “very close.”
8. Podcasters are reportedly frustrated with Apple over its lack of support. The New York Times reports that professional podcasters feel that Apple isn’t providing sufficient information and guidance.
9. Twitter reportedly barred US intelligence agencies from using an analytics tool that it owns a stake of. Dataminr was told to cut off agencies’ access because of the “optics” of the relationship, The Wall Street Journal reports.
10. Silicon Valley veteran Keith Rabois says that the easy money isn’t gone, but the price has increased. We interviewed the former PayPal exec about the state of the tech industry.
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