10 things in tech you need to know today

YouTube/AmazonAmazon workers listen to recordings from Alexa.

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

  1. Amazon workers get to hear some of what users tell Alexa, and they have a chat room to talk about “amusing” recordings. Amazon told Bloomberg that it only tasks humans with reviewing “an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings.”
  2. Oracle and IBM are officially out of the race for a key $US10 billion defence cloud contract as Amazon and Microsoft move ahead. The JEDI contract is expected to be awarded by mid-July at the earliest, the Department says.
  3. Disney is preparing to reveal most of the details for its Netflix competitor, Disney+, in a presentation to investors on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.The service will stream new and old shows pegged to its most popular franchises.
  4. Pilots who fly for Amazon Air are protesting poor working conditions and pushing for a better contract. The union which represents the group said pilots will protest Thursday at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
  5. A government proposal for a 10-mile wall around Burning Man could kill the desert festival favoured by Silicon Valley elite. The federal agency that administers the Black Rock Desert has proposed building a 10-mile concrete wall around the festival and making Burning Man pay for it.
  6. Twitter is telling users to tag the New York Times when they type “Enemy of the people” but the prompt is actually being triggered by the word “people” and it’s not clear why. The recommendation happens regardless of whether or not you’re following the @NYTimes account, and requires the user to type “People” with a capital P.
  7. Elon Musk trolled Jeff Bezos on Twitter, calling him a copycat. The tweet was in response to a story about Amazon’s plans to launch thousands of satellites, bringing high-speed internet to remote parts of the world.
  8. Hulu has ordered a miniseries chronicling the story of Theranos, starring SNL’s Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Holmes, Deadline reports. The series will be based on the ABC News podcast “The Dropout.”
  9. Google Cloud is taking on Amazon by moving into retail, and it’s a first step in new CEO Thomas Kurian’s bigger plan. Kurian said he wanted to focus on targeting specific verticals, like retail, finance, and healthcare.
  10. Amazon plans to start accepting cash at Amazon Go stores after reported accusations of “discrimination and elitism” and new laws banning cashless stores. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have passed laws that require stores to accept cash payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures.

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