10 things in tech you need to know today

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

  1. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos said on Thursday that their divorce agreement had been finalised.MacKenzie Bezos said in a statement that she would grant Jeff Bezos all her interests in The Washington Post and Blue Origin, as well as 75% of the Amazon stock they owned and voting control over the shares she’s retaining.
  2. Wannabe suitors are flooding MacKenzie Bezos with creepy messages now that she’s poised to become one of the world’s richest women after her divorce from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. People on Twitter are already vying for her attention, after her remaining stake in Amazon is estimated to be worth about $US35.7 billion at its current share price.
  3. Dozens of women inside Microsoft complained on a long email string of their treatment at the company, according to media reports. The string included some pretty shocking accusations of things women experienced such as being called names and having complaints be shrugged off by male managers and HR.
  4. Google has shut down its AI ethics board little more than a week after announcing it. The company confirmed it had scrapped the group, which had been intended to scrutinise the company’s work on artificial intelligence to ensure the tech is ethically developed.
  5. Amazon will reportedly launch a pair of Alexa-enabled wireless earbuds in the second half of this year. The earbuds would allow users to access Amazon’s virtual helper by just saying “Alexa.”
  6. Snap unveiled “Snap Games,” a long-rumoured gaming platform that lets users play original and third-party multiplayer games in the app in real-time. The games are powered by HTML 5, and users don’t have to leave the app to download them from the app store.
  7. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he’s still an “idealistic person” who believes giving everyone a voice is fundamentally a good thing. In an interview, Zuckerberg also called for new laws around political advertising, saying it shouldn’t be up to a private company to decide what qualifies as political content.
  8. A group of AI experts penned an open letter to Amazon calling for the company to stop selling its facial recognition software, called Rekognition, to law enforcement.The letter says there are currently no safeguards in place to stop misuse of the technology, which has shown particular levels of inaccuracy when given images of women and people with darker skin tones.
  9. A newly published research paper suggests that Facebook’s ad delivery system discriminates along racial and gender lines, even when advertisers target their content to a wide audience. Researchers spent $US8,500 on ads, and found that housing and job ads were shown to different demographics even though they were set to be targeted at identical audiences.
  10. A classmate of the woman who was killed after getting into a fake ride-hailing car is pushing Uber and Lyft for a simple safety fix. She’s advocated that these companies add simple QR code IDs to their apps that would easily validate the driver’s identity before getting into the car.

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