Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
1. An Uber engineer secretly texted former chief executive Travis Kalanick about Elon Musk, saying: “We’ve got to start calling Elon on his s—. I’m not on social media but let’s start ‘faketesla’ and start give physics lessons about stupid s— Elon says.” The texts related to Musk’s comments about self-driving cars and emerged during Uber’s legal battle with Google’s Waymo.
2. More tech firms are refusing service to white supremacists, after the violent march at Charlottesville in the US. PayPal has pulled its payment services from neo-Nazi sites, while WordPress banned the site of a fascist group, according to Fast Company.
3. Amazon has launched a better version of the vending machine with a new service called Amazon Pickup. Customers can order essentials like phone chargers, snacks, and drinks, and pick them up from a physical location within minutes.
4. Uber shareholder Shervin Pishevar has claimed another investor, Benchmark Capital, wants to get rid of advisor Arianna Huffington, who has been the firm’s public face since chief executive Travis Kalanick stepped down. In a letter obtained by Axios, Pishevar wrote that Benchmark had made “quite derogatory comments” about Huffington.
5. The British security researcher arrested for allegedly creating the Kronos banking malware, Marcus Hutchins, is back online under his Twitter handle MalwareTech and making jokes about his arrest. Hutchins has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was originally barred from using the internet.
6. Microsoft bought a cloud computing firm called Cycle Computing to take on Amazon’s AWS. The firm lets companies run large-scale computing jobs across multiple clouds.
7. The man in charge of Netflix’s content, Ted Sarandos, has bashed Amazon’s efforts in film saying: “I frankly don’t understand their strategy.” He made the comment based on the fact that Amazon sticks to a traditional “windowing” strategy with film, whereas Netflix releases come out at the same time they’re in theatres.
8. Bill Gates gave away his biggest wad of money since 2000, with a $US1.46 billion (£1.14 billion) donation. A filing revealed the donation, which equates to 5% of his fortune, but not where it will go.
9. Ex-Googler and former chief scientist at Baidu Andrew Ng is raising his own AI fund. Ng is raising $US150 million (£117 million), according to PEHub.
10. Database startup MongoDB has quietly filed to go public. The firm was last valued at $US1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) and has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as its underwriters.
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