Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
1. Business Insider spoke with fired Google engineer James Damore, who compared being conservative at the firm to “being gay in the 1950s.” He also claimed the memo which got him fired “empowered” women.
2. Former Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick has formally responded to a lawsuit brought by one of his investors, Benchmark Capital. In a court filing, Kalanick’s legal team describes the suit as a “public and personal attack.”
3. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange reportedly didn’t bother publishing a trove of documents relating to Russian government corruption. A Foreign Policy report said he gave “excuse after excuse”, adding to speculation that he worked with the Russian government.
4. Essential, the new smartphone from Android co-creator Andy Rubin, is finally available to order after months of hiccups. The company’s missed several launch deadlines already for its $US699 (£542) phone.
5. Google chief executive Sundar Pichai spoke out about Thursday’s Barcelona attack, which left 13 people dead. Barcelona and the Charlottesville march “show the devastating and heartbreaking consequences of hatred, violence, and extremism,” he said.
6. Media brand Mic has laid off 25 staff as part of a pivot to video. Most of the staffers are from Mic’s news and editorial departments, as the company switches focus to “visual journalism.”
7. A new drone video has emerged that shows Apple’s “Spaceship” campus is almost finished. The video shows the ring-shaped main building, trees ready to be planted, and a theatre named after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
8. YouTube superstar PewDiePie has sworn off making any Nazi jokes after the Charlottesville rally. He said he didn’t want to be associated with neo-Nazis, after an episode in February where he played an off-colour anti-Semitic prank.
9. Microsoft might be working on a Surface smartphone that comes with a stylus and pressure-sensitive display. The firm was granted a patent that shows how a pressure-sensitive display might work, and which mentions smartphones as a possible use case.
10. Gab, a social network popular with the alt-right, has raised $US1 million (£776,000) through crowdfunding, even as it was booted from Google’s Play Store for hate speech. Gab was founded by Andrew Torba, a Trump supporter thrown off the Y Combinator startup programme for speaking in a “threatening” way to other founders.
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