Good morning! Here’s the technology news you need to know this Wednesday.
1. Amazon refused to give police voice data from an Echo owned by a man who has been charged with murder. The Echo device in question was owned by James Andrew Bates, a Bentonville, Arkansas, resident charged with first-degree murder earlier this year.
2. Rent The Runway, the “Netflix for dresses,” raised another $60 million (£48.8 million) and claimed profitability for the first time. The company reportedly achieved profitability on an EBITDA basis on its $100 million (£81.3 million) revenue run rate this year.
3. “Game of Thrones” is, once again, the most pirated television show. “The Walking Dead” and “Westworld” came in at numbers two and three respectively.
4. Panasonic will invest over $256 million (£208.3 million) in Tesla’s US plant for solar cells. The companies said they plan to start making solar cells in the summer.
5. Hackers got into Sony Music’s Twitter account on December 26 and claimed that Britney Spears had died. They also managed to post tweets from the official Bob Dylan account.
6. A senior leader at Facebook’s Oculus was arrested after allegedly soliciting sex from a cop posing as an underage girl. Dov Katz has been charged with “communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.”
7. A top Apple exec says the company is “working” with Consumer Reports on its issues with the MacBook Pro. Consumer Reports announced that the newest MacBook Pro had failed to earn its coveted “recommended” rating.
8. The NHS refused to reveal how much it’s paying Google’s DeepMind. The Royal Free London NHS Trust said that “the terms of the agreement with DeepMind are commercially sensitive and therefore exempt under Section 43 (2) of the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act]”
9. Two top executives left secretive startup Faraday Future before its big car reveal. Joerg Sommer, vice president of product marketing and growth, and Marco Mattiacci, global chief brand and commercial officer, are no longer listed on the Faraday Future website as executives.
10. US border officials are asking foreigners for their Facebook and Twitter profiles. Border officials in the US started asking foreign travellers to provide information on their Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts on December 20.