Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
1. In the wake of allegations from five women alleging sexual misconduct, venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar announced that he is taking a leave of absence from his business interests. Pishevar will be stepping away for the time being from his investment firm, Sherpa Capital, his role on the board at Virgin Hyperloop One where he is a cofounder and co-executive chairman, and the boards of his portfolio companies.
2. Wall Street analysts at Nomura predicts Apple will launch a supersized 6.5 inch iPhone X next year, along with a successor to the iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen. These devices are expected to be similar to the current iPhone X, according to the analysts.
3. Amazon’s application for a pharmaceutical wholesaler licence in the US state of Maine has been cancelled. The cancellation occurred on December 1 and could have big implications for Amazon’s potential ambitions in healthcare.
4. Apple’s voice assistant Siri wrongly thinks John Travolta is dead. It looks like the error was caused by Siri misreading news reports of the death of Travolta’s son Jeff, who did die on January 3, 2009.
5. Apple is continuing to hire away designers and engineers from one of its most important suppliers, British chip firm Dialog Semiconductor. Dialog is currently fighting to persuade investors that its agreement with Apple is safe.
6. Bitcoin broke above $US12,000 in a record high. Price moves have been less pronounced among the other major cryptocurrencies.
7. JD.com, one of China’s biggest online retailers, is planning to build 185 drone airports in Southwest China in a bid to increase services to rural areas. JD.com hopes the new drone airports would allow agricultural products from Sichuan to be delivered anywhere in China within 24 hours, and cut certain costs by up to 70%.
8. Microsoft has begun a renovation of its 32-acre Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, California. The renovation project will focus on sustainability and improving employee access to outdoors spaces.
9. Apple bought Pop Up Archive, a small Oakland startup making tools for transcribing and organising podcasts. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” an Apple spokesperson told Hot Pod, which is the Cupertino company’s customary confirmation. The price couldn’t immediately be learned.
10. The iPhone X isn’t the best iPhone you can buy, according to Consumer Reports.Consumer Reports called the phone an “innovative device with a fantastic camera and beautiful display,” the iPhone X lost to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in a full comparison of the phones due to the X’s durability.