10 things in tech you need to know today

Kennedy Space Center/SpaceX via FlickrNASA said SpaceX will do a test launch of its ‘Crew Dragon’ spacecraft.

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

  1. The Senate Commerce Committee is demanding answers from Google CEO Sundar Pichai about the company’s failure to disclose a microphone inside Nest home security devices. The committee is asking Google to provide written answers to six questions about the initially undisclosed microphone by March 12 and give an in-person briefing on the matter by March 29.
  2. The Federal Trade Commission announced a new task force which will look at antitrust behaviour in the technology market. It’s the first major move by the FTC to address growing public concern over the size of tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
  3. It looked like Apple Music was coming to Google Home speakers, but Google says it was only a glitch. On Monday evening, MacRumors discovered that users were able to connect Apple Music with their Google Home smart speakers, but according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday, a Google spokesperson said it was just a software bug.
  4. Huawei took a swipe at the US, saying it has “no evidence, nothing,” of Chinese spying. Speaking at the Mobile World Congress, Huawei’s chairman Guo Ping said Huawei had never planted backdoors in its equipment and would not allow third parties to meddle with its kit.
  5. US officials called Huawei “duplicitous and deceitful” just as the Chinese firm was making its big 5G pitch. Top US cyber official Robert Strayer said the US government calls on its allies not to trust Chinese firms while buying equipment for upcoming 5G networks due to spying fears.
  6. Facebook finally plans to launch its “clear history” privacy feature in 2019. CFO Dave Wehner talked about it at a conference on Tuesday and warned that it could damage Facebook’s capacity to target users with ads.
  7. The tech industry is begging the Supreme Court to overturn Oracle’s lawsuit against Google. Dozens of briefs have been filed begging the Supreme Court to weigh in on Oracle’s long-standing lawsuit against Google – and find in Google’s favour.
  8. Battery company Energizer and French telecoms company Avenir have made a massive smartphone with a huge 18,000mAh battery. The enormous battery means you can talk on the phone for 3 days straight on a single charge.
  9. Sources told the Washington Post that the US military interrupted an infamous Russian troll farm’s internet access during the 2018 midterm elections. It targeted the Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Petersburg, essentially taking the troll farm offline.
  10. NASA says SpaceX may launch a new spaceship for the agency on Saturday in an “absolutely critical” test to help show Elon Musk’s company can safely fly astronauts. The experimental launch, which will carry only a dummy and some cargo, is scheduled to occur on March 2 at 2:48 a.m. ET.

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