10 things in tech you need to know today

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to start your week.

1. Some Facebook ex-staffers have criticised the company’s decision to shift towards news five years ago. The criticism comes after Facebook’s decision of favouring friends’ posts in the News Feed again, after two years of steady user engagement decline.

2. Google decided to ban searches for “gorillas” and similar words in Google Photos after it displayed black people in some instances back in 2015. The company can’t unblock those specific searches as the computer vision technology is still limited and prone to errors.

3. Japanese telecommunication giant SoftBank agreed to invest €460 million (£408 million) in German online car dealer Auto1, which is now at a €2.9 billion (£2.6 billion) valuation.Half of the investment will be made through the issuing of new shares.

4. A Microsoft VP said that the company is playing the long game with its digital assistant, Cortana. The firm’s virtual helper was not a highlight at the latest Consumer Electronics Show (CES), as opposed to those from Google (Assistant) and Amazon (Alexa).

5. A new survey from EPR and Edison Research found out that 16% of American households now own a smart speaker, up 128% from last year. 30% of owners say that smart speakers are replacing the time they spend with TV.

6. Apple apologised to non-Chinese users who erroneously received an email that said their iCloud data would be moved to servers based in China. Apple is moving data to Chinese servers only for users whose ID’s country is set to China, to comply with new government regulations.

7. A huge number of Chinese-born tech workers are moving back to their home country. New reports have found that China offers them better and faster salary growth, as well as the chance to work with higher volumes of meaningful data.

8. Cryptocurrency exchange site Kraken came back online on Saturday after over two days of downtime. The people behind the infrastructure upgrade initially said it would only take two hours.

9. A judge in Shenzen, China, ruled that Samsung infringed one of Huawei’s patents on wireless communications. The judge ordered that the Korean company must stop selling products that use the infringed patent’s technology in China.

10. Amazon increased its support for Alexa and Prime Video for TV makers at CES, but there were no TVs using the company’s Fire TV OS (operating system). The show, however, featured a number of TVs running other firms’ OSes, such as Google’s and Roku’s.

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