Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
1. Singapore semiconductor firm Broadcom will acquire CA Technologies, an American software company, for $US18.9 billion in cash. News of this deal comes just four months after President Trump blocked Broadcom from acquiring chipmaker Qualcomm in a $US103 billion hostile takeover on national security grounds.
2. Facebook is quietly compelling third-party developers to sign secretive new terms before they can run apps on its platform. The new terms give Facebook explicit permission to audit developers’ use of data, in what looks an effort to prevent a second Cambridge Analytica-style scandal.
3. Elon Musk said on Wednesday he will help pay to fix the water in every house in Flint, Michigan, that has contamination levels above FDA guidelines. Musk was responding to a Twitter user who said he had been told Musk wouldn’t be able to help bring clean water to Flint.
4. Early Google insiders described cofounder Sergey Brin as a company ‘playboy’ who ‘got around’ with female employees. According to an excerpt of the account in Vanity Fair, employees feared Brin’s behaviour would lead to a sexual harassment lawsuit.
5. Magic Leap, a startup building a pair of smartglasses, announced a partnership with the carrier AT&T. AT&T stores will demo the hyped glasses at select locations in the United States.
6. Apple is set to release lots of new products this year after a quiet 2018. According to an analyst note, there will be multiple iPhones, iPads with Face ID, and a new low-priced Apple laptop, among several other new products.
7. An Oxford startup has successfully trialled using virtual reality to treat people’s fear of heights. People put on an HTC Vive headset, and are then instructed by a virtual therapist to complete bizarre tasks like apple picking and rescuing kittens while at a height.
8. Uber has laid off 100 self-driving car operators in Pittsburgh.The company is eliminating the position of autonomous vehicle operator altogether as retools its strategy for self-driving cars.
9. A company which offers advice to new mothers is facing a fine for illegally selling data about its users to the British political party Labour. According to the UK’s data watchdog, Labour used the data about families to target voters with children during the general election in 2017.
10. In “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” the changing of seasons is a big deal, and Thursday’s transition to Season 5 may be the biggest one yet. In lieu of ever simply announcing what the newest additions and changes to the game will be, though, the developers at Epic Games will often leave cryptic hints.
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