Good morning! Here’s the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
1. Microsoft announced a strong set of financial results for its fourth quarter with revenues of $22.6 billion (£17.2 billion), up from $22.18 billion (£16.9 billion) a year ago. Stock in the company jumped about 3% in after-hours trading.
2. Snapchat has introduced a feature it paid more than $100 million (£76 million) for. The feature lets users create cartoon avatars that looks like themselves.
3. WiFi startup Zenreach has officially emerged from stealth mode. The company announced that it’s raised $50 million (£38 million) and added PayPal cofounder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel to its board.
4. Google DeepMind s going to start meeting NHS patients as the AI research lab looks to be more open and transparent. Some 148 patients opted out of a kidney monitoring project it is working on with one NHS trust.
5. A new Snapchat patent shows the company is exploring how facial recognition technology could be used to protect the privacy of its users. The patent discusses how the technology could be used to scan new photos and then delete them or refuse to allow the image to be shared without permission.
6. Slack’s recently-launched $80 million (£61 million) VC fund has invested an unspecified amount in chatbot company Automat. Automat allows brands and influencers to communicate with their customers, fans, and employees by using a mixture of mobile messaging, artificial intelligence, and chatbot technology.
7. Twitter permanently banned conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos from its platform. There were accusations that the social-media giant was suppressing free speech.
8. Square, the mobile payments company run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has incorporated a business called Squareup Europe Ltd in the UK. Documents suggest Square is setting itself up for what could be its first foray into Europe.
9. An NYU professor and hedge fund founder believes Tumblr is a “porn site” that was the worst acquisition of the decade. Tumblr has essentially lost more than a third of its value during the three years.
10. Germany plans to introduce new legislation that will require manufacturers of cars equipped with an autopilot function to install a black box. The box will help determine responsibility in the event of an accident.