Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
1. AT&T has closed its $US85 billion merger with Time Warner.AT&T was sued by the Justice Department, but won approval from a judge to move forward with the deal.
2. Facebook’s policy and communications boss, Elliot Schrage, is stepping down after more than a decade at the company. Schrage helped Facebook deal with a series of crises, including the spread of propaganda on the platform during the 2016 election and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
3. Google’s annual diversity report shows that not only is it struggling to add workers from minority groups to its ranks, but it’s also faring poorly at keeping them around.Black and Latino employees had the highest attrition rate of any of the ethnic groups listed by Google, according to the report.
4. Ethereum spiked after the US financial watchdog said it wasn’t a security. The cryptocurrency Ether was trading up over 7%.
5. Snapchat has released Snapkit, a set of tools that open its platform up to developers for the first time. But the company is focusing on privacy, limiting how much user data developers can collect.
6. Elon Musk’s Boring Company won a bid that could bring autonomous, high-speed public transit to Chicago. The proposed transit system aims to transport passengers between downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport in an estimated 12 minutes.
7. Facebook is building a big new $US750 million data center in Alabama. It’s building a new 970,000 square foot facility in Huntsville, a city in the northern part of the US state.
8. Google has rebooted its ad tools to make it clearer to users how it’s using their data. An update to Ad Settings means users can see in more details the list of factors considered by Google’s algorithms as it figures out which ads to serve.
9. OnePlus sold 1 million units of its latest smartphone, the OnePlus 6, in less than a month. It’s a small number compared to Apple and Samsung phone sales, but it shows that the company has a loyal fan base.
10. Former White House advisor Steve Bannon wants to launch his own cryptocurrency called the “deplorables coin”, a name which references a comment made by Hillary Clinton. Bannon has reportedly invested in bitcoin and has been talking to academics about launching his own currency.
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