Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
- Slack went public through the unorthodox method of direct listing, with its stock price soaring 50% on its first day of trading. The company is the latest high-profile unprofitable technology firm to make its public debut this year.
- Slack hired 10 different banks to participate in its direct listing, and all but three didn’t do anything besides providing research on the company, sources familiar told Business Insider. Some of the less active banks agreed to take less than half their normal fees as part of the deal, one person said.
- Google will no longer pursue making its own tablet devices. According to a Google spokesperson, the company has halted the production of two unreleased tablet devices and will not come out with a successor to the Pixelbook Slate.
- Startups continue to accept billions in funding from SoftBank’s Vision Fund in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, despite the fund’s close financial ties to Saudi Arabia. Gympass’ CEO, who just raised $US300 million led by SoftBank, told Business Insider that the value lay in being able to do business with other SoftBank-funded firms such as WeWork and Uber.
- Facebook is making its Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus employees get new @fb.com email addresses.Facebook’s family of apps have historically been able to operate semi-independently, but it is now moving to integrate them ever-more closely together.
- The UK porn block has been delayed for six months, the British government has confirmed. The delay comes after the government failed to inform European regulators about the guidance it had drawn up around the block.
- Apple launched a voluntary recall program for certain 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops over battery safety issues. In some instances, the battery could overheat and pose a safety risk, Apple said.
- “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,” a new mobile augmented reality game from the creators of “Pokémon Go,” is live now Android and iOS devices. The game was originally scheduled to launch on Friday, June 21, but the downloads went live in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store earlier Thursday.
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said at an event on Wednesday that the fastest way to get to Mars is by settling on the moon first. Bezos said it’s an “illusion” to skip going back to the moon before heading to Mars, saying it provides a much better launchpad for reaching the red planet than Earth.
- A teenager suffered from a shattered jaw after a vape pen exploded in his mouth, as documented in a new report from The New England Journal of Medicine. The incident once again raised concerns about the safety risks associated with battery-powered vape pens that can be prone to overheating.
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