Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
1. Facebook is ditching its plans to build internet-providing drones, the company announced on Tuesday. The revelation comes after Business Insider reported on upheaval at the Aquila project, including the departure of its leader and a planned redesign.
2. Uber won its operator’s licence back in London after a two-day legal battle. The decision means that Uber can operate in the UK capital for at least 15 months, though it will have to prove to the transport regulator that it’s a reformed company.
3. Nine rival tech companies are working together to prevent Amazon from landing a $US10 billion cloud contract. Amazon’s competitors have been protesting the winner-take-all approach for months, wanting the Pentagon to divvy up the spoils to more than one company.
4. Facebook has reversed course on its blanket ban on cryptocurrency ads. Effective immediately, the social media giant will only allow “pre-approved” advertisers to purchase ads, and Initial Coin Offering ads are still banned entirely.
5. Instagram will now let users video chat with up to four people. The new feature comes after it was announced at Facebook’s annual developer’s conference, F8 last month.
6. Amazon poached more Microsoft executives from 2015 to 2017 than any other tech company, CNBC reports, citing the data-collecting startup Paysa. Proximity most likely has a lot to do with the migration, but Amazon’s innovation and compensation are said to also be deciding factors.
7. Twitter will require more details before it authenticates new users, such as confirmation of an email address or phone number. The idea is to crack down on the amount of abuse that plagues the platform.
8. Sequoia, the largest venture-capital fund in Silicon Valley history, has raised a whopping $US6 billion to take on global competitors. The fund is the largest raise in Silicon Valley history and nearly four times the size of the firm’s previous fund.
9. MoviePass and its parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics are facing a slew of uncomfortable questions about future viability. One issue that’s emerged is that a director and shareholder, Muralikrishna Gadiyaram, has deep ties to an Indian company accused of fraud.
10. Google has renamed its suite of advertising products and added a bunch of product changes. Google Adwords is now Google Ads, while DoubleClick and the Google Analytics 360 Suite will merge to become the Google Marketing Platform.
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