Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
1. The Petya cyberattack which began on Tuesday has spread to at least 64 countries so far, Microsoft has found. Lots of victims have paid the $US300 Bitcoin ransom to try and get their files back — but they won’t have much luck.
2. Former Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer has surprisingly defended Travis Kalanick, the embattled boss of Uber. The company has had a series of negative headlines, but Mayer said she counted Travis as a friend and that he was a “phenomenal leader.”
3. A ProPublica investigation has found Facebook’s rules about censoring hate speech end up “protecting” white men as a group, but not black children. Facebook has rules about protecting users based on race, sex, and other categories, but not “subsets” of these like “black children” or “female drivers”.
4. Uber has said it has nothing to do with a former employee of its self-driving division, Anthony Levandowski, downloading files from his prior employer, Google. The company said it never instructed Levandowski to download the files, and that then-CEO Travis Kalanick told him Uber wanted nothing to do with the information.
5. US President Donald Trump claimed Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos used the newspaper he owns, the Washington Post, to avoid paying “internet taxes.” A New York Times report notes there’s no such thing as an internet tax in the US, but that Trump may be thinking of introducing a measure to force online retailers to collect sales tax from customers.
6. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has started digging tunnels under Los Angeles with his new company, Boring. Musk wants to relieve congestion in the city by digging tunnels, though currently he’s only digging beneath company property.
7. Swedish health firm KRY has raised €20 million (£18 million) for an app that lets patients consult with doctors remotely. The startup will use the money to expand further into Europe.
8. Google will let the public download and play with apps created by its experimental “Area 120” division, where Googlers release projects they build in their down time. Google has a “20% rule”, where employees can spend that amount of time creating side projects.
9. CastAR, an augmented reality startup set up by two ex-Valve staff and backed by Android creator Andy Rubin, has closed down. The company laid off almost 70 staff, with a few remaining to try and sell its core technology, after failing to raise new funding.
10. Meal delivery service Blue Apron has priced its IPO well below expectations at $US10 a share, as investors worry that Amazon could wipe out the competition in groceries after its Whole Foods purchase. The company would raise around $US300 million (£231 million) at a valuation of $US1.9 billion ($US1.5 billion)
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