10 things in tech you need to know today

Google/YouTubeGoogle unveiled some new details about its gaming project Stadia.

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.

  1. Google gave details about Stadia, its ambitious attempt to upend the video game industry and take on Xbox and PlayStation. Stadia promises to do for video games what Netflix-like services did for TV and film.
  2. YouTube explained its seemingly inconsistent policies on harassment after leaving up videos with homophobic slurs. “Not everyone will agree with the calls we make,” wrote YouTube head of comms Chris Dale in a blog post.
  3. Apple is quietly rolling out a feature in its next big software update meant to prevent your iPhone’s battery life from declining as quickly over time. “Optimised battery charging” is meant to prevent the battery from being stressed and ageing faster by charging iPhone batteries only to 80%.
  4. Facebook will reportedly launch its own cryptocurrency this month, but plans to hand over control of it to outside backers. Facebook is also exploring the option to obtain the currency through ATMs.
  5. Google is buying data-analysis startup Looker for $US2.6 billion in cash. Looker will join Google Cloud once the acquisition is complete, Google said Thursday in a statement.
  6. There’s a Windows bug that is so bad that even the NSA is urging PC users to update. The vulnerability could lead to malware similar to the “WannaCry” ransomware from 2017 that prevented users from accessing their data unless they paid a ransom.
  7. Jeff Bezos took the controls of some “weirdly natural” giant robot hands at Amazon’s robotics conference. He was able to perform surprisingly dexterous tasks, like stacking cups.
  8. Jeff Bezos explained why he’s trying to colonize the moon. “The reason we’ve got to go to space, in my view, is to save the Earth,” the Amazon CEO said on Thursday.
  9. Amazon is launching the Shazam for fashion, which finds clothes you want simply by analysing a photo. Amazon unveiled a new feature in its app where customers can upload a photograph of a fashion look that they like and Amazon will find the closest match on its site.
  10. Police departments across the US are using video doorbells from Amazon-owned Ring to create an unofficial surveillance network, a new report says. Police departments across the US have partnered with Amazon and its subsidiary, Ring, to offer programs for free or discounted Ring smart doorbell devices to their residents.

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