10 things in tech you need to know today

Reed hastingsEthan Miller/Getty ImagesNetflix CEO Reed Hastings.

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

1. Snapchat execs are finally showing how irritated they are by Facebook’s constant copying. Snap’s vice president of product, Tom Conrad, sent a snarky tweet to Instagram product chief Kevin Weil.

2. Google DeepMind’s first deal with the NHS has been torn apart in a new academic study. The study was coauthored by Cambridge University’s Julia Powles and The Economist’s Hal Hodson.

3. Netflix will replace its five-star rating system with a “thumbs up, thumbs down” one in the coming weeks. The company considers the stars a poor method of understanding what shows and movies people liked.

4. The FBI said hackers used social-engineering techniques on a “semi-privileged” Yahoo employee to break into the company’s systems. Once they were in, they had access to 500 million user accounts.

5. Ambarish Mitra, the CEO of Blippar, has been accused of making misleading claims about his life story in an investigation by The Financial Times. Mitra originally claimed to have studied at Birkbeck College in London from 1999 to 2002 — but he had also claimed in the media to be running a startup called womeninfoonline in India at the same time.

6. Amazon announced that it’s bringing its Alexa voice assistant to its main shopping app on iOS. The company says Alexa will hit the Amazon app starting today, with a full rollout expected to be completed by sometime next week.

7. Apple, Google, Facebook, and Netflix back away from fighting President Donald Trump’s new travel ban in court. A legal brief filed in federal court in Hawaii on Tuesday on behalf of Silicon Valley companies listed the support of 58 companies, less than half the 127 signatories to a similar brief filed in an appeals court last month.

8. Spotify is reportedly going to block free users from listening to its hottest new music. Spotify has been long resistant to the idea of restricting some of its music to just its paid subscribers.

9. Samsung might finally unveil its long-awaited foldable smartphone this year. A prototype of the device will reportedly be launched and given to partners so they can test them and assess demand from consumers.

10. McDonald’s has begun testing online orders through mobile phones in the US. McDonald’s sees mobile as a way to win back customers after four straight years of traffic declines, but the project is not without risks.

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