10 things in tech you need to know today

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

  1. Facebook tried to turn a ban on a host of far-right figures into a PR opportunity, but it backfired. On Thursday, Facebook announced that it was taking action against a bunch of controversial figures on its apps, including Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Louis Farrakhan, and the conspiracy site Infowars.
  2. Verizon is trying to sell Tumblr, the blogging site once worth $US1.1 billion. The process is on-going and it’s unclear whether the company will find a buyer, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  3. A US police force is running suspect sketches through Amazon’s facial recognition tech and it could lead to wrongful arrests. Amazon said the use of sketches doesn’t break its rules.
  4. Peter Thiel’s Palantir helped hunt down and arrest the family of children who crossed the border alone.Documents revealing the news were obtained through a Freedom of Information request and provided to The Intercept.
  5. Google’s next major Pixel smartphone could cost as little as $US400. Rumours point to the Pixel 3a smartphone starting at $US400, with a larger model coming in at $US480.
  6. Warren Buffett said Berkshire Hathaway is buying up shares of Amazon, hours before its big annual shareholders’ meeting. “Yeah, I’ve been a fan, and I’ve been an idiot for not buying,” Buffett said according to CNBC, referring to Amazon shares.
  7. Microsoft created guidelines for what’s “acceptable” Xbox trash talk, and the suggestions are hilarious. They included: “That was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked.”
  8. Microsoft is partnering with JPMorgan Chase on its blockchain product. Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, will make JP Morgan’s platform, called Quorum, available on the software-maker’s blockchain service.
  9. “Fortnite” will award $US100 million in prizes this year, but some pro players say that’s not enough to keep them motivated. The Fortnite World Cup is currently giving away $US1 million a week with its online qualifiers, but professional players are expressing frustration with the game.
  10. Facebook shut down 49 groups being used by looters to sell stolen ancient artifacts like Roman mosaics.Working in cooperation with Syrian archaeologists, the BBC monitored private Facebook groups where antiquities including Roman mosaics were put up for sale.

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