10 things in tech you need to know today

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

1. The company behind “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” is taking the company behind “Fortnite” to court for alleged copyright infringement. Both games are massively successful and involve dropping players into a battle royale scenario.

2. In a memo sent to about 1,300 Snap employees and obtained by Cheddar, a former Snap engineer described what she says was a “toxic” and “sexist” company culture. She described how employees, parties, and company culture made for a “pervading sexist vibe” at Snap.

3. The 23-year-old hacker who compromised around 500 million Yahoo accounts was sentenced to five years in jail. Karim Baratov was also ordered to pay a $US250,000 fine.

4. Microsoft surpassed Google’s parent company Alphabet in market value Tuesday, clocking in at the end of Tuesday’s trading with a market cap of $US753 billion. The two companies swapped places, with Microsoft now the third most valuable company in the world and Alphabet at the number four spot.

5. Uber’s rival in Europe, Taxify, has raised $US175 million from Daimler at a $US1 billion valuation. Taxify said it has 10 million passengers and 500,000 drivers in the more than 25 countries where it operates.

6. A controversial upcoming video game that allowed anyone to play as a school shooter has been removed from Steam, along with the developer and publisher of the game. Screenshots of the game went viral, prompting backlash online, including from the parents of the victims of the Parkland high school shooting.

7. Salesforce had a great quarter. The company blew past earnings targets, reporting $US3.01 billion in revenue, up 25% from the year before.

8. Papua New Guinea has banned Facebook for a month as it deals with negative side effects of the platform such as fake news and fake accounts. But the decision could ease the path to censorship too.

9. E-scooter startup Bird is raising $US115 million in a Series C funding round led by Sequoia Capital. The firm is valuing Bird at $US1 billion, making it the first scooter unicorn.

10. Evan Spiegel has suggested he doesn’t mind too much that Facebook constantly copies Snapchat, and said he looks at it as a designer. He said: “If you design something that is so simple and so elegant, that the only thing other people can do is copy it exactly.”

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