10 things in tech you need to know today

Sergio Flores/Getty ImagesDemocratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

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

  1. Huawei’s US head of security hinted that the company would be open to working with the US government to ease its concerns over cybersecurity. Andy Purdy, chief security officer for Huawei USA, suggested in an interview with CNBC that the Chinese tech firm would be open to putting “risk mitigation measures” in place in order to do business in the United States.
  2. Apple has a new website to defend its App Store’s business practices from rivals criticising the company as anti-competitive. In a section called “Principles and Practices”, Apple defended its practices, saying developers decide what they want to charge from a set of price tiers.
  3. Loot Crate, a subscription service for gamers and pop culture fans, announced its intent to lay off 150 employees with “closure permanent,” according to a filing with California state authorities. The company told Business Insider that the layoffs are the result of a move away from operating its own warehouses, and towards using a third-party logistics provider.
  4. Phillip Shoemaker, a former Apple executive who oversaw the company’s app approval process, said he’s “worried” about the firm competing with developers, according to Bloomberg. He is worried that the iPhone maker’s increased focus on developing its own services could lead to a conflict between the firm and its massive stable of third-party app developers.
  5. Uber will soon ban passengers with low ratings, the company announced Wednesday. The company has long banned drivers with sub-par ratings, but didn’t say what the minimum threshold for riders would be.
  6. Twitter is researching whether white supremacists should be banned from its platform. Critics said the company should have looked into the issue years ago.
  7. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign is running a billboard in San Francisco calling for the breakup of the tech giants. “Break up big tech,” the sign reads, then asks people to text the campaign to “join our fight.”
  8. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Facebook’s refusal to remove a heavily edited video that attempted to make her look incoherent had convinced her the company knowingly enabled Russian election interference. The video of Pelosi was slowed to make her speech seem slurred and edited to make it appear she repeatedly stumbled over her words.
  9. MapR, a cloud data management startup, said it plans to cut 122 jobs and close its Silicon Valley headquarters.The company said it is “actively pursuing a strategic transaction” that may allow it to keep the site open and retain some of the employees.
  10. New research from MIT has thrown cold water on the idea that robotaxis will save the ride-hailing operators much money, at least not without massive improvements to their algorithmic dispatching efficiencies. Specifically, their findings point to a cost between $US1.58 and $US6.01 per mile to operate autonomous vehicles with single occupants, much higher than the widely used $US0.40 (or less) per mile estimate.

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