Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
- The research firm Facebook hired to smear its critics has been pushing an anti-Apple campaign that has Qualcomm’s fingerprints on it. A New York Times story said Facebook had employed research firm Definers Public Affairs to spread potentially damaging stories about Facebook’s critics, and it mentioned there is another technology client which is paying the firm to spread negative press about Apple.
- Sheryl Sandberg responded to the New York Times story in a Facebook post, saying she “did not know we hired” Definers.Sandberg also said that she has “great respect” for billionaire George Soros, who The New York Times reported was targeted by Definers in research sent to reporters.
- Mark Zuckerberg also said he didn’t know Facebook hired Definers. On a marathon 80-minute press call with reporters on Thursday, Zuckerberg explained why it cut ties with the PR company.
- Facebook hit back at The New York Times, pointing out the “inaccuracies” in its blockbuster report on leadership missteps. Facebook published a blog post refuting elements of the report, such as Russian interference, political point-scoring, and Zuckerberg banning his executives from using iPhones.
- A George Soros group slammed Facebook as a threat to democracy in open letter to Sheryl Sandberg. Soros’ Open Society Foundations sent out an open letter to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg that accused the company of “disseminating vile propaganda” that threatens the values “underpinning our democracy.”
- Mark Zuckerberg insists he’s still the best person to run Facebook, despite the endless scandals. The 34-year-old billionaire has ignored previous calls to step down as CEO, so Business Insider asked him why he thinks he’s still the best person for the job.
- Sony will skip the world’s biggest video game event next year, despite the fact that the PlayStation 4 is the most popular console on the market. According to a report from Variety, Sony’s PlayStation branch has declined to attend E3, the video game industry’s largest annual conference.
- Facebook confirmed Mark Zuckerberg’s beef with Apple CEO Tim Cook in an official company statement. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have traded insults and barbs over the years, and Facebook confirmed the conflict in a public statement. It said that Zuckerberg asked his employees to use Android because it’s a more widely used operating system.
- SpaceX is about to rocket a fleet of satellites into space that will hunt smugglers, pirates, and other “dark ships” by tracking radio signals. An unprecedented rocket mission for SpaceX, called SSO-A, will launch 71 small satellites at once on Monday.
- Elon Musk said the Boring Company is hiring a “Watchtower guard” for a 50-foot tower it’s building, but the bizarre job only lasts two days. He added that the company needs “a knight to yell insults at people in a French accent,” a likely reference to the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
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