10 things in tech you need to know today

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s empty chair. Gabriel Sainhas, House of Commons

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

  1. Mark Zuckerberg was humiliated by international lawmakers on Tuesday for failing to give evidence on Facebook scandals. Zuckerberg declined repeated requests to answer the questions of the self-described International Grand Committee. As a result, the committee decided to leave an empty chair for the Facebook CEO.
  2. A cache of secret Facebook documents are said to reveal that it was warned about a potentially huge data issue involving Russia back in 2014. That’s according to a UK lawmaker who reviewed the sealed Facebook papers. The firm later said it investigated the issue and “found no evidence of specific Russian activity.”
  3. A former Facebook employee posted a 2,500-word memo about racial discrimination at the company. In a goodbye note to colleagues he subsequently shared publicly, Mark S. Luckie wrote: “Facebook has a black people problem.”
  4. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has agreed to testify in front of US Congress in December, according to The Washington Post. Pichai will be grilled on a string of issues, including plans to launch a censored search engine in China and sexual misconduct at the company.
  5. YouTube just gave a big clue that its $US12-a-month Premium service is headed for extinction after only eight months. Starting in 2019, new original content on YouTube will be available for free with advertisements, rather than being available exclusively through the company’s subscription service, YouTube Premium.
  6. Google employees are petitioning management to shut down work on a controversial censored search engine for China. The petition was signed by 11 Google engineers, with a note that said more signatures would be coming.
  7. Uber was fined nearly $US1.2 million over the giant 2016 data hack. Two fines were imposed by Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office and the Dutch Data Protection Authority after the breach impacted 50 million riders and seven million drivers.
  8. Amazon says Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 were the biggest shopping days in its history. Amazon said it sold “millions” more products from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday than it did during the same 2017 holiday period.
  9. A Facebook glitch has been causing messages from users’ pasts to resurface – and people are calling it a ‘cringe-fest. A glitch caused by software updates caused the messages to show up as if they were new, Facebook said in a statement. For some, it resurfaced unwelcome memories.
  10. There’s a 23-year-old coder who uncovers hidden app features that tech giants like Facebook want to keep secret. Jane Manchun Wong is a star in the world of reverse-app engineering. She was the first to discover Facebook was testing an “unsend” message feature.

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