10 things in tech you need to know today

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

  1. Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a memo to employees about the changes to Google’s sexual harassment policy after the walkout. The announcement follows 20,000 employees walking out last week in protest at Google’s handling of sexual assault and harassment.
  2. Sundar Pichai is ending Google’s once famous partying culture by limiting drinking at work and threatening “more onerous actions” if things don’t change. Pichai released a list of new policies on Thursday in an all-staff memo.
  3. Tesla appointed a new chair to replace Elon Musk.Board director Robyn Denholm replaced the Tesla CEO after he was forced to step down as chair by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  4. Lyft removed the option to split ride fares with other passengers, but says an “easier” option is coming soon. The ride-hailing company didn’t offer a reason for removing the feature, and Uber still offers fare splitting.
  5. Disney revealed new details about its Netflix competitor, Disney+, including ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel TV shows. Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed on Thursday that a TV prequel series to “Rogue One” and a spinoff series about the Marvel villain Loki are in development.
  6. The founder of Vine announced the name of his next video app – and it’s set to launch in spring 2019. Vine founder Dom Hofmann revealed Thursday he would be releasing a new looping video app called Byte.
  7. Dropbox posted $US360 million in revenue in the third quarter, beating Wall Street’s forecasts. Analysts expectations were low, however, and the company’s share price has been beaten up in recent months as growth has slowed.
  8. Google just hired a big name CEO in healthcare to coordinate all of its healthcare initiatives. Google hired Geisinger Health CEO David Feinberg, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  9. Facebook says its new Portal device is not a “data-gathering operation” despite previously acknowledging it might use your call info to target ads. Facebook’s vice president of consumer hardware Andrew Bosworth told Bloomberg that the data Portal collects is limited.
  10. Amazon’s cloud CEO pooh-poohed employee concerns about selling its facial-recognition software to ICE and law enforcement. At a company meeting Thursday, Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, addressed employees’ concerns about the company of offering facial-recognition software to immigration and law-enforcement agencies, according to BuzzFeed News.

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