10 things in tech you need to know today

Getty ImagesRichard Branson thinks Elon Musk needs to chill out.

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

  1. Elon Musk denied a report that James Murdoch is the top choice to replace him as Tesla’s chairman.“This is incorrect,” the Tesla CEO tweeted in response to a Financial Times report that Murdoch was favoured for the role.
  2. Apple will buy part of one its chip suppliers, Dialog Semiconductor, for $US300 million in cash. The company has committed to paying a further $US300 million for other parts of Dialog’s business.
  3. Members of an advisory board for a $US500 billion Saudi megacity project are distancing themselves from the organisation after the reported murder of a dissident Saudi journalist. Google-linked executive Dan Doctoroff and ex-US secretary of energy Ernest Moriz have now dropped out of the project.
  4. Square’s chief financial officer, Sarah Friar, is leaving the company to join Nextdoor as CEO. Friar, who first joined Square in 2012, led the company through its initial public offering in 2015.
  5. The Facebook engineer who wrote a memo decrying what he called the company’s “intolerant” liberal culture has quit. In a goodbye note to his colleagues he said he “disagree[s] too strongly with where we’re heading on these issues to watch what happens next.”
  6. Andy Rubin, the father of Android, is reportedly working on a new phone for his startup, Essential, according to Bloomberg. The phone would be able to perform tasks without any instruction from the user.
  7. A stock market decline Wednesday hit the biggest tech stocks particularly hard. Together, the FAANG companies – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google – lost a collective $US172 billion in value.
  8. Amazon built an AI tool to hire people but had to shut it down because it was discriminating against women. Engineers reportedly found the AI was unfavorable toward female candidates because it had combed through male-dominated résumés to accrue its data.
  9. Automated legal tool DoNotPay is trying to help people lock down their online privacy settings and sue companies that get hacked. Founder Joshua Browder created the feature after his data was taken by Cambridge Analytica.
  10. Richard Branson told Elon Musk that he needed to delegate more to improve his quality of life outside Tesla. “He’s got to find time for himself. He’s got to find time for his health and for his family,” Branson told CNBC on Tuesday.

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