10 things in tech you need to know today

Sundar PichaiJustin Sullivan / Getty StaffGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai.

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

1. Google has revealed its second-generation smartphone, the Pixel 2. Google launched two new smartphones: the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.

2. Amazon has been ordered to pay Europe €250 million (£221 million, $US294 million) over unpaid back taxes. The European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said Luxembourg “gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon.”

3. The EU is taking Ireland to court for failing to collect €13 billion (£11 billion; $US15 billion) from Apple in back taxes. Ireland doesn’t actually want Apple to pay the money, since it might discourage other multinationals from setting up shop there.

4. Google unveiled a $US49 (£37) answer to Amazon’s Echo Dot. It’s called Google Home Mini.

5. Google’s taking on Apple’s AirPods with a pair of $US160 (£121) wireless headphones that can translate different languages in real time. The headphones are similar to the “babel fish” concept in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

6. There were several other new Google hardware products unveiled on Wednesday. They include a mini-camera and a high-end smart home speaker.

7. Google AI chief John Giannandrea said he isn’t fretting about super-intelligent killer robots. However, he is concerned that machine-learning algorithms used to make millions of decisions every minute could be biased.

8. Certain Nissan owners will soon be able to use their Amazon Alexa to control aspects of their car. Starting later this month, a select few owners will be able use their Amazon Alexa to remotely start the car, unlock and lock the doors, flash the lights, and honk the horn.

9. Apple fixed the Apple Watch bug that prevented it from connecting to phone networks. The problem was actually related to WiFi, Apple representatives told Business Insider during a briefing.

10. Snapchat is making its first-ever app for laptops. Parent company Snap Inc. is building a new version of Snapchat for the upcoming Pixelbook by Google, which functions like a laptop/tablet hybrid and runs Chrome OS.

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