Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
1. Amazon unveiled a range of new Alexa-enabled hardware products. There is a newly redesigned Echo smart speaker, as well as the new Echo Spot, Echo Plus, and an updated Fire TV with 4K support.
2. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed President Trump’s tweets in which he claimed Facebook has “always been against him.” The company’s CEO said that the platform has been mostly neutral, and overall a force for good.
3. Apple published a technical paper that details the security measures of the iPhone X’s Face ID. The new identification system will work with all of the apps that used Touch ID, but isn’t designed for children aged under 13.
4. Giant tech conglomerate Softbank is reportedly getting closer to buying a huge part of Uber. If the move happens, one of the main repercussions could be a ban that forbids former CEO Travis Kalanick from coming back as either CEO or chairman.
5. Private trades in Spotify ahead of its IPO are reportedly making the value of the company hover around $US16 billion (£12 billion). There’s speculation of a $US20 billion (£14.9 billion) direct listing.
6. A board member of food-delivery startup Deliveroo, Martin Mignot, has defended the company’s low profit margins. He said that the company should file for an IPO.
7. Google has apparently already started to roll out overhauled shopping search results in Europe. The new site appears to comply with EU rules and will let third parties bid for the top spot on the page.
8. Uber is shutting down its unprofitable auto-leasing business in the US, a move that will affect about 500 jobs. The company says that it needs to find a “less capital-intensive approach,” as it underestimated the loss-per-vehicle cost.
9. The team behind Amazon’s Alexa is huge, with over 5,000 employees working on just that. In May 2016, they numbered just 1,000, and the firm’s listings have another 1,500 open positions for Alexa-related jobs.
10. Roku is preparing for its IPO, and has set the price for $US14-per-share (£10.50). This values the company at $US1.3 billion (£971 million), with trades starting on NASDAQ this Thursday.
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