Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
The newsletter will be back on 2nd January 2020.
- Google and Apple have booted a popular messaging app called ToTok, which was downloaded millions of times and reportedly a UAE spy tool. A New York Times report revealed ToTok was used to track people’s conversations, movements, and contacts.
- TikTok wants to set up a global headquarters outside China, according to the Wall Street Journal. Parent firm ByteDance is considering London, Dublin, or Singapore.
- Drivers delivering Amazon packages have been involved in 60 car crashes causing serious injuries since 2015, with 13 fatalities. According to a new investigation by BuzzFeed News and ProPublica found that as Amazon increased in scale, it repeatedly prioritized faster deliveries and increased revenue, the investigation found.
- Multiple influencers and celebrities sparked criticism for attending a music festival in Saudi Arabia despite the country’s lengthy record of human-rights abuses. Some of the most notable attendees included DJ Steve Aoki, actor Armie Hammer, models Winnie Harlow and Alessandra Ambrosio, and social-media figures like Sofia Richie and Scott Disick.
- A 22-year-old was convicted after trying to blackmail Apple for $100,000 of iTunes cards. In 2017 Kerem Albayrak claimed he would publish the account details of 319 million iCloud accounts if his ransom demands weren’t met.
- Amazon keeps awarding products that violate its own rules, like illegal drugs and banned dietary supplements, with its “Amazon’s Choice” badge, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The “Amazon’s Choice” designation is driven by algorithms, Amazon has said, but the process is largely opaque.
- Twitter will block animated PNGs, after trolls used them to trigger seizures in epilepsy sufferers. Twitter found a bug that allowed people to add multiple animated images to posts.
- An analyst thinks Amazon’s one-day shipping could add $50 billion in future revenue as Prime members are willing to shop more for faster delivery. A recent survey by the investment firm Piper Jaffray found that 55% of Amazon Prime members in the US would shop more on the site as one-day shipping rolled out to most of its products.
- Uniqlo retailer is on the way to replacing all its human factory workers after cracking the difficult problem of programming robots to fold T-shirts neatly. Up until now, it’s been hard for robots to carry out this seemingly simple task.
- Elon Musk fact-checked his own Wikipedia page and requested edits including the fact he does ‘zero investing.’ Musk added that all his wealth was tied up in his companies SpaceX and Tesla, saying that if both went bankrupt so would he.
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