Things in Tech You Need to Know Today

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

  1. Federal prosecutors are investigating the Chinese electronics giant Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets from US companies. One such incident includes Huawei supposedly stealing robotic technology that T-Mobile uses to test its smartphones, according to the report.
  2. WeWork CEO Adam Neumann reportedly made millions of dollars by renting office space in buildings that he partially owns to his company, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday. In a filing for prospective investors last year, WeWork reportedly disclosed that it paid $12 million in rent between 2016 and 2017 to buildings “partially owned by officers” of WeWork.
  3. Lime is reportedly set for a $2 billion valuation after taking $400 million in new funding mostly from its existing investors. According to Recode, Lime has been circulating documents gauging interest in the new round.
  4. Apple will cut back on hiring for certain divisions as the company re-adjusts its plans in the face of slowing iPhone sales, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday. CEO Tim Cook told employees during a meeting earlier this month that Apple would reduce hiring for certain unspecified groups, but said the company would not impose a hiring freeze.
  5. Niantic, the developer of “Pokémon Go”, announced that it’s raised $245 million in a deal valuing it at “almost $4 billion.” CEO John Hanke said Niantic is cash-flow positive, but the money helps it bunker down for a possible venture capital crunch as it starts the years-long road towards a possible IPO.
  6. Free-to-play video games generated $87.7 billion in revenue during 2018, according to research firm SuperData.  “Fortnite” was the top grossing game of 2018, free or otherwise, with an estimated $2.4 billion in revenue.
  7. Microsoft is building a service that intends to be the “Netflix for games.” The goal of the service, named ” Project xCloud,” is to stream high-end video games to any device.
  8. Lenovo is reportedly planning to release a new Motorola Razr phone with a foldable display as soon as February. The new Motorola Razr will cost about $1,500.
  9. A controversial startup that charges $8,000 to fill people’s veins with young blood now claims to be up and running in 5 cities across the US. Ambrosia recently completed its first clinical trial designed to assess the benefits of the procedure, but it has yet to publish the results.
  10. Snap has lost 20 senior executives since it went public almost two years ago. In that time, it has lost two chief financial officers, multiple HR execs, and most of CEO Evan Spiegel’s top lieutenants.

10 things in tech you need to know today

This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told Facebook execs that the company is at “war,” and called recent media coverage “bulls—“. Zuckerberg told Facebook executives at a meeting in June that he was going to be a more aggressive CEO in light of a sequence of scandals, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview “we have to admit when the free market is not working” on the issue of privacy. In an interview with Axios, Cook added that regulation was “inevitable.”

Facebook’s comms team is reportedly fuming at COO Sheryl Sandberg after they were thrown under the bus over a smear campaign. Sandberg’s response to the bombshell New York Times report last week angered many communications and policy team members, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly blamed Sheryl Sandberg for the Cambridge Analytica fallout, making her worry for her job. Zuckerberg met with Sandberg in the spring and said he blamed her for the furore over the giant data breach, the Journal reports.

Former Facebook head of security Alex Stamos published an op-ed in The Washington Post confirming that Sheryl Sandberg yelled at him and felt “blindsided” when he briefed the board on Russian interference. Stamos was at the center of the New York Times exposé published last week on how Facebook’s leadership dealt with Russian election interference.

NASA will retire its new mega-rocket if SpaceX or Blue Origin can safely launch their own powerful rockets. NASA is building a super-heavy-lift rocket called the Space Launch System to send astronauts back to the moon.
A security bug on Instagram accidentally revealed some people’s passwords. The bug was connected to a feature that allows users to download all their data.

The “secret sister” gift exchange on Facebook is actually an illegal pyramid scheme. An illegal chain mail post circulating on Facebook promises that participants will receive up to 36 gifts while only giving one of their own.

A group of European lawmakers wrote to Jeff Bezos to ask that Amazon stop selling Soviet-themed merchandise. In an open letter, 27 MEPs said that the sale of items emblazoned with the hammer and sickle offends victims of the regime.

Swedish scooter company VOI Technology raised $50 million in series A funding. The funding was led by Balderton Capital, along with a handful of angel investors.