Tuesday, August 18, 2020

    10 things in tech you need to know today

    10 things in tech you need to know today

    TrumpTrump



    JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images


    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.

    1. The Trump administration is asking a court to dismiss the tech industry’s legal challenge his executive order taking aim at social media companies. The lawsuit was brought in June by the Center for Democracy and Technology, a group backed by Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet subsidiary Google, which called Trump’s directive “unconstitutional.”
    2. Uber and Lyft have threatened to temporarily shut down in California if a court rules their drivers must be classified as employees. A group of companies that rely on independent contractors has proposed a third way of classifying workers, which includes a benefits pool that can follow workers across apps and platforms while maintaining flexibility. 
    3. Lyft reported a 61% revenue slowdown as the coronavirus hobbles ride-hailing, but still managed to beat Wall Street expectations. Unlike Uber, Lyft has no food delivery or international businesses to rely on for revenue as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the US. 
    4. Airbnb’s revenue reportedly plunged 67% in the second quarter as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on its business. The steep drop-off is a reflection of the impact of COVID-19, which has restricted travel across the globe.
    5. Facebook and Snap both reportedly inquired about acquiring TikTok rival Dubsmash. As TikTok’s future in the US remains uncertain, short-form video-making apps and formats have emerged as competitors eager to attract some of TikTok’s 100 million monthly US users.
    6. Instagram could face up up to $500 billion in fines in a class-action lawsuit alleging it illegally harvested biometric data. A new lawsuit accuses Instagram of collecting people’s biometric data without their consent in violation of a state law.
    7. Chinese giant ByteDance is engaging in early discussions with Reliance Industries about backing TikTok’s business in India. TikTok has been banned in India since June 29 as a fallout of geo-political tensions with China that led New Delhi to ban the app along with 58 other Chinese apps over security and privacy concerns, TechCrunch reported. 
    8. Palantir is planning to go public through a direct listing of its shares in late September. The company, which sells data analysis software used by governments and large companies worldwide, might still change its plans, Bloomberg reported. 
    9. Google, Facebook, Twitter and other major social media companies are working together to scenario-plan for the last three months before Election Day in the United States. Politico reports that the Silicon Valley tech giants are gaming for scenarios including a situation in which there is no quickly declared winner in November’s election. 
    10. Twitter launched a new API as it tries to make amends with third-party developers. The API v2 is the first complete rebuild of Twitter’s API since 2012, when the company famously began limiting how third-party developers could build on its product, The Verge reported. 

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