10 things in tech you need to know today


Satya Nadella

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

  1. Microsoft employees are using an internal company message board to share their personal experiences with the ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism, and calling for leadership to take action. The messages only add to pressure from employees for Microsoft to take a bolder stand on the protests, which have been ongoing for nearly two weeks since the death of George Floyd.
  2. Apple will soon announce a move to its own ARM-based chips for Mac, replacing chips from Intel, according to Bloomberg. The company is expected to announce the shift at its annual developer conference WWDC, and will make the tech transition for Macs released in 2021.
  3. More than 250 Microsoft employees signed a letter asking the company to end police department contracts. The email, published on Medium publication OneZero, asked Nadella and Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene, who has been leading communication on the company's coronavirus response, to cancel the company's contract with the Seattle Police Department and other police departments.
  4. Google is gearing up to bring employees back to offices on July 6, but it will "look and feel different" from the office Googlers are used to. In a recent all-hands meeting, Google outlined some of its plans to bring the workforce back, insiders said, including arrival slots, packed lunches, and a ban on perks like office gyms and sleep pods.
  5. Airbnb has restarted internal conversations about going public in 2020. Airbnb's CEO recently said the company has seen more bookings — and longer stays — from May 17 and June 3 compared to that time period last year.
  6. Several Tesla employees reportedly contracted the coronavirus after Elon Musk opened its factory despite shelter-in-place orders. According to the Washington Post, managers held meetings to inform employees of the cases and that the affected people were told not to come in to work, according to two anonymous employees who spoke to the paper.
  7. A senior Facebook AI scientist came out defending the company on Twitter, amid general employee criticism about the way it has recently handled incendiary posts. Yann LeCun, Facebook's former head of AI research and currently the company's chief AI scientist, said on Friday that he remained proud to work at the company and that people had the wrong idea about the firm.
  8. Some Tinder users say they've been banned from the app for encouraging others to donate to Black Lives Matter. Users are saying on Twitter their accounts were banned after sending out links to BLM petitions, changing their bios to include messages in support of BLM, and offering to exchange nudes for donations to BLM causes.
  9. Amazon will test the majority of its warehouse workers every two weeks for COVID-19 and is setting up diagnostic labs accordingly, according to CNBC. The plans are in line with an earlier announcement from CEO Jeff Bezos, who said the plan was to regularly test workers.
  10. Twitter and Square are making Juneteenth a permanent company holiday. The June 19 holiday, which celebrates the emancipation of US slaves in Texas in 1865, will be set aside for "celebration, education, and connection." 

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Tags: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Elon Musk, Texas, Microsoft, Washington Post, US, Trends, Bloomberg, Intel, Airbnb, Jeff Bezos, BLM, Cnbc, Alexa, Seattle Police Department, Amazon Alexa, Nadella, Kurt DelBene, Yann LeCun Facebook, George Floyd Apple

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