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10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday. Sony is making a $250 million "strategic investment" in Epic Games, the company behind "Fortnite," the two announced on Thursday. That $250 million buys Sony a 1.4% stake in Epic Games, which puts Epic's current valuation at just shy of $18 billion. Apple began rolling out the public beta of iOS 14, its next major software update for the iPhone, on Thursday. The update brings a bunch of new features to the iPhone that touch near...
Tags: Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, UK, Australia, US, Trends, Siri, Fbi, Epic, New York Times, Sony, Silicon Valley, Associated Press, Jack Dorsey, Robinhood


‘I Find That Hard To Believe’: Tension As Esper Claims Ignorance Of Who Cleared Lafayette Square

Defense Secretary Mark Esper maintained at a committee hearing Thursday that it’s “still unclear” to him who gave the order to clear D.C.’s Lafayette Square of protesters for President Donald Trump’s photo-op in front of St. John’s Church.  The widely-publicized violence involved the U.S. Park Police —  possibly aided by D.C. police — storming the square near the White House and pepper-spraying peaceful protesters before the city’s curfew on June 1.  House Armed Services Committee Cha...
Tags: News, Protest, Congress, White House, Defense, Smith, Donald Trump, Esper, Adam Smith, Trump, St John, Democratic, National Guard, House Armed Services Committee, Mark Milley, William Walker


Chelsea Clinton is reportedly in the 'very early stages' of forming her own venture capital firm

Chelsea Clinton is reportedly forming her own venture capital firm, according to a report from Axios. The firm, called Metrodora Ventures, was registered in April and has its own Twitter account, though it's still in its early stages and Clinton hasn't decided whether to commit to the firm full-time, Axios reports. On Twitter, Metrodora Ventures describes itself as "a values conscious venture capital firm focused on health and learning businesses."  A spokesperson for Clinton did not immediate...
Tags: Trends, Ufc, Chelsea Clinton, Clinton, Clinton Foundation, Dan Primack, Mailman School of Public Health, Avenue Capital, Axios, Swayze Valentine, Metrodora Ventures, On Twitter Metrodora Ventures, Axios Kia Kokalitcheva, Axios Clinton, Columbia University Clinton, IAC Expedia Group


Microsoft paused ad spending on Facebook and Instagram over concerns about 'inappropriate content' (MSFT, FB)

Microsoft has paused advertising spending on Facebook and Instagram, Axios reported Monday.  The news comes to protest the way the company moderates hate speech. Microsoft is not participating in the boycott, according to Axios, but is concerned about the content that its ads could appear next to on the social networks. Microsoft has yet to respond to a request to confirm the report. Are you a Microsoft employee? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or e...
Tags: Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft, Satya Nadella, US, Trends, Pepsico, Signal, Chris Capossela, Axios, Coca Cola Starbucks, MSFT FB, Instagram Axios, Business Inisder Facebook


Airbnb CEO: Travel may never be the same

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told Axios in an interview that global travel may never fully recover, and that he sees a future where people travel much more within their own countries, possibly for longer stays.
Tags: Travel, Brian Chesky, Axios


Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian is leaving his venture capital firm Initialized Capital

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian is leaving his VC firm Initialized Capital. Per an Axios report, Ohanian is interested in pursuing pre-seed investing versus the seed-stage investments that Initialized is known for. The departure comes weeks after Ohanian stepped down from Reddit's board and instead urged the company to fill the role with a Black candidate. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Alexis Ohanian is leaving the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Initialized, accordi...
Tags: US, Trends, Reddit, Silicon Valley, Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams, Garry Tan, Initialized Capital, Ohanian, Axios, Initialized Capital Per an Axios


Google will start paying publishers to provide content for a ‘new news experience’

Google announced today that it’s working on a “new news experience” that will launch later this year, for which it will pay publishers to license their content. Axios broke the news, with Google’s Brad Bender offering more details in a blog post, in which he said the project will first launch on Google News and Discover, and will “help participating publishers monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience that lets people go deeper into more complex stories, stay informed...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Media, Advertising Tech, Germany, Tech, Brazil, Google News, Bender, Germany Australia, Axios, Brad Bender, Stefan Ottlitz, SPIEGEL Group, Diarios Associados, Spiegel Group Australia


Goldman Sachs Snags Fiona Carter as the Finance Company’s First CMO

Goldman Sachs has hired AT&T's Fiona Carter as its first chief marketing officer, Carter confirmed to Adweek today. The news, first reported by Axios, comes just a week after an internal memo revealed that Carter will leave her post as AT&T chief brand and advertising officer on June 26 following five years with the telecommunications...
Tags: Advertising, Goldman Sachs, Adweek, Carter, AT T, C-Suite, Axios, Fiona Carter, Finance Company, First CMO, Goldman Sachs Snags


Nadler Poised To Subpoena Barr After Messy Berman Firing

House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is expected to subpoena Attorney General Bill Barr ahead of the Trump official’s hearing on July 2. Ranking committee member Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to Nadler on Monday evening indicating that the Judiciary chair had informed him, per committee rules, of an impending subpoena to Barr. In the letter, which was first obtained by Axios, Jordan says Nadler’s staff had “indicated” that the Democrat was going to send a subpoena, which Jordan vehemen...
Tags: News, White House, Judiciary, Jordan, Republican, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Trump, Jim Jordan, Berman, Southern District of New York, Barr, Nadler, Axios, Jerry Nadler, Cristina Cabrera


SHS Joins In On Bashing Bolton By Accusing Him Of Being ‘Drunk On Power’

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is hopping on the bandwagon bashing former National Security Adviser John Bolton ahead of the publication of his damning tell-all book recalling his experiences in the Trump administration. According to an Axios report on Monday, Sanders accuses Bolton of being a “classic case of a senior White House official drunk on power, who had forgotten that nobody elected him to anything” in her own upcoming book set to be released in the fall. Sanders to...
Tags: London, News, White House, Treasury, Secret Service, Bolton, Trump, Sanders, John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Winfield House, Steve Mnuchin, Former White House, Axios Axios, Axios


Trump held off China sanctions over Xinjiang to protect trade deal

President says he didn’t want to impose additional penalties while he was in the middle of a negotiationPresident Trump held off on imposing tougher sanctions on Chinese officials blamed for a crackdown on China’s Uighur Muslim minority because of concern such measures would have interfered with trade negotiations, he said in an interview published on Sunday.“Well, we were in the middle of a major trade deal. And I made a great deal, $250bn potentially worth of purchases,” Trump told Axios on Fr...
Tags: China, International Trade, World news, US news, Asia Pacific, US politics, Treasury, Xinjiang, Donald Trump, Trump, Trump Administration, Axios


Defund the Democrats: John Phillips

Before activist sugar daddy Tom Steyer looked in the mirror and decided he should be president, California Democrats were more likely to be sugar babies — for public employee unions. And boy, oh boy, has it worked out for Golden State Democrats. One of the main reasons states like California are solidly blue is because Democrats can count on public employee unions to write big checks that ensure the viability of their preferred candidates up and down the ballot. In return, Democrats have deliver...
Tags: Nbc, Congress, California, Opinion, Washington, Sacramento, San Francisco, Sport, Soccer, Democrats, House, Long Beach, Republican Party, Eric Garcetti, Cadillac, Trump


‘Cut Out the Cancer and Start Rebuilding’: GOP Operatives Form New Anti-Trump Super PAC

“NeverTrump” Republicans, including former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci, have formed another Super PAC to boost former vice president Joe Biden in an effort to defeat Trump in November.The "Right Side PAC," founded by former Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges — who clashed repeatedly with Trump in 2016 and was later voted out after Trump pressured Ohio Republicans to remove him — aims to complement the Lincoln Project, another anti-Trump PAC led by George Conway, husband of Trump ...
Tags: News, Joe Biden, Gop, Ohio, Republican Party, Biden, Bernie Sanders, Trump, Super PAC, Borges, Anthony Scaramucci, Elizabeth Warren D Mass, Trump PAC, Scaramucci, Kellyanne Conway, George Conway


Anti-Trump Republicans Launch Super PAC To Encourage GOP Voters To Support Biden

Republican operatives who opposed President Donald Trump have launched a super PAC to shore up GOP votes for Trump’s Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Matt Borges, the founder of the “Right Side PAC,” told Axios on Wednesday that his group will reach out to disaffected Republican voters digitally and via phone and mail in crucial swing states, such as North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The PAC also includes Anthony Scaramucci, the White House’s former communications dir...
Tags: News, White House, Joe Biden, Gop, PAC, Michigan, Republican Party, Biden, Donald Trump, Trump, Super PAC, Borges, Anthony Scaramucci, Sens Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren D MA, Never Trump


Zoom says it took down US-based protesters' accounts at China's behest and promises not to enforce similar censorship requests

Zoom said on Thursday it deactivated the accounts of multiple US-based human rights activists at the request of the Chinese government. Zoom said it blocked the hosts' user accounts because it doesn't have the functionality to block individual accounts by location. It promised going forward it will "not allow requests from the Chinese government to impact anyone outside of mainland China." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Zoom has admitted it blocked the accounts of Chinese...
Tags: China, US, Trends, Republican, Zoom, Tiananmen Square, Zhou, Hawley, Josh Hawley, Axios, Eric Yuan, Zhou Fengsuo, Initially Zoom, Tiananmen Square Zoom, China s Communist Party, ByteDance Reports


Zoom admits it took down US-based protesters' accounts at China's behest and promises not to enforce similar censorship requests

Zoom said on Thursday it deactivated the accounts of multiple US-based human rights activists at the request of the Chinese government. Zoom said it blocked the hosts' user accounts because it doesn't have the functionality to block individual accounts by location. It promised going forward it will "not allow requests from the Chinese government to impact anyone outside of mainland China." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Zoom has admitted it blocked the accounts of Chinese...
Tags: China, US, Trends, Republican, Zoom, Tiananmen Square, Zhou, Hawley, Josh Hawley, Axios, Eric Yuan, Zhou Fengsuo, Initially Zoom, Tiananmen Square Zoom, China s Communist Party, ByteDance Reports


Zoom discloses it took down US-based activists' accounts at China's behest, says it won't enforce similar censorship requests going forward

Zoom disclosed on Thursday that it had deactivated the accounts of several US-based human-rights activists at the request of the Chinese government. Zoom said it blocked the hosts' user accounts because it didn't have the functionality to block individual accounts by location. It said going forward it would "not allow requests from the Chinese government to impact anyone outside of mainland China." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The popular video-chat service Zoom said on...
Tags: China, US, Trends, Zoom, Tiananmen Square, Zhou, Hawley, Axios, Eric Yuan, Sen Josh Hawley, Zhou Fengsuo, Tiananmen Square Zoom, China s Communist Party, ByteDance Reports, ByteDance Zoom


Zoom deactivated the US-based account of a Tiananmen Square protester after an online commemorative event

Zoom deactivated the account of a Tiananmen Square protester after he organized a memorial event for the 1989 protests. Zoom said the account was deactivated to "comply with local law" but did not go into further detail. The host is US-based, but Zoom's statement suggests some attendees tuned in from China, meaning Chinese censorship laws applied. Zoom said it has now reactivated the account. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Zoom, the videoconferencing platform that's ballo...
Tags: California, China, US, Trends, Beijing, Zoom, Tiananmen Square, China China, Zhou, Axios, Eric Yuan, Tiananmen Massacre, Zhou Fengsuo, Humanitarian China, Axios Zoom, Tiananmen Square TikTok


Zoom Closes Account of US-Based Chinese Activist After Tiananment Event

The U.S. video-conferencing company Zoom closed the account of a group of prominent U.S.-based Chinese activists after they held a Zoom event commemorating the 31st anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre, Axios has learned. From the report: Zhou Fengsuo, founder of the U.S. nonprofit Humanitarian China and former student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen protests, organized the May 31 event held through a paid Zoom account associated with Humanitarian China. About 250 people attended the...
Tags: Hong Kong, US, Tech, Lee, Tiananmen, Zhou, Axios, Tiananmen Massacre, Lee Cheuk yan, Tiananmen Square Massacre Axios, Zhou Fengsuo, Humanitarian China


Palantir lowers strike price for employees to buy equity in company, as discounted shares flood the secondary markets

Palantir has lowered the strike price for employees to buy their equity options after five years of declining value on the secondary markets, according to two people familiar with the company. The new strike price is just $4.72 per share, one of the people said, which is down from an already lowered strike price of $6.03 set in late 2018. It's unclear how that values the company. Palantir was last valued at $20 billion in a 2015 funding round, but it has struggled to keep that valuation in sec...
Tags: California, Ipo, Trends, Bloomberg, Palo Alto, Customs, Palantir, Business Insider, Alex Karp, Karp, Axios, EquityZen


Trump Aides Biting Their Nails Over POTUS’ Inflammatory Tweets About Protests

As President Donald Trump fires off tweet after tweet attacking his political enemies and protesters amid the demonstrations against the death of George Floyd, his aides are reportedly fretting that his antagonistic rhetoric could come back to bite him in November. Axios, NBC News, and the report that Trump’s aides have been urging the President to cool it with the divisive tweets and instead attempt to unify the nation by giving a formal address about Floyd, who died after a white officer ...
Tags: News, Minnesota, White House, Nbc News, America, Donald Trump, Joe, Trump, Floyd, National Guard, Minneapolis Minnesota, Joe Trump, Axios, Trump Tweets, Cristina Cabrera, George Floyd


Pentagon Watchdog That Trump Sidelined From COVID Oversight Resigns

The government watchdog picked to oversee trillions in COVID-19 relief spending — until he was sidelined by President Donald Trump — resigned Tuesday.  Glenn Fine had served as the principal deputy inspector general at the Pentagon, filling in as the military’s top watchdog for months, until April .  A few days earlier, colleagues of Fine’s had chosen him to chair the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, or PRAC. But after he was selected for that post, Trump replaced him   a...
Tags: News, Obama, Congress, Saudi Arabia, White House, Defense, Barack Obama, Cnn, Pentagon, State Department, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Clinton, Trump, State, Mike Pompeo


'Our product is used on occasion to kill people': Palantir's CEO claims its tech is used to target and kill terrorists

Palantir CEO Alex Karp told Axios there are times when he's questioned the ethics of the company's business. Palantir is a Silicon Valley-based data firm which has been protested in the past for its work with US Immigration and Custom's Enforcement (ICE). Karp also said the company's product is used to target and kill terrorists, although he wasn't specific about what product he meant. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Alex Karp, CEO of data analytics firm Palantir, told Ax...
Tags: Google, Trends, Bloomberg, Ice, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Pentagon, Palantir, Alex Karp, Karp, Axios, US Immigration and Custom s Enforcement ICE Karp, US Immigration and Custom s Enforcement ICE


Facebook buys GIPHY, the popular GIF-hosting platform

Facebook has just bought the popular GIF hosting platform GIPHY. In a blog post, GIPHY said it will be integrated into the Instagram team. While both companies have confirmed the deal, they haven’t disclosed the amount. A report by Axios suggests Facebook bough GIPHY for $400 million. GIPHY’s API is quite popular amongst social networks. Facebook already uses it in its other products such as Messenger and WhatsApp for GIF search. Twitter also uses GIPHY’s services for its GIF search feature. In ...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Giphy, Vishal Shah, Axios, Hard Fork


Facebook to acquire Giphy in a deal reportedly worth $400 million

Facebook will acquire Giphy, the web-based animated gif search engine and platform provider, Facebook confirmed today, in a deal worth around $400 million, according to a report by Axios. Facebook said it isn’t disclosing terms of the deal. Giphy has grown to be a central source for shareable, high-engagement content, and its animated response gifs are available across Facebook’s platforms, as well as through other social apps and services on the web. Most notably, Giphy provides built-in ...
Tags: Travel, TC, Facebook, Twitter, Social Media, Gif, Whatsapp, Software, M&a, Search Engine, BetaWorks, Photo Sharing, Operating Systems, Dfj Growth, Dfj, Giphy


Salesforce will let employees work from home for the rest of the year, even after offices have reopened (CRM)

Salesforce will give all employees the option to work from home for the rest of 2020, regardless of when their office location opens up. The timing of each office opening will depend on the guidelines from local public health and government authorities and will be a phased process, the company says.  Salesforce has over 160 office locations. In Asia, where shelter-in-place rules are being relaxed, some of its offices will begin opening later this month.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for m...
Tags: Facebook, Asia, US, San Francisco, Trends, Salesforce, Marc Benioff, Weaver, Axios, Amy Weaver, Elizabeth Pinkham Salesforce


Team Trump Pushes CDC to Revise Down Its COVID Death Counts

President Donald Trump and members of his coronavirus task force are pushing officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change how the agency works with states to count coronavirus-related deaths. And they’re pushing for revisions that could lead to far fewer deaths being counted than originally reported, according to five administration officials working on the government’s response to the pandemicThough he has previously publicly attested to the accuracy of the COVID-19 dea...
Tags: News, Washington Post, Cdc, White House, New York City, United States, New Jersey, Donald Trump, Anthony Fauci, Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, The Daily Beast, Anderson, Trump, Jersey City, Bob Anderson, National Center for Health Statistics


Pence: I’d ‘Be Happy’ To Have Flynn Return To Trump Administration

Vice President Mike Pence says he’d like to see former national security adviser Michael Flynn reinstated in President Donald Trump’s administration after the Justice Department made the jaw-dropping decision to drop Flynn’s criminal case last week. In a clip of Pence’s interview with Axios posted on Sunday, the vice president called Flynn an “American patriot” who “served this country with great distinction.” “And now I believe the decision by the Justice Department lays bare what was clearl...
Tags: News, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Trump, Mike Pence, Flynn, Michael Flynn, Trump Administration, Axios, FBI Trump, Cristina Cabrera, Bill Barr, TV Clip


Pence would 'be happy' to see 'patriot' Michael Flynn in White House again

Vice President Mike Pence seems ready for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to come back to the White House after the Justice Department moved last week to drop its criminal case against him, Axios reports.Flynn was a major player in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into 2016 Russian election interference. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, but the Justi...
Tags: News, White House, Fbi, United States, Justice Department, Trump, Mike Pence, Flynn, Michael Flynn, Robert Mueller, Axios, Sergey Kislyak


Report: Trump Casts Doubt On COVID-19 Death Toll, Believes True Number Could Be Lower

As the U.S. grapples with a staggering death toll from the coronavirus, which has now surpassed 70,000, President Donald Trump reportedly has been privately questioning the number of fatalities from the virus and believes the deaths could have been over-counted. Axios reported on Wednesday that Trump has been venting to his aides about the ever-growing calculated death toll, which is at over 72,000 according to John Hopkins University. The President reportedly believes the figures, which have...
Tags: News, White House, Time, Donald Trump, Trump, John Hopkins University, Axios, Cristina Cabrera, COVID-19