All Things Technology News you need to know this Wednesday:
1.Instagram announced new child-protection features. In a blog post, Instagram head Adam Mosseri outlined new actions the company will take to protect kids, including allowing parents to see how much time their teens spend on the app and setting time limits, as well as a new “Take a Break” feature.
2.Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage yesterday. Amazon’s web-hosting subsidiary, AWS, went down yesterday — and took popular services like Netflix, Tinder, and Roku down with it.
*It’s one of the largest disruptions in the company’s history, and an internal AWS analysis points to a sudden increase in traffic as the culprit.
*It knocked Ring doorbells, baby monitors, and Alexa products offline — and people weren’t thrilled: “Eek, just in time for my newly-in-beds triplet toddlers’ nap,” one user said.
*It affected Amazon’s delivery operation, shutting down the software that dictates which packages go in what van. With the routing software offline, West Coast drivers were unable to start deliveries, and many were sent home by 1 p.m. PT. One day off has the potential to create an epic logjam — just 18 days before Christmas.
*Workers were “bored stiff” as warehouses and delivery services were brought to a standstill.
3.Spring Health CEO April Koh says she’s focused on harmonizing growth with mental health. Spring Health employees told us Koh’s hard-driving approach led to a pressure-cooker environment and pushed dozens to quit. Now, the CEO says she’s changing her approach to leadership.
4.Over 200 newspapers are suing Google and Facebook. According to Axios, papers across the country have filed antitrust lawsuits against the Big Tech companies, claiming they monopolized ad revenue that would have otherwise gone to local news.
5.Better’s top marketing, PR, and communications execs resigned. After CEO Vishal Garg fired 900 employees over Zoom and accused hundreds of them of “stealing,” three of the company’s top execs have left the firm.
6.Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly struck a $275 billion deal with China to ease a crackdown on its business there. The deal, signed in 2016, was intended to placate Chinese government officials who believed Apple wasn’t doing enough for the country’s economy, The Information reports.
7.Micro VCs are on the rise. Two former Blossom and Speedinvest partners are joining the trend in Europe by launching a new fund, Cocoa, targeting at least $15 million.
8.Hundreds of scientists want access to Meta’s internal research on kids’ mental health. More than 300 scientists penned an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, asking to investigate the platform’s effects on teens and saying the company’s studies aren’t thorough enough.
9.Safety app Life360 is reportedly selling the precise location data of millions of people. The app, popular among parents who want to see their kids’ location, sells data to dozens of brokers without certain privacy precautions, employees said.
10.Elon Musk said Neuralink hopes to start implanting brain chips in humans in 2022. Neuralink, Musk’s brain-interface technology company, will first give the chips to people with severe spinal cord injuries, he said.
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