Today in Big Tech — November 27, 2020

Today is Black Friday. Translation: Don’t spend your hard-earned money on things you weren’t going to buy anyway. If, however, you do buy something, make sure the discount is real.

‘Tokenized’: Inside Black Workers’ Struggles at the King of Crypto Start-Ups by Nathaniel Popper

“The 15 people worked at Coinbase, the most valuable U.S. cryptocurrency start-up, where they represented roughly three-quarters of the Black employees at the 600-person company. Before leaving in late 2018 and early 2019, at least 11 of them informed the human resources department or their managers about what they said was racist or discriminatory treatment, five people with knowledge of the situation said.”

Coinbase tried to head this one off. But the numbers are hard to dispute.

Amazon has hired 2,800 employees per day since July by Cal Jeffrey

“While some businesses are struggling to stay afloat during lockdowns and others are suffering from Covid-related shortages, Amazon appears to be thriving. The online retailer has been on a hiring spree for the last ten months, adding more than 427,300 employees to its payroll, an average of 1,400 new hires per day. The vast majority of that staff was added after June.”

Every time Amazon reports its earnings, I track this figure:

Just look at the jump in the most recent quarter. Today it’s already past 1.2 million.

Google and Facebook to be scrutinized by new U.K. antitrust unit from next year by Sam Shead

“The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said it plans to create a Digital Markets Unit (DMU) to enforce ‘a new code to govern the behavior of platforms that currently dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook.’ The code is designed to ensure that consumers, small businesses, and news publishers aren’t disadvantaged by actions taken by tech giants, the government said.”

This is great, even if it’s horribly ironic. If it wasn’t for Brexit, which Facebook and Google helped enable by ignoring disinformation and misinformation on their platforms, this unit wouldn’t be limited to just one country.

Microsoft’s ‘Project Latte’ aims to bring Android apps to Windows 10 by Zac Bowden

“It’s unlikely that Project Latte will include support for Play Services, as Google doesn’t allow Play Services to be installed on anything other than native Android devices and Chrome OS. This means that apps which require Play Services APIs will need to be updated to remove those dependencies before they can be submitted on Windows 10.”

The Android-apps-coming-to-Windows rumor resurfaces every few months in one form or another. With the Surface Duo, an Android phone from Microsoft, this is more believable than ever.

Suspected North Korean hackers targeted COVID vaccine maker AstraZeneca by Jack Stubbs

“The hackers posed as recruiters on networking site LinkedIn and WhatsApp to approach AstraZeneca staff with fake job offers, the sources said. They then sent documents purporting to be job descriptions that were laced with malicious code designed to gain access to a victim’s computer.”

There’s a lot more where this came from. Every employee on the planet with access to the internet should go through anti-phishing training.




Executive Editor @VentureBeat Formerly @TheNextWeb @ZDNet @CNET @TechSpot @ArsTechnica

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Emil Protalinski

Emil Protalinski

Executive Editor @VentureBeat Formerly @TheNextWeb @ZDNet @CNET @TechSpot @ArsTechnica

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