Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
1. AT&T and Verizon are pulling their ads from YouTube and other sites that run Google ads. Companies are boycotting Google after it was revealed that some of their ads have appeared next to extremist videos on YouTube.
2. Advertising executives suggested the Google boycott smacks of “opportunism” and a chance to gleefully bash the biggest player in the online ad industry. Companies like L’Oreal, McDonald’s, Audi, and HSBC have also pulled their ads.
3. Facebook’s Safety Check feature was activated in London after the Westminster attack. The feature asks people in the area of the incident if they are safe, and publicly marks them as such if they say they are.
4. Apple has acquired an app called Workflow. The iPhone maker described the automation app as the “most innovative” app in 2015.
5. Venture capital firm Octopus Ventures has raised a £120 million fund to invest in UK technology startups. The firm has now raised a total of £660 million.
6. Baidu’s value took a $1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) plunge after chief scientist Andrew Ng announced he’s leaving. Ng joined Baidu in May 2014.
7. Microsoft’s LinkedIn is starting to roll out a new feature called “Trending Storylines”. The feature highlights multiple perspectives on the biggest news of the moment.
8. Google is updating its popular Maps app with new features to let friends view each other’s location in real-time. The location-sharing only works if you decide to share your current location with a specific person, and you can limit how long a friend sees your location.
9. A law firm is trying to put together a class action lawsuit claiming Tesla misled consumers about the self-driving capabilities of Autopilot 2. Hagens Berman is pitching the lawsuit to Tesla owners on its website with the tagline: “Did you pay a premium for Tesla’s Autopilot 2 (AP2) safety features? You may be entitled to a refund.”
10. Fitbit was trading at a record low of $5.46 (£4.37) a share on Wednesday, down another 2.5%, or $0.14 (£0.11). Back in November, the company reported disappointing third quarter earnings that saw Fitbit lose one-third of its value.
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