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Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
1. The FCC has voted to repeal net neutrality rules which classified basic internet access as a utility. The decision, likely to be contested in court, paves the way for broadband providers to introduce and charge for different tiers of internet service.
2. Silicon Valley executives and internet campaigners were outraged by the decision, with Netflix, Reddit, Google, and several others hinting they would fight the vote. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said: “[It] seems likely that the FCC’s decision will be challenged in court soon, and we would be supportive of that challenge.”
3. The British politician leading the charge against fake news and Russian election interference in the UK, Damian Green, savaged Twitter over its response to questions about Russian meddling in the Brexit vote. Twitter said it found only one instance of Russian-funded content during the referendum, but Green described this investigation as “completely inadequate.”
4. Disney will acquire Fox TV’s film and TV assets for $52.4 billion (£39 billion), obtaining brands like “The Simpsons”, “X-Men” and the film “Avatar.” Fox’s CEO James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch, will stay at the firm to oversee the transition.
5. Silicon Valley venture capitalist and Uber investor Shervin Pishevar has resigned from his VC firm Sherpa Capital after several women accused him of sexual harassment. Pishevar said he has resigned to fight to “untruthful attacks.”
6. Samsung is planning to release its first smart speakers integrated with its digital assistant Bixby in the first half of 2018, according to Bloomberg. Its speakers will reportedly cost around $200 (£148) and goes up against Apple’s HomePod speaker, Amazon’s Echo devices, and Google Home.
7. Here’s another sign that Andy Rubin’s high end Essential phone isn’t selling very well — its camera app has only been downloaded around 50,000 times, according to AndroidPolice. Only the Essential phone can download its camera app, giving an indication of how many people own one.
8. Alphabet’s X division has sold 2,000 rooftop mounted boxes which use light beams to transmit data at high speed to the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The technology could provide high-speed internet to millions without the need to lay cable.
9. The UK tech industry has spoken up about a potential shortage of tech talent after Brexit, but LinkedIn data suggests it’s actually more reliant on non-EU workers. A Tech City study found the bulk of skilled immigrant workers come from India, the US, and Australia
10. Snapchat will now let you create your own augmented reality lenses, with the launch of a new Lens Studio. It’s the first time the average user can create AR effects for the app.
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