Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
- A security flaw in Google’s Android lets malicious apps access users’ camera and microphone to secretly record them and upload the videos to an external server. The flaw, uncovered by Checkmarx, also allowed hackers to track metadata like the GPS location where videos were recorded.
- WeWork’s layoffs officially began on Monday, sources say, and hit the corporate technology, HR and security departments.The bulk of the layoffs are still to come, but one employee called this first round a small mercy, as these people will not be required to work long hours executing the layoff only to be laid off themselves at the end.
- Facebook is struggling to find an audience for its experimental apps. Two apps built by Facebook’s experimental apps team, Aux and Bump, have a few thousand downloads between them, according to app analysis firm Apptopia.
- Facebook quietly released a meme-creation app called Whale last week.The image-editing app is only available in Canada’s App Store.
- Ninety-nine members of Juno’s engineering and tech team in Minsk, Belarus, will be joining Lyft as part of a deal between the company and Juno’s parent, Gett, according to current and former employees. Another roughly 100 support and operations staff have been laid off in New York, Portland, and Israel.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook said there’s a ‘false tradeoff’ between technological progress and forcing people to give up their personal data.Speaking at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference, Cook did not name any specific companies but his answer was a thinly-veiled jab at companies like Google and Facebook.
- Buzzy UK finance startup Starling Bank lost another senior employee amid an exodus of executives.Its former head of compliance for banking services, Rachel Coote, is the sixth senior employee to leave the buzzy finance company in 2019.
- Scientists used artificial intelligence to discover a 2,000 year-old stick figure in Peru’s mysterious Nazca Lines.Researchers from Yamagata University discovered a further 142 formations in Peru’s Nazca Desert, one of which was discovered using an IBM Watson.
- A startup which sells lab-grown diamond jewelry and counts Meghan Markle as a fan just raised $1.2 million from investors.European startup Kimai offers jewelry designed with cultured diamonds and recycled gold direct to consumers.
- Electric scooter startup Bird announced Tuesday that it was rolling out a new initiative to encourage riders to start wearing helmets.By taking a ‘helmet selfie,’ scooter users are eligible for ‘ride-centric incentives’ including credit for free rides in the future.
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