10 things in tech you need to know today

Ex Machina year end

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.

1. PayPal will buy Swedish fintech startup iZettle for $2.2 billion in the company’s largest aquisition to date. Like US-based Square, iZettle is best known as the provider of devices and software that allow smartphones and tablets to read credit cards.

2. Uber’s chief product officer and head of the company’s flying car efforts, Jeff Holden, has left the company. He’ll be replaced by Eric Allison, the former CEO of a mysterious flying car startup founded by Larry Page.

3. The Wall Street Journal investigated more than 1,000 Initial Coin Offerings and found hundreds had the hallmarks of a scam. In some instances, the newspaper found fake executives being listed.

4. In new video released by MSNBC on Thursday, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates says that he had to explain to President Donald Trump the difference between HIV and HPV. “He wanted to know if there was a difference HIV and HPV, so I was able to explain that those are rarely confused with each other,” Gates says in the video.

5. Apple sold around 600,000 HomePod speakers in the first three months of 2018, according to Strategy Analytics data. That’s well behind Amazon and Google.

6. Facebook executives met with Martin Lewis, a British TV personality and consumer rights journalist, to try and halt an embarrassing lawsuit over fake ads. Lewis is suing Facebook in a defamation suit over his name and image being used for scam ads on the platform.

7. Pluralsight, a Utah-based technical skills training company, began trading on Thursday with the stock surging 35%Unlike many Silicon Valley startups that feed from the venture capital trough, Pluralsight used a bootstrap strategy that’s left the founder in control.

8. Google won’t confirm whether it staged its impressive and scary Duplex demo, during which its voice assistant called a hairdresser and restaurant and conversed convincingly with humans. Axios pointed out that there were no pauses on the on-stage recording, and no background noise on either call, suggesting they might have been edited.

9. Elon Musk touted a partnership between the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency and The Boring Company, his tunnel-digging venture. Musk plans to build a tunnel concept near one of the busiest thoroughfares in LA.

10. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” will include a battle-royale mode similar to “Fortnite: Battle Royale.” The game will be released on October 4.

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