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10 things in tech you need to know today, July 16



Lawmakers are worried about deepfakes in the election — like this weird mashup of actors Steve Buscemi and Jennifer Lawrence.

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

  1. Amazon workers in the US, UK, Germany, Spain, and Poland protested and went on strike on Prime Day on Monday, Amazon’s busiest shopping event of the year. Unions said extending Prime Day to two days and promising one-day delivery will push workers to their physical limits, as if they are “trained triathletes.”
  2. The US may approve licenses for companies to restart new sales to Huawei in as little as two weeks, according to a senior official. Previously, US firms had to apply for licenses in order to sell to Huawei which would likely be rejected, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said licenses would be issued where there is no threat to national security.
  3. Electric-scooter startups including Bird met UK lawmakers on Monday to lobby for legalization, just three days after YouTuber Emily Hartridge was killed on her scooter. Transport minister Michael Ellis referenced Hartridge’s death during the meeting, and said any change to UK laws to permit scooters on British roads would be slow.
  4. Palantir cofounder and Facebook director Peter Thiel launched an attack on Google during a speech at the National Conservatism conference in Washington on Sunday, according to reports. Thiel said Google should be investigated for its “seemingly treasonous” relationship with China and that the FBI and CIA should investigate the firm in a “not excessively gentle manner.”
  5. Facebook’s blockchain boss David Marcus says new digital currency Libra won’t launch until it has “fully addressed regulatory concerns.” The executive will appear before a US Senate committee today and attempt to assuage lawmakers’ concerns about the potential impact of Libra.
  6. Some livestreamers on Amazon-owned Twitch went dark to stand in solidarity with Amazon workers protesting on Prime Day on Monday. One streamer said: “I won’t be streaming until Wednesday in support of this strike and won’t be touching Amazon’s sites during the strike.”
  7. Twitter has determined that President Trump’s racist tweets about four minority congresswomen did not violate its policies, despite earlier stating any violating tweets would be flagged and downranked, according to Gizmodo. The president’s tweets remain unflagged, suggesting Twitter has decided they do not violate the site’s hateful conduct policies.
  8. A committee of British lawmakers have told the UK government there are no technical grounds to ban Huawei from the country’s 5G network, but there might be legitimate ethical and geopolitical reasons for doing so. The chair of the science and technology committee, Norman Lamb MP, said allowing Huawei access to 5G networks might jeopardise important alliances, such as with the US.
  9. US Representative Adam Schiff sent a letter to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google seeking information about their policies for dealing with deepfake videos and photos. Schiff said he was concerned about the effect that deepfake disinformation could have on the 2020 US Presidential elections.
  10. A 17-year-old social media influencer was found dead Sunday morning in upstate New York, and photos of the gruesome murder taken by the alleged killer surfaced online, police said. The photos appeared on the alleged killer’s Instagram account and resurfaced on chat app Discord.

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Kobe Bryant, wife have pact not to ride in helicopter together: report



  • The late NBA star Kobe Bryant reportedly had a pact with his wife Vanessa that they would never ride in a helicopter together.
  • Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well as seven other passengers, were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning.
  • Bryant said in a podcast in 2018 that he began traveling in helicopters so he would have more time to spend with his daughters instead of sitting in LA traffic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The late NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa had a pact that they would never ride in a helicopter together, a source told People magazine.

Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well as seven other passengers, were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning.

“He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together,” a source told People. The source also added that Bryant would only ride in helicopters piloted by Ara Zobayan, who was among the seven others killed in the crash. It was not immediately made clear why Bryant made the pact with his wife.

Bryant and Gianna are survived by his wife and his three daughters — Natalia, 17; Bianka, 3; and Capri, who was born in June of last year.

Bryant said in a 2018 podcast for Barstool Sports that he began traveling in helicopters so he would have more time to spend with his daughters instead of sitting in Los Angeles traffic.

“Traffic started getting really, really bad, and I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play, because I was sitting in traffic,” Bryant said during the podcast. “I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time.

“So that’s when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes and that’s when it started,” he added.

In the podcast, Bryant elaborated how important family time was to him, even if it was just to drop them off at school.

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Wuhan teacher’s videos show what life is like inside quarantined city



  • An Irish teacher living in Wuhan, China has been chronicling life under quarantine for Channel 4.
  • In a video posted this week, Ben Kavanaugh walked through deserted streets while venturing to the store to get food.
  • He wore two masks, goggles, and gloves for the outing, and picked up only processed food to avoid coming into contact with infected people or animals.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An Irish teacher’s video blogs from within quarantined Wuhan, China are giving outsiders a look at what like on lockdown is like.

Chinese officials put Wuhan — the nation’s seventh-largest city — on lockdown last week to slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

Ben Kavanaugh’s first video about life under quarantine was posted by Channel 4 on January 26 and shows him venturing out into the deserted city to stock up on provisions at a grocery store.

Before leaving the house, Kavanaugh took precautions by doubling up on face masks, then putting on goggles and gloves.

He then met up with a friend and the two ventured to the grocery store with suitcases, so that they could stock up on enough food and household items to last them “weeks.”

On the walk to the grocery store, Kavanaugh noted that Wuhan is a city larger than London, and yet almost no one was out on the street in the morning. The roads were empty because drivers have been told they will be fined or have their licenses taken away, he said.

At the grocery store, he skipped the meat and produce aisles, likely because the virus has been traced back to a food market in Wuhan.

Instead, he stocked up on cookies, cereal, chips, eggs, soda, beer, and bacon.

The lines for the check-out are the longest he’d ever seen them, and customers were only allowed to do self-checkout.

On the way back to his apartment, Kavanaugh passed a pharmacy with a line of people out the door — one of the few signs of life in the city.

In his second video for the news outlet, which was posted on January 28, Kavanaugh cooked a bleak meal of pasta and hot dogs and talked about how foreign nationals like himself have been in constant communication with each other and their respective governments.

At one point, he talked about how American friends in a group chat were discussing their flight out of Wuhan.

Later in the video, Kavanaugh said he, too, was considering leaving, since the British and Irish governments are looking into evacuating their citizens.

He also revealed that it was his birthday, and cracked a joke about treating himself to a beer.

“Also it’s my birthday — what a fun birthday in quarantined Wuhan. It’s 9 o’clock in the p.m. so I think after almost a week of quarantine I deserve a birthday beer,” Kavanaugh said. “I thought Corona, maybe not given the situation, so I went with a different beer. Not Corona. To good health!”

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Best wedding rings in 2020: Traditional and unique wedding bands



The best for customization

Curved Half Eternity


Customized wedding bands usually cost a lot because of the labor and time that goes into crafting a unique ring from scratch, but not at Holden. Prices range between $179 and $1,299.

If you think all wedding bands look the same and would prefer a custom one, check out Holden. It’s part of a growing group of online direct-to-consumer shops that are changing how we shop for wedding bands and engagement rings, and one of the best advantages is the ability to customize your ring. 

Instead of choosing from a pre-designed ring, you start with one of 17 ring profiles, and then choose the metal, width, finish, and engraving. The rings start at $179 for a classic 10k yellow gold band and max out at $1,199 for a platinum multi-faceted style. The rings can take up to two weeks to produce, which is pretty quick for a fully custom job. 

The reason Holden can keep its costs down is because there’s no middleman or storefront. Instead, rings are made in-house with 3D technology and wax molds, and then they go directly to the consumer for a fraction of the price of traditional jewelry retail markups, which are often 8x to 10x the cost of production.

There’s also a free ring-sizing kit, free engraving, free ring resizing (once per calendar year), free shipping, a lifetime warranty, and payment plans for an easier time on your wallet. But the return window is pretty short at just 14 days and doesn’t apply to any ring that has been previously exchanged, altered, or resized, even if done in-house at Holden. 

Holden is definitely one of the newer startups in this guide and we get that shoppers might hesitate at drop a few hundred dollars, but since its launch in April 2018, revenue has doubled month over month and direct-to-consumer fine jewelry startups are becoming more mainstream, so it’s definitely a growing company that we’re confident in.

Pros: Fully customized rings, easy online interface, can see rings at NYC studio by appointment, free engraving, free ring resizing (once per calendar year), free shipping, a lifetime warranty, and payment plans

Cons: Short 14-day return window, shoppers who don’t live in NYC can’t view rings in person, limited styles currently 

Buy on Holden for $999.00

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