NewsBytes Briefing: Russia accused of testing satellite-destroying technology, and more
In a strange piece of news, Russia has been accused of testing "what would appear to be [an] actual in-orbit anti-satellite weaponry," BBC reported. Both the UK and the US have made the claim, alleging that an in-orbit satellite of Russia has fired a weapon-like projectile. It did not destroy anything this time, but concerns are, that could change. Here are other major developments.
Facebook paying $650 million to settle facial recognition lawsuit
Facebook has agreed to pay $650 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the company of using facial-recognition tech for suggesting photo tags in violation of an Illinois privacy law that requires companies to obtain "explicit consent" before collecting biometric data. Additionally, the social network has also upped its game against Zoom by bringing the ability to live-broadcast large meetings on Messenger Rooms.
Tesla sues rival Rivian for stealing; SpaceX considering raising funds
Elon Musk's EV company Tesla has sued rival Rivian for roping in employees from the company at an 'alarming' rate to steal confidential trade secrets. Rivian, on its part, refuted the claims, describing them as 'baseless'. Beyond that, Musk's spacefaring company SpaceX is in talks with investors to raise $1 billion in funding at a valuation of about $44 billion, Bloomberg reported.
Intel delays 7nm chips
Intel, on the other hand, made its investors unhappy by announcing that its next-generation 7nm processors have been delayed by six months and will not arrive until late 2022 or early 2023.
Google's Android 11 is 'Red Velvet Cake'
In an unrelated news, Google's Android VP of Engineering Dave Burke, in a recent interview with All About Android, revealed that the upcoming version of their operating system, the Android 11, goes by the codename 'Red Velvet Cake' or 'RVC' internally. Despite ditching the scheme of naming Android versions after delicious desserts, Google has evidently been continuing the practice internally.
Other important developments to note
Among other things, Reuters' sources revealed that 1,000+ employees at Twitter had access to tools that could have changed account settings and helped with account takeovers. The microblogging service was also reported to be considering subscriptions as an additional source of revenue. Meanwhile, amid ban concerns in the US, TikTok has announced a $200 million fund to financially support top creators in the country.
Finally, some COVID-19 related updates
India on Thursday reported the biggest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases with more than 49,000 confirmed infections. Telangana officials, meanwhile, hinted at wide community spread. To fight the disease, Brinton Pharmaceuticals has got DCGI's approval for selling Favipiravir drug under the brand name of Faviton, while Serum Institute has said it will manufacture 2-3 million doses of the Oxford vaccine by August end.