NewsBytes Briefing: Air leak at International Space Station, and more
In the updates since last night, NASA revealed that there has been a small air leak at the International Space Station. Air escapes the lab slowly over time, but lately, it has been leaking out at a slightly higher rate. NASA is now relocating astronauts to the Russian segment to pinpoint the leak's exact source and fix it. There is no immediate danger. Here are more updates.
News Publishers criticize unfair 'Apple tax'
After Epic Games and app developers, major news publishers, including The New York Times, Vox Media, and The Washington Post, have written an open letter criticizing Apple's unfair and anti-competitive 30% App Store commission. They have asked CEO Tim Cook to reveal the conditions Amazon had met in 2016 to qualify for a reduced commission so that they can also avail the same benefit.
Uber's former security chief charged for covering up hack
Separately, Uber's former chief security officer, Joseph Sullivan, has been charged with obstruction of justice and failing to share information of a felony. He could be sentenced for up to 8 years. Sullivan faces the punishment for trying to hide the company's 2016 data breach from the Federal Trade Commission and paying $100,000 to the hackers in Bitcoins through the company's Bug Bounty program.
Hike paying up to Rs. 40,000 to facilitate remote work
Closer home, Hike Private Limited, the Indian company behind the famous Hike Messenger, has announced that it will let employees work from home until the end of 2020. The company also said that it will pay up to Rs. 40,000 to every staffer so that they can make a comfortable working space at their home while adjusting with the new normal.
Other important updates to note
Among other things, Adobe acknowledged a Lightroom bug that wiped out some users' photos permanently. Then, Facebook confirmed that Mark Zuckerberg testified before the FTC to help with the regulator's antitrust investigation into the company. It also said that its classic site is going away next month. Epic Games', meanwhile, announced a #FreeFortnite tournament where you can win gaming hardware and one "bad Apple".
Finally, some COVID-19 updates
On Thursday, India reported a spike of 68,000+ coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 29.04 lakh. The death toll also neared 55,000. For the vaccine, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has suggested that COVAXIN candidate could be available by the end of this year. Separately, a report revealed that the government is considering procuring 50 lakh vaccine doses for the inoculation of front-line workers.