10 things in tech you need to know today, September 15

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  1. Oracle won its bid to become TikTok’s ‘trusted technology provider’ in US. The proposed deal has been submitted to the US government for approval.
  2. Chip designer Arm risks backlash from Apple and Qualcomm over its $40 billion acquisition by Nvidia. “Independence is critical to the ongoing success of Arm – and once that is compromised, its value will start to erode,” one analyst said.
  3. A fired Facebook employee wrote a scathing 6,600-word memo detailing the company’s failures to stop political manipulation around the world. She wrote that Facebook prioritized its public image in choosing which fake networks to investigate, even if the “disproportionate impact” of real-world problems went ignored.
  4. Google has offset all the carbon it has ever produced, according to CEO Sundar Pichai. He claimed that Google’s commitments to carbon-free energy would create 12,000 jobs by 2025.
  5. Dominic Cummings’ plan for a $1 billion UK moonshot agency was set back after his top candidate dropped out. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser is behind the idea to start a research funding agency, and had hoped to hire renowned programmer Michael Nielsen.
  6. US neobank Chime is set to more than double its valuation to $15 billion with a major new funding round. Late-stage investors have taken a greater interest in the financial-services space after the rapid growth of the stock-trading app Robinhood.
  7. Nikola published a detailed rebuttal to a short-seller’s claims of deception — and admits it staged a promo video by rolling a truck down a hill. “Nikola described this third-party video on the company’s social media as ‘in motion,'” the company said. “It was never described as ‘under its own propulsion’ or ‘powertrain driven’.”
  8. Amazon’s shipping and packaging costs fell to their lowest level in more than 8 years, but now the company is on a major hiring spree to meet rising demand. Amazon’s investments struggled to keep up with the unprecedented demand increase as more people shopped online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  9. YouTube announced it was launching Shorts, a short-form video feature for smartphones that looks a lot like TikTok. Shorts will get a beta release in India this week for testing. India banned TikTok as well as dozens of other apps owned by China-based firms in June, citing national security concerns.
  10. US Customs seized 2,000 earphones made by OnePlus, an Apple competitor, calling them ‘counterfeit Apple AirPods’. “Hey, give those back,” OnePlus tweeted in response to CBP’s post.

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