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Facebook's board backs COO Sheryl Sandberg over her calls to investigate George Soros (FB)

Facebook's board has come out in support of COO Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg has been under heavy criticism over her involvement in efforts to investigate George Soros and critics of Facebook. "When a well-known and outspoken investor attacks your company publicly, it is fair and appropriate to do this level of diligence," the board said.

Facebook's board has chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's back.

In a letter, the Silicon Valley tech giant's board supported Sandberg's controversial request to investigate George Soros and whether the billionaire investor philanthropist had shorted the company's stock after calling the social network a "menace to society."

"To be clear, Sandberg's question was entirely appropriate given her role as COO," it said in a letter on Wednesday. "When a well-known and outspoken investor attacks your company publicly, it is fair and appropriate to do this level of diligence."

You can


Facebook employees are reportedly so paranoid they're buying burner phones 'to talk s--t about the company with each other' (FB)

Facebook employees have been using burner phones so they're able to "talk s--t" about the company with their colleagues, BuzzFeed News reports. BuzzFeed's story details an atmosphere of distrust and tension within Facebook, which has faced many scandals over the last two years.  Also on Wednesday, the British Parliament released a trove of internal Facebook documents, detailing the company's thinking around partnerships and competition.

Amid a disastrous year for Facebook filled with information leaks and damaging revelations, employees inside the company have started buying disposible burner phones "to talk sh--t about the company" with each other, a former senior employee tells BuzzFeed News.


17 tips for surviving your office holiday party

If you plan to attend an office holiday party this year, keep in mind that it's still a work event. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is drinking too much. You should also avoid too much business talk. 

'Tis the season — for your office's annual holiday party.

Here's hoping your bash is merry and bright. But, before you put on your Santa hat and go to town, just remember these kinds of wintery events are inherently risky. Mixing booze, coworkers, and the stress of the holiday season can be truly volatile.

So, take steps to avoid humiliating yourself at this year's festivities. The night could be fun ... or it could mutate into an evening of drunken disaster.

It all depends on your attitude.

Here are 17 tips to make sure your office holiday party is a definitive success.

Show up


Lime's co-founder drops some big hints about the scooter company's plans to increase safety features

Lime has big plans when it comes to safety: including AI, sidewalk detection, and tools to lock out drunk riders.  The company has already given away helmets as part of its "respect the ride" campaign.  Still, injuries are flooding emergency rooms and the company has come under fire for not doing more. 

As injuries from scooter riding flood emergency rooms across the country, operators are coming under fire for not doing more to ensure user safety.


An Instagram exec figured out a simple hack to stop getting buried by emails

Responding personally to every email you get at work can consume valuable time. Instagram executive Eva Chen noticed most of her emails concerned the same 10 topics, so she came up with a clever workaround. Instead of typing a response to each email she gets, she keeps stock responses saved as email signatures so she can quickly fire back a message.

It's estimated that the average worker receives almost 90 emails a day.

Responding to all those messages could eat up valuable hours of the workday — but one executive has a clever solution she uses on a daily basis.

Eva Chen, the head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, told Indya Brown at The Cut that she keeps a stockpile of generic email responses saved as customized signatures. 


The 18 biggest tech scandals of 2018 (FB, TWTR, GOOGL, TSLA, AAPL)

From Facebook's Cambridge Analytica debacle to Google's sexual misconduct investigations, 2018 has been a year rocked by scandal in tech industry.  Here are the 18 biggest tech scandals that happened this year.

In the tech world, 2018 was rocked by scandal. 

Over the last 12 months, many tech companies have found themselves at the center of our country's most pressing social and political issues. 

Facebook provided Cambridge Analytica — a data firm used by President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign to target voters — with 87 million users' personal information without obtaining proper consent. 

Google reportedly paid an executive tens of millions of dollars after he was let go over a sexual misconduct investigation.

And


Google is reportedly shutting down its Allo messaging app for good (GOOG, GOOGL)

Google will soon be shutting down its smart messaging app, Google Allo, according to a report from 9to5Google. Back in April, Google product chief Anil Sabharwal confirmed that Google Allo had "not achieved the level of traction that we’d hoped for."  The company also announced in April that it's working on Google Chat, which would create a new universal standard for text messaging known as rich communication services (or RCS).  Allo will soon join the legacy of Google's failed messaging apps including Gchat, Google Buzz, and Google Wave. 

Another Google messaging app is about to bite the dust — this time, it's Google Allo. 

According to


Internal documents show how Facebook decided to put in a feature that collected call and SMS data without users knowing (FB)

Internal Facebook emails released on Wednesday by British Parliament reveal the discussions leading to the "log scraping" practice that collected call and SMS text logs from Facebook users on Android devices. Facebook initially planned to make the practice an "opt-in" feature that gave users a choice, and even then it was deemed a "high risk" move. The company eventually found a way to implement the log scraping feature without user consent.  The practice became known to the public in March of this year.

Facebook's practise of collecting call and SMS logs from users on some Android devices — a practice known as log scraping — was discovered back in March, causing a privacy scandal among users who said they never agreed to let the social network scrape that data.

At the time, the


Facebook's PR head defended its anti-Soros effort, saying it was 'completely legitimate' (FB)

Facebook's move to tie groups opposed to the company with billionaire investor George Soros was "completely legitimate," its top public-relations official said Wednesday. Elliot Schrage characterized the move as in the interests of transparency and honesty in public debate. Schrage didn't address the effort's echoes to longstanding anti-Semitic smears about Soros.

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook's head of communications on Wednesday defended the company's decision to go after liberal financier George Soros, saying it was "completely legitimate."


Artists are slamming the creators of ‘Fortnite’ for allegedly making money off of stolen dances, and one rapper says he plans to sue

Rapper 2 Milly said he will sue the creators of "Fortnite" for allegedly copying his dance the "Milly Rock" and selling it in the game. While 2 Milly has been the most vocal about the similarities of a "Fortnite" dance to existing work, several artists have accused the game's creators of taking their dances without permission or pay. "Fortnite: Battle Royale" is the world's most popular game, making more than $200 million a month selling emotes and other cosmetic items for use in game.

Brooklyn rapper 2 Milly plans to sue "Fortnite" creator Epic Games for allegedly copying and profiting off of a dance he created, the "Milly Rock." 


'More than 10' new games are debuting at The Game Awards this week, but it looks like a few have already leaked

The video game industry's annual awards show, The Game Awards, takes place on Thursday night. More than just an awards show, The Game Awards is a big opportunity for game makers to announce new projects or tease upcoming ones. With just over 24 hours to go, a handful of announcements have begun trickling out early.

On Thursday evening, the video game industry celebrates the year in games with its annual award show: The Game Awards

Unlike the Oscars, this is no black-tie affair; The Game Awards are an annual opportunity to announce new games, offer updates on hotly-anticipated titles, and go into further detail on soon-to-be released games. Awards are given out, and people do indeed dress up, but it's part awards show, part marketing event. 


Apple's new iPhone software is better than ever: Here are the 12 most useful features in iOS 12 (AAPL)

iOS 12 is here. Apple announced the newest version of its mobile operating system at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and launched it to the public in September, just days before shipping the new iPhone XS and XS Max. But if you just updated your phone to iOS 12 — or maybe you bought a new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR — we put a guide together to help you get familiar with the new software.? Check out the 11 most useful features in iOS 12. 1. One of the best features in iOS 12 is completely hands-off. The software is much more efficient than past versions, and works wonders on older devices.

Apps launch up to 40% faster on the iPhone 6S, for example, and you can snap photos up to 70% faster. The system is generally smarter about when to use power, too.

2. A new iOS 12 app called Measure lets you measure distance and length using augmented reality.

Netflix ruled Twitter in 2018 with shows like 'Queer Eye' and '13 Reasons Why'

Twitter revealed its five most tweeted about streaming TV shows of 2018, and four of them are Netflix series. Two of those, "Stranger Things" and "Black Mirror," didn't even debut new seasons this year. "13 Reasons Why" topped the list, and its second season sparked controversy this year. The only show not from Netflix was Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale."

 

Twitter revealed its most tweeted about streaming TV shows of the year, and there's no question that Netflix dominated the online conversation in 2018. Four of the top five shows are Netflix originals.

Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale," which debuted its second season this year, came in fifth.

Both "Stranger Things" and "Black Mirror" made the list, even though they haven't debuted new seasons in 2018. However, the fifth season of "Black Mirror" is reportedly coming this month before the year is over.

According to


SpaceX tried to land a 16-story-tall rocket on the ground, but it plunged into the sea. These dramatic videos show what happened.

Elon Musk's aerospace company, SpaceX, successfully launched a resupply ship for NASA to the International Space Station on Wednesday. As a cost-saving bonus, SpaceX also tried to land the 16-story-tall booster of its Falcon 9 rocket on a ground pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida. However, videos show the Falcon 9 rocket booster spinning wildly before taking a plunge into the ocean. Musk blamed the anomaly on a faulty pump, but he said the booster is undamaged, being recovered, and can be reused for a future launch.

Microsoft's top lawyer says it'll never shy away from providing AI-powered weapons to the US military: 'We at Microsoft have their back' (MSFT)

Microsoft President and chief lawyer Brad Smith, promised the company will always supply the US military with "our best technology" in an interview on Fox Business. He also noted that artificial intelligence is "entering the world of militaries around the world." These statements fulfilled several goals: It made it clear that Microsoft intends to pursue the enormous defense market, that it sees working with the military as a patriotic duty — and it was a dig at Google, a rival to Microsoft.

Microsoft President and chief lawyer Brad Smit doubled down on his promise to always supply the US military with "our best technology" as "we see artificial intelligence entering the world of militaries around the world."

Smith made his comments in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network on Wednesday.


12 popular tech gifts that are already selling out, from retro Nintendo consoles to Airpods

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

It's only the first week of December and some of the hottest tech gifts of the year are already backordered or sold out until early 2019. Other top devices will see their prices marked up by resellers.

To save time and get you the best bang for your buck, we put together a list of stores where you can still buy devices like


Most New Yorkers support Amazon coming to town but many hate the deal, a new poll says (AMZN)

A new poll by Quinnipiac University found that New York City residents — even ones in Queens —largely support Amazon coming to town.  The 1,075 New York City voters polled were split on both the incentives the cities offered and how the deal went down, however. Amazon is reportedly hiring an external New York-focused public affairs team, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. 

Like it or not, Amazon has chosen Long Island City, Queens, for one of the campuses for its second headquarters project, which it calls HQ2.


Canada arrested Huawei's CFO, and the US is seeking to extradite her

Canadian authorities have arrested Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou.  US officials have been investigating Huawei over alleged violations of the country's sanctions on Iran and are seeking to extradite Meng. The arrest comes amid a trade war between the US and China.

The chief financial officer of Chinese tech and telecoms giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada at the request of US authorities and faces extradition to the United States.

The Canadian Justice Department arrested Wanzhou Meng in Vancouver on Saturday, and US officials want Canada to extradite her, agency representative Ian McLeod said in an email to Business Insider. She will have a bail hearing on Friday, he added.

"As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time," McLeod said, adding, "The ban was sought by Ms. Meng."

Both


There are 42 exotic weapons in 'Destiny 2' right now — and we've ranked them all from best to worst

Getting new exotic gear is the best part of "Destiny 2," Bungie's sci-fi first-person shooter for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Exotic weapons are the best in the game. They're also extremely rare. Each exotic weapon has its own unique set of perks, but since they’re so powerful, you can only equip one exotic weapon at a time. We've compiled the complete list of exotic weapons you can obtain in "Destiny 2," and ranked them based on utility for various "Destiny 2" activities. Too early to rank since no one has it yet: Izanagi's Burden

Type: Sniper rifle

How to obtain: Unknown - Reward from Black Armory (part of "Destiny 2 Forsaken: Annual Pass")

Exotic perk: “Honed Edge - Holding reload consumes the magazine and loads a round with additional range and damage."

Too early to rank since no one has it yet: Le Monarque

Tumblr is banning all NSFW content — and people are worrying it's the beginning of the end for the Verizon-owned site (VZ)

Tumblr announced Monday that the website will soon ban the posting of any "adult content," which is defined as media that depicts "real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples." In a blog post, Tumblr defended the decision as a "responsibility to consider (our) impact across different age groups, demographics, cultures, and mindsets." When Verizon bought Yahoo in 2017, it also took ownership of Tumblr. People across social media platforms decried Tumblr for taking away a platform where users could view NSFW content. and explore their identity in a safe space.