Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Oracle CEO Mark Hurd is taking a leave of absence, saying he needs “time focused on my health.” Oracle shares fell more than 5% as the company also reported fiscal-first-quarter results.
- Andreessen Horowitz is reportedly backing Oculus founder Palmer Luckey’s new border technology startup Anduril with a $1 billion valuation. Palmer started Anduril after leaving Facebook in 2017 amid reports of his controversial political donations and support of far-right groups.
- Cybersecurity company Cloudflare says it may have violated US law by doing business with terrorists and narcotics traffickers. The company made the admission in a quietly updated S-1 filing.
- Uber has said a new bill in California re-classing gig-economy workers as employees won’t affect its drivers as they aren’t central to its business, the Verge reports. Uber’s chief legal counsel told reporters Uber drivers’ work counts as “outside the usual course” of business.
- A brewing FTC antitrust investigation into Amazon is looking more and more serious. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Federal Trade Commission officials have been interviewing small businesses that sell through Amazon about the company’s business practices.
- Video game retailer GameStop is closing 180 to 200 of stores as it attempts to stay afloat. GameStop CFO Jim Bell said he expects a “much larger” group of stores will be closed in the next one to two years.
- Nintendo is seeking millions in damages from a website that allegedly charged $30 per year for fast, unlimited downloads of video games. According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Polygon, Nintendo of America is seeking $150,000 in damages for each infringement of its copyrighted works, and $2 million for each infringement of a Nintendo trademark.
- Reverse app engineer Jane Manchun Wong discovered that Instagram is working on something called “Clips,” a new camera mode for creating Instagram Stories. “Clips” seems to mirror many features central to short-form video app TikTok, allowing users to string together recorded clips into one video, add music, and adjust each clip’s speed and length.
- McDonald’s bought an AI speech company to take the human interaction out of drive-thrus. Apprente builds AI designed to understand and respond to human speech, which McDonald’s said it plans to implement at its drive-thrus.
- WeWork may try to wrap its roadshow and price its IPO before the Jewish New Year on September 29. CEO Adam Neumann is reportedly hoping to finish up before the important two-day Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah begins.
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