10 things in tech you need to know today

elon musk journalists crowd no mask tesla construction
Elon Musk talks to journalists at the construction site of the Tesla Giga-Factory in Grünheide near Berlin, Germany, September 3, 2020.

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We accidentally included an old post about the startup Apttus in yesterday's newsletter. Apologies for the error. Today we're bringing you the latest news - plus some of our best features from 2020. 10 Things in Tech will be back January 4.

    1. Peloton rival Icon is going for IPO. The NordicTrack maker is aiming to go public in late 2021 and was valued at $7 billion by private investors in October.

    2. Amazon is to acquire Wondery. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but reports from early December pointed to a $300 to $400 million price tag.

    3. Elon Musk's net worth quintupled. The Tesla CEO's net worth grew by $129 billion during the pandemic, as of Monday - an increase of 469.9%, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire Index.

    4. A cyberattack on the US may have started earlier than thought. "The initial burrowing in may have started earlier" than March or April as initially thought, Sen. Mark Warner, who serves as Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee told Reuters in an interview.

    5. Binance will delist XRP. It is the latest exchange to drop XRP trading after the SEC alleged Ripple had been selling it as an unregistered security for over seven years.

    6. Porch was rescued by a SPAC. The insurance startup nearly ran out of cash in 2020 and the CEO was locked in a drama with a famous investor, butthe firm's market cap now exceeds $1 billion after it went public in December via a SPAC merger.

    7. Alexa's head scientist says the Turing test is dead. Rohit Prasad wrote that the goal, which is to trick humans into thinking a machine is another human, is not useful for AI scientists.

    8. Best of 2020: Inside Tony Hsieh's tragic final months. In his final months, Hsieh relocated from Las Vegas to Park City Utah, where he isolated himself from longtime friends, became fascinated with fire, and inhaled nitrous oxide.

    9. Best of 2020: Yelp insiders described aggressive and misleading sales tactics. Some sources said they knowingly sold to small business owners who they didn't think understood what they were buying, saw colleagues act in misleading ways, and regularly heard complaints from business owners about unexpected bills.

    10. Best of 2020: Meet 100 rising-star VCs. These VCs include those who left the classic Silicon Valley funds to strike out on their own and hungry angel investors starting rolling funds as a new way to finance venture firms.
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