10 things in tech you need to know today, July 29

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  1. The CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon are set to testify before Congress in a historic antitrust hearing. The CEOs, who will likely appear remotely over video, will have to defend the growing power of their tech companies to skeptical lawmakers.
  2. Amazon posted CEO Jeff Bezos’ prepared testimony Tuesday on its blog ahead of his appearance at the historic Congressional tech antitrust hearing on Wednesday. Bezos plans to argue that Amazon’s size benefits consumers, sellers, and the economy, and that it faces plenty of competition from rivals including Walmart, Instacart, and Shopify.
  3. Google is laying a giant new undersea internet cable stretching from New York to the UK and Spain. The Grace Hopper cable, named after the famous US computer scientist, will connect New York to Bude in the UK and Bilbao, Spain.
  4. Money transfer unicorn TransferWise is now worth $5 billion after some employees and early investors cashed out. The new valuation maintains the company’s position as one of Europe’s most valuable fintech startups and the secondary trade serves to diversify its funding pool.
  5. Facebook and Instagram removed the accounts of British rapper Wiley after he posted a series of anti-Semitic posts, CityAM reported. The deletion came after a number of celebrities staged a virtual 48-hour walkout from Twitter over its refusal to ban Wiley from its platform.
  6. Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday that Tesla would consider licensing its self-driving software and supplying battery technology to other automakers. Musk’s comments came in response to a blog post about German automakers looking to close the technological gap between them and Tesla.
  7. Microsoft paid at least $270 million in stock for telecom software company Metaswitch Networks, filing shows. The acquisition comes just months after Microsoft likely paid more than $1 billion for 5G software company Affirmed Networks.
  8. Trump retweeted complaints of censorship after Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter take down a video of doctors pushing hydroxychloroquine. Trump has again accused social media companies of censorship after the removal of videos touting hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus cure.
  9. Wearing a face mask makes it harder for facial recognition algorithms to see you, according to a new government study. The study was carried out with the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection, both of which use facial recognition technology.
  10. A massive leak of confidential Nintendo information confirmed a decades-old conspiracy theory involving ‘Super Mario 64’ and Luigi. One of the most prominent ones was just proven to be true: Despite not appearing in the game, Mario’s brother and partner-in-heroism, Luigi, is apparently buried within the game’s code.

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