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Tech News Today for March 15, 2017

Tech News for Wednesday March 15, 2017

Facebook and politics have intertwined frequently during the past year leading CEO Mark Zuckerberg to spell out in his mammoth manifesto what kind of roll his company plays in the realm of world politics last month. Along those lines, Facebook is including a new feature to its mobile app called Town Hall that allows users to locate government representatives on a local, state and federal level. Users can follow those representatives on Facebook or contact them via Message or Email from within the app. Read more at techcrunch.com.

The US Department of Justice says it has charged two Russian spies and two criminal hackers, hired by Russians, in the hack of 500 million Yahoo accounts back in 2014. Officials say the charges include hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft and economic espionage. The hack not only exposed user information, including passwords, but endangered Yahoo's sale to Verizon and then brought the price down by $350 million. The DOJ also said there was no link between these hackers and the probe into a possible hack of the US elections last fall. Read more at businessinsider.com.

A group of 58 tech companies, including Lyft, Airbnb, Square, Pinterest and Dropbox, have teamed up to sign an amicus brief opposing President Trump's revised ban on immigrants from a selection of muslim majority countries. The brief was signed in support of a lawsuit filed by the state of Hawaii that is challenging the revised ban. The lawsuit, and the 58 tech companies, are calling for a hold on the ban, arguing that letting it go into effect tomorrow as is planned, "would inflict significant and irreparable harm on U.S. businesses and their employees." This same group of tech companies signed an amicus brief opposing the first ban. But there are a few names that did so last time that are missing in this new brief, such as Apple, Google and Microsoft. Read more at usatoday.com.

Yesterday we talked about how important pre-production on the Model 3 was to Tesla's future. Today the company says it will offer $250 million in common stock and $750 million in convertible notes due in 2022. Read more at wsj.com.

GoPro updated its guidance for its first quarterly results, saying it is planning another round of layoffs totalling 270 positions in an effort to reduce costs in order to preserve their product roadmap and maintain profitability for the year. GoPro had laid off roughly 200 people only five months ago, and an additional seven percent of employees ten months prior to that. On the positive side, shares jumped 12 percent in after hours trading after the update was shared. Read more at businessinsider.com.

Tech News Today with Megan Morrone and Jason Howell streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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