10 things in tech you need to know today

By Jordan Parker Erb

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1. Social media companies: We're not Facebook. During a congressional hearing on kids' online safety yesterday, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube execs testified about their platforms' roles in teens' lives — and tried to distinguish themselves from Facebook. 

2. Elon Musk slammed a new Democratic tax proposal that would target billionaires. The Tesla CEO took to Twitter to criticize the plan, which could slap him with a $10 billion annual tax bill if it's implemented. See what Musk said about the plan.

3. Mark Zuckerberg is being sued by former household employees. A security worker and household manager are suing Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan over allegations of harassment and discrimination — including racist and homophobic abuse — inside their family office. Read our exclusive report on the lawsuit.

4. Apple kept the design of the first iPod a secret by making prototypes look ridiculous. Photos show a rare prototype of a near-final iPod model that's massive and looks nothing like the final product — so Apple could hide the design from its own staff. Check out photos of the clunky prototype.

5. Amazon is luring workers in India with the chance of winning prizes. Amazon's part-time Flex program gamifies delivery driving, and drivers can compete to win phones, motorcycles, and gift cards as a prize for spending more time on the road. Get the rundown on the program, which has a 15,000-person waitlist. 

6. GameStop is pushing into the future of the internet. The gaming retailer is hiring a team of NFT and Web3 specialists to help it "accelerate the future of gaming and commerce." More on GameStop's push into the internet's next frontier. 

7. Facebook's metaverse investment will reduce its profits by about $10 billion. The company is pouring resources into its Reality Labs project — to the tune of at least $10 billion this year. Whistleblower Frances Haugen said the investment reflects Facebook's skewed priorities, and that she's shocked by the scale of its metaverse plans.

8. Amazon is putting Alexa next to hospital beds throughout the US. Hospitals from Boston to Houston will start using the Alexa speakers, a move Amazon says will boost productivity because staff can go into patients' rooms less. How the hospitals will use Alexa. 

9. The CEO of Instacart challenger Point Pickup wants to save the gig economy. By creating GigPoint, a digital platform for gig workers, he hopes to win over employees with features like planning recurring shifts with predictable income. How he hopes GigPoint will make gig work a viable way of life.

10. Microsoft's famous MIT card-counting blackjack whiz prompted an exodus of senior women. Insiders said Jeffrey Ma treated women unfairly at work, demoted employees in front of colleagues, and denied some women the opportunity to apply for leadership roles. Get the scoop on Ma, the vice president of Microsoft for Startups.

Compiled by Jordan Erb. Tips/comments? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @JordanParkerErb.

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