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Re/wind: Google's Great Week, Reddit's Terrible One and More

Also: Uber got fined and Netflix gained 3.3 million subscribers.


This week in tech, Google set a Wall Street record, Reddit attempted to clean up the mess of the last couple weeks and Re/code dove into deep learning. Here’s what went down:

  1. On Monday, Reddit head of engineering Bethanye Blount told Re/code she was leaving the company because she didn’t have confidence in its direction after Ellen Pao’s resignation and the Victoria Taylor firing earlier this month. On Thursday, new CEO Steve Huffman laid out his new content rules for the site, which are probably too little, too late.
  2. Google’s Q2 earnings made Wall Street very happy, and the company set a single-day stock rally record. On Friday, the company “acqhired” the tech team of the cleaning service Homejoy, which shut down under pressure from multiple employee reclassification lawsuits.
  3. Netflix also reported numbers that pleased the Street, adding 900,000 more subscribers than it anticipated, for a total of 3.3 million.
  4. As Silicon Valley tries to marshal the huge quantities of data in its hands, the subset of AI known as deep learning is becoming more relevant than ever. Re/code’s Mark Bergen and Kurt Wagner spoke with members of the “Canadian Mafia” researchers behind the rise of deep learning research, and here’s a handy guide to explaining what deep learning actually is.
  5. If Uber was forced to reclassify its independently contracted drivers as formal employees, we figured out it would cost the company $209 million in California alone. Re/code spoke with U.S. Senator Mark Warner about why we need to create a third, specialized class of workers. In other Uber news, the ride-hailing service was fined $7.3 million this week for failure to turn over accessibility data to the California Public Utilities Commission.
  6. Twitter communications chief Gabriel Stricker was let go this week. It’s part of what a spokesperson referred to as a strategic shift for the company, which is still searching for a new CEO.
  7. There are two major fantasy sports services: DraftKings and FanDuel. The two are duking it out for partnerships with major franchises and raising increasingly competitive funding rounds to push the other out.
  8. After taking it for a test drive, Walt Mossberg says Microsoft Office for Mac is now cleaner, easier to use and more efficient than it was before. The catch? Its synchronization with Outlook and its toolbars are both pretty wonky.
  9. For Windows users, Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 a continuously updated product instead of something that’s bought or downloaded in different chunks. And to make sure customers get the idea, Microsoft will be requiring automatic updates for Windows 10 users.
  10. The gossip-sharing app Secret might be dead, but its counterpart Whisper is alive and kicking; the company hired someone away from Zynga to become its new product lead.

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