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Recode Daily: Facebook wants to launch its own internet-delivery satellite next year

Plus, Alphabet beats Wall Street with Q2 earnings; Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler Rigetti lands a New York Times tech op-ed gig; the linguistics of “YouTube voice.”

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Facebook is developing an internet-delivery satellite, and hopes to launch it in early 2019. Called Athena, the new device is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” according to an application the company reportedly filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and SoftBank-backed OneWeb are working on similar projects. [Louise Matsakis / Wired]

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Google’s parent company Alphabet beat Wall Street’s estimates for second-quarter revenue and earnings. Despite the historic $5 billion fine levied against it by the European Union last week, which affected Google’s income, Alphabet stock was up around 3.5 percent in after-hours trading. The company’s “Other Bets” category — its non-Google “moonshot” projects — generated $145 million in revenue in the second quarter, up 33 percent, but the category collectively cost Alphabet $732 million in operating losses. [Nick Statt / The Verge]

U.S. President Donald Trump is “exploring the mechanisms” to revoke security clearances for some former officials who have criticized him, including former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan, former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. And in a tweet yesterday, Trump again took aim at Amazon for “using” the U.S. Postal Service as its “delivery boy,” raising the possibility of bringing antitrust claims against the company. [Jill Colvin / AP]

Could the “O-zone” turn greed into gold for good? An unlikely group of conservatives and liberals, capitalists and philanthropists, U.S. lawmakers and small-town mayors have successfully created one of the greatest tax-avoidance opportunities in American history. Investors will soon be able to plow recently realized capital gains into projects or companies based in “Opportunity Zones,” a.k.a. “O-zones,” low-income areas designated by each state. The incentive for unlocking large amounts of cash — perhaps up to $6.1 trillion of paper profits: It will erase the tax obligations on a portion of those gains and, more significantly, have those proceeds grow tax-free. [Steven Bertoni / Forbes]

Susan Fowler Rigetti — the former Uber engineer who blew the whistle on the company’s toxic culture — has joined The New York Times as technology opinion editor. Her blog post in early 2017 sparked a chain of events, including a wide-scale investigation into Uber’s culture and an investor uprising that forced out CEO Travis Kalanick. [Avery Hartmans / Business Insider]

The New York Daily News laid off half its newsroom staff in the latest round of cuts at the beleaguered Tronc company’s media holdings. Tronc purchased the financially troubled daily last summer for a mere $1; the paper had about 85 newsroom employees before the cuts. Editor in chief Jim Rich and managing editor Kristen Lee were among those leaving; the paper’s entire social team was let go, but someone forgot to change the passwords.[Andy Campbell and Lydia O’Connor / HuffPost]

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