5 things in technology you need to know today, Monday, December 27th

Welcome back! We change things as we close the year. This week, some of Insider’s technical editors share five of their top stories in 2021. We’re back in regular action next week. Until then…


Hi! I’m Alistair Barr, Assistant Technical Editor, overseeing Big Tech’s coverage at Insider. We have an unofficial goal on this team and I’m revealing it exclusively. Drum roll thanks …

“End each year with stories you are so proud of that you will show them to your mother.”

Any parent or guardian works. The point is to pursue ambitious work that engages everyone. So to the parents of journalists Caroline Haskins, Tom Dotan, Eugene Kim, Kali Hays, Diamond Naga Siu, Hugh Langley and Katherine Long: I hope you are impressed with the 2021 articles below and many other pieces that I have no room for. to include.


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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer


Gregory Bull / File via AP



1. Remember the giant JEDI cloud contract where Microsoft, Amazon and other technology giants fought to win lucrative US government work? There’s a new one now, and this time it’s for US Customs and Border Protection and involves sensitive surveillance data. Here are all the Big Tech companies that were in a “frenzy” this year to join the RAVEn campaign.

2. Amazon is now the second largest employer in the US, so what is it really like working there? We spent most of 2021 researching how the internet giant identifies employees who are struggling and trying to improve their performance. See key findings from our study of Amazon’s controversial HR machinery.

3. During the pandemic lockdown, I bet you tried a delivery app or two. A new provider seemed to show up every week. One of the fastest growing “ultra-fast” delivery companies is Gopuff – but so much speed can sometimes be a bad thing that we discovered when we were digging into the company’s chaotic operations.

The holiday is a time for reflection, and also a moment to take all the pent-up work frustration and channel it to find a new job. The technology industry offers some of the most exciting, challenging and, yes, well-paid work available. Check out what Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and many other technology companies are paying.

5. Google is without a doubt the world’s leading provider of artificial intelligence technology, and much of that know-how comes from a company it acquired in 2014. We researched DeepMind for several months and found that all is not well in the UK based division. Why DeepMind secretly planned to separate from Google.


Written by Alistair Barr. Follow Alistair on Twitter @alistairmbarr or email him at abarr@insider.com. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb.

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