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Tech braces for midterms and other news you missed this week

Bitcoin sticker on a telephone pole
Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Tech giants had a busy week, with Apple's hardware event and quarterly earnings, and Google's employee walkout in response to the company's handling of sexual harassment. Here are five stories in tech you may have missed this week.

Catch up quick: Tech industry staffers work behind the scenes to push "blue wave"; Bitcoin turned 10 years old; Snapchat is adding polling locations to Snap Map ahead of midterms; Tencent unveiled its own version of Snap Spectacles and Waymo will test robot cars in California without human drivers.

Tech industry staffers work behind the scenes to push "blue wave" (Axios)

  • Why it matters: Many in Silicon Valley were particularly dismayed by President Trump's victory in 2016 and several high-profile players have worked to support a potential “blue wave.” —David McCabe

Bitcoin turned 10 years old (The Wall Street Journal)

  • Why it matters: After the digital currency was accepted by companies and businesses and gained broader appeal in 2013, bitcoin looked like it had a promising path to broad acceptance. But, the leadership fallout and consequences of a price bubble and burst have led some to sour and turned bitcoin into an investment asset. Meanwhile, a wave of alternatives, from Ethereum to failed digital tokens have attempted to take its place.

Snapchat adding polling locations to Snap Map ahead of midterms (Axios)

  • Why it matters: It's part of a greater push to get Snap's users civically-engaged ahead of this year's midterm elections. The new Snap Map feature will include a link for users to find their polling location leading up to Election Day. —Sara Fischer

Tencent unveiled its own version of Snap Spectacles (TechCrunch)

  • Why it matters: The video-recording sunglasses called, Weishi smart glasses, look quite similar to Snap's (except the yellow ring around the camera). And while Tencent is an investor in Snap, the ephemeral messaging app is not available in China, creating an opportunity in the market for Tencent's glasses.

Waymo will test robot cars in California without human drivers (Axios)

  • Why it matters: Waymo has been one of the leaders in the self-driving car race, and now is the first company that will be allowed to test its cars on public roads without a human driver behind the steering wheel. This is a step towards the company's plan to eventually roll out a self-driving car service in California as it has already done in Phoenix. — Kia Kokalitcheva

Check the Axios stream for midterm election coverage.

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