10 things in tech you need to know today

ObamaREUTERS/Jonathan ErnstU.S. President Barack Obama.

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in tech to finish off your week.

1. Facebook has a clever new way to make sure you never miss important stuff in your news feed. The social network now lets you star pages and profiles to ensure you see the content you care about most.

2. iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan are now available to download in a public beta. It means early adopters will be able to try out new features of the operating systems, and send feedback to Apple.

3. Facebook is reportedly in talks to bring music videos to the news feed. The social networking giant denied it is building a music streaming service following rumours, but there were reports it is in talks with the major labels — potentially to get the licensing rights to incorporate music videos.

4. Chinese hackers stole personal information of around 7% of America from the US government. Sources are saying that more than 20 million people were affected by the devastating Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack — up from the own department’s estimate of around 4 million.

5. British tech workers get paid a lot less than Americans for doing the exact same job. Data provided to Business Insider by job site Hired show many American tech workers can make up to 50% more than people in equivalent roles across the pond.

6. PC sales continue to plummet. Research firm Gartner thinks shipments dropped year-on-year in Q2 of 2015 by 9.5%; another firm, IDC, estimates an 11.5% drop.

7. IBM created the most powerful computer chip yet, with transistor gates just 7 nanometres wide. To put that in perspective, a strand of DNA is around 2.5 nanometres in diameter.

8. Uber says it’s not a taxi service, it’s a “lead-generation app.” The startup is fighting back against a lawsuit trying to reclassify its Californian drivers as employees, and claims that by connecting people who want rides and drivers who sell them, it is actually closer to eBay or Etsy than a traditional taxi company.

9. The FBI director who thinks tech experts who can’t comply with his impossible demands on encryption just aren’t trying hard enough. Experts almost unanimously agree that back doors in encryption are dangerous and impossible to implement, but he says he’s “not sure they have really tried.”

10. German startup Babbel raised $US22 million to help people learn new languages. Launched in 2007, it has now announced its series C funding round, and currently enjoys 120,000 downloads/day.

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