10 things in tech you need to know today

Amazon Jeff BezosDavid Ryder/Getty ImagesAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Good morning! Here’s the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

1. Amazon might start paying ordinary people to deliver its packages. The “On My Way” service would recruit retailers in urban areas to store packages. Then regular people wanting to make deliveries could use an app to see where to pick up and drop off goods as they were going about their day.

2. An influential Google Maps exec just got poached to build products at Uber. Brian McClendon will be going to work at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Centre in Pittsburgh. He had been at Google since 2004.

3. A vulnerability in keyboard software allegedly left 600 million Samsung smartphones vulnerable to hacking. Forbes reports that the pre-installed SwiftKey keyboard installs updates in unencrypted plain text, making it easy to hijack and feed malicious code.

4. One of tech’s biggest and most influential venture capital firms says we’re not in a bubble. In a presentation to big investors, Andreessen Horowitz argues that this time it’s different, and we’re not headed for another Dotcom bust-style meltdown.

5. The European Court of Human Rights says websites are liable for the comments of its users. The ruling has been slammed by critics, who fear it could have a chilling effect on free speech and say it’s unreasonable to place this burden on websites.

6. Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s hottest startup factory, has filed to raise a venture capital fund. It’s called the Y Combinator Continuity Fund I, an SEC filing revealed, although the company has declined to disclose the amount raised.

7. Apple almost struck a deal with Uber to deliver iPhones to your doorstep. The ride-share company was considered to power Apple’s same day delivery service, but was ultimately passed over in favour of Postmates.

8. Tesla just borrowed $US750 million. The electric car and battery company is getting a cash injection in the form of a loan worth up to $US750 million from a series banks including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Deutsche Bank.

9. Apple is about to make a big play for indie music publishers. Ahead of the launch its music streaming service, the Cupertino company has yet to reach out to indie publishers about rights — but it’s expected to offer higher-than-industry-standard rates when it does.

10. Microsoft just made a huge privacy move to make Bing more competitive with Google and Yahoo. The search engine will now encrypt search traffic by default, making it more secure for users.

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