10 things in tech you need to know today

Yahoo marissa mayerMatt WeinbergerMarissa Mayer on stage at Bloomberg Tech 2015

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

1. Apple is reportedly talking to banks about creating its own competitor to Venmo. The Cupertino company is apparently considering building its own mobile-to-mobile payments service.

2. Microsoft is letting its customers store their data in German data centres to protect them from US spying. The Financial Times reports the Californian company will store some data in facilities controlled by Deutsche Telekom.

3. A hacker sent The Intercept 70 million phone call records and recordings apparently taken from US prison technology provider Securus. This reportedly included calls between inmates and their lawyers — a violation of attorney-client privilege.

4. Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in a startup that claims it can grow “real” diamonds in weeks. Diamond Foundry claims it can make hundreds of diamonds in just two weeks.

5. Facebook is finally launching its long-rumoured news app. Notify lets you subscribe to over 70 different sources, including The Washington Post, Vogue, and Comedy Central.

6. Marissa Mayer may have spent $US70,000 (£46,000) so her top executives could dress up as “Wizard of Oz” characters. The Yahoo CEO reportedly spent the cash on a themed photoshoot.

7. Driverless buses are going to hit the roads in Switzerland. A two-year trial of nine-person buses begins next Spring.

8. Airbnb is mulling a prepaid rewards card. A page about an “experience card” briefly went live on Airbnb’s website.

9. Reviews of the iPad Pro may be lukewarm, but it’s still the future of computing. The consensus is that it’s great, but can’t replace your laptop — yet.

10. Fidelity is slashing its tech startup valuations. It has written down its investments in Dataminr and Zenefits, as well as Snapchat.

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