10 things in tech you need to know today

Travis KalanickGetty ImagesUber CEO Travis Kalanick.

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

1. Uber wants to test its network of flying taxi planes by 2020. The company said electric planes could ferry passengers at 150 mph through urban skies to their destinations.

2. Tech unicorn Ve Interactive is going into administration, according to The Financial Times. The company reportedly employs 1,000 people, and has repeatedly failed to hit its own targets for revenues and profit.

3. Investors backed an AI startup called Babylon that puts a doctor on your smartphone with $US60 million (£47 million). The latest funding round means that the three-year-old London firm now has a valuation in excess of $US200 million (£156 million), according to The Financial Times.

4. Google’s Waymo is letting ordinary people test its self-driving cars in Arizona. Hundreds of families in Phoenix will be involved.

5. Rocket Internet, the Berlin-headquartered startup factory, reported losses of €741.5 million (£630 million) for 2016. Several companies in its portfolio are struggling to become profitable.

6. Google cofounder and Alphabet president Sergey Brin is secretly building a massive zeppelin in Hangar 2 of the NASA Ames Research Center. That’s according to Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance, who says a giant metal skeleton is already in place.

7. An Uber engineer committed suicide, and his widow is blaming Uber’s stressful work culture as the cause, according to a new report from Carolyn Said at The San Francisco Chronicle. Zecole Thomas told the Chronicle that her husband, Joseph Thomas, “wasn’t himself” after he joined Uber.

8. Some Tesla factory workers are accusing the company of illegally suppressing employees’ attempts to unionize at its Fremont manufacturing plant. The United Auto Workers and three Tesla employees have each filed separate charges with the National Labour Relations Board.

9. Apple has delayed the release of “Carpool Karaoke” on Apple Music. It was supposed to launch in April, but an Apple spokesperson told Reuters that “Carpool Karaoke: The Series will premiere on Apple Music later this year.”

10. UK startup Huddle reportedly needs to find either $US5 million (£3.9 million) or a buyer to ensure it can meet its financial obligations over the next 12 months. Huddle has until April 30 to explain to its bank how it plans to do this.

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