10 things in tech you need to know today

CWzIWeAXIAAUQCFElon Musk/TwitterThe SpaceX orbital rocket landing.

1. SpaceX, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has made history by sending the first orbital rocket into space and landing it back on earth. This monumental moment marks a critical milestone that SpaceX has been working toward for years and could pave the way for a new era of spaceflight that runs on reusable rockets.

2. Apple has attacked the UK’s proposed new surveillance law saying the measures risk paralysing the technology sector and sparking “serious international conflicts.” There are fears from US tech giants that the British proposals will set a dangerous precedent, as other countries seek to bolster their spying operations for the digital era.

3. Digital news site Mashable is reportedly seeking a buyer and will be valued at as much as $300 to $350 million (£202 to £235 million.) The potential buyer is rumoured to be Time Warner Investments, which led Mashable’s $17 million round (£11 million) of funding in January, which valued the company at $180 million (£120 million.)

4. London startup Blaze has hit an important milestone, announcing that its Laserlight will be integrated into 11,500 Boris bikes across the London. Blaze’s Laserlight is designed to improve rider safety by projecting a green laser image five to six metres in front of the cyclist, making them more visible to drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists.

5. SoundCloud has signed a licensing agreement with PRS for Music, the music rightsholder that launched legal action against SoundCloud in August. PRS manages the music rights for more than 111,000 artists in the UK.

6. Facebook is adding Apple’s Live Photos feature to Facebook’s iPhone and iPad app. With Live Photos, every still shot is accompanied by a three-second video, with sound.

7. Alphabet, the parent company behind Google, is losing $1.5 billion (£1 billion) per year on its “other bets,” according to research firm Pacific Crest. The umbrella company has businesses in a diverse range of fields beyond Google, including investment (Google Ventures), home automation hardware (Nest), self-driving cars, and “moonshot” ideas (Google X.)

8. Britain has created 45,000 technology companies in the last five years, equivalent to one every hour, according to a KPMG report. The report also found that the number of tech-related businesses in Britain’s private sector has risen by 31% since 2010.

9. Google and Ford are forming a partnership to build self-driving cars, according to a report by Yahoo Autos. The move pairs one of the world’s top automakers with one of the pioneering companies developing robo-car technology.

10. 3.3 million Hello Kitty fans’ details have been exposed in a huge database leak. CSO Online is reporting that a database for a website owned by Sanrio — the company behind the wildly popular Hello Kitty character — is available online.

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