10 things in tech you need to know today

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

1. Microsoft has acquired London startup SwiftKey for $250 million (£173 million), according to the Financial Times. The startup has one of the most popular iPhone and Android keyboard apps on the market, with over 300 million downloads.

2. Yahoo is going to cut 15% of its workforce in a bid to reduce costs and calm investors. The job cuts will reduce the number of its employees to about 9,000 by the end of 2016.

3. A key deal has been reached on the EU-US data transfer scheme, known as Safe Harbour. Negotiators have been scrambling to reach a new deal after the previous Safe Harbour agreement was struck down by the European Court of Justice three months ago.

4. Apple’s €850 million (£644 million) Irish data centre is on hold after locals said it will threaten bats and badgers. Apple was hoping to start building the data centre last year but a decision on whether it can progress won’t be made until the summer, according to a local councillor.

5. British telco TalkTalk has said the cyber attack that exposed the details of hundreds of thousands of people in late 2015 cost it £60 million. That figure includes £15 million ($21.5 million) in trading impacts, and £40-45 million ($57-64 million) in exceptional costs.

6. The number of tweets per day created by Twitter’s users has fallen by more than half since a peak in August 2014, according to a sampling of data from Twitter’s API. An API — application programming interface — is the portal through which other apps access Twitter so their software can function together.

7. Apple has mysteriously started sending employees to a virtual reality lab at Stanford, signalling that it could be about to start developing its own virtual reality technology. Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab is a common stop for technology executives looking to learn more about the technology.

8. Uber has a new logo and app icon. The design refresh is being debuted alongside the latest Uber app update, version 2.118.8.

9. Amazon is planning to open up to 400 physical bookstores, according to an executive of a major US mall operator. Amazon opened its first bookstore in November in its home city of Seattle.

10. British astronaut Tim Peake has made history by using a heavily modified Raspberry Pi computer to run applications coded in the classroom by UK students. Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton said: “Days don’t get much bigger than a British astronaut unpacking your stuff on the ISS.”

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