10 things in tech you need to know today

Elon Musk wants to colonise Mars. Fox

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

1. Mark Zuckerberg refused to give evidence to British politicians about Facebook’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He’s putting two senior executives, CTO Mike Schroepfer and chief product officer Chris Cox, in the firing line instead.

2. Facebook will reportedly delay the launch of smart speakers it had planned to unveil at its annual F8 conference in May. The speakers will have a digital assistant and video-chat functionality, according to Bloomberg, and may be released later in the year.

3. Uber has now suspended its self-driving car tests in two states after a fatal crash in Arizona. The company has now also paused testing in California.

4. Apple released a new 9.7-inch, cheaper iPad and a homework app called “Schoolwork” all designed at boosting its presence in the classroom. The cheaper iPad will support Apple Pencil, while Schoolwork is likely to be available for free.

5. Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie claimed his predecessor at the company was poisoned in a Kenyan hotel room, while police were bribed not to investigate. Wylie said this was speculation, but it may have been due to a political deal going sour.

6. Elon Musk has published a new study about his plans to colonise Mars. His academic paper outlines SpaceX’s current plans for starting a Mars colony with a fully reusable Big Falcon Rocket system.

7. Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly preparing to give evidence before Congress about Facebook’s role in US election interference. Zuckerberg avoided the spotlight for five days after the Cambridge Analytical data scandal broke, then went on a media apology tour with carefully chosen outlets.

8. The long-running legal battle between Oracle and Google is alive once more, after an appeals court overturned a verdict that had been in Google’s favour. The trial will now return to a judge in San Francisco to determine how much Google owes Oracle for using its Java development platform in Android.

9. Google is buying a GIF keyboard called Tenor, which powers keyboards on phones and Facebook Messenger. The company will operate as a separate brand within Google.

10. An Apple iPhone repair facility near Sacramento has made thousands of emergency calls, blocking up emergency service lines and averaging 16 calls a day. It seems like the calls are made accidentally while the phones are being repaired.