1. Apple has bought Faceshift, a virtual reality startup used in the latest “Star Wars” movie. The company’s virtual reality technology can be used to generate animated avatars and other computer generated figures that capture a person’s facial expressions in real time.
2. A fifth person has been arrested as part of the police investigation into the hack of TalkTalk. An 18-year-old boy was arrested in Llanelli, Wales, on suspicion of blackmail.
3. British officials are warning that cheap hoverboards can spontaneously combust. They say they can come with dodgy plugs and indecipherable instructions, and could even “explode.” The warning comes after a slew of cases of hoverboards bursting into flames.
4. Google appears to be planning to test its Project Loon internet balloons across the entire US. The internet giant has asked the Federal Communications Commission for a licence to test experimental radios that use wireless spectrum in the millimetre bandwidth in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Google said it wants to begin the tests on January 1 for a period of 24 months.
5. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is using Facebook to replace company emails. Facebook’s software competes against Slack (a buzzy messaging client for teams), email, Microsoft’s Yammer (a Skype-like messaging client) and others. Facebook at Work is being trialled on a small number of companies before being made available to everyone.
6. Startups that help people to rent their homes and driveways are unhappy with George Osborne. Sharing economy startups — those that allow individuals to rent their homes and possessions in return for a fee — were particularly disappointed with the Chancellor for not introducing new tax cuts for sharing economy entrepreneurs.
7. Ecommerce site Jet just raised $350 million (£232 million) in fresh funding at a $1 billion valuation, Re/code’s Jason Del Rey reports. The company has now raised a whopping $570 million (£377 million) since its founding last year, and CEO Marc Lore tells Del Rey that it already has “verbal agreements” for another $150 million (£99 million), coming soon.
8. The FBI has linked the theft of 1.2 billion stolen web credentials to a Russian email address. The hacker who once advertised having access to user account information for websites like Facebook and Twitter has been linked through a Russian email address to the theft of a record number of internet credentials, the FBI said in court documents.
9. Music streaming service Deezer has introduced a “Family Plan” as it looks to keep up with competitors like Spotify and Apple Music. The new plan is €14.99 per month (£11) and allows for six different profiles.
10. Cheerleaders brought more confusion than cheer to a startup pitch day in London, The Next Web reports. The crowd at Telefónica’s Wayra accelerator Demo Day 2015 was treated to an unusual midway cheerleading performance.
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