Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
1. Apple gave Uber’s app “unprecedented” access to a secret backdoor that can record iPhone screens. The revelation of the app’s access to privileged Apple code raises important questions for a company already under investigation for a variety of controversial business practices.
2. Uber’s profits jumped 65% in the UK before it lost its licence in London. Profits surged to £3 million in 2016.
3. Apple’s Siri briefly thought Bulgaria’s national anthem was “Despacito”. It’s unclear why.
4. Netflix is raising prices for its subscribers. A standard UK plan will rise 50p to £7.99 a month, while a premium subscription for four simultaneous users jumps £1 to £9.99 a month.
5. Tesla CEO Elon Musk his the company’s batteries and solar panels could help restore electricity to Puerto Rico if residents and the government decide they want to pursue that option. Musk said on Twitter Thursday that Tesla has already used a combination of its solar panels and Powerpack batteries to power a couple of small islands
6. Google DeepMind posted its financial results with Companies House. The company spent £104.8 million on “staff costs and other related costs” last year.
7. Business Insider ranked the 100 coolest people in the UK tech scene. It features startup founders, investors, PR people, and journalists — as well as a drone racer and a “chief emoji officer”.
8. Ride-hailing service Taxify has launched in Paris, one month after being banned in London. The Uber rival claims it has 2,000 Parisian drivers on its platform already, according to local newspaper Le Figaro.
9. Footpath Labs — the urban innovation unit of Google parent company Alphabet — may be close to a deal to build a high-tech neighbourhood on Toronto’s waterfront. Called Quayside, the 12-acre project is expected to cost at least $US1 billion and will prioritise smart city technologies, according to The Wall Street Journal.
10. Electric aircraft startup Zunum Aero announced its plans to introduce a 12-seat hybrid-to-electric jet by 2022. In April, the three-year-old company made news by earning financial backing from Boeing HorizonX fund and JetBlue Technology Ventures.
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