10 things in tech you need to know today

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1. SpaceX launched its first all-civilian crew into orbit from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The Inspiration4 mission was the first involving solely amateur astronauts, comprising a billionaire school dropout; a geoscientist; a physician assistant; and an engineer. More on the launch here.

2. An EV startup just beat industry giants in producing an all-electric pickup. Rivian’s completion of its truck, the R1T, beat the release of several highly anticipated trucks like Tesla’s Cybertruck and Ford’s F-150 Lightning. Check out the Rivian R1T. 

3. In a leaked email, Microsoft’s CEO outlined upcoming leadership changes. Satya Nadella announced a handful of changes now that former AWS exec Charlie Bell is joining the company to oversee a new cybersecurity engineering organization, and will take control of teams previously led by other VPs. Here’s what else Nadella said in the internal email.

4. A Denver concert venue will now let you enter by scanning your palm. Using Amazon One’s palm-scanning tech, Red Rocks Amphitheatre will let attendees swipe their palms instead of a ticket — the first time the technology has been used outside of Amazon and Whole Foods stores. See how it works.

5. Apple has already stopped selling the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone XR. After announcing the iPhone 13, Apple abruptly stopped selling earlier versions of the phone. These are all the iPhones you can — and cannot — still buy.

6. NASA awarded SpaceX and Blue Origin contracts to make moon lander designs. SpaceX and Blue Origin were among five companies to receive a total of $146 million in contracts to create “sustainable” landers that will regularly send astronauts to the moon. What we know so far. 

7. Facebook and Google profited from “abortion reversal” ads that targeted teens. The ads, seen by millions, were selling pills claiming to reverse the effects of drugs taken to initiate an abortion. How the tech giants profited on the ads, which were viewed by teens 700,000 times. 

8. Google just finished laying an undersea internet cable between New York and Europe. With landing points in the UK and Spain, the 3,900-mile Grace Hopper cable is set to transport between 340 and 350 terabytes of data per second. More on the massive undersea cable.

9. An Amazon exec called media coverage of the company’s performance-review system “fake news.” In a recording obtained by Insider, a VP told employees that reports surrounding the company’s secretive performance-review system — which we’ve covered extensively — are fake news. Here’s what else we heard in the leaked recording.

10. Some startup founders are saying goodbye to pitch decks — and embracing memos made with Notion. Though pitch decks have long been a way to persuade VCs to back their startups, some savvy founders are instead using Notion, an app that can help create sleek, interactive memos. Why Notion memos may be the new pitch decks.


Compiled by Jordan Erb. Tips/comments? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @JordanParkerErb.

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