10 things in tech you need to know today

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10 THINGS IN TECH YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

Welcome back, folks. Today we've got the latest on Amazon's plans to sell you the internet and a mysterious "black hole" discovered by a Reddit user.

Shall we?


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Amazon Project Kuiper rocket.

1. Amazon wants to provide you internet (from space). By the end of 2022, the company will launch two prototype satellites as part of Project Kuiper, a broadband service that will beam internet down from space.

  • Amazon is a few steps behind Elon Musk's Starlink, which has already launched about 2,000 satellites and garnered thousands of beta testers. It's just the latest in the ongoing space race between Musk and Amazon's former CEO Jeff Bezos. Here's a look at the billionaires' 15-year rivalry.
  • Satellite-internet providers could eventually bring high-speed internet to people without reliable access, making it especially valuable for people living in remote areas. For example: After moving to rural Vermont, one of our writers tested out Starlink, and found it was a game changer.
  • Okay, but how does satellite-based internet actually work? Ah, great question. Vox has a helpful explainer.

In other news:

Tim Cook and iPhone 13

2. Apple is planning a feature that auto-dials 911 after car accidents. "Crash detection," which would measure sudden spikes in gravity to detect a car wreck, is slated to debut on iPhones and Apple Watches next year. Everything we know so far.

3. Digital end-of-life services are booming. The death-tech industry — filled with apps that make posthumous videos of loved ones, chatbots that let you "talk" with dead relatives, and companies that clean up online presences after death — is surging. But not everybody says that's a good thing, and experts are questioning the ethics of deathcare companies.

4. Elon Musk said he'd donate $6 billion if the UN can prove it'd solve a hunger crisis. The UN said the donation could save 42 million people from famine. If it can prove that, Musk said he'd sell Tesla stocks and donate the proceeds. It's not the first time Musk has tried to fix a humanitarian disaster — here are the other problems he's tried to solve, and how it's going.

5. These Salesforce leaders are helping build the cloud giant's product strategy. Each of Salesforce's products are overseen by a general manager who acts as a CEO of their unit, and helps the company take on industry rivals like Microsoft and Oracle. We outlined Salesforce's 12 most-powerful product leaders — meet them here.

6. Apple's iPhone privacy upgrade cost Big Tech nearly $10 billion in ad revenue. The change requires apps to ask users' permission to track them for advertising purposes, and has cost platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Snap billions of dollars, The Financial Times reports. How the update affected tech giants.

7. Amazon is reshuffling its Prime leadership to focus on international growth. The marketplace giant has moved its Prime team under Russell Grandinetti, Amazon's SVP of international business, as the US market has become saturated. Here's more on the pivot detailed in an internal email.

8. A former SpaceX vice president told us what it's like to work with Elon Musk. Hans Koenigsmann, an aerospace engineer and former VP, described Musk's "unique perspective" and said the billionaire CEO "expects a lot, and that's a challenge." Read what else he told Insider about working with Musk.

9. A Reddit user found a mysterious "black hole" on Google Maps. It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a… secret portal? Reddit users have been debating about a black spot found in the middle of the ocean on Google Maps, coming up with theories from a Maps malfunction to a secretive military base. See what all the buzz is about.

10. Peloton and Delta are teaming up. Delta's seat-back screens will now offer passengers five stretching and meditation classes from fitness giant Peloton. More on Peloton at 30,000 feet.


What we're watching today:

  • The COP26 climate conference continues through Nov. 12.
  • Activision Blizzard, Lyft, and Zillow are reporting their Q3 earnings today. Keep up with earnings here.

Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Michael Cogley in London.

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