Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Boeing sends Starliner spacecraft to ISS

Boeing is set to launch its Starliner spacecraft for an uncrewed orbital flight test to the International Space Station (ISS).

The capsule has been developed as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, in which commercial firms will transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Since 2011, NASA has paid to use Russia’s Soyuz rocket.

Starliner is designed to take crews of up to seven people to low Earth orbit. Today’s launch is the penultimate test for Boeing. SpaceX, which is also competing to send astronauts to the ISS, completed an uncrewed test flight back in March.

Weather permitting, it will launch at 11:36 GMT aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, US.

Julian Assange appears before Spanish High Court

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gives testimony before Spain’s High Court via video link, in relation to whether a CIA agent spied on him during his seven years in the Ecuador embassy.

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The case is separate from US extradition proceedings, in which Assange faces charges for violating the Espionage Act in relation to publishing classified documents.

Assange will answer questions involving allegations that Spanish surveillance firm UC Global secretly installed surveillance equipment in the Ecuador embassy in London. It is alleged that the firm passed on videos, transcripts and other materials on to the CIA.

Extradition hearings are due to begin on February 24, 2020, at a London magistrate’s court.

BlackBerry publishes third-quarter results

BlackBerry publishes its financial results for the third quarter of the 2020 fiscal year.

Over the past few years, the former smartphone giant has had a new lease of life as a software company.

For the fiscal year 2019, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company reported record revenues from its software and services. 2020 Q2 revenue stood at $244m – falling short of forecasts but up 16% from the same period last year.

Investors will be hoping that strong gains in its licencing revenue business will continue when results are published at 13:00 GMT.

Merry Christmas from the Verdict team

This will be the last morning briefing before the Christmas period. Normal service will be resumed on Monday 6 January. We’ll continue to publish technology stories throughout the festive period, including a 2019 technology quiz that will go live on Christmas day.

Until then, the Verdict team would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Thursday’s Highlights


Enterprise technology predictions for 2020: 20 industry experts have their say

Social medial advertising: Ban targeted ads not political ads

How children’s smart watches may contain hidden security flaws