With Boston temperatures reaching record highs this past week, the BIGteam is following the hottest tech news from the comfort of our air conditioned office. Since we last checked in, a lot of things have changed in the world of tech; here are some of the major stories that developed over the last two weeks:
You should use your phone, call a Uber // You a goofy if you think I don’t know you need a lyft
If 2017 could be described in one emoji for Uber, it would be the upside down smiley face. In another “I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying” moment for the ride sharing company, another former employee came forward claiming that he was fired after reporting a sexual harassment incident at the company. This comes after former Uber engineer, Sarah Fowler Rigetti came forward with her sexual harassment story earlier this year.
But wait, that’s not all. Uber is also still in the thick of a lawsuit with Waymo, the Alphabet owned self-driving car company. Alphabet and Waymo are accusing Uber of stealing their intellectual property after Uber acquired the self-driving truck startup, Otto, which was owned by former Waymo employee, Anthony Levandowski. Uber is now threatening to fire Levandowski if he doesn’t hand over the files that supposedly contain said intellectual property to the court. OH! Almost forgot to mention, Waymo also just announced a partnership with Lyft to begin collaborations on a self-driving car. 🙃
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo…domo
The master of innovating everything from search engines to self-driving cars to turning a noun into a verb, Google is continuing to mold the way we think about the future and technology. Developers got a glance at Google’s plans at the company’s annual i/o conference. So what were the major takeaways? Artificial intelligence is about to get a whole lot smarter. The search giant created a new chip that improves AI to train and make sense of data.
In the wise words of Erlich Bachman, “VR is the frothiest space in the Valley right now. Nobody understands it but everyone wants in,” and so does Google. Announcing their plans to dive into the virtual arena, Google released the prototype of their new self-contained VR headset that creates a more immersive computing experience for users.
And then a hero comes along // With the strength to carry on
The only thing on the internet that should make you wanna cry are videos of military parents coming home to surprise their kids. Ransomware WannaCry apparently didn’t get that memo. The computer bug infected hospitals, businesses and government agencies around the world, highlighting a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The attack wreaked havoc on England’s National Health Service, as those behind the attack demanded payment in bitcoin to stop it. Thankfully, 22-year-old Marcus Hutchins was able to slow the attack by creating a “kill-switch” in the personal IT hub he created in his bedroom at his parents house.
Not all heroes wear capes; some just have a house full of private servers.
Them chickens jackin’ my style // They try to copy my swagger
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than Snapchat has probably never felt better. Over the past few months, Instagram rolled out a number of updates that put them in direct competition with Snapchat. From
Stories to disappearing photos, the latest update is the addition of new face-recognition filters that are allowing users to post selfies of themselves in flower crowns on both photo apps (and sadly even though Instagram added the new filters, they did not replace the Kelvin filter which honestly who uses?). You can read more about the new Instagram filters in account coordinator Meghan Azralon’s ongoing BIGblog series on the Instagram // Snapchat showdown.
So the FCC won’t let me be // They try to shut me down on MTV
#FlashbackFriday to when the FCC slapped a $7,000 fine on a KKMG-FM for playing “The Real Slim Shady” back in 2002. Well, the FCC is back making headlines, but this time for their decision to roll back net neutrality regulations. For those of you who don’t watch John Oliver and need a refresher on net neutrality, it is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. This move will roll back Obama-era regulations to ensure an even playing field on the internet.
What tech stories are you following right now? Let us know in the comments below! And if you can name all the songs listed in this post, let us by tweeting us at @BIGfishPR !