Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for May 28, 2014:
- Google is now a car-maker. The company unveiled self-driving car prototypes designed and built by Google X labs. Google said in a blog post that they’re planning to build about a hundred prototypes. Read more at bbc.com.
- Microsoft demoed simultaneous translation in Skype yesterday. During an on-stage interview conducted by Re/code’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella invited a Microsoft exec to the stage to show off a “pre-beta” app called Skype Translator, which does instant translation. The app appears to be an alternative to regular Skype, and it provides translated subtitles that appear after about a one-second delay, followed by a machine-speech reading of the translation. Read more at technet.com.
- Amazon is embroiled in a controversial battle with the publisher Hachette Book Group. The companies haven’t been able to reach a deal. So Amazon’s buying fewer books from the company and no longer taking pre-orders on future Hachette titles. Read more at bbc.com.
- Intel announced this morning at the Code Conference that they’ll ship a wearable-computing shirt this summer. Intel’s head of new devices, Mike Bell, gave Re/code’s Lauren Goode an exclusive demo of the shirt. According to the video posted on the Re/code site, the shirt has conductive fibers and can monitor your heartrate. The shirt comes with a small box that has to be plugged into the shirt to process the data, and wirelessly send it to a phone or tablet app. Intel's first forray into fashion is just an example Intel built to show off their hardware and software platform for wearable computing. Read more at recode.net.
- We told you yesterday that some Apple users in Australia are saying their Apple products are being hijacked and held for ransom. Their devices are being remotely locked and demands for payment of $100 are coming through the “Find My iPhone.” Apple today published a statement saying that “iCloud was not compromised during this incident.” They also urged users to change their passwords. We’ve also learned since yesterday that users in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US have been affected. The root cause of the hack has not been found. Read more at zdnet.com.
- Japan’s SoftBank is now offering a free app that won’t let you text or use your smartphone if you’re walking. The app is called Stop Aruki Sumaho, which means stop smartphone-use while walking. It works by freezing the screen when the phone detects walking motion. A yellow banner appears as well, notifying users about why they can’t use the phone. Read more at wsj.com.
For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for May 28, 2014.