Tech News Today for August 1, 2016
Tech News for August 1, 2016
The Chinese ride-hailing market is a tough nut to crack and Uber admitted defeat today by selling its China business to its rival Didi Chuxing. In fact, Americans operating any truly succesful internet business in China has been a trick that no company has yet to pull off. Bloomberg reports that despite heavy spending and a keen interest in succeeding on the part of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Uber could not compete and sold its Chinese subsidiary to Didi, thereby creating a new company worth around 35 billion dollars. Didi says they'll operate Uber China as a separate brand. Read more at Bloomberg.com.
Elon Musk has big plans for what he sees as the future of Tesla. Not only is he busy working on the things that would speed autonomous vehicle technology onto the roads, but he’s also focused on how those electric vehicles get their power, and beyond that how all of his efforts work in concert together. On that note, today, Tesla announced that it has agreed to buy SolarCity, the solar company that up until recently Elon Musk has owned a stake in, though is currently led by his cousin Lyndon Rive. Musk first floated the idea publicly on the Tesla blog in June. Musk says that the two companies should have always been one, and that this move will allow the company to realize its ambitions of a unified and efficient future of powering Tesla’s products with solar energy. Read more at wsj.com.
Adi Robertson from The Verge writes that New York Governor Mario Cuomo has banned sex offenders from playing Pokémon Go and other "similar games." Lawmakers are afraid that sex offenders will use the games' lures to attract children, as has happened in a few cases where people were robbed while playing the game. So far there have been no known cases of sexual predators using the games in this way. Cuomo has sent an open letter to Pokémon Go creator Niantic to help prevent the use of this and similar games by people on the sex offenders registry. These kinds of limits, Robertson writes, aren't necessarily new. New York’s Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act already requires offenders to send all email accounts and screen names and they forward them to social media companies to purge their accounts. Read more at theverge.com.
The Xbox Summer Update is rolling out today to users of the Xbox One and it's packing a feature that’s been in the preview version since early June: Cortana. This means that gamers have a more flexible voice control platform baked in, which can allow them to do things like add gaming friends into a game hands-free, as well as the standard stuff like simply turning on the Xbox. Gamers can use the headset they might already be wearing, as well as the Kinect to issue those voice commands on the fly. Read more at wsj.com.
The Faroe Islands has more sheep than it does people. And maybe that's why when they got sick of waiting for Google Street View to map their remote lands, and decided to take matters into their own hands by creating Sheep View 360. That's right, the Faroe Island tourism board equipped local sheep with 360-degree cameras and solar panel vests send back the GPS coordinates so they can be uploaded to Google Street View. If you want to help spread the word, use the #WeWantGoogleStreetView. Read more at sfgate.com.