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Tech News Today for August 2, 2017

Tech News for Wednesday August 2, 2017

Tesla reported a smaller than expected loss today causing the stock to swell in after hours trading. The strong revenue was due to deliveries of the Model S and Model X SUV, which calmed people who thought people were all waiting to buy the cheaper Model 3. And in other Elon Musk news, the Hyperloop One passenger pod has taken its maiden voyage and nobody's brains turned to jelly. Of course, there was no one inside the pod, but still. The pod is powered by electric propulsion and uses magnetic levitation to travel through a low-pressure tube and the company first envisioned by Elon Musk has broken its speed record. Read more at businessinsider.com.

It was but one year ago that Facebook owned Instagram began its strategy of lifting core functionality from Snapchat, more specifically with the launch of Instagram Stories. Now, Instagram is sharing information on its user base that can easily be compared against Snaps' own numbers and, as you might imagine, Instagram is sharing this because they’re bigger. Instagram Stories is a big driver of increasing time spent using the service, and half of the businesses currently on Instagram use Instagram Stories as a result of that engagement. Read more at techcrunch.com.

If you've been wondering what Ray Kurzweil is doing, wonder no more. Kurzweil, the author, scientist, and futurist in charge of popularizing the idea of the singularity is now a Googler, responding to our emails for us. A Wired profile says Kurzweil leads a small team of AI experts working on Smart Reply — the super useful Gmail feature that offers you suggestions of common replies based on the context of your email. It's surprisingly accurate most of the time and is always good for a laugh when it suggests a response that is totally wrong. Kurzweil didn't invent Smart Reply, but the code he and his team created runs the tool and Kurzweil told Wired the AI is just going to get better and better. Read more at wired.com.

Earlier this week, Bitcoin forked, creating a new digital currency to coexist alongside Bitcoin called Bitcoin Cash. The fork was the result of a longstanding issue around how long transactions take to process in the original bitcoin blockchain. Many feared that the forking would result in a tanking value for Bitcoin, but it turns out it minimally affected its value as it still sits within a few hundred dollars of its highest value to date, trading at $2700. Bitcoin Cash, on the other hand, tripled its ICO price (that’s initial coin offering by the way) and now sits around $700. Read more at fortune.com.

Tech News Today with Megan Morrone and Jason Howell streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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