Tech News Today for August 24, 2017

Tech News for Thursday August 24, 2017

Amazon is on the cusp of owning Whole Foods, the premium grocery chain that it is purchasing for $13.7 billion dollars. The deal is expected to close next Monday. Amazon says shoppers will see “lower prices on a selection of best-selling staples across the stores,” so depending on how low those prices get, Whole Foods might begin to shake its alternate name of “Whole Paycheck” once and for all. Amazon also says there’s more to come, but will work to integrate Amazon Prime into the point of sale system at the stores. Read more at

Apple’s unannounced iPhone event is getting closer which means more and more details are leaking to get people excited about whats to come. The New York Times is here to confirm, if you had any doubts, that the premium iPhone model that will debut at the event will indeed be priced right around the $999 mark. That gets you a larger screened device with minimal bezel design, facial recognition security, and wireless magnetic charging capability. Also, Bloomberg sources say we’ll see an updated Apple TV that supports 4K High Dynamic Range content, along with a faster processor inside. Read more at

While its smartphone rumor-palooza, Evan Blass continues with the high-profile leaks. He says the date for the next big Google hardware event will be October 5th, and we’ll see the new lineup of Pixel devices that come packing an updated but as yet unreleased Snapdragon 836 processor. No word yet on what that improved processor will bring in terms of performance to the next generation Pixel phones. Read more at

HTC is reportedly exploring options to save itself from freefall after reigning supreme in smartphones years ago. Some of those options might include selling off its Virtual Reality business with the HTC Vive. HTC has considered a full sale of the company, but it’s less likely due to the range of businesses that HTC operates in. Read more at

Google is rolling out a new feature that will give those who search for “depression” a new tool to see if they are in fact depressed themselves. Google, of course, says its not meant to subvert a medical evaluation, but could be a good starting point in the process. Once searched, a box will appear with information on what depression is and the symptoms associated with it. The searcher can then tap on “check if you’re clinically depressed” to take a screening questionnaire called PHQ-9. Read more at

SpaceX successfully launched the FORMOSAT-5 satellite into low earth synchronous orbit this morning, which is cool, but we now know what the space suit of the future looks like. Elon Musk posted a picture to his Instagram showing what he said is a real SpaceX spacesuit, ie not a mock up. Musk says it has been tested to double vacuum pressure and posed a challenge in getting the functional aspects to balance with the aesthetics of the suit. Cause, let’s be real, this looks like it could be a set piece at a Daft Punk concert. Read more at

Thanks to Algoworks in the TNT subreddit for posting this: We’ve talked many times about how Artificial Intelligence is developing its skills in music production. Now AI is responsible for all the music on a full legnth album called I AM AI, by artist Taryn Southern. The AI music software called Amper was used to create and produce all chords, production work and instrumentation on the album. The artist would provide a sense of direction to the software, informing the style and rhythm of the track to be, and the software spits out the musical elements. From there, Southern recorded her human vocal melodies on top to round out the music. Read more at

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