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Tech News Today for August 30, 2016

Tech News for August 30, 2016

Google’s Nexus program first launched in 2009 with the Nexus One. It was meant to act not only as a reference for developers to design apps against, but also to OEMs as an indicator of the priorities that Google sees for Android devices every year. With this year's expected announcement of not one but two Nexus devices made by HTC, Android Central says to expect a big shift in strategy. Namely, that they simply won’t be called Nexus anymore. If that’s true, then this is a big deal because it's a major shift in strategy for Google’s hardware ambitions. Read more at androidcentral.com.

Most days we must sadly report that the algorithms, the robots, and the AI are winning. But not today, algorithms, not today. Today the humans won. The Verge reports that Facebook is mourning the loss of those trending topics from editorial contractors that were summarily fired on Friday. On Sunday a fake story about Megyn Kelly getting fired by Fox for secretly supporting Hilary Clinton made the trending topics news list, even though it was a complete fake. Facebook left the story up until Monday morning. Then a viral video about a dog being reunited with its owner was categorized as a review of the new video game Watch Dogs 2. Read more at theverge.com.

Today, Sonos announced a partnership with Amazon to bring Alexa into the Sonos ecosystem. By doing so, users of an Amazon Echo can use their voice to control playlists and make volume adjustments on their Sonos system for starters. Unfortunately, Sonos doesn’t have a capable microphone so actual Alexa functionality baked into the Sonos hardware itself isn’t possible at this time. Read more at techcrunch.com.

Back in April we told you about Drive.ai, a mysterious start-up that had applied for and received a license to test autonomous vehicles in California. Now the company has totally come out of stealth mode and it turns out they're not creating their own self-driving cars, but instead creating the brains of the robot car. They're led by some big brained folks from Stanford's AI lab who are kind of a big deal. Read more at fortune.com.

Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission lost in the federal appeals court as it tried to block laws that would keep operators of municipal broadband from expanding their services outside of their originating territories. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had hoped to broaden coverage in an attempt to bring a competitive landscape to rural regions that might only be served by sub-par broadband otherwise. Today, the FCC confirmed that it does not plan to pursue a visit to appeals court, or even to potentially bring it up to the Supreme Court level. The FCC will back down in this case, saing that it’s resources are better spent elsewhere. Read more at arstechnica.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Clare McGrane of GeekWire to discuss a story about a machine learning platform that uses Amazon reviews to predict food recalls. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. Subscribe to the show feed and download it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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