Tech News Today for August 31, 2017
Tech News for Thursday August 31, 2017
Apple sent out invitations for its big event on September 12th. "Let's Meet at Our Place," said the invites to the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple Campus. We've pretty much told you all about what we suspect we'll see there -- three new iPhones, a 4k-compatible Apple TV and a new Apple Watch. It might still be awhile before you can get your hands on some of the new iPhones because of what analysts are calling "constrained supplies." The only thing that usually comes out the day of the September event is the next operating system. The company released iOS beta 9 and public beta 8 today. So at least there's that. Read more at loopinsight.com
At first we planned to talk about how Apple broke its silence on Net Neutrality and urged the FCC to not loosen rules that would allow ISPs to throttle and control content providers, the day after public comments closed on the FCC site. And then we ran across this: Apparently the FCC.gov site allows pretty much anyone to upload any file to their site which can then be made accessible via the FCC.gov domain. The public API that literally anyone can get allows those who know what to do with it the ability to throw pretty much anything on the .gov website. So, executables, PDFs, mp4 files, which I’m sure you can imagine gets sticky when you consider that this might be a malware artist’s dream. Read more at recode.net.
Robotics company Zipline has begun to use its drones to deliver blood to Rwanda’s blood transfusion centers. The BBC reports that the company will soon expand into Tanzania, making it the largest drone delivery company in the world. With four distribution centers and more than 100 drones, Zipline will make more than 2,000 flights a day to save lives with blood and other medical supplies. The sturdy drones are able to fly through tropical rainstorms and hilly high-altitude terrain. Read more at bbc.com.
Lyft announced that it now offers its full service coverage in 40 states in the US, and can reach all parts of 32 states, even hard to reach rural areas. Lyft is broadening its service to reach under served regions in the hopes that it can continue to make gains on rivals like Uber who offer to primarily urban areas. Lyft has been actively recruiting for the broadened coverage for months in smaller towns. Read more at apnews.com.
IFA 2017 is under way in Berlin right now which means an avalanche of hardware announcements. In an effort to keep you informed, let’s take a look and a few of those announcements that stood out to us. First up we have the long-awaited unveiling of the LG V30 premium smartphone. LG says the V30 is first at a few things: First to offer a phone this light in the 6” display category. Also, first to offer dual rear cameras with f/1 aperture, so they’ll be good in low light. The phone doesn’t have its own voice assistant but relies on Google’s assistant, which is good. LG even worked in device-specific control via Assistant so you could say “OK G take a wide-angle selfie.” Read more at venturebeat.com.
The Moto X is back, with Motorola’s new Moto X4 smartphone. Though it's not following the bezel-less trend, it does offer dual rear facing cameras, one 12MP and a wide angle 8MP, both at f/2.0 so likely not the best when it comes to low light performance. Motorola is also bringing Amazon Alexa on board even to the lock screen, similar to what it did with the HTC U11, but don’t worry, Google’s Assistant is still there too. Read more at theverge.com.
It’s like Garmin was listening to us talk about it last night. Garmin heard what we had to say about its watches yesterday, and responded by quickly whipping together a new smartwatch and 24 hours later, we have the Vivoactive 3 smartwatch! It’s an update to the Vivoactive HR, this time opting for a round timeface, integrating something they call “side swipe” that allows for on-screen control by swiping the finger up and down the side bezel. Hand sweaters, rejoice, no more gunking up your display mid-race. Read more at arstechnica.com.
Finally, Logitech announced a new kind of control surface for creative professionals called the Craft keyboard. Aside from being a chicklet-style backlit keyboard, Craft includes a large rotating dial in the upper corner that acts as a multifunction control for tools and options within a limited list of compatible software environments. The dial can be rotated to increase or decrease the size of the active brush in Photoshop, for example. The top of the dial is touch sensitive which becomes useful for navigating contextual menus, among other functions. Read more at theverge.com.