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Tech News Today for December 22, 2016

Tech News for Thursday December 22, 2016

Uber announced that it will halt its San Francisco pilot program for its self driving vehicles after meeting with the DMV which revoked Uber’s registration for 16 of its autonomous vehicles. The DMV says it offered Uber the opportunity to complete its permit process, but Uber instead chose to redeploy its vehicles elsewhere. Read more at TechCrunch.com.

Google confirmed that it plans to launch two new flagship wearable devices early next year, confirming leaks from a few months ago. Android Wear 2.0 is slated to launch in the first quarter of 2017 and Google plans to launch the revised OS with the new lineup of watches that will NOT feature Pixel branding. Instead, those watches will be OEM branded after a collaboration with Google. Read more at TheVerge.com.

But a new eMarketer report is here to douse that news with some cold water. The report says that the wearables market grew only 25% this year, a sign that smartwatches have failed to impress consumers, even in light of Apple’s claims that the Apple Watch is “doing great.” They estimate 39.5 million US adults will use wearables once per month, down from its previous estimate of 63.7 million back in October 2015. Read more at TechCrunch.com.

To be a media company, or to be a not-media company. That is the question often asked of Facebook in this era of news, fake or not. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly stated that Facebook sits in the “not” category, but the more it gets in there and tweaks the news that it shows versus the news that it obscures, it becomes more and more like a media company whether it wants to admit it or not. Apparently, they are beginning to accept reality, at least partially. Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg help a live video year-end sit down, looking back at the massive year and during the chat, Zuckerberg said “It’s not a traditional media company. We build technology and we feel responsible for how it’s used.” Read more at TechCrunch.com.

Canada’s telecom regulator declared that high-speed internet is in fact a basic service, and as such, all Canadian citizens are entitled to broadband internet services. Telecom providers are on the hook to help provide $750 million in infrastructure buildout costs to reach rural and remote areas. Speed mandates are set at 50 megabits per second down and 10 megabits per second up, 10 times faster than current targets. Read more at business.financialpost.com.

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