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Tech News Today for July 5, 2017

Tech News for Wednesday July 5, 2017

Lots of announcements coming out of the Baidu Create Conference this week in Beijing. The biggest among them is the list of partners for the company's Apollo self-driving platform designed to take on Waymo and Uber. Baidu is calling it an autonomous driving alliance and it includes Ford, Daimler, Intel, Nvidia, TomTom, 12 Chinese automakers, universities, suppliers, startups, and local governments. Like Waymo, Silicon Valley and Beijing-based Baidu wants to develop the technology and AI to power self-driving cars, not create the cars themselves. Baidu will have access to the driving data from all 50 companies, so will definitely give them a competitive advantage. Read more at scmp.com. 

Snapchat is updating its app today with a few cool features, including backdrops that separate you from the background and place imagery behind you after doing a little light masking of the image with on-screen tools, similar to Photoshop or other image editing software. Also, Voice Filters have been a part of filters, but are now being broken out to allow you to change your voice to a chipmunk after the fact. Finally, Paperclip let’s users attach a link to a website onto videos or images shared to friends. Read more at techcrunch.com.

Nokia and Xiaomi have signed a business collaboration agreement and a patent agreement which will give Xiaomi Nokia patents and give Nokia Xiaomi's network infrastructure equipment. According to the press release on Nokia's site, the two companies ""agreed to explore opportunities for further co-operation," which could include internet of things devices, augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. Xiaomi has moved into 30 different countries and regions, but it has yet to move out of Asia. Last year Xiaomi acquired patents from former Nokia phone assets owner Microsoft. For Xiaomi's sake, here's to hoping they do better with Nokia than Microsoft did. Read more at bloomberg.com.

Ticketmaster teamed up with a company called LIsnr that produces ultrasonic sound technology to emit and detect “smart tones” for transmitting data between devices. This will allow show attendees to gain entrance to venues by the simple emission of a largely-inaudible tone from the person’s phone upon entry. It could also allow Ticketmaster to track users throughout a venue and send customized messages based on where they are. Rollout of the hardware required to do this has already begun at certain venues. Read more at Engadget.com.

If you are a teen or if you know any teens then you've probably noticed how live group video chat is the next big thing. You've been able to do group video chats on Facebook Messenger and Slack since late last year, but everyone knows that no teenagers use Facebook Messenger or Slack. The Verge reports that Facebook is creating a separate group video chat app called Bonfire, aimed at the teenagers who currently use an app called House Party. House Party was created by the same people who made Meerkat, that first live streaming app that was quickly overtaken by Twitter-owned Periscope. So, the company is probably pretty sick of big monoliths like Twitter and Facebook stealing their ideas. Read more at theverge.com

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Katie Roof of TechCrunch to talk about the snowballing sexual harassment allegations in Silicon Valley. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. Subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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