Tech News Today for September 29, 2016

Tech News for September 29, 2016

Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft are joining forces to create a non-profit aimed at making sure robots don't kill all humans -- at least not right away anyway. The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, or the Partnership on AI for short, will conduct research, create standards, and promote best practices for our future that is increasingly being controlled by black box algorithms owned by these large companies. Right now the Partnership for AI only includes these big 5, but they say they will allow others to join in the future. Like perhaps Apple or Tesla, for example? Read more at

You can tell that Google is getting a number of pre-announcements out before next week’s big event. Today’s roundup includes a rebranding of Google Apps For Work to G Suite, which Google says reflects its ambitions in helping innovation and collaboration to thrive in the workplace. Google wants to make sure that its seen as a suite of interconnected tools and not a bunch of disparate tools. Google is also doubling up on AI integration within the suite by bringing those smarts to Google Drive for Quick Access, a way to get users to the file they seek in half the time as before based on prediction of what you’ll need at a given moment. Read more at

Google combines all of its cloud services under the ‘Google Cloud’ brand. Read more at

Those of us who've ever dreamed of making a living from the written word might be saddened by this next story. So, consider this your trigger warning. This week Zack Whittaker from ZDNet uncovered a scammer on Amazon who managed to sell over three million dollars worth of typo-filled garbage on the Kindle story by using a collection of 83,899 fake email addresses, anonymized bots run through the Tor webserver, and a stock photo of a "businessman in shirt with pleased expression" on his website. The website promised a "Done for You" book with "Dozens of Honest Positive Reviews." Whittakers reporting has forced the scammer offline for now. His piece on ZDNet is a must read if you're interested in the relative easiness of making money as an author on Amazon, if you don't mind scamming your readers. Read more at

The FCC voted to make Wireless Emergency Alerts on cell phones a bit more information rich. The update to the rules would allow for up to 360 characters, currently the limit is 90, and would require carriers to support features like embedded phone numbers and links within the alerts. This would allow for things like linking to a photo of a missing child, as opposed to a brief all-text alert with little more than a license plate number. Beyond that, the new rules would support more targeted geographic ranges for alerts. And a new Public Safety Message alert would be added to inform people of what action they should take when their lives or property might be in danger. Read more at

It's been weeks since the launch of the iPhone 7, so clearly its time to start talking about the iPhone 8. GI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the 10th anniversary iPhone will have a glass front and back like the iPhone 4 and 4s from 2010, with the high-end models sporting stainless steel. 9to5Mac, who gained access to Kuo's report says the phones will use 2.5D glass over so called ‘3D glass," which is less durable and not so great at not cracking when you drop it. Read more at

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Dan Ackerman, Author of the Tetris Effect about his new book. Tech News Today streams live every weekday at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at You can subscribe to the show and download it on-demand at

All News posts