Trump Tech Summit, Apple Airpods Arriving, Twitter Live, Amazon Autonomy – This Week in Tech
How’s that polar vortex weather working out for you? As much of us (side-eyeing the South) have been blind-sided with a slap of polar pettiness, the only way we’ll get through this is to warm up with the hottest news in tech–shall we?
Tech World Convenes with Trump
On Wednesday the leaders of the free tech world such as Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, IBM, Oracle, and Facebook, jumped in their flying cars and landed in
Mordor Trump Tower for what’s been called a “tech summit”. The event, headed by President Elect Snow Trump, who was also oddly joined by three of his eldest kids (again–why are they in these meetings??), set up discussions for various hot topics. There was talk of the use of technology in immigration (Satya Nadella, Microsoft), STEM education (Tim Cook, Apple), maternity leave (Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook), and China (Jeff Bezos, Amazon).
Just prior to the meeting both Space X and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, along with CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick announced that they were taking on strategic advisory roles with the president-elect and would meet with him frequently. Conspicuously absent was the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, which should stand out as an obvious red flag considering Trump’s reliance on the platform as a communication medium. When pressed on Twitter’s obvious omission, his transition team’s official statement was that Twitter was “too small” to be invited. A platform that has a $13+B market cap, is by and large the pulse of news on the planet, and Trump’s personal burn book didn’t make the cut. Okay. There are reports that Twitter wasn’t invited as payback for them not allowing a sponsored #CrookedHillary hashtag (complete with emoji) during the presidential debates. So what’s the truth?
Twitter Now Allows Live Streaming Directly in the App
Right on cue, the InstaTwitChat Wars continue with the integration of live video streaming capabilities directly in the Twitter app. The update allows for live streaming in Twitter in either the iOS or Android app, via Periscope.
That being said, the stand alone Periscope app is still available with no (public) announcement on how or if that aspect will change. Twitter’s core existence is centered on the latest in current events and the push of live video and similar tools have been aggressive. With this huge integration, I personally do not believe that Periscope will retain its independence, particularly if there is a broad shift in the source of the user base being the Twitter app itself versus the Perioscope app–which is precisely the point of this major move.
Apple Airpods Are Finally Dropping
The $159 Apple Airpods finally went on sale on Tuesday December 13, albeit with a 4-6 week back-order as initial supplies were limited.
It’s not often that Apple announces a “this changes everything” type of product with much fanfare but then quickly ushers it back behind the curtain like an irritated stage mom. However, this is exactly what happened after the Apple Fall event. First announced to the public back in September for an October release, Apple delayed the release citing “We don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers”.
Interestingly, MacRumors recently uncovered that Apple will provide a standard one year warranty on the Airpods that will offer free repair for a covered issue (such as a defective battery). Once you’re out of warranty, Apple will charge a $69 fee for general repairs, and $49 if there are battery capacity issues. If you require repairs due to wear, non-covered damage, or you finally get around to the inevitable—losing the little buggers—Apple will charge you $69 regardless of whether you’re in or out of warranty. Ouch.
Amazon’s Uber-Like App
It’s being reported in the tech streets that Amazon is working on an Uber-like app designed to streamline the process truck drivers use to find shippers. Much like how Uber’s technology matches rider demand with their vast supply of drivers, this truck app will share real-time data such as pricing, travel information, driving directions, and tracking information.
The app is scheduled to launch next summer and is very expertly timed, particularly that Amazon has already gone out of their way to purchase a great deals of tractor trailers and cargo planes. The addition of this app can potentially turn Amazon into FedEx–and transform itself into a logistics empire. With all that going on I gotta ask–wonder when they’re going to release the Amazon Drone Uber app? Laugh now…