iPhone 12 Production-Delay by Month; Facebook Messenger Rooms; UPS- Drone Rx Deliveries; Teslas React to Stop Lights

A number of reports have indicated that the iPhone 12 will be delayed…notably by reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Now, the Wall Street Journal joins Kuo in saying the phones will be delayed by a month. The WSJ goes on to say that the mass production delay may not mean the rollout date will also be delayed. In the past, Apple has shown phones that weren’t widely available until late October or even early November….but it has generally only been one model…others have been dropped around a week and a half after the rollout presentation. The Journal also says Apple has cut build estimates for July-December by as much as 20%.

Everyone wants to get in on the popularity of Zoom, which in spite of the terrible reports of ‘Zoombombing’ and other security flaws…which Zoom says are now fixed…continues to be the most popular video mass-conferencing platform. Now, theverge.com reports that Facebook is rolling out a suite of new products to expand chat capabilities. Messenger Rooms is a tool for starting what they are terming ‘virtual hang outs,’ where up to 50 people can be in on the chatfest, and friends can drop in whenever they like. Facebook has also doubled the capacity on WhatsApp video calls from four to eight, added video calls to Facebook Dating, and is adding new live streaming features to both Facebook and Instagram. More than 700 million people are now making calls on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp every day, so the push into more video is no small potatoes. Messenger Rooms Should be available worldwide right now.

As contactless delivery accelerates with the pandemic driving us to ‘social distance,’ UPS is getting ready to deliver prescriptions in partnership with CVS in part by autonomous drones. According to engadget.com, at first the drone will drop off the Rx at a pickup location, then a driver on the ground will take them the last mile. The process could begin in The Villages, Florida in May! UPS has previously tested transporting meds by drone in North Carolina. They say they have successfully completed 3,700 flights.

Tesla has started pushing out a software update that allows vehicles to recognize and respond to traffic signals and stop signs in properly equipped cars. Techcrunch.com says the feature had been available to a small set of Tesla vehicles, but now a larger chunk of the fleet will have the new abilities. Only cars with the most recent Hardware 3 package and fully optioned Autopilot (the one called ‘full self-driving’) will get the new features. With the software, the vehicle will indicate an intention to slow down as it approaches a regulated intersection. It will then duo so, and stop at a red line on the driving visualization on the center display. Owners will need to pull the Autopilot stalk once or manually hit the accelerator to proceed through the stop line. Tesla says the software will be very conservative at first, but over time will learn from the fleet. Besides the stopping, they have added stop lights, stop signs, and select road markings on the center screen. Tesla cautions that the new feature is NOT a substitute for an attentive driver stopping the car.



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