Google- Pixel 5 for $699; Nikola’s GM Deal Hasn’t Closed; Facebook Crosse-App Communication Between Messenger and Instagram; Uber & Lyft Must Pay Seattle Drivers Minimum Wage There

Google has rolled out the Pixel 5, its latest Android flagship, and it isn a moderately priced $699. Theverge.com reports that Google isn’t touting so much ‘wow’ technology…such as last year’s Motion Sense gestures. They are sticking to the Pixel’s stand out camera software, and other unique or banner features. The 5 runs a Snapdragon 765G processor…not one of the powerful top-line Snapdragon 865 or 865 Plus systems. The new model does feature IPX8 water resistance, and stronger, Gorilla Glass 6 screen. Also, you get reverse wireless charging (for earbuds) and more RAM. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack. The 5 has two rear cams…a 12.2 megapixel main cam with 77 degree field of view, and a 16 MP ultra wide that shoots 107 degrees. The front selfie cam is an 8 MP camera. It will be available in Japan on October 15th, and ships in the US on October 29th.

Nikola and GM announced a partnership earlier this month…September 8th, in fact. The deal was supposed to close today, but hasn’t. A spokesman for The General said “Our transaction with Nikola has not closed. We are continuing our discussions with Nikola and will provide further updates when appropriate.” According to arstechnica.com, Nikola also announced today that it was indefinitely postponing Nikola World, their event scheduled for December where they planned to bow the Badger. The company has blamed COVID-19 and social distancing rules for the delay.

The melding continues of the Facebook message platforms. Facebook is rolling out new functionality that allows Instagram and Messenger users to communicate across apps, and brings a number of Messenger’s features to Instagram. Techcrunch.com says this is part of Facebook’s moves to try to keep users inside their walled gardens. I would analogize it to Disneyland and California Adventure…your Facebook ‘park hopper pass’ lets Facebook users message on Instagram without an account there, and vice versa. The next step, of course, is doing much the same with WhatsApp. You CAN opt out from being reachable cross platform using new privacy controls…after the fact.

Even as Uber, Lyft, and Doordash drop a whopping almost $200 million to get a proposition passed in California negating the law referred to as AB5, that classifies drivers as employees, The companies will have to start paying drivers in Seattle the minimum hourly wage in that city of $16.39….assuming they spend half their time waiting for or driving to rides. Engadget.com reports the new law is designed to protect the pay of drivers hurt by the COVID-19 lockdowns. “The pandemic has exposed the fault lines in our systems of worker protections, leaving many frontline workers like gig workers without a safety net,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan in a statement. Seattle has based its pay standard on a similar law that went into effect in New York in 2018. the California statute goes further…by making the drivers be classified as employees, they will get benefits and a living wage.



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