Apple Smart Display; Amazon Buys iRobot; Twitter Security Breach; Feds Probe Tesla Autopilot

Apple is working on a new HomePod and Mini, but also is experimenting with a couple other home devices. According to engadget.com, one is for the kitchen, and is something of a cross between an iPad and a speaker. A second device is a living room oriented product that would combine the functionality of Apple TV, a camera, and HomePod. The devices may or may not see the light of day, but they seem aimed to help Cupertino compete in the home better with Google and Amazon. 

Amazon already vacuums up huge volumes of your data…they probably have more info on people than any company except maybe Google. Now, theverge.com reports that they have made a deal to scoop up iRobot, makers of the Roomba robot vacuums for $1.7 billion. With a detailed map of your home and more data on your coming and going, Amazon will have knowledge of people that Big Brother in 1984 only dreamed of! 

A bug in Twitter’s software has let hackers uncover the identities of more than 5 million ‘secret’ accounts! Androidcentral.com says the flaw let a hacker link the accounts to an email address or phone number. The bug apparently turned up in an update to Twitter’s code last year. Twitter claims that it found “no evidence to suggest someone had taken advantage of the vulnerability” when it first learned about the bug. The horse was out of the barn though…the hacker sold a database of 5.4 million accounts on a hacker forum for $30,000. Twitter says it will notify the account owners, and cautions not to add a publicly known phone number or email address to accounts you intend to be secret.

The feds at NHTSA and the California DMV are both investigating Tesla over concerns that the Autopilot system in the cars has a blind spot for motorcycles at night. According to arstechnica.com, there have been two fatal crashes involving cycles…one in Riverside, CA and another near Draper, UT. The Riverside crash involved a Model Y, and the one in Utah a Model 3. There is still an investigation into the Riverside crash, but the driver in Utah admitted he was using the hands-free driver assist mode at the time of his crash. The NHTSA was already probing Tesla over 11 accidents where Tesla cars in Autopilot mode hit emergency vehicles after failing to recognize them. California’s DMV has filed two complaints calling for administrative hearings over Tesla using the language ‘Autopilot’ and ‘Full Self-Driving’, saying they are “untrue or misleading, and not based on facts.”



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