Waze Carpool Goes Nationwide; Tesla Outsold Mercedes Last Quarter; Apple Buys Photo Cutout Spektral; Microsoft Releases Fixed October Win 10 Update

Google’s Waze has been testing out a carpool app, and now Waze Carpool is going nationwide, as a way to connect drivers and commuters. According to techcrunch.com, they are particularly focusing on 50 Amazon Fulfillment Centers. Was plans to partner with cities, businesses, and transit agencies too. The app has been trialed in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Monterey. Waze points out that 75% of commuters travel solo in a car.

Waze Carpool differs from ride-hailing services. The app lets riders and drivers find their own carpool buddies based on profiles, star ratings, number of mutual friends, and customizable filters such as gender, co-worker or classmate, and proximity to preferred route.. The app is designed to show the best matches, such as those closest to a preferred route or a coworker on the same shift, at the top of the list. Payment is handled within the app. All new riders pay $2 for the 1st 21 days, and the app is on Android and iOS now.

Tesla may actually finally turn a profit before 2019. Apparently…according to Atherton Research…they outsold Mercedes in the uS for the first time ever, and were just 2,000 vehicles short of outselling BMW! Bgr.com reports that according to data crunched by Macquarie Research, Tesla may finally be finished burning through cash and may be profitable by year’s end.

Apple generally buys companies in a low key manner, and they recently picked up Spektral, a Danish startup that makes software that can digitally separate people and objects from the background. 9to5mac.com says the deal went down in December, but word has just leaked out now. The software lets photographers digitally ‘pluck’ a person…right down to stray hairs on the head…from one green screen type background and drop them into another. In fact, even better, it can pull a person right out of a moving picture without even needing a green screen…in real time! This tech can be amazing in Apple’s hands as they push the limits on Portrait mode photos and advance in AI applications.

Better news from Redmond…Microsoft says they have fixed the October Windows 10 update, and will re-release it today. Earlier in the month, some users reported that it deleted mass numbers of their files that couldn’t be recovered. Theverge.com reports that Microsoft claims it only happened to one hundredth of one percent of users, and only those who had activated Known Folder Redirection.

Advertisements

Waze Ridesharing Coming to San Francisco; Google Dropping Nexus Brand; Ford Patents Button Press Car Passcodes

In what may be a precursor to driverless service, Google is going to open up a ride share pilot program through the Waze app this fall. They had already tested a smaller version near Google headquarters that allowed people to grab a ride with another Waze user. Appleinsider.com says this may not just be aimed at Uber and Lyft, but to get a head start on Apple in the driverless car arena. The service will roll out in San Francisco.

Google is also dropping the Nexus brand for its smartphones. Theverge.com reports that they’ll still be made by HTC, but will be branded with a ‘G’ logo. For the first time, they won’t run a ‘pure’ version of Android. The next version of Google phones will be slightly smaller, with 5 inch and 5.5 inch screen models offered. This will be the first use of the Google brand on hardware for the company.

Ford has patented an interesting method to safeguard your car. With key fobs being relatively easy to hack, Ford has developed a way to set a security code with a series of presses. Cnet.com notes that the interesting part is it’s not all buttons, which makes it much tougher to hack. It will use the radio buttons, both on the dash and steering wheel, and the brake pedal. The car won’t start without the correct sequence. It could be used with keyless and keyed entry systems, or maybe without any key fob at all. No word from Ford on when…or if…the feature might be available.


How Lyft Sees It’s (and Your) Driverless Future; Cup of Joe on the Go

Lyft thinks that by 2030, they’ll be offering you driverless rides. That’s not so surprising, but what they will be IN may well be. As we’ve reported, Lyft has partnered with General Motors, with the latter pumping a half billion into the ride sharing service. According to buzzfeed.com, Lyft plans to furnish different types of vehicles to customize your ride. The vehicles will be like pods, according to the ride share service…not built around a driver as with present day vehicles. For a longer trip, you might call a napping pod, or you could hail one that offers a mani-pedi for a little spiffing up. Some may be all glass at the top for scenic routes. Other options considered may be carriage seating, where people face one another, or single pods for a quick trip across town. As predicted by others, individual car ownership may dwindle to a tiny number of hardcore driving enthusiasts. It’s only 15 years away…tech has a way of disrupting industries at warp speed.

A Kickstarter that every commuting coffee drinker will love, and Starbuck’s will hate is on the way by May. Mashable.com reports that the MoJoe mobile coffee system, which had shot for $20,000, has raised over $73,000, and will be on the way to backers by May. It looks like a Thermos, but you pour water into it, and a battery heats the water and pushes it up at 200 degrees through a mini filter full of grounds. Presto! Freshly brewed coffee in 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of water you pour in! The coffee is held in a separate chamber. The battery is rechargeable, and you can plug it in…the Thermos is designed to fit regular cup holders.