Waymo Public Self-Driving Service Imminent; Facebook Patches Nasty Bug; Amazon Formalizes 2nd HQ (two of them); Apple XR Estimates Cut, but Sells Big on Singles’ DayPosted: November 13, 2018 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Commercial self-driving taxi service, Crystal City, Data, Facebook, Hack, HQ2, Long Island City, Lyft, Nashville, Singles' Day, Uber, Waymo Leave a comment
Waymo is apparently going to go live with their first commercial driverless car service in December. No name has been leaked yet, but cnet.com reports that the service will be a direct competitor for Uber and Lyft. Waymo will field its fleet of Chrysler Pacifica vans for the service, which will NOT be free. Expect to us an app to hail the car and pay for the ride. An article over the weekend speculated that, in a few years, we might see self-driving vehicles used for quick sex romps…but we will leave that to your imagination.
The engineers at Facebook have squashed a nasty bug in their code base that could have allowed hackers to collect highly personal info on Facebook users. According to zdnet.com, a security researcher found the bug and notified Facebook. He was browsing their online search results, and in the HTML saw iframe elements. By simple queries of yes and no, a lot could be determined about user interests and those of their friends. The researcher believes the iframe was used by Facebook itself. The bug was discovered in May, and the platform patched it shortly after being notified. The researchers, Ron Masas, points out that Facebook has become such a large and complicated platform, that there will always be bugs and hacks…even with their relatively generous bounty for people that spot problems and notify them.
It was reported here and elsewhere last week that Amazon was likely going to settle on two locations for it’s HQ2, and today they made it official. Theverge.com says Long Island City in Queens, NY, and Crystal City in Arlington, VA will share the HQ2 duties. Amazon already employs more people in these two locations than anywhere else outside of its Seattle HQ and the San Francisco Bay Area. An additional announcement was that Nashville will host a new East Coast operations hub, which will handle customer fulfillment and transportation. That facility will employ some 5,000.
The iPhone is doomed…long live the iPhone. A report from Ming-Chi Kuo cuts shipment estimates for the new iPhone XR from 100 million to 70 million, and that…coupled with the announcement last week that Apple won’t be releasing iPhone sales numbers moving forward, have whacked the stock. Nonetheless, 9to5mac.com says Apple had a huge day during Alibaba’s Singles’ Day on Sunday. Apple was the top selling mobile phone brand…one of 237 brands that pulled in over $14.36 million in sales on that one day (yes, it’s a funny number…but a nice, round 100 million yuan.) Apple even beat Chinese makers Xiaomi and Huawei. Huawei did come in 2nd, and Xiaomi was third in sales, though. Neither Alibaba nor Apple broke out what iPhone models sold the most during the giant online one-day event.
Alibaba Singles’ Day-Biggest Online Shopping Day; French Will Look at Facebook Moderation Processes, Samsung Folder Could Cost…Gulp… $1790; CLEAR Tech Moves From Airports to StadiumsPosted: November 12, 2018 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Alibaba, Amazon, Beer, Biometrics, Black Friday, CLEAR, Cyber Monday, Facebook, Folding phone, France, Galaxy F, Moderation, Phablet, Prime Day, Samsung, Seahawks, Singles' Day, Stadium Leave a comment
This year on Singles’ Day, a huge day in China, Alibaba absolutely blew up online shopping. They took in $30.8 billion in sales in 24 hours Sunday, according to businessinsider.com. As a point of reference, total online sales last year on Black Friday were $5 billion, and Cyber Monday hit $6.6 billion! Alibaba sold as much in 5 minutes Sunday as Amazon does on an entire Prime Day (which was 36 hours long last year, and it’s estimated to have taken in $4.2 billion.) Singles’ Day sales for Alibaba were across its main Alibaba site as well as Taobao.com and Tmall.com, two other sites it owns and operates.
Facebook continues to get heat for doing too little with regards to protecting user rights and policing fake news and other political manipulation. Now, techcrunch.com reports that the company will cooperate with the French government as they look into FB’s moderation…including Facebook giving ‘unprecedented access’ to their internal processes. France is looking for a third way to regulate tech…not the hands off of the US nor the locked down, repressed system China has in place.
We’ve now seen a glimpse of the Samsung folding phone at their developers’ conference, and now hear it should be hitting the streets by next March. 9to5google also notes that the phone/phablet with the Infinity Flex display will retail for $1790!! It will be known as the Samsung Galaxy F, as predicted. Folded, you have a 4.6 inch outside display, but unfolded, you get a nice, phablet-sized 7.4 inches. A cool tech that has taken a long time to come into being, but at nearly $1800, it may remain a boutique gadget, and not a top seller.
CLEAR…the folks that charge $179 a year to get you more quickly through airport lines using biometrics…is now up and running in stadiums. Geekwire.com says the service is free for sports events…besides handing over your fingerprints and taking about 5 minutes to make an account. Both CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field have implemented the service, which gets you in via a shorter line AND it enables you to both age verify and pay with your prints when buying a beer at concession stands! There are currently 4 stands at Seahawks games with the CLEAR scanners, so you can grab that brewski a little faster and get back to the game!
Panned MacBook Pro Best Selling MacBook Ever; Amazon Black Friday Pre Sales; China’s Alibaba Dwarfs Black Friday and Cyber MondayPosted: November 2, 2016 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Amazon, Apple, Black Friday, China, Cyber Monday, iOS, Macbook Pro, Phil Schiller, Singles' Day, Touch Screens Leave a comment
Despite all the complaints about the new MacBook Pro models losing ports, and all the rest, macrumors.com says Apple has gotten more online pre-orders for the new generation than any previous MacBook Pros. Marketing chief Phil Schiller said the volume even surprised him. He underscored that Macs and iOS devices are fundamentally different…saying they tried touch screens, but that the ‘L’ shape with a screen facing you, keyboard & trackpad or mouse just work better for productivity. Schiller says they experimented with touch screens on Macs, and decided it wasn’t a great experience.
Black Friday 2016 is almost here, but Amazon has again kicked off the savings a little early, with deals every day until the big day. It looks like the biggest deals on large electronics like TVs will wait ‘till actual Black Friday. Meanwhile, in China, Alibaba is expected to generate $20 billion in sales on Singles’ Day this year, according to the research firm Fung Global Retail and Technology. By comparison, Americans spent $5.8 billion online last year on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, the largest sales days in the US!