Last week in tech: A dead robot, Tesla’s surfboard, and social media meltdowns galore
Catch up on last week's biggest tech stories.
We’re deep in the heart of summer road-trip season and it can be tough to keep up with all the latest tech news when you’re cruising the country. Luckily, we’re here with a new episode of the podcast and a succinct round-up of all the stuff you missed in the land of gadgets and technology while you were on your search for a non-gross rest-stop bathroom.
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This week, Google announced its new two-factor authentication key for protecting your account, and camera giant Nikon went public with its plans to introduce a new pro-level camera. Plus, we talked to a hardware hacker who added a microphone jack to his own iPhone 7. Let us fill you in on all these topics in the latest episode of the Last Week in Tech podcast.
The Kuri robot danced its last dance
Kuri is sad
After more than a year of hype, the company behind the adorable Kuri robot announced that its adorable little automaton would never make it to market. Kuri joins a long line of consumer tech products that poofed into vapor despite lots of tech world fanfare.
Facebook and Twitter lost lots of money
Twitter and Facebook are losing users as they try to clean up the various bad actors and fake accounts on their services. As a result, their numbers are shrinking and last week that translated to financial losses in the billions. Ouch.
You should probably clean up your embarrassing old social media posts
Your old social media posts aren’t doing you any favors. In fact, they could be a very public archive of all the bad ideas and misguided thoughts you felt like sharing in the past. Now would be a good time to head back in time and wipe away all that potentially embarrassing content. Here’s how.
Uber started testing self-driving cars again, but only with human drivers
Uber’s sefl-driving cars
After a fatal crash in Arizona earlier this year, Uber halted its self-driving car test program. Now, the company has started to ramp things back up in Pittsburgh, but human drivers will stay in charge of the vehicles at all times, at least of the foreseeable future. The company says there will be two humans in each self-driving car, and that it has improved both the tech and the training required to keep everyone safe.
New York kicked Spectrum cable out of the state
Complaining about cable companies is common. Last week, however, New York state took it a big step beyond and told Spectrum (part of Charter cable, which merged with Time Warner in 2016) to pack it up and get out. The New York State Public Service Commission claims the company hasn’t fulfilled promises it made during the merger talks and, as a result, needs to stop operating in the state within 60 days.
YouTube just got even friendlier with vertical videos
There’s a lot of vertically oriented video out there and YouTube’s app-based player has allowed full-screen mode on mobile devices for quite some time. Now, however, the video-sharing behemoth has announced an adaptive player on the web that will display tall footage in larger players. It’s sure to make purists cringe, and smartphone shooters smile.
People missed out on movies for a very stupid reason
Since its inception, MoviePass has sounded too good to be true. Last week, the company reportedly ran out of money it uses to pay for people’s tickets. So, the app didn’t work. A quick cash infusion got the tickets flowing again, but it doesn’t seem like a good sign for the service.
Tesla sold a $1,500 surfboard for a while
There was a short window last week during which you could buy a $1,500 surfboard from the Tesla webshop. It was designed by a famous board shaper and it sold out almost immediately. No, we have no idea why Tesla sold a surfboard. I do, however, look forward to the limited-edition Tesla waffle maker that seems like the next logical step in the Musk’s Merch program (which is a pet name we’ve given to Tesla’s penchant for selling inexplicable stuff that people buy and try to flip on eBay).