Last week in tech: Robot murder, Google tracking, and Netflix ads
Could you murder a robot? Also: Happier topics.
As the number of robots cohabiting the world with us increases, so too does our need to examine our relationship with them. Should we feel bad for robots? Do we need to treat them with respect? Can we freely murder them? It turns out flipping the off switch on Johnny Five and his electronic siblings isn’t so easy when robots can beg for their own lives. We talk all about it on this week’s episode of the podcast.
Plus, we have an interview with Betsy Congdon, an aerospace engineer who designed the heat shield that’s headed on a one-way mission to the sun on NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission. And we dig into just how much Google and other web services know about you from tracking your phone (and how to turn it off as much as you can).
Here’s a rundown of some other stuff you may have missed last week while you were at the beach trying to forget that technology exists altogether.
Netflix is trying something that looks suspiciously close to an ad
If you did any binge-watching this weekend, you may have noticed that Netflix is slipping in promo videos for other shows over the end credits of each episode. I got one that was for a show I would never watch. Also, it was in Japanese and did not have subtitles. Some users worry those could one day become full-fledged ads.
Your Twitch private messages may have been temporarily public
If you use Amazon’s game streaming service, Twitch, some of your private messages may have shown up in the wrong user’s archives.
MoviePass is still completely insane
Providing any substantive update about the MoviePass service in this space is futile because it changes so often, but we did get some concrete news about how much money the company lost last quarter. Looks like it took a net loss of around $84 million.
You can play HQ Trivia on your Apple TV now
If you want to try your brain at HQ trivia on a big screen, you can now do so using an Apple TV. It seems like a fun way to play with friends, unless you don’t know a lot of trivia, in which case it could just be an invitation to embarrassing yourself when you don’t know what the tallest mountain in Peru is. (It’s Huascarán S).
London is thinking about capping new ride-sharing licenses
NYC halted new “for hire” cars from services like Uber and Lyft, and now London is reportedly considering a similar action. It turns out that huge numbers of cars in tiny, densely-populated cities make things complicated.