Tech news catch-up: Amazon ate Whole Foods, Verizon ate Yahoo, and lots of new video games!
The stories you may have missed.
Last week started off all fun and games. No, seriously, it was the beginning of the E3 gaming expo and there was lots of new gaming stuff to see, including a powerful new Xbox and even a new Super Mario game! Later in the week, however, things got serious. Here’s a rundown of some of the other big stories in the tech world.
Paper or Plastic?
Amazon bought whole foods for a hefty $13.4 billion, at which point your friends got on social media and made jokes about how that’s “almost enough to buy some asparagus water at an actual Whole Foods! LOL.” Snark aside, it’s a pretty big development and it could affect the way many people shop for food—and pretty much everything else.
Can you believe the humble GIF turns 30 today!? pic.twitter.com/zS19TcxlGy— Popular Science (@PopSci) June 15, 2017
The GIF officially turned 30 and you should celebrate that milestone by cruising the huge Twitter thread of our favorites above.
Yahoo is now officially a part of Verizon, which led to some considerable staff reductions, including the departure of CEO Marissa Mayer. The merge probably won’t affect that secondary Yahoo email address you made to sign up for sketchy online accounts, though. At least in the short term. Many of the services like Tumblr will operate under the Oath brand name, which also includes Engadget, and TechCrunch.
Researcher’s fed this robot a dataset of classical and jazz music, then had it compose its own piece and play it on a vibraphone. There’s something about its joyless expression as it plunks out nonsensical notes that reminds me of the time I spent as a percussionist in the high school band.
Story Time Spidey
Robotic toy company Sphero introduced an interactive Spider-Man toy that responds to voice commands and guides kids (or adults who really, really like Spider-Man) through over 400 pages of superhero story content. This can only mean that AI Teddy Ruxpin is just around the corner. Shudder.
Office design icon Herman Miller has teamed up with designer Yves Béhar to create Live OS, an operating system that integrates office furniture and encourages employees to be more active during the day. For instance, there’s a standing desk that can remember your preferred settings and also light up to remind you to stand up every once in awhile.
Instagram is implementing new labels and layouts for sponsored content to make it easier for follower to identify when a post is bought-and-paid-for. Some users will be surprised to find that C-list celebrities aren’t as naturally enthusiastic about teeth-whitening products as it may have seemed previously.
Notable Kickstarter: A Roomba for Weeds
Roboticist Joe Jones is responsible for creating the adorable vacuum robot known as the Roomba. Now, he has created a similar device called the Tertill that patrols your garden looking for unwelcome weeds, which it then dispatches using an integrated string trimmer.
This week’s Musk Read
US govt testing by @NHTSAgov finds Model X to be the safest SUV in history by significant margin https://t.co/zAdb5FQPEI/— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 13, 2017
Our buddy Elon found out that the Tesla Model X got a glowing safety review from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Getting around safely is essential for a guy who either wants to live to 100 or is already hundreds of years old.
Roast with the Most
The RØST coffee machine won the best new product award for technology at the World of Coffee Budapest last year, which is high praise from a very particular crowd. This super-expensive coffee machine roasts about 3.5-ounces at a time and lets you tweak the process to your specific tastes. It even has built-in wifi to monitor it.