Welcome to your weekly roundup of the biggest headlines and good-to-knows in the tech and product worlds. Let’s take a look at what’s been happening in the news…
Elon Musk Had a Smashing Good Time at Cybertruck Reveal
The world watched the launch of Tesla’s latest offering – a new kind of pickup truck called Cybertruck – with awe and curiosity. And then we were all watching it through our fingers.
The demonstration started out well, with Cybertruck taking beatings from sledgehammers and bullets with little to no impact whatsoever. The thing seemed completely indestructible. Musk then went on to talk about Tesla’s new armoured glass. A demonstration of a pane of the glass alone went very well, resulting in awed murmurs from the crowd. Until it came time to try out the glass on the truck itself, and well…see for yourself…
Musk handled the incident pretty well, managing to keep his cool and saying “well, it didn’t go through, that’s a plus side.” But we can’t say it wasn’t cringe-inducing to watch him give the rest of the presentation in front of two smashed windows!
Viewers didn’t seem to be deterred. Despite the mishap, 150,000 orders have already been placed. Production of the Cybertruck will begin in 2021, retailing between $39,900 and $69,900.
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Paypal Pays Big Money for Honey
Last week Paypal acquired the money-saving shopping rewards platform Honey for a whopping $4 billion USD.
Honey, a relative unknown which was a favorite among early adopters in 2012, has quietly become a must-have for online shoppers. Through its browser extension it automatically scans the web for coupon codes, testing them almost too quickly to be noticeable, and applies the best discounts to your online shopping cart.
With 17 million monthly active users, it’s no wonder Paypal saw the potential, especially as Honey has reportedly saved users $2 billion so far. Partnered with Paypal, it’s exciting to think what the two companies will do next.
“When Honey says they’re putting money in the pockets of their customers — that’s perfectly in line with what we want to do. We want to make digital commerce and financial services more affordable, easier to use, more fun and more accessible to people around the world,” says Paypal’s SVP of Global Consumer Products and Technology, John Kunze.
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While Facebook continues to dominate the social media landscape, users security and privacy concerns haven’t dissipated.
Business Insider recently uncovered that the company had built a facial recognition app, built before the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, and only available to employees.
Facebook reported in a statement to CNET; “As a way to learn about new technologies, our teams regularly build apps to use internally. The app described here was only available to Facebook employees, and could only recognize employees and their friends who had face recognition enabled.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook has dabbled with facial recognition technology. It received vicious pushback from users when it used the technology to automatically tag people in photos. It also led to a federal investigation and a court mandate. Facial recognition software can no longer be turned on automatically by Facebook without users opting-in.
In light of the current scrutiny and general distrust in social media companies (not to mention various Black Mirror parallels!) it’s probably a good idea to keep certain tech internal…for now.
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The $1.5 Million Bug?
It’s not uncommon for companies to offer rewards for reporting security flaws. Companies like Apple, Facebook, and Samsung, hope to encourage people to report major bugs to the companies themselves rather than selling them to hackers and criminals.
Recently, Google upped the bounty from $200,000 to $1.5 million! To get the big prize, you’d have to find a way through the Titan M security chip in Google’s Pixel smartphones. The chip primarily protects the biometric data used to unlock the phone.
It’s no mystery why users want their fingerprints to be stored safely, but can even a $1.5 million price tag compete with black market prices?
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