Believe it or not, we don’t cover every piece of tech news here at SnapMunk. In an effort to keep you apprised of all things relevant in the world of technology and startups, here are some noteworthy tech news items that didn’t get a full column this week but certainly deserve a glance.
Amazon Gets Patent For Headphones That Know Your Name. Remember the bar, Cheers? Where everybody knows your name? Remember the theme song? Well it should come pre-loaded on these headphones, except instead of “everybody,” it’s “Amazon.” The retail giant recently received a patent for headphones that listen for your name being spoken, and then temporarily shut off the headphones so you can listen and respond. Of course, given that my kids say my name 20,000 per day, these might not be the best option for me.
Tesla Buys Elon Musk’s Other Company, Solar City, For $2.6 Billion Dollars. Elon Musk is the largest shareholder and chairman of both Tesla and Solar City. Tesla announced that it will be buying Solar City for $2.6 billion dollars, and that the merged business will manufacture and sell batteries to be used in Tesla’s electric cars. I’m sure this is all legit and above board, but one Elon Musk company buying another Elon Musk company seems like an elaborate shell game. Are we sure this isn’t some multi-level marketing ploy to get us to buy timeshares?
Apple Replaces Pistol Emoji With Water Pistol. When Apple releases iOS 10 later this year, there will no longer be a pistol emoji. This is apparently in response to several teens creating threatening social media posts with the emoji weaponry. The new, politically correct iOS will also include female athletes, a pride flag, and women doing jobs typically associated with males. Now, I might be crazy, but I don’t think emojis are a leading source of violence. And I don’t think we’ll be hearing any police chiefs thanking emojis for any dips in crime. Couldn’t they have just added a slingshot?
Bar Owner Blocks Mobile Signal To Encourage Actual Conversation. This is the best thing ever. After seeing more and more of his patrons on their cell phones and not talking to each other, bar owner Steve Tyler put silver foil in his walls and copper wire in his ceiling. As a result, cell signal is blocked and people must actually have real conversations with each other in bar. So far he has had one complaint, and that was because a woman actually GOT a signal. I can only hope that more shop owners pick up on this idea.
An Elevated Bus Hits The Road In China. An elevated bus, which sits 2m off the ground, made its inaugural test run this weekend in China. The bus can carry up to 300 passengers in its 72-feet long, 25-feet wide body, and can reach speeds of up to 60 km per hour. It runs on rails, and is large enough to actually let traffic pass underneath it. It is anticipated that this bus could replace 40 standard buses. Can we all just admit that this thing is amazing?
Facebook Changing Its News Feed To Eliminate Clickbait. This is the best thing Facebook has done in a long time. The company announced that its employees recently analyzed thousands of stories to determine common elements in clickbait headlines. Now they’re tweaking the news feed algorithm to lower the amount of clickbait that shows up in our news feeds. If publishers are constantly pushing out clickbait, they will see their organic reach significantly drop.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
Stephen Altrogge is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee, Florida. He writes about tech, marketing, faith, and lots of other things. He’s married to Jen and has three young girls. Every day he consumes more coffee than the entire population of Colombia. He knows more about Star Wars than any respectable man should, and he runs more than any sane man would. He once attempted to eat a 2 pound hamburger in under an hour. He failed.
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