Big Tech &
Meet Scout (1 minute read)
Amazon has begun field testing an autonomous delivery robot called Scout, which rolls along sidewalks at a walking pace. They will be delivering packages to customers in Snohomish County, Washington. It sort of looks like a cooler with wheels (there's a video in the article).
YouTube TV finally goes nationwide almost two years after launch (2 minute read)
YouTube TV is launching nationwide, it's now available in 98% of US households. All viewers will have access to at least three out of the four major broadcasters (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC) depending on their location, most will have all four. The subscription is meant to replace cable, and costs $40/month. There's a link inside to check if it's available for your zip code.
Boeing’s Self-Flying Air Taxi Completes First Test Flight (2 minute read)
Boeing announced the first successful test flight of NeXt, its autonomous, short-range taxi. This prototype was unveiled at CES 2019, and has a range of 50 miles. It's 30 feet long and 28 feet wide. Boeing's CEO says that this could shape the future of urban infrastructure, with fleets of autonomous air taxis hovering above city streets within a decade.
Waymo says it will build self-driving cars in Michigan (2 minute read)
Google's self-driving unit Waymo is now building a plant in Michigan to start building autonomous cars for their ride-sharing business. They want to expand their fleet to 20,000 vehicles by 2022, and will be spending $13.6 million on the facility, while the state will kick in an additional $8 million. The vehicles will be level 4 autonomous, meaning they can pilot themselves without a human driver under certain conditions.
Programming, Design & Data Science
DeepMind Demonstration (Tweet)
DeepMind will be demonstrating their StarCraft playing AI and discussing StarCraft 2 as an environment for AI research at 6:00pm GMT Thursday. There is a link to their YouTube channel in this tweet, they will be livestreaming the demonstration.
China Appears to Block Microsoft's Bing, Despite Company's Own Censorship (3 minute read)
China has blocked Bing, even though Bing already censors results in China. It's part of a wider crackdown on internet freedoms by the Communist Party, as they've blocked Instagram and WhatsApp in recent years in addition to Twitter, Facebook, and Google. Bing was one of the last holes in the Great Firewall, and was the last resort for people looking for an alternative to Baidu.