EMPIST Tech News Roundup: Friday, June 29, 2018

EMPIST Tech News Roundup is coming at you with the latest headlines and recent news stories from around the web to keep you informed on tech news surrounding IT, business, marketing, and everything in between. This week’s top news: Facebook pulls the plug on the drone project Aquila, Uber scores a win in London and a win for their new CEO, and Apple is about to shine a light on just how addicted to smartphones you are.

Uber Regains Its License to Operate in London, a Win for Its New C.E.O.

New York Times | Tue June 26, 2018 — Uber’s grow-at-all-costs culture just got positively impacted by a recent win. As of Tuesday this week, Uber won an appeal to regain its taxi license in London. This win is contingent on Uber’s agreement to stricter government oversight, but it marks a major victory for the new CEO. It has been allowed to continue operating during the appeals process and may serve as an example to other cities who have been considering withdrawing permissions themselves. The appeal grants Uber a license term of 15 months, which is less than the typical five years allocated to taxi services. Uber is now making it a priority to install new leadership in London, stop tired drivers from driving, share traffic data with the city and enact rules of incident reporting with the police. Read the full story >>

Apple’s Screen Time Feature Proves You’re Addicted to your iPhone

CNN | Mon June 25, 2018 — News flash: you’re probably spending too much time on your phone. Apple’s latest feature could either make you feel really good or really guilty. Starting this week, anyone with an iPhone 5S or later can attain detailed information about just how much time they spend on their device. Monday’s beta release of iOS12 with the new suite of features aims to help smartphone addicts cut down their screen time. The Screen Time feature breaks down phone usage by app and category. It shows how many notifications are received, how often you pick up your phone and more. All of this info can be delivered to your inbox as a weekly report. Users are reporting finds of spending 6 hours a week on social media, or picking up their phones every six minutes. Luckily, this new feature also allows users to set time limits per app to help decrease screen time. Read the full story >>

The New Google Maps with Personalized Recommendations is Now Live

TechCrunch | Tue June 26, 2018 — One of the many news updates that Google shared during its I/O developer conference last month was a major update to the Google Maps. That update is now live. Users of Google Maps will now be given a list of personalized restaurant recommendations plus other new features. The core use of getting directions has not changed, but users can now access an “Explore” tab that lets you learn about the areas you’re in. There is also a new “For You” tab which will house things like the restaurant recommendations and upcoming events in that area.

For now, the update is only available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Japan, and Australia, and the content is still somewhat limited. Over the course of the week, users will see this change. Read the full story >>

Facebook Grounds Aquila, Its Solar-Powered Internet Drone Project

USA Today | Wed June 27, 2018 — After four years of hard work, Facebook is pulling the plug on their Internet drone project, as well as 16 employees jobs. The ambitious project, named Aquila from the Latin word for “eagle,” has been based in a British facility in Bridgewater, England.

The goal of Project Aquila, started in 2014, was to build drones as big as a 737 airplane that could fly over isolated areas and provide the Internet coverage. The idea behind it was to bring the Internet to nearly 4 billion people without access. At this juncture, however, Facebook has decided to abandon those efforts and shift their focus to working with partners on high altitude connectivity and aviation policy. This shift will look at developing technology for other aircrafts, rather than trying to build the aircrafts themselves. Read the full story>>

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