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Tech News Roundup (October 2019)

November 1, 2019 Jonathan Houghton

It’s been a pretty exciting month of news across the tech world, ranging from game-changing quantum computing to – ick – artificial skin-covered phones. Check out the latest headlines!

 

Gimme Some Skin

Sure, touch-screen phones are pretty great. But is the world ready for ticklish technology? Scientists have created an artificial membrane that not only looks like human skin, but mimics its capabilities to sense different forms of touch. This not-at-all-horrifying invention has three layers – a textured surface layer, a hypodermis and an electrode layer of conductive threads – that together allow it to “feel” different types of gestures, including tickling, stroking and pinching. It’s being seen as a way of augmenting the way we interact with our phones – a tickle could create a laughing emoji, for instance.

 

Space-Rental Startup Moves to Nashville

Stache, a startup that allows users to rent out extra space in their home or garage for others to store belongings, recently moved its headquarters to Nashville from Palo Alto, California, according to the Nashville Business Journal. The company, which has raised $2.6 million since its founding in 2017, currently has 10 employees and expects to hire between six and 12 additional employees over the next half-year.

 

A Quantum Leap Forward

Google has announced a breakthrough in computing that could lead to further advancements in fields including artificial intelligence and chemistry. Using a quantum computer, scientists solved a complex problem in minutes that would have taken the world’s most powerful supercomputer thousands of years to unravel.

 

Hop Aboard, Fido

Nashville is now among several select cities where Uber is offering a new option for riders to bring an animal companion on rides for an extra $3 to $5 charge. The service, called Uber Pet, recently became available in some international markets as well. Other U.S. cities where the services is available are Austin, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tampa Bay. The company previously only allowed service animals to come along on rides.

 

For Your Viewing Pleasure 

Are you ready for more streaming content than you know what to do with? The streaming wars continue to heat up, with several new platforms set to come on the market in the coming months. Disney’s Disney+ and Apple’s Apple TV+ are both set to launch in November, with both offering exclusive content, and HBO recently announced its HBO Max platform, which will be launching in mid-2020. And that’s in addition to NBC’s forthcoming Peacock platform and Comcast’s newly launched Xfinity Flex service. Whew!

 

Controversy Over Ads Heats Up

Social Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that political advertisements would no longer be allowed on the social media platform. This policy sets Twitter apart from competitor Facebook, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said it would run political ads even if they were factually wrong, arguing that the ads are an exercise of free expression. The influence of online political ads has been a topic of debate since the last presidential election, when a Russian disinformation campaign placed divisive messages on Twitter, Facebook and Twitter, some of which went viral.

 

Interested in reading more? Check out our August tech roundup, or learn about the work we’ve done for our tech clients.

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