Apple Developing Electric Car, Amazon Prime Air Gets Grounded [Tech News Digest]
Apple’s electric dreams, Amazon gets grounded, Google feels charitable, Google Helpouts stop helping, Apple iWork works for all, and an Android Chorus brings harmony to the world.
Apple is Developing an Electric Car
WSJ reports that Apple is working on an electric car. All I can say is it better last longer than the iPhone’s battery.
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) February 13, 2015
Apple is rumored to be working on an electric car , at least according to The Wall Street Journal [Paywall]. There are hundreds of people working on the car, internally known as Project Titan, which in its current iteration reportedly “resembles a minivan.”
The report claims Apple CEO Tim Cook signed off on this project almost a year ago, with up to 1,000 members of staff across a range of departments working on it under Steve Zadesky. Zadesky, now an Apple exec, just happens to be a former engineer at Ford.
Details of Project Titan are currently thin on the ground. So much so that while this could be an electric car designed to compete with Tesla many years from now, it could equally be a testing ground for other Apple products and platforms, CarPlay being the most obvious contender.
As usual, only time will tell, and also as usual, Apple will not reveal its plans until it’s absolutely ready to do so.
The FAA Rules Against Amazon Prime Air
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has officially announced its proposed rules for the operation of small commercial drones. The rules apply to all drones weighing less 55 pounds flown by anyone other than hobbyists.
A drone operator license will be created, with potential pilots over the age of 17 having to pass a knowledge test every two years in order to hold one. Drones can only be flown during daytime hours, under 500 feet, and no faster than 100 mph.
This all seems reasonable enough, but the FAA is also insisting that operators must be able to see their drone at all times. This rule, which could still be modified, kills the notion of delivery drones, putting an end to Amazon’s Prime Air dreams . At least for the time being.
Google Extends Vulnerability Fix Window
Not a huge fan of their products, but Google’s Project Zero is a good idea. Oversight is necessary to keep them focused on the greater good.
— David Froemke (@froemke) February 16, 2015
Google has offered developers a lifeline when they’re faced with fixing a zero day vulnerability discovered by Project Zero . Much to the chagrin of Microsoft , Google has previously insisted on a strict 90-day window for a company to fix a security flaw before it’s revealed to the public.
However, after analyzing the data obtained so far, Google is adding a grace period of 14 days for developers who request it. Deadlines will also be adjusted to avoid them falling on a weekend. In other words, while Google is still being strict, it realizes dictators create enemies.
Google Shuts Down Google Helpouts
Google Helpouts is no more, with Google shutting down the service on April 20, 2015. Google states Helpouts, which launched at the end of 2013 , is being shuttered because “it hasn’t grown at the pace we had expected.”
Google Helpouts connected ordinary Internet users who wanted to learn about a particular subject with experts in that field. People could obtain either free or paid advice on a wide range of subjects, from parenting to photography. Unfortunately, clearly not enough people were interested for Google to keep Helpouts going.
Apple Offers iWork Apps to Everybody
Apple is making its iWork for iCloud apps multi-platform, removing the need for users to own an iDevice before they can access the productivity apps. Instead, all you need to use the iWork for iCloud beta is an Apple ID.
This gets you 1GB of free cloud storage to save files you can access on a range of different devices, including Android, Windows, and Linux. Which means Apple iWork is true competition for Google Docs . So, which do you prefer?
Google Creates an Android Chorus
And finally, Google Japan has released a video showing 300 different Android devices singing together in unison. The smartphones and tablets each feature a different Androidify character performing a particularly peculiar version of the “Ode to Joy” movement from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What do you think Apple’s plans are for the automotive industry? Has the FAA got it right on the rules for commercial drones? Will you be using Apple’s iWork apps without an iDevice?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
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