Tech News

Baidu Teases Self-Driving Cars, Play Elon Musk’s Retro PC Game, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 10-06-2015

Baidu drives itself forward, Elon Musk makes games, eBay gives to charity, Instagram gets a makeover, Shia LaBeouf extends to Chrome, and Steve Jobs hates Apple Music.


Baidu Is Building Driverless Cars

Chinese technology giant Baidu is set to launch its first self-driving car by the end of 2015. According to BBC News, while Baidu has previously announced it is developing the technology, this is the first indication that the launch is imminent.

Baidu is in many ways the Chinese equivalent of Google, offering a range of Web services including a Chinese-language search engine. Therefore it’s rather fitting that Baidu is working on a self-driving car, as Google is the leading proponent of this technology How Self-Driving Cars Work: The Nuts and Bolts Behind Google's Autonomous Car Program Being able to commute back and forth to work while sleeping, eating, or catching up on your favorite blogs is a concept that is equally appealing and seemingly far-off and too futuristic to actually happen. Read More .

Details are currently thin on the ground, but it’s being suggested that Baidu is working with an established car manufacturer. Baidu has previously teamed up with BMW on semi-autonomous driving aids, and it looks as though this will be an extension of that technology.

Unlike Google, which imagines a future where we’re all ferried around from place to place in completely autonomous vehicles How Self-Driving Cars Will Change Transportation Forever As we move into 2015, the question is no longer whether self-driving cars will replace manually driven cars, but how quickly they'll take over. Read More , Baidu is thought to be focusing on giving drivers greater freedoms while retaining the traditional controls. Which would seem to be a sensible first step.

Play the Elon Musk PC Game from 1984


As an adult, Elon Musk is the real-life equivalent of Tony Stark, albeit without the Iron Man alter-ego The Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Review for Geeks The Avengers are back, this time doing battle against a murderous AI. But is The Avengers: Age of Ultron worth watching? Read our spoiler-free review below to find out. Read More . And yet just like everyone reading this, Musk was once just a child with dreams and aspirations. And, as it turns out, the ability to create computer games from scratch.

We can all now play the computer game in question, as Google software engineer Tomas Lloret Llinares has recreated Blastar in HTML5. To be perfectly honest it isn’t very good, as you just need to shoot passing ships until you get bored. I think I’ll stick to Project CARS.

However, it’s important to remember that Elon Musk made Blastar when he was a 12-year-old kid living in South Africa. And he sold the code to PC and Office Technology magazine for $500. The force was obviously strong with this one even way back in 1984.

Give Money to Charity Through eBay


When selling items on eBay you can now donate the proceeds to charity. The eBay app on Android and on iOS now includes a “Sell for Charity” option which lets you give between 10 percent and 100 percent of the final selling price to the charity of your choice.

You can search for your favorite charity 5 Crowd Funding Websites To Support Your Favourite Charities, Bands & Projects Read More and add the donation option to your preferences for every sale. For its part, eBay will “give you a credit on basic selling fees” for every item sold in this manner by a seller in the U.S. or UK. Which means everyone is a winner to some degree.

Instagram Now Looks Better On the Web

Instagram is giving its website a much-needed makeover, with a new look rolling out over the next week. The new look is much cleaner and more becoming of the website of an app generally used by vain people keen to show off to the wider world.

The new Instagram makes each individual profile page look more like a professional portfolio, which should help attract serious photographers Learn From The Best: 10 Professional Photographers You Should Follow On Instagram For every professional photographer who takes issue with Instagram, there are many who are happily using the app to reach an additional photo-loving audience. They're worth a follow. Read More . This could also be the first sign Instagram is looking to expand its appeal and become a service closer in nature to Flickr More Than Photo Sharing: 5 Unique Uses for Flickr Flickr is best known as one of the easiest ways to share and store your photos online. We've come up with a few unique ways you can get more out of Flickr that go beyond... Read More .


Shia LaBeouf Gets a Chrome Extension

You have probably seen that Shia LaBeouf motivational video by now. You know, the one where he’s standing in front of a green screen acting like the biggest tool on the face of the planet. You may also have seen the fun the Internet had by remixing this video.

However, you may not be aware that you can now have that motivational douchebag following you around the Web at all times thanks to the DO IT! Chrome extension. After installing this, Shia will tell you to do it, again and again and again. And you’ll love him for it.

Steve Jobs Would Have Hated Apple Music

And finally, a reminder that Apple Music Apple Unveils Apple Music at WWDC, U.S. Army Website Hacked, & More... [Tech News Digest] Apple Music arrives at last, the United States Army gets hacked, Uwe Boll's Kickstarter rage, Pizza Hut Blockbuster Box movies, and Grand Theft Auto V in real life. Read More would never have happened under Steve Jobs’ watch. We know this because he expressed his dislike for music subscription services way back in 2003 when Apple was launching the iTunes Music Store.

Jobs said at the time, “We think subscriptions are the wrong path. One of the reasons we think this is because people bought their music for as long as we can remember. They’re used to buying their music, and they’re used to getting a broad set of rights with it. When you own your music it never goes away.”


OK, so this was 12 years ago when the music industry looked very different than it does today. But it still shows how no one, no matter how much of a visionary they may be, can predict the future of technology. Well, there are exceptions… Tidal IS doomed to fail Why Jay Z's Tidal Music Streaming Service is Doomed to Fail Jay Z recently relaunched Tidal, the music streaming service he acquired for $56 million. Tidal has 99 problems, and the pitch is one. Read More . [H/T The Verge]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Can you see yourself ever owning a self-driving car? Did you enjoy playing Elon Musk’s old PC game? Will you be selling stuff for charity on eBay? Do you like the new-look Instagram? Will you be installing the Shia LaBeouf Chrome extension?

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.

Image Credits: Jan Tik via Flickr

Related topics: eBay, Google Chrome, Instagram, Meme.

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  1. Anonymous
    June 12, 2015 at 8:16 am

    On eBay, I've been donating 50% of my proceeds to charity for years. I'm not sure if the percentage has always had the option to go up to 100% (I'm fairly sure it did), but even if it didn't, this is rather incremental news.

  2. Anonymous
    June 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    No point taken on his speech. It was about that era of music, that he grew on. Not the actual era, that people prefer to pay for radio music quality given to them. I don't like any of his products, but I do admire a person's capability to sell old technology for people willing to pay for status. I had one of the first good mp3 players sold (it wasn't Apple branded, it was a Diamond Rio), and still would have it if it wasn't substituted for my smartphone nowadays...

  3. Anonymous
    June 10, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Didn't see that video with Steve Jobs before. He makes a good point about subscription services.