Beware of Tesla Autopilot, Microsoft Will Buy Your Old PCs… [Tech News Digest]
Watch out for that passing Tesla, sell your PC to Microsoft, Intel asks PC Does What?, YouTube Gaming gets subscriptions, Amazon shuts Destinations, and Back to the Future II in real life.
Tesla Switches to Autopilot
Tesla is rolling out an Autopilot update to approximately 60,000 cars around the world. While this doesn’t yet allow drivers to sit back and have a nap, it’s the first step on the road to fully automated driving . The problem is, for the time being at least, other drivers and pedestrians need to be a little wary of the Tesla driving past them.
The Autopilot feature allows the company’s cars to “automatically steer down the highway, change lanes, and adjust speed in response to traffic”. However, Tesla is very clear that drivers should keep their hands on the wheel at all times, because they’re still ultimately responsible for any accidents.
According to BBC News, Elon Musk stated, “It should not hit pedestrians, hopefully. It should handle them well. The driver cannot abdicate responsibility. That will come at some point in the future.” Which is both worrying and reassuring. Musk clearly cannot come out and say Autopilot will prevent accidents from occurring, but he wouldn’t be rolling it out if he thought it was putting people in extra danger. Would he?
Tesla is pushing the Autopilot update out in North America this week, with drivers in Europe and Asia receiving it next week. This is likely to be just the first of many updates which will eventually lead to Tesla cars being able to drive themselves from A to B. The problem Musk, and others, including Google , is getting the authorities on board with future self-driving plans .
Microsoft Offers Cash for Old PCs
— Marcel Tschopp (@marceltschoppch) October 16, 2015
Microsoft really wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 , and it’s willing to pay cold, hard cash to make that happen. This is thanks to a new promotion called Easy Trade Up, which is designed to bribe people into buying new PCs running Windows 10. Easy Trade Up is currently available in the U.S., the UK, Canada, India, Brazil, France, Germany, and Taiwan.
If you’re buying a qualifying PC from the Windows Store between now and October 20th you can trade in your old laptop for some money off. As long as the new computer is priced at $599 or more, and your old computer is less than six years old and in fully working order, you can get $200 for a Windows machine, or, controversially, $300 for a MacBook. Result!
PC Does What? Ads Sell the Platform
A handful of PC firms has partnered to remind people of what PCs are capable of doing. Microsoft, Intel, HP, Dell, and Lenovo have teamed up for the PC Does What? advertising campaign, which revolves around simple reminders of the best features available on PC.
This campaign to raise the level of interest in PCs again comes at a good time, as sales of new computers are dropping despite the launch of Windows 10 . The five companies involved need people to keep buying new computers or they will cease to be. Will it work? Not unless Chromebooks count.
You Can Now Pay for YouTube Gaming
Google has added two new features to YouTube Gaming.
The first feature is the addition of YouTube Gaming subscriptions, or “Sponsorships”. This allows regular viewers to pay $3.99-per-month to support their favorite streamers. Google will take a cut of the money, but promises that “the majority […] is given to the creator”.
The second feature is the option to broadcast from your Android device. The latest update to the YouTube Gaming app on Android lets you stream a game on YouTube while broadcasting your face in a small window in the corner of the feed. The YouTube Gaming app on iOS is expected to be updated soon.
Amazon Shutters Destinations
Amazon has pulled the plug on Destinations after just six months. Only ever available in a handful of U.S. cities, Destinations allowed customers to plan short breaks away from home. Unfortunately for Amazon, established competitors such as TripAdvisor and Expedia seem to have forced it to shutter the service sooner rather than later.
Doc and Marty Travel to the Real 2015
And finally, we surely all remember how, in Back to the Future II, Doc and Marty traveled to the future and found all manner of weird and wonderful innovations waiting for them. Well, that future is now, as they arrived on Oct. 21, 2015. Unfortunately, reality is a bit of a letdown.
At least it is according to College Humor, which put this animation together to show what kind of world Doc and Marty would have actually faced. It’s all rather depressing really, as we still don’t have working hoverboards that are anything other than dumb marketing campaigns . [H/T Sploid]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Would you trust your car to drive on Autopilot? Would you consider selling your old PC to Microsoft? Do you need reminding of what PC does? Will you pay for YouTube Gaming? Are you disappointed by Amazon shutting Destinations? Do you prefer the fictional 2015 to the real one?
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: Nam-ho Park via Flickr