Your Car Could Soon Drive Itself, Facebook Has Big Plans For Oculus, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Google Glass has been given a boost in specs, Forget.me simplifies Google’s “right to be forgotten” process, Opera 24 has been released for Linux, a Canadian businessmen is suing Wikipedia editors for alleged defamation, and the truth behind those overtly happy Facebook status updates.
Cruise Helps Your Car Drive Itself
Google has been generating endless headlines over the past few years for its self-driving cars project . But Google isn’t the only company working on such technology. One startup called Cruise Automation has gone public with its entry into the market.
Unlike Google’s effort , Cruise is designed to be fitted to any car, but the first system is designed specifically for the Audi A4 and Audi S4. At $10,000 it also isn’t cheap, but then the first attempt at any innovative technology is never really affordable for mainstream consumers.
Cruise isn’t designed to offer a fully automated driving experience, instead it uses sensors to keep you in your lane by controlling steering, braking, and acceleration. It’s currently only legal in California, but Cruise will likely benefit from Google’s lobbying efforts to make self-driving tech legal elsewhere.
Self-driving cars are coming, so if you enjoy the art of driving you should make the most of it while you still can. I’m looking at you, Jeremy Clarkson .
Oculus Is Seeking VR Partners
Facebook is planning to extend the reach of Oculus VR beyond the minority of dedicated virtual reality geeks currently using the futuristic headsets. To achieve this the company is seeking new hardware partners in a move reminiscent of how Google popularized Android.
Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe told Bloomberg, “If we do want to get a billion people on virtual reality, which is our goal, we’re not going to sell 1 billion pairs of glasses ourselves. We are openly talking to any kind of partner that wants to jump into VR, and there’s a lot of interest right now.”
The next step is releasing a consumer version of the Oculus Rift headset, after which new partners will be sought to turn VR from a niche hobby into a mainstream interest. Which is surely why Facebook paid $2 billion to acquire Oculus VR in the first place.
Google Updates Glass Hardware
Google has updated the Glass hardware, notably doubling the RAM from 1GB to 2GB. A bigger battery also means Google Glass will last longer between charges. A software update has added a voice-activated viewfinder and some additional Google Now cards.
While all Google Glass users will receive the software update, Google will not be exchanging the old hardware for the new version. Meaning we already have two tiers of Google Glass owners. And then the 99.99 percent of us who can only dream of owning Google Glass . Because expensive.
Forget.me Simplifies Right To Be Forgotten
So we’ve received our first request to delete stuff based on the “right to be forgotten” ruling in Europe. I imagine it won’t be the last.
— Mike Masnick (@mmasnick) June 16, 2014
A new site called Forget.me has simplified the process of requesting Google grants you “the right to be forgotten.“ Anyone resident in Europe can request Google remove a link concerning them and their past behavior, and Forget.me aims to make it as easy as possible to disappear from search results. Unfortunately, you need to sign up for an account, which is rather annoying.
Opera 24 Lands On Linux
Opera has released a new version of its Web browser specifically for Linux. Opera 24 for Linux is currently only available through the developer channel, meaning it’s likely to be buggy and unpredictable.
Opera has tested the browser on Ubuntu Linux 64-bit with Unity or Gnome Shell, with no guarantee it will work on other platforms. Still, with this being the only new version of Opera for Linux released since Opera 12.16 a full year ago, Opera 24 will surely be appreciated by the Linux community.
Wikipedia Edits Lead To Defamation Lawsuit
I wish @yankbarry luck in his absolutely frivolous lawsuit against a few Wikipedia editors, after seemingly hiring PR to bolster his article
— Kevin Payravi (@KevinPayravi) June 20, 2014
Be careful what you write on Wikipedia , as the online encyclopedia is still subject to defamation laws. Four Wikipedia editors have found this out the hard way, as they’re facing a $10 million lawsuit for allegedly defaming Canadian businessman Yank Barry.
The lawsuit alleges the four editors in question conspired to tarnish the reputation of Barry over previous claims of “bribery, money laundering and conspiracy,” all charges Barry has since been acquitted of committing. The Streisand effect is strong with this one.
The Hidden Truth Behind Facebook Updates
And finally, if you only communicate with your friends via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you’re probably not seeing an accurate representation of their lives.
This short film shows how overly positive status updates can hide a deeper, darker truth. And should act as a reminder to meet for coffee or pick up the phone from time to time.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
How long do you think it will be before all cars are self-driving cars? Are you excited or scared at the prospect? Do you have any interest in Oculus Rift or VR in general? Do you believe everything you read on friends’ Facebook walls?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Alternatively, let us know of any technology news stories we may have missed.
Image Credit: Petras Gagilas via Flickr