Google Creates Alphabet, WalkCar Beats Segway… [Tech News Digest]
Google learns its ABCs, the WalkCar improves on the skateboard, Plex for iOS gets better, how to win contests held on Twitter, and Benedict Cumberbatch is a grumpy thespian.
G Is for Google
Thanks to Google, the owner of the Twitter handle @alphabet is going to be a very wealthy individual.
— Eastwood (@Eagle_Vision) August 11, 2015
Google has outgrown Google, leading its co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to create Alphabet. The billionaires has decided Google is just too large and sprawling to fit into that one all-encompassing moniker. Especially when most people still see Google as being synonymous with the search engine.
Therefore, the Google hierarchy have created Alphabet, an even larger company of which Google is just a small part. Alphabet is a company of epic proportions, owning and controlling Google, Calico, Life Sciences, Nest, and Google X , to name just a few. Page is the new CEO of Alphabet, with Brin acting as President.
This all means Sundar Pichai, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks at Google, is its new CEO. And there’s a definite delineation between Classic Google, which will still run Android, YouTube, Search, etc. and the new Alphabet.
Alphabet is an attempt to operate a simpler structure for the many elements that were in danger of sprawling out of control at Google. If any of you hold shares in Google, then this change will have an immediate effect, with Google shares set to be converted into Alphabet shares.
Only time will tell how Alphabet will change things at Google and its other sister companies in other ways. But if it means more awesome stuff than ever before, we’re right behind the effort.
WalkCar: The Futuristic Skateboard
The WalkCar is a new mode of transport as developed by Cocoa Motors. It works in a similar way to the Segway, with riders controlling the speed and direction of travel by tilting their body in the corresponding manner. But unlike a Segway, the WalkCar is about the size of a laptop.
According to Reuters, when in use, the WalkCar has a top speed of 10 kph, with a battery range of 12 km. It can carry loads of up to 120 kg, and can even assist people delivering goods in urban areas. When not in use, the WalkCar is so small and light it can be carried in a bag.
Details are rather thin on the ground right now, but production of the WalkCar is expected to be funded by a Kickstarter campaign launching in October. It’s expected to cost a cool $800, which is small change for something so potentially impressive. It sure beats the dumb Lexus Hoverboard both in terms of price and usability.
Plex for iOS Enjoys Makeover
— Plex (@plexapp) August 10, 2015
Plex has given its iOS app a long overdue overhaul, making it look and feel more like the beloved Web app . Using this beloved media player/manager on iOS now offers recommendations of what to watch next, and review scores from Rotten Tomatoes.
You can now download Plex for iOS for free, but only to use as a remote control unit or to back up your camera roll. To unlock the full potential of Plex you’ll need to pay for the privilege through an in-app purchase. Still, it’s entirely optional, so we really shouldn’t complain.
Twitter Contest Bot Wins Loot
In case you missed it: http://t.co/WNMCFzu9eB
— Hunter Scott (@hunterscott) August 8, 2015
There are hundreds of contests being run on Twitter ever week. Organized by brands, websites, or individuals. Offering prizes both big and small. And most only need you to retweet a promotional message to enter the contest, at which point you have as good a chance of winning as anyone else.
Young developer Hunter Scott recently revealed how he won 1,000 of these contests. He managed this impressive feat by writing a Python script which logged into Twitter, searched for these contests, and entered them by retweeting the relevant message. You can see his full list of winnings here, and be jealous of his inventiveness.
Cumberbatch Hates Cameras
And finally, Benedict Cumberbatch is currently appearing in a production of Hamlet in London, and tickets are being snapped up at an astonishing rate. Thanks to Cumberbatch’s widespread appeal, many of the people seeing the play aren’t your typical theater-goers, and that’s causing a problem.
Younger attendees, who aren’t used to the etiquette associated with going to the theater, are using their smartphones to take photographs and shoot video of Cumberbatch on stage. And he isn’t happy about this. At all. Talk about first-world problems. [H/T BBC News]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What do you think about Google’s new parent company Alphabet? How badly do you want to ride a WalkCar? Have you ever won a contest held on Twitter? Is Cumberbatch being an overly grumpy thespian?
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.