Google Glass Will Return, Woz Predicts The Singularity, and More… [Tech News Digest]
Google Glass will return, Woz warns humanity, Twitch gets hacked, Netflix has arrived down under, embedding Reddit comment threads, and Siri and Netflix clash.
Schmidt Silences Glass Naysayers
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has denied claims Google Glass is in any way dead. The company suddenly stopped production of the wearable technology in January, killing the Explorer program in the process. However, Schmidt has sought to set the record straight regarding the future of the product.
Schmidt told The Wall Street Journal that the next step with Google Glass is “to make it ready for users.” He continued, “It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google, We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn’t true. Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.” He finished by drawing parallels between Glass and Google’s continuing effort to develop self-driving cars , analogizing, “That’s like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now. These things take time.”
Google Glass is now in the hands of Tony Fadell, previously responsible for driving development of the Apple iPod and designing the Nest smart home products . It could be years before we see Google’s second attempt at selling this particular wearable to the public, but with Fadell in charge it surely stands more chance of succeeding than the first attempt.
Steve Wozniak Fears the Future
Glimpse History. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs with an Apple I, 1976. pic.twitter.com/uCCbduM7XZ
— Cliff Pickover (@pickover) March 22, 2015
Steve Wozniak has added his voice to the growing concerns over the acceleration of artificial intelligence. In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, Woz, who co-founded Apple alongside Steve Jobs, declared, “Computers are going to take over from humans, no question.”
Woz went on to say, “Like people including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have predicted, I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people. If we build these devices to take care of everything for us, eventually they’ll think faster than us and they’ll get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently.”
The technological singularity is a hypothesis that’s been explored in countless movies and television shows, and yet humanity is still actively working on developing increasingly complex robots . If we as a species choose to ignore Hawking, Musk, Wozniak, and others, then perhaps we deserve the frightening fate we’re creating for ourselves.
Your Twitch Account Has Been Reset
Oof. Twitch was hacked and didn’t tell anyone for almost a month. At least Sony had the decency to shut down everything and make us panic.
— Nerd³ (@DanNerdCubed) March 24, 2015
Twitch has reset all passwords on all user accounts after declaring there “may have been unauthorized access to some Twitch user account information.” Twitch is using vague language, suggesting it’s currently unsure as to the size and scale of the hacking incident.
In the email sent out to all users, Twitch warns that the following information may have all been compromised: “possibly your Twitch username and associated email address, your password (which was cryptographically protected), the last IP address you logged in from, and any of the following if you provided them to us: first and last name, phone number, address, and date of birth.” Which is actually rather a lot of potentially sensitive information. Oops.
Netflix Lands in Australia & NZ
As teased at the back-end of last year, Netflix has arrived in Australia and New Zealand. This is the first port of call for Netflix in the Asia-Pacific region, with Japan set to follow in the fall. Netflix hopes to be available in every country around the world within five years.
Subscribers in Australia and New Zealand are being offered less content than their American cousins, with The Sydney Morning Herald reporting that the 220 TV series and 900 movies available in the two countries compares unfavorably to the 940 TV series and 6,170 movies available in the U.S.
Still, it’s early days and Netflix is known to constantly change its line-up of content. And the monthly fee of AU$8.99 (US$7) still seems reasonable for the variety of films and series available to stream.
Reddit Comments Can Now be Embedded
Reddit comments can now be embedded on other websites, just as the comment from Sir Tim Berners-Lee about the Internet has been embedded above. Reddit has been testing the feature for a couple of months, and it’s now available on all comments made on public subreddits.
Getting the embed code is as simple as clicking the relevant option on the permalink of the comment you want to embed. Unfortunately, there is an opportunity for trolling given that any edits will be respected. So, use common sense when choosing which comments to embed. I’m banking on Berners-Lee not editing his comment to be a stream of curse words. He wouldn’t, would he?
Siri & Netflix: Best of Friends
And finally, while Siri is often a very useful tool to have in your arsenal, it’s not so great when you’re watching Parks and Rec on Netflix and one of the characters says, “Hey, Jerry.” Siri thinks you’re summoning her, and responds accordingly.
Even worse, Netflix rewinds the content by a couple of seconds every time you stop watching, meaning the line will be repeated ad infinitum. Surely Apple should have foreseen this problem and prevented Siri from reacting to audio output from the device itself?! [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you optimistic about the return of Google Glass? Will Steve Wozniak be proven right with his predictions for the future? Should Siri and Netflix just learn to get along?
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 Credit: Bh Sovon via Flickr