HitchBOT Gets Killed, Google Glass Returns… [Tech News Digest]
Philadelphia ends HitchBOT, Google Glass makes return, Nokia sells HERE, Nvidia recalls Shield tablets, the GTA V RPG mod, and Zoolander 2 emerges from the Big Bang.
HitchBOT Is No More
HitchBOT, the cute, dustbin-shaped robot who loves hitchhiking, is no more. He was vandalized and decapitated in Philadelphia just a couple of weeks after setting off from Massachusetts , thereby ending his epic journey from one side of the United States to the other.
This hitchhiking robot had already completed journeys across Canada , Germany, and the Netherlands before its creators charged it with doing the same in the US. The journey began in the middle of July, with HitchBOT envisioning reaching California in a matter of months. Sadly, the trip came to an inglorious end two weeks later.
HitchBOT, which exists mainly as a social experiment, reached out from beyond the grave to tell his followers, “Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on back home and with all my friends. I guess sometimes bad things happen to good robots! My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thank you to all my friends.”
This may not be the end of HitchBOT’s American adventure, as the team behind him may decide to try again in the near future. In the meantime, those responsible for attacking a defenseless robot should hang their heads in shame.
Google Glass Returns for Businesses
Google is thought to be bringing Google Glass back, but with a focus on offering it to business users rather than consumers. According to the Wall Street Journal [Paywall], Google is targeting the second generation device at industries including healthcare and manufacturing.
Google Glass caused huge amounts of excitement when it was first announced, but the wearable headset failed to take off in the way Google originally imagined it would. This led to Google effectively shuttering the program by ceasing production . Leaving Glass Explorers, otherwise known as “Glassholes,” looking like early adopting, over-privileged idiots.
This relaunch is being kept very quiet, but it’s assumed that Google will eventually start selling the devices to ordinary members of the public again. That is if businesses show enough interest to justify throwing more resources at a product that has yet to set the tech world alight.
Nokia Sells HERE to Car Companies
Nokia is selling its HERE mapping business [Broken URL Removed] to a consortium of European car manufacturers. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes have between them agreed to pay $3 billion for the business, which currently employs over 6,000 staff.
Nokia HERE owns multiple patents related to location technology, as well as other valuable assets, which explains both the level of interest and the price paid. The deal is expected to close at the beginning of next year.
Nvidia Recalls Shield Tablets
Nvidia is recalling all of its Shield tablets sold between July 2014 and July 2015. While the recall is voluntary, the company is “asking consumers to stop using the recalled tablet, except as needed to participate in the recall and back up data.”
The reason cited for the recall is “the battery in these tablets can overheat, posing a fire hazard.” Which is rather ironic seeing as the extreme performance of these batteries was used as a selling point. Everyone who chooses to participate in the recall will receive a replacement tablet.
GTA V Modded Into an RPG
Grand Theft Auto V has been turned into an RPG (role-playing game) of sorts. Modder LogicSpawn has added a skill tree, a looting system, and relationships with NPCs which can potentially affect the outcome of the game.
GTA V: RPG, which is available as a free download from LogicSpawn’s website, is an interesting idea. And it makes you wonder why Rockstar didn’t include such elements in the original game. However, as with all mods, you download this at your own peril.
Stephen Hawking Teases Zoolander 2
And finally, we have the first teaser trailer for Zoolander 2, due to be released in theaters in February 2016. the headline above could be considered a little misleading, as that isn’t actually the voice of Stephen Hawking , but you should let me off, as it sure sounds like him.
Hawking’s existential musings lead up to the titular Zoolander, also known as Derek, asking, “If God exists, then why did he make ugly people?” It’s a good question, but one which leads me to counter with, “If God exists, then why are beautiful people so dumb?” [H/T CNET]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you surprised HitchBOT got vandalized in Philadelphia? Should Google bring Glass back from the dead? Have you ever used HERE? Are you affected by the Nvidia Shield recall? Should Rockstar make a full-fledged Grand Theft Auto RPG?
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.