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This Week in Tech: May 13th, 2016



This Week in Tech: May 13th, 2016

Google Car Testing in Arizona

Needing a side job? Google is paying $20 an hour to Arizona residents for testing out new self-driving cars. Qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree, clean driving record, no criminal history and a minimum 40 words per minute typing score. With Google looking to test performance in the desert’s high temperatures, this expansion is an added component to its testing in Mountain View, Austin and Kirkland, Washington.


Tech Wearables for Kids

Tech wearables are now gearing their efforts towards kids’ safety. Xiaomi has launched a new GPS smartwatch that’s cheaper than the models we’ve seen from other retailers, running for a cool $59. It has Wifi/Bluetooth connectivity, an emergency button and built-in alert if a child moves outside their customized security zone. It’s compatible with Android phones and has a kid-friendly esthetic with blue and pink straps.


Uber and Lyft Leave Austin

The ride sharing giants have removed their stake in the Texas town. This decision follows a vote endorsing firmer regulations over Uber and Lyft, shutting down the tech giants’ hope of repealing driver fingerprinting restrictions, among others. The sudden shift affected over 10,000 drivers in the metro area, fueling the fire between city governments and ridesharing companies.


Google’s GBoard Launch

Google’s newly launched GBoard is putting the power of search into your texts. With its newest rollout, GBoard integrates directly with Google’s services, letting you search without a browser and access Maps, news, restaurant and business listings. They’ve launched a keyboard GIF search and streamlined your emoji search. (Instead of looking through emoji options, you can type in “cat” or “dance” to find what you’re looking for) Concerns have surfaced around privacy and data retention, but the data is only stored on your device and not accessible by Google.


Hyperloop Hype

Initially proposed by Elon Musk back in 2013, Hyperloop envisions transporting passengers 700 miles per hour on an elevated pod. It’s a race for start-ups to build the first of its kind, with Hyperloop One publicly testing its technology this week. The test lasted over 1.9 seconds, hitting 116 miles per hour and doubling the force of gravity. They have an ambitious plan to start moving cargo by 2019 and passengers by 2021, having newly publicized partnerships with major transportation companies. Jetsons, anyone?

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