The top 5 tech news stories and breakthroughs of the month.
Amazon is making headlines again as the company considers buying a chain of movie theaters. This comes shortly after Forbes posted a controversial op-ed on why Amazon should take over public libraries (the Forbes article has since been taken down). The possible acquisition of Landmark Theaters is being compared to the company’s previous purchase of Whole Foods. Will a subscription to Prime now be offered with your popcorn?
The war between taxi cabs and rideshare companies wages on. Several large cities, New York included, have always monitored the number of licensed taxi drivers, but this decision has people talking. How do you find the perfect balance between taxis and rideshare vehicles? There are some pretty big factors to consider, like whether the goal is to minimize wait times or maximize driver profits. New York is a unique situation, since the city already had close to 14,000 taxi cabs when ride sharing came along.
The value of Bitcoin has been known to rise and fall quite drastically. After seemingly reaching its peak this past winter, the digital currency has reportedly dropped in value by about 75%, which is around $600 billion in total loss. There were more investments within the past year than there had been in the past decade, but today it’s leaving cryptocurrency investors wondering if the currency will ever bounce back.
A few months after Microsoft’s disastrous release of its chatbot Tay, the company quietly launched Zo. Zo has crept into the spotlight this past month as part of Microsoft’s push to be a major player in AI. The goal is for users to be able to talk to an AI using natural language— in a scenario such as customer service. She is able to mimic human speech patterns, and recently talked to comedian Lauren Lapkus about what it means to be human.
As Google works on building a censored search engine in China, employees are demanding more transparency from the company. These protests are happening in the US and internationally, but there are none in China that have been reported. Internet usage is heavily monitored in China, and the government often uses it to silence the voices of open internet activists. Work on the search engine began last year, and Google has remained quiet.
That’s all for this month. Want to have this newsletter delivered straight to your inbox each month? Subscribe here.
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