Week in Review for the Week of 2/24/20

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Week in Review for the Week of 2/24/20
Number 1062
Broadcast Date FEBRUARY 29, 2020
Episode Length 5:39
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

NBCUniversal reportedly looking to buy Vudu, Google warns about installing Play services on Huawei devices, and Amazon opens Amazon Go Grocery with no cashiers.


The Wall Street Journal reports that NBCUniversal is in talks to buy Vudu from Walmart, according to sources. If acquired, Vudu may reportedly be merged with Fandango Now in a move to help bolster NBCU's digital-video presence ahead of the launch of its Peacock streaming service. The Information reported back in October that Walmart was looking to sell Vudu.
Google published a support article stating that any Huawei devices released after May 16, 2019 lack Play Protect certification, meaning any "sideloaded Google apps will not work reliably." Google further warned that sideloading Google services carries a higher risk that the APK has been tampered with and increases security risks. Devices released before May 16 will continue to receive support and security updates "as long as permitted." Interestingly, the German news outlet Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported that Google officially petitioned the U.S. government to allow it to supply its Play Store and apps on Huawei Android devices.
Amazon opened its first “Amazon Go Grocery” store in Seattle, a 7,700-square-foot space without cashiers. Amazon previously opened smaller Amazon Go locations in 25 US locations. The new store in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood has 5,000 different products including meat and produce, and equipped with cameras, sensors, and computer vision to keep track of what a customer leaves the store with.
Netflix announced it will start ranking the 10 most popular programs on its platform worldwide, after testing the feature in select markets. The lists will include movies and TV shows, with separate top 10 lists for just movies or just TV shows within those content tabs. Netflix says the lists will be updated daily and will help users learn which titles everyone is watching. Netflix already features both popular and trending content, but didn't rank them until now.
A new note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple will release an ARM-based Mac in the next 12-18 months. The chip will reportedly be built on a 5nm process and expected to be used in the upcoming 2020 flagship iPhone models. The switch to ARM is said to give Apple more flexibility with hardware updates, which currently depends on Intel's development pipeline. In 2018, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported on an early stage Apple initiative to transition Macs to ARM, reportedly named Kalamata.
Reuters sources say key Foxconn officials have not yet returned to Chinese factories, working remotely from Taipei. The sources also say delays in supply chain processes by the COVID-19 virus concerns might delay shipments even into the autumn of products like the iPhone that rely on Foxconn's Chinese factories. Foxconn is getting advice on virus prevention from Zhong Nanshan who is credited with finding the correct way to treat SARS 17 years ago. Zhong was recently appointed head of China’s National Health Commission investigation into the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
The US National Transportation Safety Board announced Tuesday that a March 2018 fatal crash of a Tesla Model X SUV was caused by a combination of Tesla's Autopilot operating in conditions it couldn't handle and the driver distracted by a game on his phone. The SUV hit a concrete barrier at high speed killing the driver. A cushion at the end of the barrier had been damaged in a previous crash and if replaced might have saved the driver's life. The board made nine recommendations including Tesla prevent Autopilot from operating in conditions it was not designed for and create a more effective method of ensuring driver attention. The NTSB also recommends phone companies lock out distracting phone features when it detects someone is driving.
Disney's Robert Iger announced he has stepped down as CEO. Iger announced in 2018 that he planned to retire but the announcement Tuesday was unexpected. Disney's Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Products, Bob Chapek is the new Disney CEO. Iger will assume the role of executive chairman through 2021 and direct creative endeavors while leading the board.
DoorDash announced it confidentially submitted a draft S-1 filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission as a first step to an initial public offering. The company raised a $100 million funding round in November, valuing the company at roughly $13 billion.
The Smithsonian published 2.8 million images and 3D models in its collection under its new Open Access program. All images are licensed under a Creative Commons Zero license, with the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie G. Bunch III saying, "We are empowering our audiences, empowering them to remix, to repurpose, to reimagine all the richness we offer. We’re inviting our viewers to become collaborators.” The collection is also accessible by a public API with collection data hosted on GitHub.
Facebook has paused its election reminder function in the European Union while it addresses concerns from the Irish Data Protection Commission. The Election Day Reminder displays a notification to users on the day of a local election to remind them to vote. Facebook does not explain the criteria it uses to determine if a user sees the reminder. The concerns from Ireland's DPC revolve around transparency over what personal data is collected when users engage with the feature.


Preceded by:
"Apple to Reportedly Release iPad Keyboard with a Trackpad"
Week in Review for the Week of 2/24/20
Followed by:
"Facebook Rolls Out 3D Photos to All Images"