Daily Tech Headlines – March 28, 2018

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Daily Tech Headlines – March 28, 2018
Number 468
Broadcast Date MARCH 28, 2018
Episode Length 3:46
Hosts Tom Merritt

Facebook simplifies privacy settings but doesn’t see a huge drop from people deleting Facebook. Also, Saudi Arabia planning the world’s biggest solar farm.


Following up on Mark Zuckerberg's post last week, Facebook announced changes meant to simplify access to its privacy settings. Primary controls are now on one page instead of spread across 20 and its now clear what info is shared with apps. Privacy shortcuts will be added to the menu for things like two-factor authentication and data deletion. Some of these changes are required to meet the EU's GDPR requirements. Facebook is not changing what data it collects or how it uses it.
Playboy's chief creative officer announced that the publication is the latest high profile account holder to remove its Facebook presence. However, The Next Web notes that Facebook's Monthly Active User data shows increases of more than 4% since January in the US and UK. This jump may be due to people investigating their privacy settings. App Annie reports a brief drop in Facebook downloads last week that has now returned to previous levels. Overall data does not indicate a significant number of users deleting their Facebook accounts.
Google announced the addition of new support for 39 languages in Google Maps. Among the languages are Finnish, Vietnamese, Swedish, Afrikaans, Zulu and Turkish. About 1.25 billion people speak the languages added.
Mashable notes the latest Snapchat beta has a tab called Connected Apps in the settings page. Right now the page doesn't do anything. Snapchat only connects Snap-owned Bitmoji as well as an integration with Shazam.
Uber will not renew its permit to test autonomous vehicles in California. Uber will need to re-apply for a license if it resumes testing there, and California will need it to include followup results to the fatal crash in Arizona.
The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fatal crash and subsequent fire involving a Tesla Model X on Highway 101 near Mountain View, California last Friday. The accident involved two other cars and it is unknown if Tesla's automated control system was enabled at the time.
Sweden's Einride will use the Nvidia Drive platform in its autonomous transport vehicles called T-pod. Einride says the first customer deliveries will begin this autumn. The first route will connect the Swedish towns of Gothenburg and Helsingborg, with a fleet of 200 vehicles.
Google is launching Cloud Text-to-Speech letting developers access voice synthesis powered by DeepMind's WaveNet software. WaveNet does not assemble syllables like most synthesizers but uses machine learning to generate the voice from scratch. WaveNet was integrated into Google Assistant in October. The cloud service will offer 32 different voices in 12 languages with users able to customize pitch and speed.
The first dedicated first responder networks are going live in the US this week. AT&T's FirstNet launched in 56 states and territories March 27th. Verizon's public safety network will become generally available to members March 29. The networks offer separate national broadband networks dedicated to first responders giving their data priority access on networks.
Softbank and Saudi Arabia are planning the world's biggest solar farm. The $200 billion solar power installation would produce 200 GW of energy, 1/3 of the worldwide supply last year. Saudi Arabia generated 77GW in 2016, almost entirely from natural gas and oil.


Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – March 27, 2018"
Daily Tech Headlines – March 28, 2018
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – March 29, 2018"