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Techlife News

Techlife News #482

Read the most relevant news of the week about the world of technology and its influence on our lives. New products, Apps, acquisitions in the industry, highlights about the digital world and everything about your favorite iGadgets and upgrades. Everything you need to keep well informed. A new concept of light, intelligent, innovative reading at your fingertips. A global view of Tech LifeStyle and its influence on our lives.

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United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
52 Issues

in this issue

2 min
gm teams up with microsoft on driverless cars

General Motors is teaming up with Microsoft to accelerate its rollout of electric, self-driving cars. In the partnership announced this week, the companies said Microsoft’s Azure cloud and edge computing platform would be used to “commercialize its unique autonomous vehicle solutions at scale.” Microsoft joins General Motors, Honda and other institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing its valuation to about $30 billion. Cruise, which GM bought in 2016, has been a leader in driverless technology and got the go-ahead from California late last year to test its automated vehicles in San Francisco without backup drivers. Auto companies have been joining forces and bringing technology firms on board to try to spread out the enormous costs -- and by nature, risks -- of developing…

2 min
google muscles up with fitbit deal amid antitrust concerns

Google has completed its $2.1 billion acquisition of fitness-gadget maker Fitbit, a deal that could help the internet company grow even stronger while U.S. government regulators pursue an antitrust case aimed at undermining its power. The completion of the acquisition comes 14 months after Google announced a deal that immediately raised alarms. Google makes most of its money by selling ads based on information it collects about its billions of users’ interests and whereabouts. Privacy watchdogs feared it might exploit Fitbit to peer even deeper into people’s lives. But Google wound up entering a series of commitments in Europe and other parts of the world pledging it won’t use the health and fitness data from Fitbit’s 29 million users to sell more ads. It insists it is more interested in adding Fitbit to…

2 min
canada oks return of boeing 737 max aircraft

The Boeing 737 Max can return to Canadian airspace beginning this week, officials said, concluding nearly two years of government review after the aircraft was involved in two deadly crashes that saw the planes grounded worldwide. Transport Canada said the planes will be permitted to fly as long as they meet conditions specified by Transport Canada in December, including allowing pilots to disable a faulty warning system that was found to be central to two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019. “Canadians and the airline industry can rest assured that Transport Canada has diligently addressed all safety issues prior to permitting this aircraft to return to service in Canadian airspace,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a statement. The measures go beyond those announced by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in November, which…

3 min
elon musk: dig tunnels as solution for miami’s traffic jams

As a solution to Miami’s notoriously congested traffic, Tesla Inc. founder Elon Musk is proposing to dig tunnels with The Boring Company, one of his many business ventures. Experts say the idea would be costly and is fraught with engineering obstacles, but it’s not outright crazy. Musk, who also founded SpaceX and Neuralink, tweeted that he spoke with Gov. Ron DeSantis about the idea earlier this month. “If Governor & Mayor want this done, we will do it,” Musk tweeted. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, a Republican, described the idea as a “no brainer” and replied, “we would love to be the prototype city.” Miami-Dade Democratic Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Florida’s Republican chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, also expressed enthusiasm. Critics wondered: How plausible is it to build large tunnels under a city that…

1 min
eu fines video game firms for blocking cross-border sales

The European Union has issued fines to a U.S. video game platform and five game makers after they blocked players from buying cheaper copies of the games in other countries in the bloc. The EU’s executive Commission said Wednesday that it fined Valve Corp., which owns the Steam online PC game distribution platform, and the game makers a total of 7.8 million euros ($9.5 million) because they restricted cross-border sales in violation of the bloc’s antitrust rules. The companies used so-called geo-blocking practices to prevent players from activating and playing games sold either on DVD or by download, the commission said. Steam activation keys prevented games from working outside the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, it said. “Such practices deprive European consumers of the benefits of the EU…

3 min
buried treasure, impending war and loss in ‘the dig’

Just before the outbreak of the World War II, a small-time archeologist was hired by a local woman to excavate her land. The thought was that it possibly contained some Viking remnants. But what was unearthed in the mounds out in the fields was far more significant than they could have imagined: Buried in the grounds of Sutton Hoo was actually a ship that would end up providing a deeper understanding of the sophistication of the early Anglo-Saxon period. It’s this true story that John Preston used as the stage for his novel “ The Dig,” which has been adapted into a very lovely film by screenwriter Moira Buffini and director Simon Stone. Carey Mulligan stars as the Sutton Hoo landowner, Edith Pretty, a wealthy widow, mother to a preteen son…