News Roundup: Ride-hailing is the new hot tech trend

A roundup of the week’s technology news including smartphone market saturation, Silicon Valley skiing, and Steve Jobs’ CV.

A roundup of the week’s technology news including smartphone market saturation, Silicon Valley skiing, and Steve Jobs’ CV.

 

Every company is a software taxi company

Once upon time, the narrative was about every company becoming a software company; releasing APIs, services, apps, things like that. Apparently, the new narrative is ‘every company can make money from taxi services’.

This week saw Sony announce it’s planning to develop an AI-led taxi-hailing system, Bosch acquire ridesharing startup SPLT and establish a ‘connected mobility services’ unit, and CityMapper is swapping its bus plans for minibus car-pooling.

 

Smartphone saturation

We hit the point of PC saturation long ago. Even the slightest uptick in sales is newsworthy. And now we might well have hit the point of smartphone saturation. Global sales of smartphones recorded its first ever decline in Q4 of 2017, according to Gartner. This drop, according to research director Anshul Gupta, was down to “a lack of quality ‘ultra-low-cost’ smartphones” to drive upgrades from feature phones, and users keeping their devices for longer.

 

Security headlines

  • Intel has been hit with 32 lawsuits over Meltdown and Spectre, including two from its own shareholders.
  • UK spy agencies are still on friendly terms with Huawei, unlike the US.
  • China reportedly spied on communications at the Chinese-built African Union’s headquarters. China denies the allegations.
  • Hackers can steal data from even Faraday Cage air-gapped computers (if they pre-install malware on it).
  • McAfee claims cybercrime cost the global economy $600 billion last year.

 

Silicon Valley Skiing

Who can ski better; robots or the people that code them? Last week a group of robots gently swerved down a mild incline. This week a Silicon Valley coder completed possibly the tamest freeski halfpipe in Olympic history.

US-born Elizabeth Swaney – a software engineer recruiter in the Bay Area – was eligible to represent Hungary through her grandparents, and enable to compete simply because the competition pool is so shallow. It seems if 30 can enter, even you’re the worst entree out of 28, you can still compete on the world’s stage.