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Smile Innovation’s watch #23

Smile Innovation’s watch #23

New year, New you! I don’t know if you notice, but we redesigned the categories of information to better suit what we want to share with you and how we are collecting those Infos. Internally, we are using Trello to collect, categorize, prioritize and create our publication plan. Every people in the Innovation team is able now to vote to push the news in front, creating a more diverse view and topics. Talking about topics, we are keeping 💡Innovation, 🗽Privacy & Freedom, 💰Acquisition and 🔓OpenSource. We are very pleased to introduce 🌱Sustainability & Society and 📈Trends. With those 2 new categories, we want to give you more food for your thought about the role of technology in our lives. Don’t worry though, 😁Fun & WTF and 🛠Tools are still here!

This content was sent on Feb. 3rd in our Tech Watch Newsletter

💡 Innovation

Uber is going for air taxi services in 2023

With commercial partners in charge of the eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft manufacturing, while dealing with air traffic control, landing pad construction and connections to ground transportation, Uber wants to launch its services in 2023. Uber already has a helicopter offers from and to JFK in NYC, connected to their network of Uber black cars to drive you from and to the pad; and a more developed network in Brazil.

Alexa, pay for gas

Exxon (better known as Total in Europe) is partnering with Alexa and Amazon pay in order to let you pay by voice, from your car, with Alexa. Coming this year to 11,500 Exxon and Mobil fuel stations, from Alexa built-in and Alexa enabled smartphones and on-the-go devices like Echo Auto, Echo Buds…

Amazon will let you pay with your hand

Amazon filed a patent for technology that could identify you by scanning the wrinkles in the palm of your hand and by using a light to see beneath your skin to your blood vessels. The resulting images could be used to identify you as a shopper at Amazon Go stores and let you enter the full autonomous grocery stores with no cashier.

🗽 Privacy & Freedom

Do we really know what our apps are sharing with ad industry?

Apps like Grindr, Tinder, Happn are over-sharing data about religion, location and even your sexuality with dozens of data brokers who are selling them to the entire world. And it’s not limited to your dating apps, your friendly regional newspaper app is doing the same also. Hopefully, OS are offering better solutions to prevent tracking, such as preventing location sharing when the app isn’t open by the user. But beware, for this setting, more and more apps are working around by requesting access to your picture and reading the GPS data from them 🤯

Russia is testing is resilience from internet shutdown

Ordered by law, all the Russian telco and service providers (like VK, their national Facebook-like) had to change their architecture to be 100% resilient to an internet cut-off. Last December 23rd, Russia tested this new system, meant to control traffic, veil hackers and quash dissent. The program, called RuNet, is more about the ability for the state to control which kind of information which part of the population can have access, as well as spying of people online activity.

23andMe is selling all the genetic customer’s data to Glaxo Smith Kline for $300 million

The company made its reputation on selling (very) affordable DNA test to more than 5 million customers at a price of $99 to know about your ancestors (and let you find relatives you don’t know who also opted-in in this program) and a combined Health + Ancestry test for $199 which screens for genetically transmitted diseases. 23andMe will sell this to GSK for $60 per customer dataset.

💰 Acquisition

LogMeIn sold for $4.3 billion

The company that bought Jive Communications for $357 million in 2018 and GoToMeeting in 2016 for $1.8 billion is well known in video communication and remote access tools, but did you know they also own LastPass, password manager? Well, they agreed on last December to be sold to Francisco Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital Corporation (private equity) for $4.3 billion. The deal should be closed mid-2020. Want to know all the company own by LogMeIn? There’s a lot!

Paypal acquires shopping and reward platform Honey for $4 billion

PayPal seems to want to stop competing only on the checkout process with Apple Pay and others and did his biggest acquisition to date with honey. Honey is a coupon checker extension + discovering platform which harvests data on their users to help better ad targeting (if it’s free, you are the product). With 17 million monthly active users, PayPal will also push his credit products to finance bigger buying from customers who are using honey and reported that honey will be fully integrated into their product line.

🔓 OpenSource

Apple, Google and Amazon are working on yet another smart home standard

With the help of Ikea, Samsung, Philips Hue and pretty much all their already existing partners you can find in their integration. Called “Project Connected Home over IP”, the group will be joined by the Zigbee Alliance, thangs god! We’re supposed to see an initial draft in 2020, the idea is to keep WiFi, BLE, and Zigbee but work on the gateway and objects that are IP-enable directly in order to seek better interoperability and finally brings a bit of security on top of all of this, sometimes messy, ecosystem. With news about IoT devices or companies operating them not securing enough their customer’s data are nearly making the headlines every week, this is the most important topic in the industry at the moment.

After publishing vehicle for hire data, Uber start mapping bicycle usage in San Francisco, Washington, and Paris

Engaging for better, safer road infrastructure, Uber released in the past 2 big datasets for several cities: speed and time travail from A to B. Both available under CC prohibiting commercial usage. On January 13rd they released a bike trip data tool that shows where and when cyclists are most active in San Francisco, D.C and Paris.

Translation platform for teams

Published under GNU AGPL v3, Traduora is a translation management platform for teams you can install on your own server. Once you setup your project you can import and export your translations to various formats, work together with your team, instantly deliver translation updates over the air, and soon automatically translate your project via third-party integrations. Plus, you can deploy it with Docker and Kubernetes in 5min.

🌱 Sustainability & Society

Akon kicks off construction for world’s first crypto city

Senegal has given the green light to build Akon City — a 2,000-acre metropolis that will trade exclusively in a digital currency called Akoin. The singer is of Senegalese descent and first revealed plans for Africa’s most futuristic metropolis over 18 months ago. At the time, he said the city will be built on 2,000 acres of land gifted to him by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall. It will trade exclusively in Akon’s digital cash currency, Akoin.

Remember the 3D-printed homes in rural Mexico project? They are done!

Nothing gives me more pleasure than a good, well-executed #tech4good project 🤩. The 500-square-foot houses were finished with roofs, windows, and interiors last week. New Story, the nonprofit leading the project, believes that the new construction process could be part of the solution for affordable housing in some of the poorest communities in the world.

Barcelona is conducting a car-free smart city experiment, led by women ✊

Cities are supposed to be built for all of us. Men, Women, and children. But most cities are designed and built by men. What a city would look like if it was designed by women? This video from BBC is covering the reorganization of cities into superblocks where the street is reclaimed for pedestrians from vehicles.

😁 Fun & WTF

Mercedes self-driving cars will be programmed to sacrifice pedestrian

It’s called the trolley problem and it’s one of the most famous ethic problems. If you have to sacrifice someone in an accident, especially in a car accident, who will it be? MIT even runs an international study called Moral Machine, trying to understand how humans, as all but also per country, behave facing such a dilemma in order to design a better way for cars to react, in terms of morality acceptance. But, Mercedes has decided that the driver and people inside of the car are deserving to survive no matter what.

World first as artificial neurons developed to cure chronic diseases

For the first time researchers successfully reproduced the electrical properties of biological neurons onto semiconductor chips.

Coronavirus make everyone stressed, and USA use robots to treat patient in American hospitals

This is the first time the Everett medical center has admitted a patient into its special pathogens unit. The hospital and its staff have been preparing for the possibility since 2015 when the hospital created the unit in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

🛠 Tools

BATUX, Using UX process to redesign Batman’s outfit

Are you familiar with all the UX design process existing? Did you hear a fellow UX designer in the workspace saying things like “card sorting” or “feature buying” but don’t know what it is? Come and discover an extensive compilation of design tools used to ideate the best batsuit according to superhero needs 😁

10 Awesome Github Repos Every Web Developer should know about

I swear it’s not a Topito article 😂 ! From giant repos of resources to interview preparation material, here’s a list of 10 repos that will cover a lot of Web Development topics. Javascript Algorithm and Data Structures, JS Questions, Clean code Javascript, free resources for developers, tech interview handbook, free learning resources, and even my favorite: a big list of naughty strings to test any services sanitization process 😈

That’s all folks!

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