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Smile’s Innovation Watch #32

Smile’s Innovation Watch #32

It’s December once more and, if you’ve not already managed the 🎁 “presents” situation, you must know that delivery is a complete mess this year again, thanks to COVID which boost online sales while shipping network didn’t improve an inch, at least in Europe (with post hub exchange being completely overwhelmed). No drone transportation will help you.

In this edition, some fresh story about innovation topics (haptic gloves, AI and Bitcoins), articles regarding privacy, the interesting latest acquisitions/merge and a bunch of open-source news (parents being sued by their children’s school because they made OSS, EU court ruling telling anyone can decompile any software if it’s for fixing a bug, and more).

This content was sent on Dec 17th in our Tech Watch Newsletter


Microsoft’s SpaceEye Uses AI to “See” Through Cloud Cover

Azure Space, one of Microsoft’s latest additions to its Azure cloud computing suite, now has the power to “see” through clouds with a new ability called SpaceEye.

Meta haptic glove prototype lets you feel VR objects using air pockets

Meta (formerly Facebook) is developing a pair of gloves with haptic feedback with an unpredecent definition, 15 points, over each finger/articulation. When you put on the glove and enter a VR or AR experience, a sophisticated control system adjusts the level of inflation, forming pressure on different parts of your hand. If you’re touching a virtual object with your fingertips, you’ll feel the feeling of that object pressing into your skin. If you’re gripping a virtual item, the long finger actuators will stiffen, creating a sensation of resistance. These sensations work alongside visual and audio cues to produce the illusion of physical contact.

Another nation is about to join the very private club of countries who gave Bitcoin the status of legal payment medium. What do you think about it? Should bitcoin stay a crypto asset or should it be used as for what it was created?

💰 Acquisition

Meta’s acquisition of Giphy is set to be blocked by an antitrust regulator

The UK regulator prevent Meta (Facebook) from acquiring Giphy. Founded in 2013, Giphy is an online database of GIF with more than 200 million daily active users between API and website. They are powering GIF finders of millions of app, like Instagram or Facebook. Facebook purchased it in May 2020 for $400 million.

PayPal might buy Pinterest

PayPal is reportedly in late-stage talks to acquire Pinterest. According to Reuters, the payment company made a $45 billion offer on Wednesday to buy the social network.

Toyota is buying Lyft’s autonomous car division for $550 million

Lyft is experimenting for years now (in the real world, in Las Vegas for ex.) with autonomous driving and it just announced that Toyota is buying their division in charge of this project for $550 million.

🗽 Privacy & Freedom

What is AT&T doing at 1111340002?

AT&T is spying on their customers at a large scale, using a SIM feature that leaves no trace in your phone as it’s operated at a lower level.

EBCDIC is incompatible with GDPR)

Court ruling indicates your names are protected by Article 16 of GDPR and so, any organization is entitled to record them accordingly with all the à, é, ô, ç, etc. you could have. EBCDIC, which is responsible for most of the technical limitation, was introduced with AS/400 computers in the ’60s.

Microsoft to shut down LinkedIn in China

China’s censorship won over the tech giant who will launch a China-specific version of LinkedIn later this year with only job searching features. LinkedIn was the last major U.S. social network still operating in China. But that’s not the only country where LinkedIn is not available in the world for the same reason, in Russia for ex.

🔓 OpenSource

EU Court rules that no EULA can prevent decompiling software if the purpose is to fix a bug

That’s a major step for consumer and user rights and we should be all more than happy to that. The lawful purchaser of a computer program is entitled to decompile all or part of that software in order to correct errors affecting its operation, including where the correction consists in disabling a function that is impacting the proper activity of the application of which that program forms a part.

GitHub — maplibre/maplibre-gl-js

MapLibre GL is a free and open-source fork of mapbox-gl-js. Linked to the recent decision from Mapbox to move away from OSS license for their OpenGL implementation, some people forked the last OSS version and create MapLibre. Backward compatible with your existing mapbox-gl implementation, it’s just a line to change in your package.json file.

These Parents Built a School App. Then the City Called the Cops

Stockholm’s official app was a disaster. So annoyed parents developed their own open source adaptation — ignoring warnings that it might be illegal.

That’s all folks!

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