The week in tech: Self-driving cars, Grindr revenge and so many doodles
SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney) — It’s been another long week that felt like 20 regular news cycles crammed into five days. Unwind with some of the tech news you may have missed this week.
Google is pretty good at drawing
Before diving into serious matters, get creative with Google’s silly new tool. The company created autodraw.com, a site that analyzes your doodles and uses AI technology to guess what you are drawing. Is it a sunset? A lobster? A toenail? Perhaps Google is hoping to draw attention away from its ongoing discrimination suit with the Department of Labor.
Online dating gets terrifying
In the latest harrowing tale of a breakup gone sour, Matthew Herrick says that his ex-boyfriend set up fake Grindr profiles and sent 1,100 men to his home and workplace expecting to have sex. Herrick is suing the dating app.
Everyone wants a piece of self-driving cars
Apple received a permit to begin testing autonomous vehicles in California. And General Motors said it will add 1,100 jobs over the next five years at its San Francisco self-driving unit, Cruise Automation. Waymo and Uber continue to battle in court over self-driving technology. A May 3 hearing could lead to Uber’s self-driving program being suspended.
Uber’s problems continue
Still stuck with old fashioned human drivers for now, Uber had another rough week. Its head of communications quit; it announced it lost $2.8 billion last year; details of its “Hell” program for tracking Lyft drivers were leaked; and its main competitor — Lyft — raised $600 million in funding. Meanwhile, this 8-year-old boy taught himself to drive using YouTube videos and then headed to McDonald’s with his 4-year-old sister.
And some news for pedestrians …
People can’t stop getting hit by cars in Florida and Delaware. Spoiler: It’s the roads’ fault. And these delivery robots might soon be hogging a sidewalk near you.
Watch out for: Hackers, schools, smart prisoners
Shadow Brokers, an anonymous hacking group critical of the Trump administration, released another batch of NSA exploits, this time targeting Windows operating systems. Meanwhile, the Pentagon and the Department of Defense are using white hat hackers to look for vulnerabilities in their systems. A report from the EFF found parents and students are concerned tech tools used in classrooms, and don’t want tech firms spying on their kids information.
Also, some prisoners built a secret computer in the ceiling.
Becoming a successful media company is … hard
GoPro’s latest attempt to expand beyond wearable cameras for adrenaline junkies and seagulls failed. The company’s media channel was undermined by costly productions with unclear returns, according to former employees.
Samsung is caught up in an unfortunately timed scandal right as it tries to recover from the Note 7 disaster. A Samsung heir has been accused of horse laundering in an ongoing trial in Seoul.
Snapchat has a Facebook problem
Facebook took a break from shamelessly copying Snapchat features for some light bragging. Instagram Stories, a clone of Snapchat Stories, now has more users every day than all of Snapchat. But at least people can use Snapchat to apply for a job at McDonalds now.
Meanwhile, in comedy …
The show that mocks Silicon Valley was feted by Silicon Valley, because it is disrupting irony now.