Google takes to the skies
The latest project of Google’s advanced research arm, Google X, is a drone delivery system similar to a plan Amazon unveiled earlier in the year. Project Wing involves self-flying drones, capable of delivering small packages. Google conducted a recent research trip to Australia, where it tested delivering items such as chocolate bars to farmers in Queensland. The drones were 5 feet wide and single-winged with four propellers.
“Self-flying vehicles could open up entirely new approaches to moving goods – including options that are cheaper, faster, less wasteful and more environmentally sensitive than what’s possible today,” Google said in a release. “Throughout history, major shifts in how we move goods from place to place have led to new opportunities for economic growth and generally made consumers’ lives easier. From steam ships to the railroads, from the postal service to delivery services like FedEx and DHL, speed has reshaped society not only with greater convenience but also by making more goods accessible to more people,” it said.
Amazon’s drone delivery project was announced with much fanfare but has since seen little action. There are major question marks over the legality of having a fleet of drones working in this manner, and it is currently illegal in the U.S. to use drones for any commercial purposes, although several states have looked into changing this.
Apple announces event, rumors fly
Apple has announced it will be holding a product launch event on September 9. Rumors have been building for a long time that the tech titan will launch the iPhone 6 and possibly a wearable tech device as well. Accompanying the announcement was only a single statement from Apple: “Wish we could say more.”
Whichever products are unveiled, the pressure will be on the Cupertino, California based company to produce the goods and prove it can still produce innovative new products in the post-Steve Jobs era. Apple’s Senior Vice President Eddy Cue said in May that the company has the best product pipeline he has seen in 25 years, and expectations are extremely high.
California makes kill switch law
California lawmakers have declared that all smartphones sold in the state from mid-2015 must have an anti-theft feature called a ‘kill switch’. The security method means phones can be remotely disabled if they are stolen or lost. The feature has been credited with lowering smartphone thefts and California becomes the second U.S. state to adopt the law after Minnesota. Retailers found selling devices without the kill switch after July 1 2015 could be fined between $500 and $2,500.
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