Amazon’s FAA approval
Amazon has received approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin testing out the drones as package delivery vessels.
The Seattle-based company has tested the drone service in other countries with looser restrictions, but has finally made a breakthrough in its biggest market, the U.S. For obvious privacy and aviation concerns, the company has hit plenty of roadblocks going forward with this vision. Now, it might not be too far-fetched to think that someday in the near future that textbooks or headphones may arrive on your doorstep via air. Companies like Alibaba, Google, and UPS have also conducted their own respective drone trials.
The FAA’s approval does come with its limitations. Only those possessing pilots licences and relevant medical certificates can operate the drones. The FAA certificate also stipulates that “all flight operations must be conducted at 400 feet or below during daylight hours in visual meteorological conditions,” says the FAA on its website. “The UAS must always remain within visual line-of-sight of the pilot and observer.”
Amazon will also be required to provide monthly data on its progress, detailing the number of flights conducted, timings and pilot controls and various potential malfunctions.
Sony’s TV streaming
An increasingly saturated online TV market is set to welcome yet another competitor in Sony. The tech giant announced on Thursday the launch of Playstation Vue, a television streaming service for owners of Playstation 3 and 4 without the need for a cable subscription. It will be first available in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia.
Playstation Vue offers over 80 channels, including live TV or on demand replays, though some content is exclusively sold for a higher price. The service will go for either $50, $60, or $70 dollars per month depending on the amount of channels desired.
In just a year the television landscape has shifted considerably to online streaming, away from conventional cable television subscriptions. Previously exclusive content bundled in cable packages will now be available to consumers across a whole range of platforms. Joining incumbents like Netflix and Hulu are companies like CBS and in particular HBO, which is set to announce its own standalone streaming service HBO Now next month.
If the competition wasn’t enough, smartphone giant Apple is also considering a move into online streaming with its own service that could run for $30 or $40 per month, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Sony boasts a larger range of channels than most of its competitors, but an internet subscription from a broadband company is still required to receive the service. Still, as far as standalone streaming services go, consumers are set to be spoiled rotten with options to get their favorite television content online from a multitude of different platforms. While the monthly cost is slightly pricey, cord cutters can celebrate yet another victory against traditional cable.
Uber overtakes NYC’s yellow cabs
Uber has passed another milestone – there are now more Uber cars in new York City than traditional yellow cabs..
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission released figures stating that there are 14,088 registered Uber cars compared to 13,587 yellow cabs. The taxi-hailing app has become a global sensation amongst consumers and a nuisance amongst resident taxi drivers who have seen their ride share plummet. But to overtake the New York City staple yellow taxi is another feat altogether.
The numbers don’t tell the whole story – a huge portion of Uber drivers work part-time meaning that the number of trips in yellow cabs still outweighs those taken in a black Uber car. But it is still a huge signal that the San Francisco based company’s tremendous growth since its founding in 2009 will not slow down.
Uber’s growth has not been unencumbered, however. The company still faces issues over legality within various countries and states’ transport systems and safety issues regarding the vetting of its drivers.
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