This week saw movement in two tech lawsuits, Facebook held its annual F8 developer conference and a juice press hardware company came under fire. These are the top stories of the week, and you can sign up for this post as the weekly newsletter here.
1. Everything you need to know about Facebook’s F8 developer conference
Facebook held its annual developer conference, F8, announcing an augmented reality developer platform, a brain-computer interface for typing with your mind, new Surround 360 cameras and a rewrite of its React framework. Here’s the complete list of everything Facebook launched and why.
2. Tesla’s Model S, its most affordable vehicle, got more affordable
Elon Musk dropped the price on the entry-level Model S, with a $5,000 discount to the 75kWh version, which now starts at $69,500.
3. Google may be building a built-in ad blocker for Chrome
Google is planning to add an ad blocker to its Chrome web browser, and could possibly turn it on by default for all users. The logic here is that although it’s odd for a company that makes its money from advertising to block ads, the move could actually be a way for Google to beat ad blockers by becoming one itself.
4. Facebook responds to murder discussed on Facebook video
Facebook issued a statement after a video showing a fatal shooting was uploaded onto the social media network by an alleged murderer. In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said “This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook. We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.”
5. Tesla settles its Autopilot lawsuit
Tesla settled a lawsuit it filed against Sterling Anderson, a past director of Autopilot. Anderson was a key leader of Tesla’s semi-automated highway driving features, prior to leaving the company to found his own self-driving startup, Aurora. The settlement clears Aurora and Anderson.
6. Chat app Confide hit with a lawsuit
Confide, the encrypted chat app that’s reportedly popular among Trump staffers, is facing a class action lawsuit that claims the company misled consumers about its ability to protect messages from being screen-shotted or saved.
7. Juicero defends its tech while offering money back to dissatisfied customers
Jeff Dunn, the former Coca-Cola executive who became CEO of Juicero last year, responded to a wave of coverage suggesting that the company’s juice press isn’t all that was promised — and he’s offering dissatisfied customers their money back. The main qualm being that the packs can be squeezed by hand, no expensive juicer required.
8. Chewy sells to PetSmart in biggest e-commerce merger ever
Retail giant PetSmart has been tracking a low-flying, five-year-old pet supplies company called Chewy throughout the years. This week, it agreed to purchase Chewy for $3.35 billion, just slightly more than Walmart paid for Jet.com
9. Planned Parenthood enrolls in 500 Startups
Planned Parenthood leaders are now looking to 500 Startups’ seed program to help them capitalize on the recent surge of donations. Planned Parenthood plans to use tech to help further the momentum the organization has built in the wake of President Trump’s efforts to block access to it in several states.
10. Samsung Galaxy S8 goes on sale in the US, Canada and Korea
Samsung’s newest mobile device is now on sale in the U.S., and you can read the review here. At $725 for the S8 and $825 for the S8+, the device is a premium product with a premium price tag. With the Infinity display, next-gen processor and already solid camera experience, there’s plenty to like, keeping Samsung toward the front of the Android handset race.
The winner of the meal kit market wont be a meal kit company. Meal kit companies are facing an onslaught of competition from newcomers and big food brands alike, and turning a profit has proven elusive. It looks like meal kit companies need to emulate the brick-and-mortar groceries and online retailers they once criticized for overwhelming shoppers with choices. To go truly mainstream, they need to diversify their offerings.
The bike sharing wars are coming to the U.S. A new on-demand battle that’s playing out in China is coming to the United States. And it isn’t over car sharing, but bike sharing. This clash is over the latest wrinkle in urban bike-sharing — dockless bike sharing. And it has founders and VCs around the globe seeing dollar signs, while regulators are wrestling with how to ensure they’re not victims of a trend that seemed to emerge nearly overnight.
Machine intelligence is the future of monetization for Facebook.The value that can be extracted from the core Facebook platform is asymptotic as many on Wall Street believe, but that asymptote becomes considerably longer with the company’s emphasis on machine intelligence.