The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, July 20
- 20 July, 2015 21:22
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 black version.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2 is thinnest and lightest yet
Samsung said Monday that its new Android tablets go on sale next month and the lighter, trimmed down products will offer consumers an alternative to Apple's iPad Air 2. There are 9.7-inch and 8-inch models with a 2048 by 1536 pixel Super AMOLED screen; both come with a fingerprint scanner, along with Samsung's eight-core chip, which has two quad-core processors, one running at 1.9GHz, the other at 1.3 GHz.
Some drones deliver medicine, others interfere with firefighters
Drones played to the "you either love them or hate them" audience in the last few days, doing both good and evil (the latter thanks to thoughtless gadget fanatics, not the brainless devices). On the plus side, a delivery drone from Australian startup Flirtey transported 24 medical packages to patients in remote Wise County, Virginia. But more problematic was how operators of recreational drones seeking to get a good look at a wildfire in California forced the grounding of firefighting aircraft, likely allowing the burn to jump a highway and do more damage.
Site that invites users to "have an affair" is hacked
Cheaters who used the site AshleyMadison.com to have a little extramarital adventure are at risk of exposure thanks to hackers who compromised the company's user databases and posted lots of the data online, reports KrebsOnSecurity. Site operator Avid Life Media confirmed the hack to Krebs and told him that the company was "working diligently and feverishly" to take down information posted by the hacker or hackers going by the name Impact Team.
Buzz around loss-making shopping site reminds some of the last dotcom days
Jet.com opens for business on Tuesday, and the online marketplace that likely has years of losses ahead is hoping to establish a valuation of $3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. But behind the scenes, the company still lacks the infrastructure to compete with Amazon.com even as it offers customers lower prices, and eager investors seeking to pile on the cash seem to want to party like it's 1999.
As Apple Watch buzz dies down, some key apps are still missing
Why isn't there a Facebook app for Apple Watch? The social network site still hasn't figured out how to make a good experience for the device, compared to what it can offer via smartphone, an executive tells the New York Times. Snapchat and Google are also still on the sidelines, and the newspaper reports that only five of the 20 most popular free iPhone apps in the U.S. have versions for the Apple Watch.
Mass AG probes how Uber and Lyft cater to the disabled
The first official investigation into whether ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft comply with laws mandating appropriate services to disabled passengers has been launched by the Massachusetts attorney general. The probe will look at the companies' apps as well as their vehicles, including whether they provide cars that are wheelchair accessible.
Homejoy shuts down amid worker classification debate
Homejoy, the at-home cleaning service that's one of a new breed of startups serving as a broker of on-demand services, is shutting down, as companies in that category face legal challenges aimed at forcing them to classify freelancers as employees. Google is reportedly hiring some of Homejoy's engineering and product development staff to help it develop a new home services booking feature.
Catch up on the top IT stories from last week: in the World Tech Update Wrap, Intel is breaking Moore's Law, NASA's probe arrives at Pluto and Qualcomm is in trouble with the European Commission.
One last thing
The Washington Post explores how the rise of the Islamic State and its expert use of online tools is leaving tech companies torn between free speech and security.