#DeleteUber incident heralds new political era for tech companies

Protest, participate or pass?

We’re just over a week into the new administration and the wave of protests and debate over some of President Trump’s executive actions have already swept up some leading tech firms. The most visible example involved Uber and Lyft, whose fortunes seemed to go in opposite directions following a protest at John F. Kennedy airport over President Trump’s move to ban or at least greatly slow the entry of people from certain Middle East countries.

As the protests spooled up at JFK, unionized taxi drivers joined the fray with an hours-long boycott of the airport. Uber quickly reacted by saying there would be no surge pricing for anyone needing to Uber to or from JFK. That move prompted a tweet praising Uber from Trump advisor Roger Stone, which almost immediately hatched a backlash against Uber, and the hashtag “#deleteuber” began to trend.

Meanwhile, Lyft’s founders issued a terse statement condemning President Trump’s actions and announced a million-dollar donation to the ACLU. Both companies rely heavily on immigrants, who see the driving services as a simple and effective ingress into the American economy. All you need is a car, insurance, a smartphone and a driver’s license. GPS may help as well.

Uber quickly tried to pivot with a $3 million immigrant defense fund, but the incident starkly illustrated how tech firms hoping to stand on the political sidelines can suddenly find themselves in the game. All of this activity took place in mere hours, highlighting how quickly political sentiments and now political action can sweep across social media and our many other avenues of near instant mass communication.

It will be interesting indeed to see how the fortunes of companies both aligned and opposed to Trump’s policies fare as time goes on.

Lucky number is… Seven?

Apple investors are hoping strong sales of the flagship iPhones will give a boost to earnings for the last quarter of 2016, which Cupertino is expected to announce tomorrow. There’s also hope it could signal a reverse in the decline of iPhone sales reported last quarter.

Apple, of course, doesn’t comment ahead of time – or really, at any time – on their fiscals, so we’ll have to wait and see if those hopes pan out, but an analyst told C-NET that it seems a new trend regarding smartphones is developing. Instead of upgrading to the latest and greatest each year, Mark Moskovitz says more people are now using the same smartphone for several years – or until it breaks. Does that sound familiar? Let us know in comments or our YouTube poll.

A giant in an 8-bit wonderland

And some sad news today from the gaming world. Video game icon NAMCO says its founder, Masaya Nakamura, passed away on January 22nd. Namco was founded as an amusement ride company in 1955, but focused on nascent arcade video game tech in 1977. Pac-Man debuted in 1980 and the company took off, turning out hits like Galaga, Dig Dug and Pole Position, among many others we gladly poured our quarters into. Nakamura was 91 years old.

If you feel like chasing some ghosts in his honor, we’ve a link to play Pac-Man online for free here.

Cars

Humans will accompany autonomous shuttles as they take over our cities

Autonomous shuttles could become the first widespread, real-world application of level-five autonomous technology. They won't be entirely human-less, though. Human intervention could keep the shuttles safe and boost consumer acceptance.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Digital Trends Live

USA Today’s Emerging Tech director talks about the future of storytelling

We sat down with Ray Soto, the Director of Emerging Tech for USA Today, to talk about how his team is telling fun and engaging interactive news stories with virtual and augmented reality.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook’s privacy breach, grocery robots, and more

On episode 41 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Caleb Denison broke down the news stories of the day. On the docket: Facebook's privacy scandal, grocery delivery robots, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Bad passwords, a new iPad Mini, and dating with blockchain

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed online security with the worst passwords of the year, and Adryenn Ashley, CEO of blockchain dating app Loly, and chef Sara Woods joined the show.
Digital Trends Live

We talked to Limbitless about giving gaming-themed prosthetic arms to kids

The nonprofit organization Limbitless creates free bionic arms for children to use like they would a traditional arm. Digital Trends talked to Limbitless about its arms and partnerships with game franchises.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Deepak Chopra, record Alexa sales, and data security

"Technology is part of human evolution," Deepak Chopra posited on this episode of DT Live. We also discussed an Alexa outage in Europe, and chatted with Giri Sreenivas of Helm about online security, and with Dominique Courbin from…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: ‘Bandersnatch,’ Brianna Perry, and Origin PC unboxing

On episode 44 of Digital Trends Live, we unboxed three Origin gaming desktops, and welcomed Brianna Perry to the show to talk about her debut album Fortune Cookie, and what it was like meeting musicians like Flo Rida and DJ Khalid as a kid.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Netflix news, visions of CES, and more

On episode 45 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle looked at the most exciting news stories from the world of tech, including the runaway success of Netflix's Bird Box, what to look forward to at CES, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live – CES 2019 – Day 1

On today's episode: While we are for sure going to run down all the hottest and most innovative tech announcements of CES 2019, we're also hosting some amazing guests and panels. From the Impossible Burger and the future of food, to full…