In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from a hands-on demo of Google Duo to AI for firefighters, it’s all here.
Remember when Sprint and T-Mobile were in talks to merge? That could still happen, if Softbank Group Corp.’s CEO has his way. CEO Masayoshi Son has a 300-year plan to build a sprawling business empire that would “endure through the centuries,” according to anonymous sources who spoke to Bloomberg. Softbank, which purchased Sprint in 2012, attempted to merge Sprint and T-Mobile in 2014, but the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice voiced their opposition to the deal. The Japanese company recently purchased British chipmaker ARM.
T-Mobile, the self-styled Un-carrier of the cellular industry, announced a blockbuster of a promotion this morning: the elimination of data caps. That’s no joke. T-Mobile introduced the One plan on Thursday, a radical revamp of its offerings that does away with data buckets in favor of a single price and unlimited data. “The era of the data plan is over,” said Legere. “After Un-carrier 12, the wireless industry will never be the same again.” Sprint also unleashed an unlimited data plan to compete with the Un-Carrier.
The Gaines, of the popular home repair show Fixer Upper, are tired of people putting the properties they have helped restore on rental sites like VRBO and Airbnb. They’re already talking about reworking their contract for next season, presumably, so this can’t happen. Many Fixer Upper homes can be found on Airbnb and VRBO, and attract guest from all over.
It seems like ages ago that Google took the wraps off Duo, a video chat app for Android that eschews bells and whistles for a bare-bones, FaceTime-like focus on person-to-person video. Months after an unveiling at the company’s I/O Developer Conference in June, you can now download Duo on the Play Store for Android and the App Store on iOS. But was it worth the wait?
How much actual business gets done in bathroom “offices”? That’s a fair question given the percentage (58) of people who use mobile devices in their home bathrooms, says the 2016 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, as reported on Silicon Beat. High-tech kitchen appliances, such as refrigerators and stoves, are understandable luxuries. Smart home systems connect devices in your home to your car, your wrist, the cloud, and beyond. But why do people want new tech in their bathrooms, and what are they looking for?