In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. Too much, in fact, 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. From an official launch date for the new iPhone to a new precedent for the U.S. government to sue companies, and even Wiz Khalifa’s bizarre arrest — it’s all here.
On August 27, Apple confirmed that it will hold an event on September 9 at 10 a.m. PST in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Obviously, it’s widely expected that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will launch at the event, though Apple could introduce some other products as well. The only teaser on the invite is the tagline, “Hey Siri, give us a hint!” The Siri reference could be referring to iOS 9’s new Proactive predictive feature, HomeKit controls, or both.
T-Mobile stopped charging customers for overages last year, but John Legere was hoping that move would force other carriers to follow suit. Overages are the charges that carriers bill when you go over your limits for data, calls, and minutes. In a blog post this morning, Legere announced that 250,000 people have signed his Change.org petition to end overages, which makes it the #1 technology petition on the site. Unfortunately, other carriers continue to do business as usual, but Legere isn’t giving up. Legere plans to make good on his promise to send a message to the other carriers that can’t be ignored.
The government now has a strong precedent to sue companies if they fail to protect their customers following a landmark suit in which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) successfully sued a hotel chain for failing to protect customer data. In an action by the FTC against Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the FTC. The FTC claimed that Wyndham had used inadequate security measures to protect customer information, Wyndham took the tack of arguing that the FTC was not authorized to bring the lawsuit.
In an altercation with customs at Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend, Wiz Khalifa was handcuffed and forced to the ground by three officers after refusing to get off his gold-plated two-wheeled “hover board.” As per a video the rapper posted to his Instagram, officers told him to “stop resisting” once he was on the ground. In response, the rapper responded “I’m not resisting sir, I’m not resisting.”
The U.S. Army’s search for a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle replacement for the rapidly-aging Humvee models led it to three key players: Lockheed Martin Corp., AM General LLC, and Oshkosh Corp. in January of this year. Yesterday, the military offered Oshkosh $6.75 billion to substitute its Humvees with Oshkosh JLTVs (also called L-ATVs) over the next 25 years. Over that time period, Oshkosh will produce about 55,000 models to replace the majority of active Humvees and larger trucks. Around 49,909 of those new vehicles will go to the Army, while 5,500 will be sent to the Marines.
Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week
With The Daily Show behind him, Jon Stewart recently found a very different event to host. He brought his talent (and his new scruffy beard) to the WWE SummerSlam in New York City on Sunday, where he even got into the action himself. The WWE event, which took place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, featured multiple matchups, but it was the fight between Seth Rollins and John Cena that stood out. Not only were the two fighting for the World Heavyweight and U.S. Championship belts, Stewart found his way into the ring during the battle. By hitting Cena with a folding chair, he turned the tide of the fight, helping Rollins get the win over the reigning U.S. champion.
If you’re thinking about going solar, we’ve got good news: your options have just been expanded. SolarWindow Technologies announced that its new cells can produce 50 times the energy of panels commonly in use today. Here’s how the windows supposedly work. Glass panels are first treated with a photovoltaic coating made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and a few secret ingredients that SolarWindow is keeping under wraps. The “active layer” absorbs light, while the transparent conductors make energy extraction possible. For transparency, the coatings are applied in liquid form at ambient pressures and dried at low temps. The result is clear solar paneling, and the coatings can be added to any conventional glass or plastic.
Google has quite the preoccupation with food photography. Its DeepMind artificial intelligence division is working on a system that can estimate the calories in food from pics, and Android Police reports that Google Maps is set to gain gastronomic photo features of its own. For longtime members of Google’s Local Guides program, Maps will automatically identify pictures of food and present the relevant sharing tools. The new food-detecting feature appears aimed at streamlining the uploading pics to Google+ — users who snap pictures of dishes are prompted to upload and tag them by location.
It’s a killer week for grunge fans. Following news earlier this week that Soundgarden is “working on new material,” Pearl Jam has now announced that they will record a new album within the next year. It will be the Eddie Vedder-fronted rockers’ 11th record, the follow-up to 2013’s Lightning Bolt. Bassist Jeff Ament spilled the news this week in an interview with Vice, which was largely about his work building skateparks in South Dakota and Montana.
Zombies took over Sunday night — at least in terms of ratings. The premiere of Fear the Walking Dead, the six-episode companion series to The Walking Dead, captured a record amount of cable viewers. According to Variety, Nielsen estimates place the 90-minute episode at 10.1 million viewers, making it the best cable series premiere on record. Fear the Walking Dead beat out TNT’s Raising the Bar, the previous record holder, which premiered in 2008 to 7.7 million viewers.
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