Trends with Benefits: Driverless Ubers, VR horseback rides, drones vs. eagles

Would you ride in a driverless Uber? Buy an exploding phone? Ride a virtual horse? Watch porn at an internet kiosk in NYC? Apparently way too many people are answering “yes” to that last one. Our panel answers all these questions and more on this week’s episode of Trends with Benefits, featuring Jack Phan, Nick Mokey, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Our topics this week:

  • Your Uber driver is obsolete
    Riders in Pittsburgh can now officially get a free lift in a self-driving vehicle. Uber has released a handful of the cars around the city, in a step toward eventually developing a whole fleet of 24/7 autonomous taxis.
  • Phone fiascos
    iOS 10 caused major problems for some T-Mobile users this week, and Apple’s iPhone release was hobbled by a lack of iPhone 7 Plus and jet black models in stores. Meanwhile, Samsung has just been forced recall every single Galaxy Note 7 amid concerns over exploding batteries. How will this affect sales for each?
  • The VR horse you always wanted
    Futuretown makes a modular platform called Totalmotion that you can use to add real motion to your virtual reality experience, from sitting astride a motorcycle to … atop a galloping horse. The video demonstrating this particular function might be the best we’ve seen all week. OK, it looks like fun, but would you want anyone to see you “riding” it?
  • Eagles vs drones
    Security agencies have concocted some interesting options for downing rogue drones, from net launchers to signal-blocking interceptors. But Dutch police have adopted our favorite solution yet: highly trained eagles that swoop down and wrench the privacy-violating machines out of their sky with their powerful talons. Nature 1, technology 0.
  • LinkNYC shows why we can’t have nice things
    LinkNYC was designed to provide free internet kiosks to New Yorkers, allowing them to find directions, look up restaurants, make free calls, and more. Instead, it was recently shut down after essentially becoming a hub for watching porn. What does this say about the future of free internet?

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