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theEweekly Wrap

Google Self-Driving Car – Post-Post-PC Era – Eat24 Facebook Split

Google reveals self-driving car

This week Google announced its own self-driving cars which it plans to test on real roads within the year.

As for the design, this new Google car has intentionally been given a friendly appearance. Think Smart car mixed with Japanese animation and you'll be in the right place: it's small, has no front bonnet, its wheels poke out a little from the sides and the features at its front are so arranged as to resemble a charming, if slightly dopey, face.

This design is a big change from the earlier models we've seen, which are regular road models built by the manufacturer that Google then modifies. Reports online say the soft design is meant to help people to be more open to the technology, which some find the idea of intimidating.

You can see the car doing its thing in a video on the BBC. Google hopes to have a fleet of 200 cars to test on the roads in Detroit by the end of the year.

"We're going to learn a lot from this experience, and if the technology develops as we hope, we'll work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely," Google says.

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Microsoft CEO declares post-post-PC era

Microsoft's brand new CEO has boldly declared the end of the post-PC era and the rise of the new technological epoch.

At the very first CODE conference in California, Satya Nadella took to the stage and said "I think we're at the very beginning of what I describe as the post-post-PC era."

The label may seem a bit bloated, but it refers to a change Nadella identifies in the way people use and relate to technology.

A post-PC era was first declared in 1999 by computer scientist David D. Clark, who described a world where everything would be able to connect to the internet. For the average person this would then mean that most of their interaction with a computer would be done through information appliances - apps which a connected device could access.

Reports of the conference clarify how the post-post-PC era is seen by Nadella. He says the world has changed and consumers now want applications to work across multiple devices, and these should be optimised to give us all a more personalised experience.

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Eat24 and Facebook's public breakup

Facebook and the online food and delivery service named Eat24 have had a public break up this week, after the pun loving food company posted an open letter to its blog.

The tone of the letter is playful, but the message to Facebook is clear: Eat24 are unhappy with the way Facebook has changed its news algorithm, and they feel that the likes they have generated have become worthless. In the letter, Eat24 staff say:

"Your mysterious, all-knowing algorithm, it's constantly changing, so what works today might not work tomorrow. Posting something that most of our friends see is like biting into a burrito and actually getting all seven layers...never gonna happen."

Facebook's tongue in cheek response shows the other side of the argument. It says the changes were made to promote events and news items that users find significant:

"There is some serious stuff happening in the world and one of my best friends just had a baby and another one just took the best photo of his homemade cupcakes and what we have come to realize is people care about those things more than sushi."

Eat24 and Facebook split at 11:59 on Monday night. It is unknown if there are any offspring to consider in the breakup, or if the pair can reconcile their differences in the future.

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