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theEweekly Wrap

Google Maps update – A billion Facebook users – Self driving car

Google Maps update for IOS6

The problems suffered by the new Apple maps service have been much publicised, with many disappointed users pointing out a number of glaring errors. This has resulted in Google Maps updating their service to offer street view for users running IOS6, further cementing their place as the market leading maps service for both online and mobile users.

Such were the issues with Apple's service that CEO Tim Cook apologised for the poor quality, suggesting a number of alternatives that should be used instead, including the recently dropped Google Maps. Instances were highlighted of places labelled as being in the wrong location, or even missed off the map altogether. This has caused significant issues for Apple users who rely on a mobile maps service as part of their everyday life.

Street view is currently only available by accessing the Google Maps service through the phone's browser, there is no app available for the handset as of this moment. This is reportedly due to Google not expecting to be dropped from Apple's service and having to develop an app at short notice.

Apple will surely improve their own maps programme after the embarrassment suffered as a result of the launch flaws, but the addition of mobile street view has at least gone some way to calming the discontent from users of Apple products.

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One billion Facebook users

Facebook has helped to reassure any concerned shareholders over the continuing drop in price, by announcing that the site now has over a billion unique users every month.

Also revealed was the percentage of the population using Facebook in each continent. The highest was North America with 44.97 per cent, with Africa the lowest on 5.15 per cent. The full list of figures shows South America on 33.92 per cent, Australia and Oceania on 42.14 per cent, Asia on 6.68 per cent and finally Europe with 29.96 per cent. This shows the global reach of Facebook and how hugely popular it is in areas where access to the internet is freely available.

Facebook also announced that there had been over one trillion likes, 140 billion friend connections and 219 billion photos uploaded on the service since it began, while 684,478 pieces of content are shared on the site every minute. These facts are made more significant when you put the numbers into context, almost 15% of the Earth's population log on to Facebook every month.

These statistics confirm Facebook has retained its place as the most active social media website, with the latest figures estimating Twitter at around 500 million unique users on a monthly basis, with 100,000 tweets sent every minute.

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The car that drives itself

An electric car that is able to drive and park itself has been unveiled in Tokyo, with a full launch rumoured by the end of 2015. Many companies have been working on self driving vehicles in recent months, with an increasing trend to work towards this kind of development.

The car is able to drive itself through a series of sensors, cameras, computers and 4G communication technology to navigate, while robotics enable physical actions such as turning the steering wheel, changing gears and braking.

Nissan are the brains behind the latest step forward in autonomous technology, showing off their Nissan's NSC-2015 prototype. As well as being able to drive and park itself, the car could also be controlled through a smartphone. This allowed the car to be 'called', in a similar fashion to an owner calling to their dog and the animal bounding over.

The technology involved is similar to that of James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies, when the agent uses a remote control BMW to pursue a number of villains. While at roughly 5mph, the speeds involved are not quite up there with 007, this is the kind of technology which can inspire the public to dream of a futuristic tomorrow.

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