theEweekly Wrap: Blind driving, Beijing trips and banned Autocomplete
|Driving forward||Google has uploaded a video onto its Google+ profile showing Steve Mahan, a legally blind man, behind the wheel of the Google self-driving car. The video documents Mahan’s trip to a local Taco Bell, where the computer-led car travels along a programmed route to reach its destination.
Google organised the run not only to provide Mahan with an opportunity to experience driving, but to test if it was plausible for the Google self-drive car to fit in with everyday life. The Google+ post said: “We think it’s a promising look at what this kind of technology may one day deliver for society if rigorous technical and safety standards can be met.”
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin first thought up the notion of a driverless car in their bid to solve problems using technology. The self-driving car aims to prevent accidents, free up time and also make driving more efficient. So far, the vehicle has completed over 200,000 successful miles while being led by a computer programme.
|Cook in China||Tim Cook’s recent trip to China has resulted in an array of rumours regarding why the Apple CEO was in the country. Speculations started after Sina Weibo blogger STwing posted a picture of Cook in the Joy City Apple store situated in the Xidan district of Beijing.
Following the visit, Apple spokeswomen Carolyn Wu has stated that: “China is very important to us and we look forward to even greater investment and growth here.” However, no information was provided as to why Cook was actually visiting China.
As a result of this ambiguity, rumours have begun to circulate. It has been speculated that Cook was in the country to begin deals with Chinese telecoms for the next Apple iPhone. It has been suggested that Cook had meetings with wireless service providers China Unicom, China Telecom and China Mobile. While reports suggest that former CEO Steve Jobs never made a trip to China, Cook has previously visited the Apple headquarters in Beijing during his time as the Apple COO.
|An Autocomplete fail||Google has been ordered to shut down its Autocomplete feature in Japan. This demand comes after an individual has convinced the Japanese courts that Autocomplete results have had a harmful affect on his career. While the man’s identity has not been revealed, his complaint suggests that thousands of negative words are associated with his name in Google Autocomplete, linking him to numerous crimes that he has not committed and causing him to lose his job.
The Google Help page states that: “As you type, Google’s algorithm predicts and displays search queries based on other users’ search activities.” While there is supposed to be a strict filter in place to remove any harmful or indecent search results, this has not occurred for Autocomplete terms linked to the individual in Japan.
Google is choosing to not respond to the demands made by the Japanese courts and is not shutting down its Autocomplete feature. The search engine giant has stated that as the company is situated in the United States, it is not obliged to comply with Japanese law.