Round up of last week’s top technology news stories

Last week’s top technology news stories

As many of our blog readers will know, new technology and interesting start-ups are emerging at a startling speed. That’s why here at we think it’s vital to keep up to date with technology news in order to keep you and your company ahead of the curve. We’ve put together a round-up of all the key events and stories that came out last week that we think will be of interest to any progressive organisation.

Facebook F8 developer conference

If you’re involved in social media marketing at all, it’s worth knowing what happened at the F8 conference last week. Facebook was slammed for its keynote polls, which essentially kept asking for reassurance from the audience that people still liked Facebook. They announced plans to refocus the social giant around groups and events, and around ‘close friends’ too. The conference also gave us the news that Instagram has a new creator camera function, and that the ‘like’ system might be disappearing entirely. It’s being tested in Canada, first.

Then came announcements about the ‘secret crush’ feature which essentially lets you see which of your friends online has a crush on you. Facebook also stated that the Oculus Rift S and the Oculus Quest will be arriving next month.

Mobile leaks and secrets

It seems to have been a busy week for people leaking key news stories to the press about mobiles. The Google Pixel 3A’s price leak suggested that it would be over the $399 mark, and then the device was found at a Best Buy store. This allowed people to see that it has a 6-inch screen for the extra-large model. This has now been confirmed by Google at the time of writing.

The Moto Z4 also suffered a leak before it was released, as a Twitter user shared an image for the whole world to see. It suggests that the Moto Z4 will have a headphone jack, which is interesting considering that the company was one of the first to not have a headphone jack. Although, as the Verge says in their article about this, it’s worth taking these leaks with a grain of salt as they’re not always accurate.

Amazon automation arrival

One of the most interesting stories that I’ve read lately is this one, about Amazon and their estimation of when fully automated shipping warehouses will become a reality. The technology giant has declared that it will be at least a decade before we can rely on robots to run shipping warehouses by themselves.

This was said by Scott Anderson, their director of robotics. It’s an intriguing thing to think about, as it seems incredibly futuristic- yet it highlights the current pace of development in automation and AI.

Tesla sued by victim’s family

Tesla has been sued by the family of the software engineer, Wei Huang who tragically lost his life in an autopilot related crash in March last year. The lawsuit is on the grounds of improper safety features, as the family believes that Tesla is ‘shortchanging safety’.

This is a terribly sad story, and what happens as a result of this lawsuit could have monumental effects on legislation and regulation as it will relate to AI and automation so it is definitely worth paying attention to.


The intriguing robot-based farming start-up Iron Ox has just started selling its produce at a single location, in California. They’re offering three tasty products and are sure to be making some interesting moves in the future.

Their produce is grown and tended to by robots, although it is still planted and packaged by humans still. This company, and other innovative agricultural companies, has brought to light some interesting debates about replacing human labour with robotic labor. There’s the massive benefit in terms of having a smaller physical footprint/food mile, but the downside of having a larger price point (in comparison to other stores or bulk buying options).

To kill a web browser?

An ex Google/YouTube engineer has come forward with a story about how a group of engineers created a plot to permanently cripple Internet Explorer 6, as they were fed up with working with the old, slow browser.

Their plan was simple- they showed a banner specifically to IE6 users that told them that various browsers were being ‘phased out’ and that they needed to switch. It quickly escalated to the PR team, then to Google themselves. Google was originally furious, but the team of engineers managed to demonstrate that the banner was randomly shown in other browsers too. Then, it spread to other services such as Google Docs.

The result? The IE6 YouTube user base was cut in half in only a month. Eventually, YouTube’s engineering management cottoned on, but it was too late. I’d suggest having a read of the engineer Chris Zacharias’s blog post about this, as it’s incredibly entertaining.

Google I/O 2019

This key web development conference kicked off this week and I’d say that it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled for further key news that comes from it. Google has announced that it’s working on foldable phone prototypes. They also had announcements relating to the Google Home line being rebranded under Nest, and the Android Q beta (it’s out now).

Live captions are also being added to things like video calls, which is an amazing step forward in terms of accessibility and supporting those who might be hard of hearing.

The most intriguing announcement to me was their Project Mainline. This project aims to bring key updates and software patches directly to the consumer, through the Play Store. This means that Google doesn’t have to rely on other suppliers, and I’m very interested to see how this plays out.

There are other great announcements that have come from this conference, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing interesting developments on all of them in the near future.

Other key stories

In case that wasn’t enough for you, I’ve collected a number of other quick-fire stories that you should know about going into this week. Here they are;
Microsoft has announced a new AI tool to help users writing in Word make their content even more effective.
The Electoral Commission has called for a change in legislation to have a better control over digital adverts and campaigns, and what information is used in them.
Waymo’s self-driving cars are now available to Lyft users in Phoenix.
The world’s fastest supercomputer is being built for the US Government, by AMD and Cray.
Google has bought out an incognito mode for Maps and Search.
Google is also adding augmented reality to search (this is incredible)

In summary

To sum up, it’s been an intriguing technology news week – populated mostly with current/upcoming conferences to keep an eye on, and lots of mobile technology leaks too. My personal favourite stories were the AI and automation ones; I think the creativity seen with companies like Iron Ox is absolutely staggering.

Did we miss anything out? What stories did you find the most interesting? We’d love to know what you were intrigued by this week, feel free to let us know what was on your mind in the comments section below. We’ll be posting one of these round-ups every single week, so make sure to stay up to date with our blog post so you don’t miss a single story.


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Scott Stonham

Scott is Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at He has been at the forefront of many technologies we take for granted today, including mobile internet and smartphone navigation. Today he helps clients navigate innovative emerging technologies and is available for speaking opportunities.

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