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PFD Tech News #2 – Google I/O 2017, Asteroid Slip, AirPods, Servers, Uber CTO, Fake Twitter Accounts, Trump, Amazon STEM Toys

Google I/O 2017 Will Be Held on May 17-19

Google I/O 2017

In a somewhat non-traditional manner, Google has today made official the dates and location for Google I/O 2017.

This year’s developer conference will take place, once again, at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, and will be three days: May 17, 18, and 19.

The chances of getting tickets for one of the many years I/O was held at Moscone were slim, but last year a much larger percentage of developers and press were able to attend.

Second Asteroid in 3 Weeks to Slip Between Earth & the Moon

Killer Asteriod

The new near-Earth object (NEO), dubbed asteroid 2017 BX, was only discovered a few days ago, on Friday, January 20. It’s slated to swing by Tuesday night at 11:54 p.m. ET at a distance of about 162,000 miles (261,000 kilometers) – roughly two-thirds the way to the moon.

We first heard about it via an email from Slooh, a company that airs live views of space, and they’re hosting a broadcast about 2017 BX – which they’ve nicknamed “Rerun” – starting at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Asteroid 2017 BX, according to Slooh and NASA JPL data , is similar to asteroid 2017 AG13, which flew by Earth on Monday, January 9. But the new asteroid is much smaller, at roughly 13 to 46 feet (4 to 14 meters) across – between the size of a car and a bus – and is moving at half the speed, approximately 16,600 mph (26,700 kilometers per hour).

Apple Releases Find My AirPods Feature

Find My AirPods Feature

Apple just released iOS 10.3 beta for developers and within has surprised with a new Find My AirPods feature that allows users to locate their missing cord-free Apple earbuds.

Here’s a quick look at what it looks like: The app will also allow you to play a sound from the AirPods that will help you locate one that is out of sight, which will probably be much more useful than the map feature that only gives you a very general location if in range.

Apple warns to make sure they aren’t in your ears when activating the sound, which has to be quite a bit louder than comfortable listening levels in order to work to help you locate a missing AirPod.

US Has No Right to Seize Data from World’s Servers

US Has No Right to Seize Data from World's Servers

An evenly split federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that it won’t revisit its July decision that allowed Microsoft to squash a US court warrant for e-mail stored on its servers in Dublin, Ireland.

The 4-4 vote by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals sets the stage for a potential Supreme Court showdown over the US government’s demands that it be able to reach into the world’s servers with the assistance of the tech sector.

“The Opinion has created a regime where electronic communication service providers-private, for-profit businesses answerable only to their shareholders-can thwart legitimate and important criminal and national security investigations, while providing no offsetting, principled privacy protections,” the government argued.

Uber CTO: ‘I Do Not Accept Trump as My Leader’

Uber CTOs

Shortly after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, the Chief Technology Officer of Uber rattled off an explosive email meant for a small group of employees that quickly spread like wildfire within the company, Business Insider has learned.
In the message, CTO Thuan Pham blasted then President-elect Donald Trump as a “deplorable person,” and called his election a huge stepbackward – even comparing it to the rise of ruthless dictators such as Mao Tse-dong in China and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia after the Vietnam War.

The email was being circulated internally amongst employees again in the past week, as Uber has come under fire for its link to the Trump administration. Uber CEO T ravis Kalanick, was recently named as one of 19 executives who will advise President Trump on economic issues, joining Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger.

Massive Networks of Fake Accounts Found on Twitter

Fake Accounts Found on Twitter

“Considering all the efforts already there in detecting bots, it is amazing that we can still find so many bots, much more than previous research,” Dr Zhou told the BBC.

Twitter deserved praise for its work on finding and eliminating bots, he added, but it was clear that skilled hackers had found ways to avoid official scrutiny and keep the bots ticking over.

It was hard to know who was behind the collections of fake accounts, said Dr Zhou, although there was evidence that a small percentage of the accounts had been sold or rented as they were now following Twitter users outside the main bot network.

Trump Silences Govt. Scientists with Gag Orders

Trump Silences Govt. Scientists with Gag Orders

Less than a week after the inauguration, the Trump administration has already gagged employees at two federal agencies. Memos obtained by various media outlets show that scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture are now blocked from communicating with the public and the press.

At the EPA, whose grants and contract budget have also been frozen, employees are not allowed to talk about this change to reporters or on social media. The EPA is responsible for passing and upholding regulations on issues such as clean air and water and the carbon emissions responsible for global warming. The nominee for EPA head, Scott Pruitt, has made a career out of suing the EPA and trying to weaken its environmental regulations.

Amazon’s Subscription Service for STEM Toys

Amazon’s Subscription Service for STEM Toys

Amazon today unveiled a new subscription program aimed at parents called STEM Club, which delivers educational toys to your home for $19.99 per month. The retailer says it will hand-pick which toys are shipped, and will ensure the items are age-appropriate. And by “STEM,” of course, Amazon means the toys will be focused on the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

The subscription program won’t feature just any ol’ STEM toys, however, but will rather only include those that have recently launched or those that are exclusive to Amazon.

To sign up, parents visit the STEM Club homepage, then select the age range of their child (3-4, 5-7 or 8-13). The first toy will arrive in under a week’s time with free shipping. From that point forward, a new item will arrive on a monthly basis. The service is only available in the U.S., the website notes.

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Shubham Mishra

Founder and Chief Editor at PaidFreeDroid. Shubham likes to keep on top of the tech world and loves to help people around him who face day to day trouble with technology.

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