This week’s round-up of some of the top tech stories on the web will introduce you to the team behind Square and the VP who was responsible for making sure BlackBerry’s revamped app store had 70 000 apps at launch. It also shares share discussions around the pros and cons of Google’s self-driving cars and what may just be its real mission on earth. Off you go then, these articles aren’t going to read themselves.
VP of developer relations at BlackBerry isn’t an easy job — but Alec Saunders has pulled it off with some serious strides. In the run-up to the launch of the new OS and phones, he travelled the world, as the company hosted BlackBerry Jams in 40 countries in an attempt to get developers excited about the platform again. They’ve become a priority, as their interest is rewarded with Dev Alpha models and incentive schemes. Cnet speaks to the man leading the team trying to stock up BlackBerry World and make the devs feel loved.
In the first installment in a six part series, Forbes looks at the self-driving car Google has been working on, and discusses everything from the impact it could have on road fatalities, congestion and fuel consumption to employment, infrastructure, and insurance…. and the list goes on. But while the possibilities are exciting, there are still a number of problems and widespread negative effects the cars could have on society.
Will nearly accident-proof autonomous cars destroy the livelihood of drivers and body shops everywhere, or make manufacturers more liable for damage claims from accidents? And what about attitudes: will commuters want to give up the freedom of driving to be transported around passively?
Google’s self-reported aim is to organise all of the world’s information and make it freely accessible, but along the way it has been hit by privacy concerns and antitrust cases. Many users are wary about what Google is doing behind the scenes with their information, and what its true motives are. In this article, AJ Kohn suggests its real aim, which fits with most of its products (even some of the out-of-the-box ones like Project Glass): to get you online, and using the internet more and more.
With its big-name brand partnerships and tech celeb CEO, mobile payments startup Square has attracted a lot of attention recently. Fast Company spoke to the team about how they’ve managed to run a thriving business, how their detail-driven design and review processes work and how they’ve stayed enthusiastic and creative about an otherwise quite staid industry.