Facebook uses the devastation in Puerto Rico for a bizarre virtual reality promotion, NVIDIA unveils the first computer chips for developing fully autonomous vehicles, and Dow Jones spreads fake news.
From Twitter, Facebook is under fire for a tone-deaf livestream video showing cartoon versions of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s head of social virtual reality Rachel Franklin visiting Puerto Rico as a way to promote the company’s new social VR tool called Spaces, which allows users with VR headsets to travel virtually around the world. Puerto Rico was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria last month and relief efforts have been slow and controverial, to say the least. Zuckerberg took some time in the video to talk about how Facebook has helped cleanup efforts, but his smiling avatar casually high fiving with his counterpart in an area surrounded by crumbling buildings in the middle of a flooded street seems completely out of place. Online viewers agreed, with many calling it disaster tourism exploiting the devastation on the island.
And from Reddit, graphics chipmaker NVIDIA has officially unveiled its latest generation of computer chips specifically designed for developing fully autonomous vehicles. The chips are combined into a license plate-sized platform with data centre-like processing power that can handle 320 trillion operations per second, which is a 13-fold increase over previous generations. The platform is codenamed Pegasus. NVIDIA is also working with DHL Group, the world’s largest mail and logistics company, and automotive parts supplier ZF to deploy a fleet of autonomous delivery trucks using these new chips in 2019.
And lastly from Google Trends, financial news company Dow Jones experienced a technical error yesterday, which caused its newswire to report that Google was acquiring Apple for $9 billion, and that the deal was pre-arranged with Steve Jobs in his will. It also said that Google employees would take over Apple’s headquarters, with each one receiving nine Apple shares for every Google stock that they owned. Dow Jones was quick to backtrack the news in a few minutes and apologized for the error, but not before Apple’s stock price briefly spiked by about two dollars.