Walmart’s Autonomous Vehicle Partnership, Disney Buys Fox Assets, Girl Scouts Add STEM Badges

On Episode 410 of The Waves of Tech, we are diving into the technology news you need to know.  Waymo has partnered with Walmart to provide their customer base in Phoenix with an option to use autonomous vehicles for grocery pickup.  Disney and 21st Century Fox announced a $71 billion deal that could be sending a number of entertainment brands, including Hulu and animation studios, under the Disney umbrella.  The Girl Scouts of America are adding thirty science, technology, and engineering badges to inspire and encourage their members to choose a career path in technology. Lastly, Chrome is still working to improve the unencrypted and encrypted web by established a new default setting in their browser.

Autonomous Vehicle Partnership Between Walmart & Waymo

In an announcement last week, Waymo (an autonomous vehicle project bankrolled by Alphabet) has partnered with Walmart (the largest brick-and-mortar retailer) to assist customer with grocery pickup.  This latest concept is seeking to offer customers new ways of running errands and shop by using self-driving cars.

  • This is only available to customers in the greater Phoenix-based region at the moment
  • Customers place order via Walmart.com and Waymo schedules a pickup
  • Finding creative and new ways to keep customers in the store is the push here
  • Competition with Amazon for ease and convenience is a major factor

Disney Drops $71 Billion for Fox Assets

Shareholders of Disney and 21st Century Fox approved a deal that would send a number of entertainment features of Fox under the Disney umbrella.  Disney now controls Fox’s film and TV studios, majority ownership in Hulu, a stake in Sky Cable, FX, and National Geographic. The new Fox brand is left with Fox News, FOX Business, Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports.

  • Let’s not split hairs, this is all about owning entertainment capital
  • The Simpsons, movie rights, cartoon assets, X-Men, other superhero franchises
  • Comcast’s original bid to Fox was valued at $54.1 billion and Disney upped the tag
  • Disney can now create individual paywalls for specific content should they choose

Girl Scouts of America Add Technology and STEM Badges

In 2017, the Girl Scouts identified a need to inspire their members to pursue careers in science and engineering.  With that directive, they announced a partnership with Raytheon to provide technology training to their members. In 2018, they have pushed that initiative even further by adding 30 badges focused on technology and science.

  • Girls can earn badges in cyber security, programming, space science, and robotics
  • Fostering a healthy environment for learning and embracing tech is a goal
  • The Girl Scouts are creating a pathway for their members to enter the tech workforce
  • These badges help prepare girls for the modern age of digital opportunities and threats

Chrome’s HTTPS Indicators

A few months ago, we shared the news that Chrome is set to send a nudge toward the unencrypted web and set as default a number of “not secure” websites.  This is an important move indicating a major shift in how Google runs the web, sees the web, and protects its user base. Let’s see how other browsers respond, if they in fact do.

  • HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP, protection between browser and website
  • It acts as a secure communication protocol for users and websites
  • Google argues HTTPS is quickly becoming cheaper and easier to integrate
  • Further HTTPS updates are coming in September after this month’s news

Resources & Links

Walmart & Waymo Partnership

Waymo Deals with Avis, AutoNation

Disney to buy Fox assets

Properties Disney Now Owns

Girl Scouts Add Tech Badges

Chrome HTTPS Indicators

Chrome’s Position on Web Security   

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