On Episode 461 of the Waves of Tech, we are covering a wide range of technology topics for you. A new European association has formed between seven countries focused on providing standardized mobile payment systems for 25 million users. We visited the Space Shuttle Endeavor and other scaled space units that are on display at a science center in Los Angeles and share some thoughts on the adventure. Another Tesla driver was videoed sleeping while his vehicle continued traveling down the road using autopilot, drawing more criticism around autonomous vehicles. Several State attorney generals are moving forward with a robust antitrust investigation against Google. Finally, John Deere has stepped up the game for lawn care with a very unique and usable application for home improvement enthusiasts.
The New European Mobile Payment System
Last week, the European Mobile Payment Systems Association announced their plan to standardize systems across seven collaborating countries (Belgium, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway) which includes 25 million users. The association aims to enable the use of mobile payments systems internationally.
- The EMPSA already connects more than 350 banks and several payment services
- Users continue to ditch the wallets and credit cards as mobile thrives in Europe
- This cross-border partnership attempts to create a uniform standards abroad
- Mobile payment has become a high priority in smaller European countries
Space Shuttle & Science on Display
Over the weekend, we had a chance to visit the home of the Space Shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles, California. The Endeavour has been on display since April 2016 after its 25 missions, 299 days in space, near 5,000 orbits, and well over 120 million miles travelled. What an incredible site to see in person!
- The former orbital unit garnishes millions of visitors a year due to its $3 viewing fee
- A chance for visitors to learn of the surface insulators, living quarters, and history
- The original property transfer order is on display, showing $1.9 billion for the shuttle
- Scaled version of Hubble Space Telescope and Juno Spacecraft are on display as well
Sleeping Tesla Drivers Draw Criticism
It has been a few months since we dove into talking about semi-autonomous vehicles and the impact they have on roadways, drivers, passengers, and the transportation system in general. A video went viral after a passenger recorded a Tesla owner soundly asleep behind the wheel. The vehicle switched into auto-pilot mode preventing accident or injury.
- The system worked, allowing the vehicle to maintain speed and positioning on the road
- A previous event in California showed a driver sleeping for over 13 minutes
- The debate continues to thrust autonomous vehicles back into headlines
- Many transportation agencies continue to disallow issuing permits for use
Attorney General’s Step Up Antitrust Talks
In 48 states and other United States territories, elected or appointed attorney generals are pursuing a massive antitrust investigation into the actions of Google. As we know, Google dominates digital advertising, video, auctioning, search, travel, and much more. Democrats and Republicans say Google threatens competition, consumers, and growth of the web.
- Only Alabama and California has refused to enter their names into the investigation
- Google has been under heavy domestic and international pressure recently
- The European Union has fined the search giant $9B over three years for concerns
- The steep climb to the courtroom begins with an in-depth investigation
John Deere Mowers Go High Tech
Many of us are proud home improvement and lawn care experts. John Deere has introduced the John Deere X354 Riding Mower and new John Deere MowerPlus Smart Connector that allows users to track patterns, service needs, wetness of grass, mulch application, battery life, and so much more. We can mow like a pro now!
- The Connector is about $100 to purchase alongside the new mower product line
- You can receive a bird’s eye view of your lawn via the application
- The system allows you to learn to save gasoline and battery usage
- Definitely a must have for home lawn care maintenance gurus
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