Photo: Tesla Cybertruck/Tesla
Chances are you heard, saw, read—somehow know that Elon Musk unveiled the anticipated Cybertruck, complete with a demo that saw a metal ball breakthrough the Cybertruck’s “unbreakable” windows. Musk handled the blunder in a totally Musk way: charmingly aware, muttering “room for improvement” but keeping things moving. For a bit of time, much of the world watched as Musk got giddy about Cybertruck’s steel alloy skin that can withstand sledgehammer bashes, dents, and allegedly bullets, too. And it’s looking like the excitement continues as on November 23, Musk reported there had been “146k Cybertruck orders so far, with 42% choosing dual, 41% tri & 17% single motor” on Twitter. A day later he tweeted that the Cybertruck will be the last product unveil for a while, but that there will be “some (mostly) unexpected technology announcements next year.” (Update: Musk has since upped the tally to 200,000 orders.) [Tesla]
Audi released news around its first electric coupe SUV, the Audi e-tron Sportback, which is the second electric model from the company. The SUV has a 95 kWH battery size, two electric motors, and is capable of charging at 150 KW. Audi unveiled its “next level of electric mobility” at the Los Angeles Auto Show. [Audi]
Photo: Audi e-tron Sportback / Audi
5G talk time. First, there’s now coverage maps available from AT&T, which launches its 5G network in December. Second, Verizon and Snap are coming together for a new 5G content partnership. Snap will develop augmented reality (AR) features and experiences with Verizon’s 5G Labs and users will see Verizon ads inside the Snap Original videos.
“Our 5G Ultra Wideband technology should change the way mobile users forever experience places and events, evolving the way they see the world,” said Frank Boulben, Verizon’s SVP of marketing and products, in the company release.
Verizon also released these coverage maps detailing 5G circulation available across the U.S. Look for more partnerships around 5G, particularly between trendy content producers and telecom companies. [Verizon]
The Galaxy Fold will be available in Canada starting December 6. Consumers can pick up one at five locations: CF Sherway Gardens (Mississauga), CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Metropolis at Metrotown (Burnaby), West Edmonton Mall and Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Toronto). The book-like fold has a 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display, a world first, and pricing starts at CA$2, 599.99. [Samsung]
Uber has reported that law enforcement demands for user data is up 27% from 2018. Uber said 3, 825 demands were made for 21, 913 user accounts, and 72% of the cases saw some data turned over to U.S. authorities. Canada had 161 demands for data on 593 user accounts in 2018.
“The company also said it disclosed ride information on 34 million users to U.S. regulators and 1.8 million users to Canadian regulators, such as local taxi and transport authorities,” reports TechCrunch.[TechCrunch]
The Game Awards are slated for December 12 in Los Angeles and we now know who the contenders are. For Game of the Year, nominees include Control, Death Stranding and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Control and Death Stranding snagged the most nominations this year, and there are awards for 29 categories in total. In the esports category the nominees are Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA2, League of Legends and Overwatch. And for the best esports team, Astralis, G2 Esports, OG, San Francisco Shock and Team Liquid are all nominated.
The Game Awards will stream live via YouTube with coverage starting at 8:30PM ET on December 12. Here are all the ways to watch it. And you can read our recap from last year, which saw God of War take home the Game of the Year award.
Black Friday sales have already begun and Microsoft has some sweet offerings which may interest you. Games like Control and Red Dead Redemption 2 have been marked down to CA$39.99 that those with a Xbox Live Gold membership can capitalize on. [Xbox]
Best Buy has also released its Black Friday deals, from laptops to kitchen appliances to a PS4 with a remastered version of The Last of Us, plus God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn all for a cool price of CA$249.99. [More Best Buy deals]
Social media is continuing to be dissected and Sasha Baron Cohen’s recent speech has ignited the conversation further around misinformation and online hate speech. He described Facebook as “the greatest propaganda machine in history” during his acceptance speech—he was the recipient of ADL’s International Leadership Award. ADL is a leading anti-hate organization that was founded in 1913.
“Think about it. Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others—they reach billions of people. The algorithms these platforms depend on deliberately amplify the type of content that keeps users engaged—stories that appeal to our baser instincts and that trigger outrage and fear,” said Cohen.
The full transcript can be viewed here.
Jigsaw, the organization working under Google’s Alphabet arm, is trying to combat harassment, bullying, censorship, disinformation and provide answers for other digital matters. Jigsaw released “what it claims is the largest public data set of comments and annotations with toxicity labels and identity labels,” VentureBeat reports. This is to measure bias and also help classify speech and sentences.
“By labelling identity mentions in real data, we are able to measure bias in our models in a more realistic setting, and we hope to enable further research into unintended bias across the field,” the engineers behind Jigsaw’s software wrote in a post. [VentureBeat]
In more internet news, have you heard about the Contract for the Web launched by the inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee? The global plan of action exists to make online safer and was created by a mixture of citizens, companies and governments urging better digital policies and measures to be enacted immediately.
“I think people’s fear of bad things happening on the internet is becoming, justifiably, greater and greater,” said Berners-Lee. “If we leave the web as it is, there’s a very large number of things that will go wrong. We could end up with a digital dystopia if we don’t turn things around. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now.”
You can learn more about Contract for the Web and choose to endorse it if you wish.
Lastly, for now, tech adviser Hillel Fuld gives some simple, sound advice when it comes to communication.
“If I did not give you my phone number, then perhaps there is a reason for that and calling me to discuss your startup at some ungodly hour is probably not a good idea,” writes Hillel Fuld.
He outlines when not to call and how to refrain from annoying others. Annoying is the worst; you always remember the person or collective that annoyed you.
“Ask yourself one simple question before picking up the phone to discuss business: Is that person expecting your call? If the answer is no, consider messaging to ask if now is comfortable for them to speak on the phone,” furthers Fuld. [Inc.]