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Google's new hardware lineup: Pixel 3, Google Home Hub, Pixel Slate. Photo: Google
What makes the Pixel 3, Pixel Slate and Google Home Hub unique isn’t their hardware but rather the software power from Google.
The bottom line. Software stole the show at Google's hardware event in New York yesterday and that’s not a bad thing.
Details: Google introduced 3 new products in New York.
1. Pixel 3 — Google's newest smartphone had been extensively leaked, so there weren't a lot of surprises.
2. Pixel Slate — The $599 detachable slate (with $199 optional keyboard) will be a test for how big a market there is for a tablet running Chrome OS.
3. Google Home Hub — The $149 home device is Google's entry into the "smart-speaker-with-a-screen" category.
Software magic: The most attention grabbing features from the event were software features from Pixel 3. Those include:
What they're saying:
Omidyar Network's Paula Goldman. Photo: Omidyar Network
A new initiative, backed by the foundations of Pierre Omidyar, Eric Schmidt, Craig Newmark and Mozilla, aims to convince the nation's computer science departments to spend more time teaching the ethics of the profession alongside the basics of coding.
Why it matters: Computers are increasingly tied to every aspect of modern life, placing cameras in our bedroom, deciding who gets credit, and recording our every digital footprint. It's time for those who program computers to fully understand the implications of their work, according to the backers of the initiative.
Details: In addition to those funding the project, the Responsible Computer Science Challenge effort also has the backing of a ton of prominent techies, including Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, Lyft president John Zimmer and former U.S. chief data scientist DJ Patil.
Background: Ethics is often treated as a secondary issue, if addressed at all, in computer science classes, says Paula Goldman, global lead for Omidyar Network’s Tech and Society Solutions Lab.
The bottom line: Half the technical talent in big Silicon Valley companies is drawn from the top 20 computer science departments in the U.S. That's a problem in some ways. But, in this case, it makes it easier for a project like this to make a quick impact.
Parker Conrad, the co-founder and former CEO of HR software startup Zenefits who was ousted in 2016, is unveiling his comeback company — Rippling.
The bottom line: This all-encompassing approach to managing employee needs is based on trends Conrad observed at Zenefits. Conrad tells Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva:
“I was starting to see that people really liked having HR in one place and that this carried over in other departments.”
The intrigue: Despite reports last year that it had raised $7 million in seed funding from a number of early Zenefits investors, Rippling has actually raised much more, Axios has learned, although the exact amount isn't clear.
Read more of Kia's story here.
Having reached 10 million miles, Waymo has a new goal for its self-driving cars — be a little more daring.
What's new: While safety continues to be its priority, the company says it also recognizes that being overly cautious can lead autonomous cars to take longer routes and slow things down for everyone on the road.
"Our driving should feel natural to our riders and others on the road," CEO John Krafcik said in a blog post.
"Today, our cars are programmed to be cautious and courteous above all, because that’s the safest thing to do. We’re working on striking the balance between this and being assertive as we master maneuvers that are tough for everyone on the road."
What's next? Krafcik said the cars will look for ways to handle tougher weather conditions, while also providing a more comfortable and efficient ride.
It sure seems like LinkedIn could use more "no" options in its AI, especially if the requests I get are any indication.