Bytes: What’s new in tech
Uber for big rigs
Uber is getting into the trucking business, said Johana Bhuiyan in Recode.net. The company’s newest app, Uber Freight, matches commercial shippers with truck drivers looking for something to haul, with the ability to book a truck several weeks in advance or even on the same day. The service promises to streamline shipping the same way it did the private black car industry. Right now, independen t drivers have to “shop around” for loads to ship. But if the company signs up enough shippers, “drivers will be fed a series of job options straight to their phone.” And while drivers usually have to negotiate their own fees, Uber Freight’s price will be “predetermined and guaranteed.” But human truckers may ultimately find themselves replaced on the platform: Uber recently acquired the startup Otto, which is building driverless big rigs.
Meet the new search box
Your camera is becoming a search engine, said David Pierce in Wired.com. Google Lens, unveiled at the search giant’s annual developer conference last week, works like this: “You take a picture, Google figures out what’s in it.” Of course, Lens can do more than tell you that the steakhouse you just took a photo of is a restaurant. It can also pull up the hours, find a menu, or see if there’s an open table later. Snap a picture of a flower, and you’ll learn what kind it is and how to take care of it. Lens is coming to Google Photos and Google Assistant first, before being built into other Google products. Pinterest unveiled a similar feature, also dubbed Lens, earlier this year. It suggests related content, like recipes or shopping recommendations, based on users’ photos.
Facebook goes to the ballpark
Major League Baseball has arrived on Facebook, said Sarah Perez in TechCrunch.com. The social network kicked off a new partnership with the MLB last week, live-streaming the matchup between the Colorado Rockies and the Cincinnati Reds. Nineteen other live, regular-season baseball games will also be broadcast on the platform. The games will be hosted on the official MLB Facebook page on Friday nights, with the feed coming from a participating team’s local broadcaster. “Competition in the live-streaming space has been heating up in recent months,” especially when it comes to sports. Amazon recently struck a deal with the NFL to broadcast 10 Thursday football games this year, while Twitter already streams professional baseball and hockey games. ■