NewsBytes Briefing: Amazon announces ball-shaped Echo products, and more
Last night, Amazon made major headlines by showcasing plenty of products. It announced a cloud gaming service called Luna and unveiled a new, ball-shaped Echo, Echo Dot, and an automatically swiveling Echo Show 10. It also showcased a Ring security drone, Car Cam, Car Alarm, Eero 6, Eero Pro 6 routers, and Fire TV Stick 3rd-generation, and its Lite version. Here are more developments.
As Amazon unveiled new products, Google's existing ones created problems. The company's video conferencing platform, Google Meet, and other services, including Gmail, Analytics, Drive Docs, Calendar, and Classroom, went down. Urs Hölzle, the SVP of technical infrastructure at Google, tweeted that "a pool of servers that route traffic to application backends crashed" and resulted in the outage, but the problem has now been resolved.
Yesterday, Microsoft had announced the next versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server, and Project Server. In addition to that, the company also said that "Microsoft Office will see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021." You can finally purchase it with a one-time payment rather than sticking to a monthly subscription plan.
Separately, the Senate Commerce Committee has asked CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Twitter to appear for testimony on October 1. The hearing will reportedly focus on the measures to amend Section 230, a pivotal law for content moderation practices online; members have indicated that they will issue subpoenas if the Big Tech players did not agree to comply with their request.
Among other things, Apple issued a fix for the bug that automatically changed user-defined app defaults after reboot, while OnePlus has confirmed that its next flagship will have 65W fast-charging. Amazon, meanwhile, announced end-to-end encryption for Ring devices, a low-power mode for select wall-powered Echo devices, and AZ1 Neural Edge, a chip that will help Alexa respond to voice queries faster.
India on Thursday reported nearly 86,000 fresh coronavirus infections, taking the nationwide tally to 58.1 lakh cases. The death toll rose to 92,339, with over 1,100 fresh fatalities. For vaccine, Novavax started late-stage trials of its shot in the UK, while Russian media reported that their Sputnik V shot is now available to the local public.