Hashtag Trending – A new streaming service, Google Assistant recordings, Former Tesla employee in the hot seat

Another player enters the streaming wars, it turns out human workers are listening to recordings from Google Assistant, and a former Tesla employee is in the hot seat.

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What’s that? Another streaming service? Of course! AT&T has announced a new streaming service called HBO Max, which is slated for a spring 2020 release, and the news is trending all over LinkedIn. The offering is set to include programs from Warner Bros., CNN, The CW, and others. But what’s caught most people’s attention is the news that the service will have exclusive rights to stream every episode of “Friends”, which, until recently, had been streaming on Netflix. Perhaps the most disappointing news in all of this is that they missed the opportunity to call the service AT&TV. Oh well.

A report from Belgian public broadcaster VRT NWS is trending on Reddit. While many people are probably aware that Google smart speakers record and store everything you say to it – it’s stated in Google’s terms and conditions – the fact that Google employees can listen to excerpts from those recordings, is not common knowledge. Until now. The report focuses on Dutch and Flemish speaking Google Assistant users and reviewed around 1,000 recordings, 153 of which had been recorded by accident. The report cites a contractor that says while he was transcribing a recording, he had come across a female voice in distress and that he’s never been given specific guidelines for such cases. The report concludes that the absence such guidelines could come back to haunt the tech giant down the road.

And lastly, a Reddit post is exploding with more than 40 thousand up votes and 4,000 comments – this one about a former Tesla employee who recently admitted to uploading zip files containing Tesla Autopilot source code to his personal iCloud account late 2018 while working for the company. The obvious concern here is that the engineer in question, Guangzhi Cao, is stealing sensitive information and taking them to his new employer, a Chinese startup called Xiaopeng Motors. Tesla has sued Cao for allegedly stealing trade secrets, which Cao has adamantly denied.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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