Weekly Rewind: Driverless Ubers, longer tweets coming, Bud will drive you home

Lulu Chang

In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from rumors about the iPhone 8 (yes, already) to the latest in exploding Samsung devices, it’s all here.

Galaxy Note 7 recall: Samsung owners, here’s what you need to know

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For the past few weeks, the internet has been awash with reports that some users’ Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones have been exploding due to a battery malfunction. Samsung started an initial recall, but now the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued an official recall. Galaxy Note 7 owners should follow procedure and return their devices immediately as per the CSPC’s instructions. You can read all about the debacle and weigh your options here in our handy guide.

Read the full story here.

Early adopters! Here’s how you can catch a ride in Uber’s first self-driving car

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Ridesharing giant Uber has reached a major milestone by deploying a handful of self-driving cars on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Based on a regular-production Ford Fusion Energi, the self-driving prototype was designed and built by the Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) that Uber founded about a year and a half ago in the Steel City. The sedan is equipped with an array of sensors, lasers, cameras, and radar on the roof.

Read the full story here.

Test out new features before the public in Google’s Chromecast Preview Program

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Have a penchant for bleeding-edge software of indeterminable stability? Well, if you happen to have a Chromecast lying around, Google’s new program has your name written all over it. It is called the Chromecast Preview Program which is an ongoing, opt-in feature that lets you test new software ahead of public release. Not only does it afford you the opportunity to “test drive [new] features,” but it provides enrollees the chance to “give early feedback” and “stay up to date” with the latest software.

Read the full story here.

How big is the universe? Attempting to answer one of astronomy’s most complex questions

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The universe is a big place, and it’s hard to fathom the immense size given our finite ideas of distance here on Earth. Because of this, determining an answer for exactly “how big” is difficult. Attempting to figure out the universe’s immense size does involve a few key factors, however. One is understanding a few key facts about how space behaves while also realizing that what we see is just the “observable universe.” We may not actually truly know the true size of the actual universe because, quite frankly, we just can’t see it.

Read the full story here.

Twitter likely to start allowing longer tweets from September 19

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If Twitter’s 140-character limit sometimes has you swearing under your breath as you endeavor to express that grand idea or provocative opinion in just a couple of lines, we have some good news for you. The microblogging service is reportedly about to make a major alteration to the way it counts those characters, giving you the chance to add an extra word or three when formulating your profound thoughts for your army, or perhaps handful, of followers.

Read the full story here.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Everything you need to know

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Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are finally here! We’ve got all the specs, features, availability, and pricing news right here for you along with our hands-on impressions of the brand-new phones. Will the iPhone 7 live up to the hype? It’s time to find out. Everything you ever wanted to know about the iPhone 7 is right here.

Read the full story here.

Terrifying time-lapse shows how quickly bacteria become resistant to antibiotics

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Not since the 1995 medical disaster movie Outbreak has a video made us quite as germophobic as this time-lapse demonstration of bacteria’s ability to evolve its way around antibiotics. Carried out by researchers at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School, the video tracks the evolution of a strain of bacteria across a giant Petri dish — 120cm in length — as it mutates to cope with increasingly large doses of the antimicrobial drugs doctors use to prevent the spread of bacterial infections.

Read the full story here.

Budweiser and Lyft hook up to give free rides to folks who are drunk

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With 10,000 drunk-driving fatalities each year, anything that reduces those numbers is a good thing.  Anheuser-Busch, the largest American beer-selling company by sales, is partnering with ridesharing service provider Lyft to provide free rides on the weekends for people who’ve had too much to drink, according to Venture Beat. The program starts this Friday, September 16 and lasts through the end of December. Each weekend, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Budweiser is paying for coupons good for up to $10 for up to 5,000 rides per weekend,

Read the full story here.

Google will give you up to $200K if you can hack the newest version of Android

Think you’ve got the hacking chops to breach a flagship Android phone? Google’s willing to pay you to prove it. On Wednesday, the Mountain View, California-based company announced Project Zero, a contest that asks enterprising hackers to demonstrate flaws in the company’s smartphone operating system in exchange for cold, hard cash.

Read the full story here.

Coincidence or curse? Looking back on Madden’s troubled cover athletes

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Another NFL season is upon us, and that means another edition of Madden NFL is on shelves. It also means that football fans and gamers alike will be keeping a watchful eye on the athlete featured on the cover of the latest installment of the series – in this case, New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski – to find out whether the “Madden Curse” will claim another victim.

Read the full story here.