Weekly Tech News, Week of April 3-7, 2017

Here we will gather all of the nifty stuff that’s new in the world of technology.

Free is good. Android users, unite! Google Play is now offering a free weekly app promotion. And no, these aren’t annoying, useless apps that you will never use. These are top-selling games and other cool apps that will be available free for one week only. Last week, Google rolled out Card Wars for free. The game, based on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time franchise, is normally $2.99. I know that 3 bucks isn’t a great deal of money, but if you pick up one a week that adds up to over $100 in savings. Not too shabby. You can go to the Google Play store to check out which app they are offering next time. Right now, the offer is available to U.S. users only.

The robot revolution may be sooner than we think. Just kidding–you won’t have to deal with Terminator-style angry machines for at least a few more years. It does look like a human and machine cyborg interface is in the works, though. Elon Musk, founder and CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, has invested his considerable intelligence and energy into a new company called NeuraLink. The company will implant tiny brain electrodes via a technology called “neural lace” in which humans can upload their thoughts, memories, and even their experiences. This means that we could one day become immortalized because your unique consciousness wouldn’t die with your corporeal body. The technology is still new, but Musk, ever a visionary, has already hired experts in the field.  The company will be researching a better interface between humans and machines, but the initial offerings by NeuraLink will be implants designed to treat brain disorders like epilepsy or depression.

Emojis have gotten out of hand. Or are completely awesome, depending on your point of view. Unicode, the consortium that created unified character sets, released the new 2017 emojis. There are 56 of them, and some of them are downright bizarre. Broccoli? Really? What precise emotion is the vegetable supposed to represent? Granted, a bunch are very cool, particularly for geeks like me. There is a whole series of fantasy-themed characters, like elves, genies, wizards, and merpeople. There is even a new vomiting emoji if the sick-faced emoji wasn’t expressive enough for you. If you want to see the whole new lineup, here is a video for you.

If you need your donut-and-coffee fix even faster. Waze has now teamed up with Dunkin Donuts to allow customers to order ahead and pick up their treats. Currently, this option is only available to folks that already have the updated DD app. We’ll see if they encounter some of the same logistics issues in order fulfillment that Starbuck’s has been struggling with. Waze may be trying to steal some of the UberEats crowd, or maybe they are just thumbing their nose at the Paleo, gluten-free, hipstery folks that are making the rest of us feel guilty if we even think about eating wheat products. Regardless, mobile order fulfillment is here to stay.

Speaking of updates, Commercient is a partner with Salesforce on the app exchange. Salesforce is enforcing the switch to TLS version 1.1 on July 22, 2017. We are compliant with the updated version of TLS and have already made the switch. Make sure you are using the most secure and updated TLS encryption. Not sure? Contact Commercient today.