ICANN becomes Autonomous, Note 7 Recall, Snap Inc., Amazon’s ‘Socialbot’

ICANN becomes Autonomous, Note 7 Recall, Snap Inc., Amazon’s ‘Socialbot’

ICANN becomes Autonomous, Note 7 Recall, Snap Inc., Amazon’s ‘Socialbot’


1. ICANN Transition Set to Handover “Power of the Internet” to Non-Profit with Accountability to International Stakeholders

For decades the United States has held the oversight contract for the non-profit organization in charge of all Internet domain names and this is set to expire on Friday. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN) was created in 1998 with the primary job of coordinating the Domain Name System that matches addresses with computer addresses. On Friday, the non-profit organization will become autonomous and accountable to international stakeholders in the Internet community. This week, four attorney generals from Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas and Nevada filed a lawsuit asking a Federal district court to block the transition on the grounds of giving up U.S. government property. Opponents argue the United States may have intended to give up ICANN when first created but has since become a strategic asset, and will not break any legal or binding commitment by holding onto it. Pressure is being placed on President Obama to stop the privatization and internationalization prior to the October 1st expiration.


2. Samsung Announces Global Recall of Note 7 Likely Due to Low-Quality Battery Cells that Pose Fire Danger

Anyone who has a Samsung Note 7 bought before September 15th is effected by the recall and must return or replace the device. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has stated owners should switch off the device, box it up and return their phones. You can read the full coverage on CitizenTekk here.


3. Stock App Robinhood launches $10 per month premium plan for those who want a basic zero-fee trading option.

“Robinhood Gold” launches this week to heat up the competition with E-trade and Scotttrade by continuing to offer zero-fee trading with premium features. While other competitors charge $7-plus commission fees on small transactions, Robinhood has monetized in the past by making interest on the balance of the account, creating a zero-fee situation for its members. The app is now proposing premium features to lure users away from the other stock trading options by skipping the three-day waiting period with instant deposits and reinvesting, plus the ability to trade 30 minutes before and 2 hours after the market open and to trade on margin with leverage.


4. Snapchat to Rename Itself Snap, Inc. and Plans to Release Camcorder Sunglasses Called Spectacles

A video of Spectacles was leaked this week showing Snapchat’s attempt at Google Glass. The Ray-ban-esque design of Spectacles is designed to target Millennials and will come in black, teal or coral colors. By tapping the glasses rim, you can instantly record 10 seconds of video, three taps to record 30 seconds. The light on the front of the glasses alerts people when you’re recording. The video is captured with 115-degree wide view lens and can be stored on the device or offloaded to a phone over Wifi or Bluetooth to be edited and shared later. In addition the new release, Snapchat is renaming itself to Snap Inc and plans to launch the $130 Spectacles this fall in a limited release.


Snap Inc


5. Amazon Announces Alexa Prize to Award $500,000 to College Student who Builds the Best ‘Socialbot’ Along with $1 million for their University (total of $2.5 million in prizes)

Amazon announced a new annual challenge for college students building bots called the Alexa Prize.  Up to ten teams will be sponsored by Amazon and receive a $100,000 stipend and support to build a ‘socialbot’ on Alexa that will converse with people about popular topics and news events. You can access the full information here.


Amazon Alexa Prize



Beth Kindig
Beth Kindig writes the "This Week in Tech News" column covering the most essential headlines of the week in abbreviated form. Her readers are busy professionals and casual tech enthusiasts who want to effortlessly stay on top of the latest news. Follow her on Twitter @Beth_Kindig


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