Uber kills UberRush package delivery service

These days, Uber is most recognized for its ride-sharing service and self-driving car ambitions. But the company continues to operate several other services, such as the delivery-focused UberEats. On the chopping block, however, is UberRush, the company’s on-demand, same-day package delivery service that was available in the New York City area, San Francisco, and Chicago.

The service launched in New York City in 2014, expanding to San Francisco and Chicago in 2015, and used both drivers and bike messengers to deliver items for merchants within an hour or two. Users could place orders for items up to 30 pounds, excluding alcohol or anything illegal, but it was mostly used for food deliveries, creating significant overlap with the UberEats service.

Just over a year ago, Uber addressed this by making restaurants switch to using UberEats for food orders, noting at the time that UberRush was being scaled back and streamlined. Looking back, it’s easy to see that this was the first step towards UberRush getting shuttered.

Users were notified by email that UberRush will end operations by June 30th. The service never expanded beyond its three initial locations, whereas UberEats is available throughout North America, as well as in a number of other countries.

Original Text ►► Uber kills UberRush package delivery service

Google URL shortener goo.gl will be shuttered in 2019

Google has announced plans to shutter its goo.gl URL shortener starting in April for most people and in early 2019 for everyone else. The service launched back in 2009, but the way users share content has changed substantially in the years since, Google says. Mobile devices are the primary way most people get content, and the need for a URL shortener has gone down as a result.

A URL shortener, of course, is a service that takes a page’s address and shortens it to a smaller URL, in this case one that features “goo.gl” in it. Because mobile devices, apps, and web apps are now the most common way to access data, Google is shifting focus away from goo.gl and to Firebase Dynamic Links — smart URLs that take users to any given region within a mobile app.

That’s for developers and serves as a way to get more people away from a website or mobile website and to a mobile app. For ordinary consumers, anyone who hasn’t used Google’s URL shortening service and for anonymous users, the goo.gl console will no longer be accessible starting on April 13, 2018.

However, existing users who have previously created short links will be able to use the service until March 30, 2019, after which point it will be officially discontinued. Users can still manage short links through the console until that time, Google says. The good news is that existing goo.gl links will continue to work after the service is discontinued.

SOURCE: Google Blog

Original Text ►► Google URL shortener goo.gl will be shuttered in 2019

Google URL shortener goo.gl will be shuttered in 2019

Google has announced plans to shutter its goo.gl URL shortener starting in April for most people and in early 2019 for everyone else. The service launched back in 2009, but the way users share content has changed substantially in the years since, Google says. Mobile devices are the primary way most people get content, and the need for a URL shortener has gone down as a result.

A URL shortener, of course, is a service that takes a page’s address and shortens it to a smaller URL, in this case one that features “goo.gl” in it. Because mobile devices, apps, and web apps are now the most common way to access data, Google is shifting focus away from goo.gl and to Firebase Dynamic Links — smart URLs that take users to any given region within a mobile app.

That’s for developers and serves as a way to get more people away from a website or mobile website and to a mobile app. For ordinary consumers, anyone who hasn’t used Google’s URL shortening service and for anonymous users, the goo.gl console will no longer be accessible starting on April 13, 2018.

However, existing users who have previously created short links will be able to use the service until March 30, 2019, after which point it will be officially discontinued. Users can still manage short links through the console until that time, Google says. The good news is that existing goo.gl links will continue to work after the service is discontinued.

SOURCE: Google Blog

Original Text ►► Google URL shortener goo.gl will be shuttered in 2019

Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google has stripped autocomplete searches featuring the term “Kodi” from its search engine in an effort to address piracy associated with the software. Though Kodi itself is not a piracy tool, it has become associated with add-ons that make it easy to find pirated content, causing the general public to associate it with illegally uploaded videos and music.
Kodi is perhaps most famous as an app to load onto “jailbroken” Fire Stick devices. The app is pointed toward certain repositories that provide users with links to third-party destinations where pirated content is hosted and available to stream. The software itself, however, is simply a robust media center alternative to Plex.

According to TorrentFreak, Google has removed Kodi from its autocomplete searches. This isn’t the first time Google has targeted piracy, nor the first time it has removed related terms from autocomplete. The company previously removed terms like Bittorrent and uTorrent from Search’s autocomplete feature.

A spokesperson confirmed the removal to the publication, saying the Kodi filtering is part of Google’s “long-standing strategy” to address “terms closely associated with copyright infringement.” Critics argue that the decision to filter the name only reinforces the misconception that Kodi is designed for piracy rather than simply used by some content pirates.

Original Text ►► Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google has stripped autocomplete searches featuring the term “Kodi” from its search engine in an effort to address piracy associated with the software. Though Kodi itself is not a piracy tool, it has become associated with add-ons that make it easy to find pirated content, causing the general public to associate it with illegally uploaded videos and music.
Kodi is perhaps most famous as an app to load onto “jailbroken” Fire Stick devices. The app is pointed toward certain repositories that provide users with links to third-party destinations where pirated content is hosted and available to stream. The software itself, however, is simply a robust media center alternative to Plex.

According to TorrentFreak, Google has removed Kodi from its autocomplete searches. This isn’t the first time Google has targeted piracy, nor the first time it has removed related terms from autocomplete. The company previously removed terms like Bittorrent and uTorrent from Search’s autocomplete feature.

A spokesperson confirmed the removal to the publication, saying the Kodi filtering is part of Google’s “long-standing strategy” to address “terms closely associated with copyright infringement.” Critics argue that the decision to filter the name only reinforces the misconception that Kodi is designed for piracy rather than simply used by some content pirates.

Original Text ►► Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google has stripped autocomplete searches featuring the term “Kodi” from its search engine in an effort to address piracy associated with the software. Though Kodi itself is not a piracy tool, it has become associated with add-ons that make it easy to find pirated content, causing the general public to associate it with illegally uploaded videos and music.
Kodi is perhaps most famous as an app to load onto “jailbroken” Fire Stick devices. The app is pointed toward certain repositories that provide users with links to third-party destinations where pirated content is hosted and available to stream. The software itself, however, is simply a robust media center alternative to Plex.

According to TorrentFreak, Google has removed Kodi from its autocomplete searches. This isn’t the first time Google has targeted piracy, nor the first time it has removed related terms from autocomplete. The company previously removed terms like Bittorrent and uTorrent from Search’s autocomplete feature.

A spokesperson confirmed the removal to the publication, saying the Kodi filtering is part of Google’s “long-standing strategy” to address “terms closely associated with copyright infringement.” Critics argue that the decision to filter the name only reinforces the misconception that Kodi is designed for piracy rather than simply used by some content pirates.

Original Text ►► Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Apple puts Facebook on notice with Business Chat in iMessage

Apple’s iMessage isn’t just for talking to your friends, anymore.
Today Apple officially rolled out its new Business Chat feature as part of the iOS 11.3 update. First previewed during last year’s WWDC, Business Chat allows people to message companies in iMessage much like the way Facebook users chat with businesses on Messenger.
SEE ALSO: Apple CEO Tim Cook just dunked on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg
Though Apple’s version of the feature is still in beta and only in the United States and Canda for now, it could mark the start of some serious competition for Facebook.
Much like Facebook Messenger, which has been enticing businesses for years, Apple’s new service lets users chat directly with companies using iMessage. The option will start to show up for participating businesses (Home Depot, Marriott, and Wells Fargo are among a handful of early partners) when you search for them in Maps, Safari, or Spotlight Search on your iPhone.

Once you’ve started a thread, you can ask questions or make purchases using Apple Pay.

While Facebook has a years-long head start in the space, Apple could pose a serious threat if they’re able to persuade businesses to sign on en masse the way Facebook has with Messenger. If users could chat with companies with one search from their iPhone, it would eliminate the extra step of turning to Facebook.

The release also comes at a particularly difficult moment for Facebook, which is currently grappling with a mounting controversy over how it’s handled users’ personal data. Earlier in the week, the company announced it was pausing new messaging bots in Messenger amid privacy concerns.

Though just a temporary measure, it could make Apple a more attractive alternative to developers frustrated by Facebook’s changing priorities.

Apple is touting Business Chat’s ability to let people “reach a live person to ask a question” — possibly a dig at Facebook’s bot-centric approach — and its commitment to privacy.

“Users are always in control of their contact information — businesses will not receive any personal data by default,” the company wrote in its announcement.

Original Text ►► Apple puts Facebook on notice with Business Chat in iMessage

Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google has stripped autocomplete searches featuring the term “Kodi” from its search engine in an effort to address piracy associated with the software. Though Kodi itself is not a piracy tool, it has become associated with add-ons that make it easy to find pirated content, causing the general public to associate it with illegally uploaded videos and music.
Kodi is perhaps most famous as an app to load onto “jailbroken” Fire Stick devices. The app is pointed toward certain repositories that provide users with links to third-party destinations where pirated content is hosted and available to stream. The software itself, however, is simply a robust media center alternative to Plex.

According to TorrentFreak, Google has removed Kodi from its autocomplete searches. This isn’t the first time Google has targeted piracy, nor the first time it has removed related terms from autocomplete. The company previously removed terms like Bittorrent and uTorrent from Search’s autocomplete feature.

A spokesperson confirmed the removal to the publication, saying the Kodi filtering is part of Google’s “long-standing strategy” to address “terms closely associated with copyright infringement.” Critics argue that the decision to filter the name only reinforces the misconception that Kodi is designed for piracy rather than simply used by some content pirates.

Original Text ►► Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google has stripped autocomplete searches featuring the term “Kodi” from its search engine in an effort to address piracy associated with the software. Though Kodi itself is not a piracy tool, it has become associated with add-ons that make it easy to find pirated content, causing the general public to associate it with illegally uploaded videos and music.
Kodi is perhaps most famous as an app to load onto “jailbroken” Fire Stick devices. The app is pointed toward certain repositories that provide users with links to third-party destinations where pirated content is hosted and available to stream. The software itself, however, is simply a robust media center alternative to Plex.

According to TorrentFreak, Google has removed Kodi from its autocomplete searches. This isn’t the first time Google has targeted piracy, nor the first time it has removed related terms from autocomplete. The company previously removed terms like Bittorrent and uTorrent from Search’s autocomplete feature.

A spokesperson confirmed the removal to the publication, saying the Kodi filtering is part of Google’s “long-standing strategy” to address “terms closely associated with copyright infringement.” Critics argue that the decision to filter the name only reinforces the misconception that Kodi is designed for piracy rather than simply used by some content pirates.

Original Text ►► Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort

Google has stripped autocomplete searches featuring the term “Kodi” from its search engine in an effort to address piracy associated with the software. Though Kodi itself is not a piracy tool, it has become associated with add-ons that make it easy to find pirated content, causing the general public to associate it with illegally uploaded videos and music.
Kodi is perhaps most famous as an app to load onto “jailbroken” Fire Stick devices. The app is pointed toward certain repositories that provide users with links to third-party destinations where pirated content is hosted and available to stream. The software itself, however, is simply a robust media center alternative to Plex.

According to TorrentFreak, Google has removed Kodi from its autocomplete searches. This isn’t the first time Google has targeted piracy, nor the first time it has removed related terms from autocomplete. The company previously removed terms like Bittorrent and uTorrent from Search’s autocomplete feature.

A spokesperson confirmed the removal to the publication, saying the Kodi filtering is part of Google’s “long-standing strategy” to address “terms closely associated with copyright infringement.” Critics argue that the decision to filter the name only reinforces the misconception that Kodi is designed for piracy rather than simply used by some content pirates.

Original Text ►► Google targets Kodi in latest anti-piracy effort