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Lyft Sells AV Development Arm to Toyota for $550 Million

Plus, Google’s voice assistant gets better at pronouncing names, a hacked password manager compromises information for nearly 30,000 users and cryptocurrency companies tackle climate change.

Sign outside an office building for Lyft Level 5


Lyft is following in the footsteps of its competitor Uber in getting out of the self-driving car game. The ride-share company is selling its autonomous development vehicle arm, called Level 5, to Toyota for $550 million. The move comes in an effort to cut research and development spending as Lyft works to become profitable.
Source: Engadget


Google announced improvements to its voice assistant that will hopefully make it function a bit more naturally. Users will have the ability to teach the AI how to correctly pronounce names of contacts, plus it will be able to better follow conversations. So, for example, asking Google to set a timer for 20 minutes and then changing your mind and asking for 30 minutes instead will actually work.
Source: The Verge


Password managers are touted as a practical, secure way to manage the unique passwords you’re supposed to have for each website and app you encounter. The risk, of course, is if the manager gets hacked, all your private information is accessible. That’s what happened to 29,000 users of the Passwordstate password manager for two days in April, when the app’s creator told customers that its upgrade mechanism had been compromised and malicious files had been installed on user computers. Experts say two-factor authentication, which is available for Passwordstate, is critical for avoiding such issues when using password managers.
Source: Ars Technica


Cryptocurrency consumes a ton of energy; bitcoin, which accounts for more than half the market, reportedly has a carbon footprint similar to Hong Kong’s. A new “Crypto Climate Accord” led by blockchain companies like Ripple and ConsenSys has set some lofty goals to fix that: transition all cryptocurrency to renewable energy by 2030; hit net-zero emissions by 2040; and set up an open source standard that can be used to measure the industry’s emissions.
Source: The Verge
Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.