Weekend Roundup: POS, Project Catalyst, Privacy, Pull Requests, Pixels

This week was a weird one in tech. For starters, Facebook launched another bad idea, this one a cryptocurrency. Sort of. It’s garbage. Just ignore it for the moment. There are other, more important things to get to.

Here are a few things in tech you may have missed this week!

Target Taken Down by… Target

Here’s a low-key winning strategy for tech: When you can have a dumb solution, you should have a dumb solution – even if it’s a backup.

This week, Target was reeling from the aftermath of a weekend point-of-sale outage. Nationwide. “The temporary outage earlier today was the result of an internal technology issue that lasted for approximately two hours,” Target spokesman Joe Poulos said in a statement. “Our technology team worked quickly to identify and fix the issue, and we apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this caused for our guests.”

The real problem: Target lost a ton of sales because it had no “dumb” way to sell people stuff. That’s right, registers don’t have those old-school credit card carbon-paper thingamajigs, or whatever else you need to pay for things without a centralized technology stack. I wonder if Walmart sales were up last weekend as a result.

Project Catalyst & Privacy for Apple

Apple is again on its high horse about privacy, and this time it’s sort of earned. With Google and Facebook under fire for data leakage (and data mining), Apple’s holier-than-thou ranting about privacy and security rings especially true. At Stanford’s commencement speech, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested both of those rival companies were ‘chaos factories.’ Yikes.

Then you have Project Catalyst, Apple’s official tagline for Marzipan, its cross-platform app-building platform. Twitter says it’s bringing its Mac app back because of Catalyst and its supposed ease of use. Humorously, Twitter also claims it ditched its Mac app because upkeep was too laborious and expensive. In other words, a massive tech company with thousands of employees couldn’t find a few (or even one!) tech professionals to maintain a Mac app. Okay, chaos factories!

Pull Requests

GitHub is on a tear, this time acquiring Pull Panda to “help teams create more efficient and effective code review workflows on GitHub.”

So what does Pull Panda do? Meant for teams, Pull Panda allows pull requests to be automatically filtered to the right reviewer; it also shows analytics about how pull requests are being handled, and sends reminders via Slack to remind managers to review pull requests.

If you’re interested, Pull Panda is available on the GitHub Marketplace.

Dead Pixel

Remember the Pixel Slate? You know, the Chrome OS tablet Google unleashed in October of last year that was panned widely by anyone who used it? Hold onto your memories, because Google is done dealing tablets.

Google says it’s no longer going to produce tablets, and has cancelled two such projects in its pipeline. It will still make Pixel phones and Pixelbooks, but any ultra-portable device with a touch-screen and no keyboard is a non-starter.

I wish I could say this was sad, but it’s not. A Chrome OS tablet was a dream come true for many, but Google just couldn’t seem to create something that people drooled over.

Have a great weekend!