Tech Roundup: Uber Controversy, WhatsApp Status & More

[A recurring feature on the latest in Science & Technology.]

Google in Cleaning Mode:
Google appears to be in a cleaning spree of sorts. The search giant, now under a bigger Alphabet umbrella, has been busy reigning in wasteful moonshots, including killing its modular phone project Ara and solar drone project Titan, and very recently scaling back on its internet ambitions Fiber and Project Loon, while selling its satellite business Terra Bella aka Skybox to Planet Labs, in addition to looking for a potential buyer for its admittedly terrifying robotics arm Boston Dynamics. Google, for its part, is also sunsetting Spaces, a Pinterest-y way to organize stuff from the web, less than an year after its launch, and seems to have already killed Who's Down, an invite-only mobile-only chat app sometime this year. Better late than never!

Facebook Copies Snapchat Yet Again:
Facebook's new mantra is perhaps this - "If we can't acquire Snapchat, we are going to copy it." Ever since the popular ephemeral messaging service turned down Facebook's US$ 3 billion offer and decided to subsist on its own (it's going public next month), the social media behemoth has been busy unleashing copycat features like Stories and location stickers on Instagram, Messenger, and now to WhatsApp as well. Called Status, the new feature, which was spotted first late last year, has evoked mixed reactions from users thus far. Coincidentally, the update came right in time to celebrate WhatsApp's eighth birthday this February 24.

In other news: