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Updated: 1 year 7 weeks ago

Microsoft: Only Microsoft Edge Will Play Netflix Content At 1080p On Your PC

Wed, 2016-07-13 18:10
An anonymous reader writes from a report via PCWorld: Microsoft made the bold claim on Wednesday that its Edge browser was the only browser of the big four browsers -- Chrome, Firefox, and Opera -- to play Netflix content at a 1080p resolution. PCWorld tested the four browsers and found this claim to be valid. The other three browsers capped out at a 720p resolution. Microsoft has been trying to boost Edge's reputation. Microsoft recently claimed that its Edge browser is more power-efficient than Chrome. (Opera later denied those claims.) This is the latest bold claim to come from Microsoft in regard to its Edge browser. Microsoft has even publicized a Netflix support document to show that Netflix streams at 1080p on Internet Explorer and Edge, and 720p on the other browsers. PCWorld used the "secret Netflix menus" that were first unearthed by Reddit users (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+D) to display the resolution and bitrate and confirm that Microsoft's claims are true. "In a blog post, Microsoft claimed Microsoft Edge was built to take advantage of platform features in Windows 10, including the PlayReady Content Protection and the media engine's Protected Media Path," reports PCWorld. "The company said it is working with the Open Media Alliance to develop next-generation media formats, codecs, and other technologies for UltraHD video, and with chipset companies to develop Enhanced Content Protection that moves the protected media path into peripheral hardware for an even higher level of security, and one that could be used to protect 4K media."

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Categories: Technical

Ask Slashdot: Why Don't Graphics Cards For VR Use Real-Time Motion Compensation?

Wed, 2016-07-13 17:30
dryriver writes: Graphics cards manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD have gone to great pains recently to point out that in order to experience virtual reality with a VR headset properly, you need a GPU capable of pushing at least a steady 90 FPS per eye, or a total of at least 180 FPS for both eyes, and at high resolutions to boot. This of course requires the purchase of the latest, greatest high-end GPUs made by these manufacturers, alongside the money you are already plonking down for your new VR headset, and a good, fast gaming-class PC. This raises an interesting question: virtually every LCD/LED TV manufactured in the last 5 or 6 years has a 'Real-Time Motion Compensation' feature built in. This is the not-so-new-at-all technique of taking, say, a football match broadcast live at 30 FPS or Hz, and algorithmically generating extra in-between frames in real time, thus giving you a hyper-smooth 200-400 FPS/Hz image on the TV set with no visible stutter or strobing whatsoever. This technology is not new. It is cheap enough to include in virtually every TV set at every price level (thus the hardware that performs the real-time motion compensating cannot cost more than a few dollars total). And the technique should, in theory, work just fine with the output of a GPU trying to drive a VR headset. Now suppose you have an entry level or mid-range GPU capable of pushing only 40-60 FPS in a VR application (or a measly 20-30 FPS per eye, making for a truly terrible VR experience). You could, in theory, add some cheap motion compensation circuitry to that GPU and get 100-200 FPS or more per eye. Heck, you might even be able to program a few GPU cores to run the motion compensation as a real-time GPU shader as the rest of the GPU is rendering a game or VR experience. So my question: Why don't GPUs for VR use real-time motion compensation techniques to increase the FPS pushed into the VR headset? Would this not make far more financial sense for the average VR user than having to buy a monstrously powerful GPU to experience VR at all?

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Categories: Technical

Parents Upset After Their Boy Was 'Knocked Down and Run Over' By A Security Robot

Wed, 2016-07-13 16:50
An anonymous reader writes from a report via KGO-TV: PSA: Beware of dangerous security robots at the Stanford Shopping Center! After a young boy was "knocked down and run over" by one of the Stanford Shopping Center security robots, the boy's parents want to help prevent others from getting hurt. KGO-TV reports: "They said the machine is dangerous and fear another child will get hurt. Stanford Shopping Center's security robot stands 5' tall and weighs 300 pounds. It amuses shoppers of all ages, but last Thursday, 16-month-old Harwin Cheng had a frightening collision with the robot. 'The robot hit my son's head and he fell down facing down on the floor and the robot did not stop and it kept moving forward,' Harwin's mom Tiffany Teng said. Harwin's parents say the robot ran over his right foot, causing it to swell, but luckily the child didn't suffer any broken bones. Harwin also got a scrape on his leg from the incident." Teng said, "He was crying like crazy and he never cries. He seldom cries." They are concerned as to why the robot didn't detect Harwin. "Garage doors nowadays, we're just in a day in age where everything has some sort of a sensor," shopper Ashle Gerrard said. "Maybe they have to work out the sensors more. Maybe it stopped detecting or it could be buggy or something," shopper Ankur Sharma said. The parents said a security guard told them another child was hurt from the same robot just days before. They're hoping their story will help other parents be more careful the next time they're at the Stanford Shopping Center. The robots are designed by Knightscope and come equipped with self-navigation, infra-red cameras and microphones that can detect breaking glass to support security services.

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Categories: Technical

Pokemon Go Becomes Biggest Mobile Game In US History

Wed, 2016-07-13 16:10
An anonymous reader writes: Pokemon Go is now the biggest mobile game of all time in the U.S. Not only has it surpassed Twitter's daily users, but it is seeing people spend more time in its app than in Facebook. An earlier report from SimilarWeb says Pokemon Go has surpassed Tinder in terms of installations -- the app surpassed Tinder on July 7th. Today, the tracking firm says Pokemon Go has managed to surpass Twitter in terms of daily active users on Monday. It says almost 6% of the entire U.S. Android population is engaging with the app on a daily basis. A new report from SurveyMonkey intelligence indicated that Pokemon Go has claimed the title "biggest mobile game in U.S. history." The game saw just under 21 million daily active users in the U.S. on Monday. It's reportedly closing in on Snapchat on Android, and could surpass Google Maps on Android as well. According to app store intelligence firm SensorTower, the average iPhone user on iOS spent 33 minutes catching Pokemon, which is more than any other apps it analyzed, including Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Slither.io. The app with the second-most average usage at 22 minutes, 8 seconds, was Facebook. SurveyMonkey did note that Pokemon Go still falls short of other games when it comes to time spent in games. Game of War sees nearly 2 hours of total daily usage for the average user, while Candy Crush Saga sees daily usage of about 43 minutes. In just two days, Pokemon Go brought Nintendo's market value to $7.5 billion. It's worth noting that it remains to be seen whether or not the game will continue to break records or turn into a ghost town like Nintendo's first mobile game, Miitomo.

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Categories: Technical

Programming Bug Costs Citigroup $7M After Legit Transactions Mistaken For Test Data For 15 Years

Wed, 2016-07-13 15:30
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Register:A programming blunder in its reporting software has led to Citigroup being fined $7m. According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that error [PDF] resulted in the financial regulator being sent incomplete "blue sheet" information for a remarkable 15 years -- from May 1999 to April 2014. The mistake was discovered by Citigroup itself when it was asked to send a large but precise chunk of trading data to the SEC in April 2014 and asked its technical support team to help identify which internal ID numbers they should run a request on. That team quickly noticed that some branches' trades were not being included in the automated system and alerted those above them. Four days later a patch was in place, but it wasn't until eight months later that the company received a formal report noting that the error had affected SEC reports going back more than a decade. The next month, January 2015, Citigroup fessed up to the SEC.The glitch resided in new alphanumeric branch codes that the bank had introduced in the mid-1990s. The program code filtered out any transactions that were given three-digit branch codes from 089 to 100 and used those prefixes for testing purposes. The report adds, "But in 1998, the company started using alphanumeric branch codes as it expanded its business. Among them were the codes 10B, 10C and so on, which the system treated as being within the excluded range, and so their transactions were removed from any reports sent to the SEC."

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Categories: Technical

Google Gets Land For Its Futuristic Headquarters, Thanks To LinkedIn Deal

Wed, 2016-07-13 14:50
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Ars Technica: Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that Google and LinkedIn have worked out a deal that will allow the two neighbors to swap a few million square feet of real estate. The deal will help give Google enough room to build its futuristic "canopy" campus. Ars Technica reports: "Google will receive all of LinkedIn's existing Mountain View territory, which consists of LinkedIn's 370,000-square-feet headquarters and almost eight acres of land LinkedIn had planned on turning into office space. LinkedIn will move a few miles across town into four office buildings currently owned by Google that come out to about 750,000 square feet of office space. LinkedIn instantly gets to double its office space while avoiding a costly 'five- to six-year' construction project, and Google gets the space and building rights it needs to build its crazy indoor/outdoor spiderweb canopy utopia. Google owns a huge chunk of land in Mountain View with many office buildings, but the buildings have all been hand-me-downs. In February 2015, Google announced plans to renovate its campus with an ambitious design featuring a large membrane covering configurable activity space. To expand, both LinkedIn and Google needed to compete for Mountain View's 2.2 million square feet of available commercial square footage. The city, fearing it would become an all-Google town, awarded the majority of the construction rights -- 1.4 million square feet -- to LinkedIn, leaving Google with nowhere to build its new headquarters. With the real estate swap, those construction rights go to Google, so the company now has all the space it asked for." Last month, Microsoft announced plans to acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.

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Categories: Technical

TOS Agreements Require Giving Up First Born -- and Users Gladly Consent

Wed, 2016-07-13 14:10
An anonymous reader shares an Ars Technica report: A recent study concludes what everybody already knows: nobody reads the lengthy terms of service and privacy policies that bombard Internet users every day. Nobody understands them. They're too long, and they often don't make sense. A study out this month made the point all too clear. Most of the 543 university students involved in the analysis didn't bother to read the terms of service before signing up for a fake social networking site called "NameDrop" that the students believed was real. Those who did glossed over important clauses. The terms of service required them to give up their first born, and if they don't yet have one, they get until 2050 to do so. The privacy policy said that their data would be given to the NSA and employers. Of the few participants who read those clauses, they signed up for the service anyway. "This brings us to the biggest lie on the Internet, which anecdotally, is known as 'I agree to these terms and conditions,'" the study found. The paper is called "The biggest lie on the Internet: Ignoring the privacy policies and terms of service policies of social networking services".This reminds me of a similar thing F-Secure security firm did in 2014. It asked London residents to give them their first child in exchange of free Wi-Fi access. The company, for the record, didn't collect any children.

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Categories: Technical

China Hacked US Banking Regulator From 2010 Until 2013 - and US Officials Covered It Up: Report

Wed, 2016-07-13 13:25
According to a Congressional report, China's spies hacked into computers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) from 2010 until 2013. The report adds that American government officials tried to cover it up. From a Reuters report: "Even the former Chairwoman's computer had been hacked by a foreign government, likely the Chinese," staff at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology said in the report. The report was the latest example of how deeply Washington believes that Beijing has penetrated U.S. government computers. But while making the allegation that China was the culprit, the report does not provide specific evidence to support that conclusion.

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Categories: Technical

AT&T Thinks Drones Can Fix Terrible Reception At Baseball Games, Music Concerts

Wed, 2016-07-13 12:45
Cell services are at some of their worst behaviors at music concerts, baseball games and other similar large public gatherings. AT&T thinks it might have a solution for it. In a blog post today, the carrier company announced the idea of building cell extensions into drones and flying them in to handle the large dense traffic demands. From a report:AT&T has dubbed the drones "Flying COWs" -- the COW stands for âoeCell on Wings.â The drones would boost LTE coverage to areas in need of it during occasional large events. They would be tethered to the ground to prevent them from going rogue and flying away. The trial project is part of AT&T's just-launched national drone program, which will focus on how AT&T and its customers can benefit from drones. The program director, Art Pregler, said they wouldn't have to fly too high, perhaps just under the roofline of stadiums or buildings. AT&T also envisions that Flying COWs could provide boosted coverage in disaster response situations, particularly when vehicles aren't otherwise able to drive into the affected areas.

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Categories: Technical

Guccifer 2.0 Drops New Documents

Wed, 2016-07-13 12:05
Joe Uchill, reporting for The Hill: Guccifer 2.0, the hacker who breached the Democratic National Committee, has released a cache of purported DNC documents to The Hill in an effort to refocus attention on the hack. The documents include more than 11,000 names matched with some identifying information, files related to two controversial donors and a research file on Sarah Palin. "The press [is] gradually forget[ing] about me, [W]ikileaks is playing for time and [I] have some more docs," he said in electronic chat explaining his rationale. The documents provide some insight into how the DNC handled high-profile donation scandals. But the choice of documents revealed to The Hill also provides insight into the enigmatic Guccifer 2.0. The hacker provided a series of spreadsheets related to Norman Hsu, a Democratic donor jailed in 2009 for running a Ponzi scheme and arranging illegal campaign contributions. The DNC responded by assembling files to gauge the exposure from Hsu to its slate of candidates.

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Categories: Technical

Smartphones Lift Samsung To Best Profit In Over Two Years

Thu, 2016-07-07 11:30
Samsung said on Thursday that its second-quarter operating profit likely rose 17.4% from a year earlier. The figure marks the highest for Samsung in more than 2 years. The company adds that sales of Galaxy S7 flagship smartphone propelled its mobile earnings. Engadget reports: While Samsung won't be releasing its detailed earnings until the end of July, Reuters believes the top earner this quarter is none other than the mobile division, which also topped the last one. The news source says the division's profit could be up 54.5 percent from the same period last year. According to Yonhap News, Samsung shipped out around 15 million S7 and S7 edge units from April to June, with the latter beating out the basic S7 despite being more expensive.The company's mobile division, which once mostly had to compete with Apple's iPhone in the smartphone market, has been facing stiff competition from Chinese players such as Xiaomi and Huawei especially in the emerging market. But interestingly, some of these Chinese players have started to cut the big margin that their phones enjoyed in the recent months to make more profit.

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Categories: Technical

Facebook Decides Which Killings We're Allowed to See

Thu, 2016-07-07 10:50
Minutes after a police shooting took place in the Falcon Heights suburbs of Minnesota, a Facebook Live video was published on the social juggernaut website. The death of Philando Castile, 32, was documented in harrowing detail thanks to the live streaming tool offered by the social media giant. The 10-minute video was streamed via smartphone by a woman identified in media reports as Diamond Reynolds. She narrates the video with a mix of eerie calm and anguish. The video was removed from Facebook due to, as company says, a "technical glitch." The video has since been restored, but with a "Warning -- Graphic Video," disclaimer. Motherboard notes that Facebook has become the de-facto platform for such controversial videos, and that there's a pattern in these so called glitches -- as they happen very often time after a questionable content is streamed. This makes one wonder whether it is up to Facebook to decide which kind of controversial videos one should be able to watch The publication writes: As Facebook continues to build out its Live video platform, the world's most popular social network has become the de-facto choice for important, breaking, and controversial videos. Several times, Facebook has blocked political or newsworthy content only to later say that the removal was a "technical glitch" or an "error." Nearly two-thirds of Americans get their news from social media, and two thirds of Facebook users say they use the site to get news. If Facebook is going to become the middleman that delivers the world's most popular news events to the masses, technical glitches and erroneous content removals could be devastating to information dissemination efforts. More importantly, Facebook has become the self-appointed gatekeeper for what is acceptable content to show the public, which is an incredibly important and powerful position to be in. By censoring anything, Facebook has created the expectation that there are rules for using its platform (most would agree that some rules are necessary). But because the public relies on the website so much, Facebook's rules and judgments have an outsized impact on public debate.

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Categories: Technical

NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX 1060, Fierce Competition For the Radeon RX 480

Thu, 2016-07-07 10:05
Reader MojoKid writes: In May, NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 1080. The company followed up on that beastly chip in June with slightly cut down GeForce GTX 1070 and that trickledown effect is now reaching the mainstream market with the arrival of the GeForce GTX 1060. The GeForce GTX 1060 can be seen as a direct response to the AMD Radeon RX 480, which offers a ton of performance at the $200 price point. While still built using a 16nm FinFET process, the GP106 core on the GTX 1060 features 1280 CUDA cores; exactly half that of the GTX 1080. Base clock for the GPU is 1506MHz, while the boost clock is 1708MHz (NVIDIA is quick to point out, however, the GPU core can easily be overclocked to 2GHz+). The GTX 1060 features a 192-bit memory bus and comes with 6GB of GDDR5 memory running at 8Gbps. The card has a single 6-pin power connector and a 120W TDP. NVIDIA claims that the GTX 1060 is on average 15 percent faster than its closest competitor, the Radeon RX 480. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 will be available starting July 19th from a wide variety of third-party partners including ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI and Zotac etc. with a starting price of $249. The NVIDIA-built GeForce GTX 1060 Founder Edition will be available for $299.

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Categories: Technical

Apple To Release Public Betas of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra Today

Thu, 2016-07-07 09:25
The next version of Apple's desktop operating system, macOS Sierra, will be made available in a public beta later today. Enthusiasts can also try their hands at iOS 10, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system today. Both the new operating system versions offer a range of new features and improvements. Sierra, for instance, features Siri voice assistant which will assist users with locating files, answering queries, and search for images and information just by asking. iOS 10 lets users write a message in their own handwriting, and has a feature called "Raise to Wake" which wakes up the device when a user picks up their iPhone. Notifications have gotten more powerful, and now show photos and videos as well. You will find the macOS Sierra preview here, and iOS 10 preview here. More information on Apple's beta program here.

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Categories: Technical

Russian Leader Putin Signs Controversial 'Big Brother' Law

Thu, 2016-07-07 08:45
An anonymous reader writes: Today Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial "anti-terrorist" legislation adopted by the lower and upper houses of parliament in late June, despite the flurry of criticism from opposition-minded circles and the serious concerns expressed by Russian telecom and internet companies. As reported earlier by East-West Digital News, the new legislation -- which Edward Snowden has called "Russia's new Big-Brother law" -- is not only severe against those involved in "international terrorism," its financing or non-denunciation. Law-enforcement agencies will also be granted access to any user's messages without any judicial oversight. Several key provisions will directly affect the internet and telecom industry. In particular, telecom operators and internet resources will need to store the recordings of all phone calls and the content of all text messages for a period of six months. They will be required to cooperate with the Federal Security Service (FSB) to make their users' communications fully accessible to this organization.

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Categories: Technical

Microsoft's Nadella Reshapes Top Management as Turner Leaves

Thu, 2016-07-07 08:05
Dina Bass, reporting for Bloomberg: Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella announced a broad reorganization of the company's senior executive ranks as long-time Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner prepares to leave for another job. Instead of naming a new COO, Nadella appointed two executives to divvy up the sales responsibilities and report to him. Jean-Philippe Courtois will be in charge of global sales, marketing and operations spanning Microsoft's 13 business areas, Nadella said in a note to employees Thursday. Judson Althoff will lead the worldwide commercial business, including government and small and medium-sized businesses. Other executives already reporting to Nadella will take on parts of Turner's job, with Chris Capossela leading worldwide marketing, Kurt DelBene leading IT and Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood taking over the sales and marketing team's finance group, which had been separate.

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Categories: Technical

Avast Acquires AVG For $1.3 Billion To Create Security Software Giant

Thu, 2016-07-07 07:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Security software giant Avast Software has acquired rival AVG Technologies. Avast will pay $25 in cash for each of AVG's outstanding ordinary shares, in a deal amounting to around $1.3 billion. Avast said that it's acquiring AVG to "gain scale, technological depth and geographical breadth" and so it can "take advantage of emerging growth opportunities in internet security as well as organizational efficiencies." The combined company will have access to "400 million endpoints" -- that is, devices that have some form of Avast or AVG application installed. Almost half of those are mobile too, which is key in a world that is increasingly shifting away from the desktop. With access to more devices, this will serve the joint company a bigger pool of data on malware, meaning it should be better positioned to offer better security products. "We are in a rapidly changing industry, and this acquisition gives us the breadth and technological depth to be the security provider of choice for our current and future customers," said Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast. "Combining the strengths of two great tech companies, both founded in the Czech Republic and with a common culture and mission, will put us in a great position to take advantage of the new opportunities ahead, such as security for the enormous growth in IoT." The boards of both companies have approved the acquisition. However, AVG's shareholders still need to approve the deal, which Avast expects to happen between September and October 2016.

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Categories: Technical

Samsung Unveils World's First UFS Storage Cards, Could Replace MicroSD

Thu, 2016-07-07 04:00
An anonymous reader writes: Samsung has unveiled the world's first UFS card that could one day replace microSD cards in devices. The UFS card is based on the Universal Flash Storage 1.0 Card Extension standard and will be available in capacities from 32GB to 256GB. With a UFS card, users will be able to read 5GB of data, or a full resolution movie file, in 10 seconds, Samsung claims. For comparison, a UHS-1 microSD card would take 50 seconds to do the same. UFS cards will be able to fit into a wide range of devices like smartphones, tablets, cameras, and drones, but the devices will need a specific UFS card slot, which could take some time. Samsung claims the 256GB UFS card has a sequential read speed of 530MBps. The random read speed is 20 times faster than a microSD card. The sequential write speed is about 170MBps, which Samsung estimates is two times faster than microSD cards. The random write speed is 350 times faster than microSD, Samsung claims. The Universal Flash Storage 1.0 Card Extension standard is intended to replace the eMMC standard, which is used in low-cost laptops and Chromebooks. Samsung didn't disclose pricing or availability for the UFS storage cards. It's worth noting that Toshiba does also make UFS storage cards, but they have yet to release any based on the UFS 1.0 Card Extension standard.

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Categories: Technical

Google Is Working On Two Android Wear Smartwatches, Says Report

Thu, 2016-07-07 01:00
An anonymous reader writes: A new report from Android Police says Google is working on two Android Wear smartwatches. The Verge reports: "The two smartwatches -- one codenamed Angelfish, the other Swordfish -- are said to place a heavy focus on the Google assistant artificial intelligence 'bot' that headlined the company's recent I/O keynote. In terms of size and design, the larger Angelfish watch fits somewhere in between the 42mm and 46mm sizes of Lenovo's Moto 360. It'll feature LTE connectivity, built-in GPS, and a heart rate monitor, so it's got everything necessary for a little independence from your smartphone. The watch design reportedly features three buttons. There's a circular crown like many other Android Wear devices, but Angelfish also has two other buttons, and it's not yet known what they do. The smaller, thinner Swordfish watch has a look that resembles the Pebble Time Round, according to Android Police, with much less bezel surrounding the circular display. It's got just a single button, and might ship without the LTE, GPS, and heart rate sensor included inside the higher-end model. They could appear sometime this fall alongside new Nexus phones and the launch of Android Wear 2.0, though Android Police suspects they'll be announced separately." Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, were able to track a smartwatch wearer's hand movements at an ATM and figure out their pin with 80 percent accuracy on the first try.

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Categories: Technical

Second Tesla Autopilot Crash Under Review By US Regulators

Wed, 2016-07-06 21:30
An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal and many other publications are reporting that U.S. auto-safety regulators are currently reviewing a second crash that occurred while Tesla's Autopilot mode was activate. The Detroit Free Press reports that a Michigan art gallery owner told police that he survived a rollover crash that happened when his Tesla Model X was in self-driving mode last Friday. The newspaper didn't disclose any additional details regarding what led up to the accident and whether or not the driver was to blame. Last week, it was reported that U.S. regulators were investigating Tesla after a fatal crash occurred involving a vehicle using the Autopilot mode. Tesla said in a statement after that incident, "This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated." They also said Autopilot "is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times."

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Categories: Technical