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1111
  BGR Show All 
That Apple wireless AirPod charging case is delayed, so Huawei is making one instead
Airpod Alternatives from huawei

One of the minor new products that we were expecting to see at Apple's fall iPhone event last week was a new wireless charging case for Apple's signature AirPods. Given that Apple is favoring wireless charging on all its new mobile accessories, a wireless charging case for the AirPods -- that is, a case that can be recharged wirelessly -- seems like a very logical product.

Unfortunately, wireless charging is a sore spot for Apple right now. The AirPower wireless charger, which it unveiled last fall alongside the iPhone X, is still nowhere to be seen, and the company has been scrubbing references to it from its website. Basically, if you want a new wireless charging thing right now, you're going to need to go somewhere other than Apple -- and Huawei wants to be that somewhere.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I can’t even use my AirPods anymore without this $12 accessory
  2. Today’s best deals: $20 Bluetooth headphones, $40 4K Fire TV, $40 off Kindle Paperwhite, air fryer, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Samsung accidentally leaked four different versions of the Galaxy S10
  2. iOS 12 is so good on older iPhones that people are rethinking their iPhone XS upgrades
  3. Leaked OnePlus 6T image suggests one of the rumors floating around was wrong

That Apple wireless AirPod charging case is delayed, so Huawei is making one instead originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 at 20:00:39 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


iOS 12 just fixed the most annoying thing about the iPhone X
iPhone X Screenshots

If you’re already an iPhone X user, then you’ve probably stumbled upon what is likely one of the most annoying things about it, the screenshot-taking extravaganza. If you have an iPhone with a home button, you don’t suffer from it, because you’ll hardly take accidental screenshots. But the iPhone X has a different way of taking them, which involves pressing the volume up and standby buttons simultaneously.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I can’t even use my AirPods anymore without this $12 accessory
  2. Today’s best deals: $20 Bluetooth headphones, $40 4K Fire TV, $40 off Kindle Paperwhite, air fryer, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Samsung accidentally leaked four different versions of the Galaxy S10
  2. iOS 12 is so good on older iPhones that people are rethinking their iPhone XS upgrades
  3. AT&T is already dreaming up ways to milk 5G for every possible cent

iOS 12 just fixed the most annoying thing about the iPhone X originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 at 19:31:34 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Users aren’t exactly racing to upgrade to iOS 12, according to these install numbers
iOS 12

We're already on record praising iOS 12 as such a strong refresh of the operating system that it's making some users question whether they want to go ahead and get their hands on a new device at all or just stick with their older model and go for the upgraded OS instead.

Of course, we're talking about users who are actually bothering to go ahead and upgrade to iOS 12. Because new numbers just out suggest users are doing so at a slower rate than they did for iOS 10 and iOS 11.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I can’t even use my AirPods anymore without this $12 accessory
  2. Today’s best deals: $20 Bluetooth headphones, $40 4K Fire TV, $40 off Kindle Paperwhite, air fryer, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Samsung accidentally leaked four different versions of the Galaxy S10
  2. iOS 12 is so good on older iPhones that people are rethinking their iPhone XS upgrades
  3. AT&T is already dreaming up ways to milk 5G for every possible cent

Users aren’t exactly racing to upgrade to iOS 12, according to these install numbers originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 at 19:06:25 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Apparently we’re all supposed to be nice to wasps now
wasps vs bees

Bees and wasps are two very different creatures. Bees are friendly little fellas that give us honey and might maybe leave a welt on your arm if you happen to cross into their personal space. Wasps, on the other hand, are nasty, aggressive fight-starters who come flying out of your Pepsi can to sting you right in the eyeball, and then laugh about it.

That's the public perception that scientists are now trying to change.

As BBC News reports, researchers are noticing a dramatic shift in the way bees are perceived when compared to wasps, but they're warning that both types of insects are vitally important to the environment, even if one of them seems to be more rude than the other.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I can’t even use my AirPods anymore without this $12 accessory
  2. Today’s best deals: $20 Bluetooth headphones, $40 4K Fire TV, $40 off Kindle Paperwhite, air fryer, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Samsung accidentally leaked four different versions of the Galaxy S10
  2. iOS 12 is so good on older iPhones that people are rethinking their iPhone XS upgrades
  3. Apple Watch Series 4 review roundup: There’s no other smartwatch like it

Apparently we’re all supposed to be nice to wasps now originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 at 18:42:29 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Scientists are trying to figure out why sharks keep gathering in the middle of nowhere every single year
white shark cafe

Being some of the most dangerous creatures in Earth's oceans, sharks have been the subject of extensive study for many, many years. Scientists know a lot about their diet, behavior, and even what causes the sharks to sometimes mistakenly attack humans. Despite all this, one big question remains: Why do so many sharks travel to the exact same spot in the middle of nowhere, year after year?

The location, nicknamed the White Shark Cafe, is located roughly halfway between Baja California and Hawaii, and every winter it becomes a hot spot for several species of shark, including great whites, blues, and makos. But figuring out exactly what they're doing there has taken years of research, and it's not done yet.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I can’t even use my AirPods anymore without this $12 accessory
  2. Today’s best deals: $20 Bluetooth headphones, $40 4K Fire TV, $40 off Kindle Paperwhite, air fryer, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Samsung accidentally leaked four different versions of the Galaxy S10
  2. iOS 12 is so good on older iPhones that people are rethinking their iPhone XS upgrades
  3. Apple Watch Series 4 review roundup: There’s no other smartwatch like it

Scientists are trying to figure out why sharks keep gathering in the middle of nowhere every single year originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 at 18:23:44 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Leaked OnePlus 6T image suggests one of the rumors floating around was wrong
OnePlus 6T Release Date

We learned quite a few details about the OnePlus 6T over the past few days, including the fact that the phone will sport an in-display fingerprint sensor, that it’ll lack a headphone jack, and that it’ll be available from T-Mobile, the first carrier in the US to ever partner with the Chinese smartphone maker. A new leak now tells us that the phone won’t have three cameras on the back, which is something that had previously been rumored on several occasions.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I can’t even use my AirPods anymore without this $12 accessory
  2. Today’s best deals: $20 Bluetooth headphones, $40 4K Fire TV, $40 off Kindle Paperwhite, air fryer, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Samsung accidentally leaked four different versions of the Galaxy S10
  2. iOS 12 is so good on older iPhones that people are rethinking their iPhone XS upgrades
  3. Apple Watch Series 4 review roundup: There’s no other smartwatch like it

Leaked OnePlus 6T image suggests one of the rumors floating around was wrong originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 at 17:59:37 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


‘PUBG’ might finally be coming to PS4
PUBG PS4 release date

Microsoft shelled out last year to ensure PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) would be an Xbox One console exclusive for a limited amount of time, but it looks like that window may soon be closing. On Wednesday, Eurogamer spotted what appears to be an official rating for a PS4 version of PUBG on the Korean Game Rating Board, possibly spoiling an upcoming announcement that the game will be migrating from the Xbox One.

While PUBG has been an Xbox One console exclusive for over a year now, it was part of the Game Preview program for unfinished games until it launched at the beginning of September. Sony doesn't have an early access program, so if it does arrive on other consoles soon, PS4 owners will presumably get the full game up front.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I can’t even use my AirPods anymore without this $12 accessory
  2. Today’s best deals: $20 Bluetooth headphones, $40 4K Fire TV, $40 off Kindle Paperwhite, air fryer, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Samsung accidentally leaked four different versions of the Galaxy S10
  2. iOS 12 is so good on older iPhones that people are rethinking their iPhone XS upgrades
  3. Apple Watch Series 4 review roundup: There’s no other smartwatch like it

‘PUBG’ might finally be coming to PS4 originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 at 17:34:26 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Report: Your cellphone is going to get tons more spam calls next year
Spam calls

If you've ever answered a call to your cellphone that had an unfamiliar number but a local area code, making you wonder well maybe I ought to see who this is only to find out it's a spam call, we have some bad news. That's going to happen a lot more next year.

A new report is out predicting that almost half of all U.S. mobile traffic in 2019 will be attributable to scam calls. The forecast comes from Arkansas-based First Orion, a company that offers caller ID and call blocking technology and thinks such calls will hit 45 percent of all cellphone calls next year. That's up from just 3.7 percent last year, which ballooned to almost 30 percent this year.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Today’s best deals: $20 Bluetooth headphones, $40 4K Fire TV, $40 off Kindle Paperwhite, air fryer, more
  2. I can’t even use my AirPods anymore without this $12 accessory

Trending Right Now:

  1. Samsung accidentally leaked four different versions of the Galaxy S10
  2. iOS 12 is so good on older iPhones that people are rethinking their iPhone XS upgrades
  3. Apple Watch Series 4 review roundup: There’s no other smartwatch like it

Report: Your cellphone is going to get tons more spam calls next year originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 at 17:11:08 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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  TechNewsWorld Show All 
Amazon Has Big Plans for Alexa in Homes, Cars
Amazon will unveil eight new Alexa-powered devices for the car and home before the end of the year, according to a report. They include a microwave oven, an amplifier, a receiver, a subwoofer and an in-car gadget. Amazon is expected to reveal some of the devices at an event later this month. All the devices will connect easily to Alexa, and some will have the voice assistant built in. The products mark Amazon's first move into the home appliances market, an area where competitors have already staked out their turf.

The Future of Open Source
Linux and the open source business model are far different today than many of the early developers might have hoped. Neither can claim a rags-to-riches story. Rather, their growth cycles have been a series of hit-or-miss milestones. The Linux desktop has yet to find a home on the majority of consumer and enterprise computers. However, Linux-powered technology has long ruled the Internet and conquered the cloud and Internet of Things deployments. Both Linux and free open source licensing have dominated in other ways.

Apple Watch Goes All-In With Health and Fitness Focus
Apple aimed to stretch its lead in the smartwatch market when it introduced its Apple Watch Series 4 last week. The redesigned and re-engineered line features a bigger display, thinner and smaller case, an interface with richer detail, and some innovative health applications enabled by new sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope hardware. "Between watchOS 5 and what they revealed to us last week, there's a lot of cool things to like about this," said Ramon T. Llamas, senior research analyst at IDC.

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ACLU Sues Facebook for Facilitating Gender-Biased Job Recruitment
The ACLU and others have filed charges of unlawful gender-based discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Facebook and 10 employers accused of targeting job ads at males only. The ACLU, Outten & Golden, a Washington, D.C. law firm, and the Communications Workers of America brought the action on behalf of three female workers, the hundreds of thousands of female workers represented by the CWA, and a class of millions of female workers allegedly denied job opportunities due to their gender.

Utopia or Disaster? AI's Transformation of Sales
If there's one thing that can be said with certainty about artificial intelligence in the field of sales, it's this: It's coming. Solutions for sales leaders, account executives and business development reps tout various AI-enabled features and the benefits they offer to sales. Writers breathlessly forecast the loss of millions of jobs due to AI, including the decimation of most professions, sales included. Beyond the hype, what is true? What are the real positive and negative implications of AI on the sales profession?

Despite Emmys, Road Ahead Is Bumpy for Streaming Services
Netflix had a very good showing on Monday, winning 23 Emmy Awards and tying longtime Emmy-winning powerhouse HBO. Netflix, an over-the-top streaming service, claimed 112 nominations this year, four more than its premium pay-TV channel rival HBO, which had dominated the Emmys for nearly two decades. Although the Emmy wins were good news for Netflix, other recent news has been far less rosy. The largest U.S. telecom companies have been slowing mobile Internet traffic to and from Netflix and other services, including YouTube.

Blockchain (Re)Emerges
More often than you might think, disruptive innovations travel in pairs -- at least until they are separated by the markets, which decide one is useful and the other no so much. Sometimes they're symbiotic. Both may be useful or even necessary -- like hardware and software -- but that's not always the case. Consider the strange pairing of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The latter, using the former, tried to insinuate itself into society and the economy as the next big thing in, well, currency.

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Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant duke it out at CES 2018

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant duke it out at CES 2018CES 2018 had more than its fair share of wacky items and compelling gadgets, but one of the biggest trends to emerge, once again, from the popular tech expo was voice-enabled devices. And, of course, it was all about Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.



The weirdest tech of CES 2018

The weirdest tech of CES 2018Here are seven items at CES 2018, some of which address legitimate use cases and some of which may be closer to mad-scientist territory.



Sennheiser co-CEO: Why we're betting on AR and VR with 3-D audio

Sennheiser co-CEO: Why we're betting on AR and VR with 3-D audioAt CES 2018, Sennheiser announced two new products that focus on recording or playing back 3-D audio.



Honda wants to prove robots can help you, not kill you

Honda wants to prove robots can help you, not kill youHonda wants to change your perception of robots. And it's hoping to do so with four new concept robots.



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  News Show All 
The Volkswagen Arteon proves that high-tech doesn’t have to be showy

The Volkswagen Arteon is packed with technology, but it never gets in the way

19 Sep 2018
Sponsored

The best free coding courses and bootcamps for women in London

Celebrate National Coding Week with our roundup of the best coding courses for women in London

19 Sep 2018

Women learning computer skills down by a third

The number of women in digital skills-related roles is in decline, Makers Academy wants to reverse that

18 Sep 2018

Robots set to create over 100 million jobs by 2022

Robots will create more jobs than they steal, assure experts

18 Sep 2018

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Everything you need to know about the new 'PlayStation Classic' - SB Nation

SB Nation

Everything you need to know about the new 'PlayStation Classic'
SB Nation
Sony has announced a classic version of the original PlayStation, which will hit stores in time for the holidays on Dec. 3 and give us all a healthy dose of nostalgia. The $99.99 PlayStation Classic follows in the vein of the NES and SNES Classic, both ...
Sony Will Launch $99 PlayStation Classic in DecemberInvestorplace.com
Introducing PlayStation Classic, with 20 Pre-Loaded Games – PlayStation.BlogPlayStation.Blog
Sony gets in on throwback-console market with Playstation ClassicABC6OnYourSide.com

all 1,062 news articles »

Amazon Considers Opening 3000 Amazon Go Convenience Stores - Investor's Business Daily

Investor's Business Daily

Amazon Considers Opening 3000 Amazon Go Convenience Stores
Investor's Business Daily
Amazon (AMZN) is said to be planning the development of 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021, a report said Wednesday. X. Error loading player: No playable sources found. Bloomberg reported the company is considering plans to have about 10 locations ...

and more »

Apple Watch Series 4 review roundup: There's no other smartwatch like it - BGR

BGR

Apple Watch Series 4 review roundup: There's no other smartwatch like it
BGR
The brand new Apple Watch nearly stole the show at Apple's iPhone event last week. The fourth-gen smartwatch looks much sleeker than its predecessors, as Apple managed to increase the display and slightly reduce the thickness. But Apple Watch Series 4, ...
Apple Watch Series 4 review roundup: A little more screen makes a big differenceMacworld
The new Apple Watch reviews are in and it seems like a good oneQuartz
Apple Roundup: iPhones, Watch, ChinaZacks.com
ZDNet -Fox News -SlashGear -The Verge
all 191 news articles »

Nintendo Switch Online: NES Games, Family Plan, Service Price, And More - GameSpot

GameSpot

Nintendo Switch Online: NES Games, Family Plan, Service Price, And More
GameSpot
Nintendo fans have had it good for a long, long time. Unlike Xbox and PlayStation owners, they've never had to pay to play their games online. This free period, like all good things, has come to an end. With the launch of Nintendo Switch Online--which ...
Nintendo's Finally Getting Into Online Gaming. Gamers Aren't ImpressedBloomberg
How to play Japanese Famicom games through Nintendo Switch OnlineThe Verge
Welcome to NES-flix: Testing Nintendo Online's new 8-bit library on SwitchArs Technica
BGR -Polygon -PCMag -TechSpot
all 250 news articles »

iOS Update Turns Your Phone Into a Virtual Tape Measure - GearJunkie

GearJunkie

iOS Update Turns Your Phone Into a Virtual Tape Measure
GearJunkie
iOS 12 gives iPhone owners a wonderful little addition to their app suite: an augmented-reality measuring tool. While clacking away on my keyboard for another day of outdoor news and gear reviews, my iPhone alerted me to an available software update.

and more »

Super cheap earth element to advance new battery tech to the industry - EurekAlert (press release)

EurekAlert (press release)

Super cheap earth element to advance new battery tech to the industry
EurekAlert (press release)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Most of today's batteries are made up of rare lithium mined from the mountains of South America. If the world depletes this source, then battery production could stagnate. Sodium is a very cheap and earth-abundant alternative to ...

and more »

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  Latest news Show All 
EmTech MIT: How AI and biomedical innovations are transforming health care
Emerald's little wireless box that can monitor movement and physiological signs wirelessly even through walls was just one of several medical innovations at this year's conference.
Red Hat reports mixed second quarter results
The company missed revenue estimates and its guidance fell below Wall Street targets.
Zaif cryptocurrency exchange loses $60 million in recent hack
The Osaka-based cryptocurrency exchange discovered hack two days ago, and is working to secure funds to reimburse affected users.
Google Home Mini was the most popular smart speaker in Q2
Apple's HomePod didn't break into the top five, but it was the Q2 market leader in terms of revenue.
Zero Trust technology works; excuses don't
Security implementation has never been a technology problem -- it's a management, leadership, and ownership issue.
As Apple Watch matures, time is running out for Wear OS
The circumstances that made Android a success in smartphones have not supported it in smartwatches.
Salesforce intros Einstein Voice, an AI voice assistant for enterprises
With Einstein Voice, users will be able to verbally talk to the Salesforce platform to perform a range of administrative tasks, such as note dictation and data entry.
Access to over 3,000 backdoored sites sold on Russian hacking forum
Researchers blow the lid on MagBO, a marketplace for selling access to hacked sites
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The ESA teamed with Nissan to build an off-road astronomy lab
Nissan unveiled its Navara Dark Sky concept vehicle at the Hannover Motor Show this week, and it's a vehicle designed for astronomers. The truck is an enhanced version of the automaker's Navara vehicle and along with including some handy new features...

Amazon Echo Sub and Smart Plug leak ahead of event
You might just be looking at some of the Alexa-powered devices due to show at Amazon's rumored hardware event this month. Pocket-lint has spotted listings (since pulled) for the Echo Sub wireless subwoofer (above) and Smart Plug (below), both of whi...

Mars trips may involve less radiation exposure than previously thought
There's no question that the first human mission to Mars will be extremely dangerous. Some studies have suggested that the radiation levels would exceed the maximum career dose for a given astronaut, greatly increasing the risk of cancer and other i...

California may ban terrible default passwords on connected devices
California looks set to enact a law that aims to protect connected devices against hackers. The state senate has sent Governor Jerry Brown draft legislation that could beef up security across the vast ocean of smart gadgets.

Destiny 2: Forsaken's Gambit mode is open to everyone this weekend
With the base Destiny 2 free for PS Plus members through the month of September, Bungie is determined to sell newcomers on Forsaken -- and that means giving players a taste of what they're missing. The developer is making Forsaken's Gambit multiplay...

Amazon could open 3,000 cashierless Go stores by 2021
Amazon now has four of its Go stores up and running -- three in Seattle and one in Chicago -- with at least one on the way in New York. And while we've heard that there are plans for San Francisco as well, that apparently is just the beginning, becau...

Samsung’s $1,800 Odyssey Z gaming laptop is on sale in the US
Samsung's Notebook Odyssey Z gaming laptop is now available in the US. The laptop, which features a slim design, a keyboard pushed to the lower portion of the tray and a right-side touchpad, comes in just one configuration that includes a 15.6-inch d...

Teenage Engineering's OP-Z synth finally goes on sale in October
We got our first look at Teenage Engineering's next synthexxxxr in early 2017, and now the company is gearing up to finally ship the portable instrument/control center. The OP-Z is set to go on sale next month, but the company didn't include pricing...

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Inside Facebook’s Election ‘War Room’
Seven weeks before the midterm elections, the social network is setting up a central hub to root out disinformation and false news. We visited the operation.
Tech Fix: Apple Watch Series 4 Review: Faster, Bigger, With a Promise to Be Healthier
The faster speeds and larger screen sound boring on paper. But an electrical heart sensor gives a glimpse of the promise to come, our reviewer writes.
State of the Art: Why Jeff Bezos Should Push for Nobody to Get as Rich as Jeff Bezos
Here’s what the Amazon founder’s vast fortune tells us about the economic concentration of the tech industry — and how he might help unravel that for the world.
If You See Disinformation Ahead of the Midterms, We Want to Hear From You
Here’s how to send tips to Times reporters about disinformation online.
The Most Fun (and Useful) Things You Can Do With an Amazon Echo or Google Home
Smart home devices will tell you the weather and answer trivia questions, sure, but they can do so much more. Try these tips to streamline your day, relax a little or just have some fun.
Tech We’re Using: Windows on How Cities Change Can Be All Too Captivating
Technology is crowding curbs with ride hailers and keeping homeowners fixated on housing values. Here are the tools that Emily Badger, a writer for The Upshot, uses to analyze the ripple effects.
Trilobites: Elephant Tusk DNA Helps Track Ivory Poachers
Researchers are examining the genetic data in seized elephant ivory to trace it back to the animals’ homelands and connect it to global trafficking crimes.
A Wedding Ring With a Dirty Little Secret
They’re not as shiny as diamonds, but smog free rings are considered sustainable and ethical — and they’re also much more affordable.
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  WSJ.com: WSJD Show All 
Apple's New Strategy: Sell Pricier iPhones First
For the second straight year, Apple is starting to sell its new iPhone models at different times—but this time, the lag reflects a staggered production timeline set by the tech giant rather than manufacturing issues it experienced last year.

EU Starts Preliminary Probe of Amazon's Treatment of Merchants
European Union antitrust authorities have opened a preliminary investigation into Amazon.com’s treatment of other merchants that sell products using its platform, starting a new regulatory front against an American tech giant.

Bringing iPhone Assembly to U.S. Would Be a Hollow Victory for Trump
If Apple moved smartphone production to the U.S. to avoid the president’s tariffs, it could do more harm than good, Greg Ip writes.

Google, T-Mobile Tackle 911 Call Problem
Android phones will soon send Google Maps-like location data to emergency call centers.

The Cyberthreats That Most Worry Election Officials
How attacks could be attempted—and what officials are doing to make sure they don’t affect the midterms.

Facial Recognition Goes Mainstream
Restaurants, airlines and others want to use the technology in everyday commerce. If, that is, customers let them.

DOJ Opened Probe of Tesla After Musk's Going-Private Tweet
Tesla said it received a “voluntary request for documents” from the Justice Department, which came after CEO Elon Musk’s tweet about taking the electric-car maker private.

Amazon Forecast to Be No. 3 Digital Advertising Player in 2018
Th tech giant is expected to surpass Verizon’s Oath and Microsoft, according to new eMarketer estimates, according to research firm eMarketer.

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  CNET News Show All 
Amazon might open thousands of its grab-and-go stores over the next three years - CNET
The e-commerce giant is reportedly considering as many as 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021.
Google teams up with T-Mobile on more-accurate 911 location data - CNET
Enhanced location service runs on 99 percent of active Android phones.
Amazon's new shopping experiment is Scout, and you can try it now - CNET
Give items a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down to get tailored product recommendations.
Amazon just accidentally revealed an Echo subwoofer and smart plug - CNET
Pocket-lint discovered these unannounced products on Amazon's UK website.
CNET Asks: Will one of Apple's new iPhones be your next smartphone? - CNET
Has Apple made enough improvements with the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR to earn your vote?
Black Panther's Ryan Coogler producing Space Jam sequel - CNET
He shoots, he scores! LeBron James has enlisted the Marvel director to work on the long-awaited comedy follow-up.
Ticketmaster partners with scalpers to rip you off, two undercover reporters say - CNET
The company is reportedly helping ticket resellers violate its own terms of use.
Japan's Hayabusa-2 is sending tiny rovers to hop around an asteroid - CNET
The JAXA spacecraft is dropping a few emissaries to the surface before moving in itself to swipe a piece of the space rock Ryugu.
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  SlashdotShow All 
John Hancock Will Include Fitness Tracking In All Life Insurance Policies
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that trac

Alibaba To Set Up New Chip Company Amid Fear of US Tech Dependency
hackingbear shares a report from CNN: China's biggest tech firm announced Wednesday that the new [semiconductor] business will develop artificial intelligence chips for cloud computing, internet-connected devices and other sectors

'WaitList.dat' Windows File May Be Secretly Hoarding Your Passwords, Emails
A file named WaitList.dat, found only on touchscreen-capable Windows PCs, may be collecting your sensitive data like passwords and emails. According to ZDNet, in order for the file to exist users have to enable "the handwriting re

'I'm Admin. You're Admin. Everyone is Admin.' Remote Access Bug Turns Western Digital My Cloud Into Everyone's Cloud
Researchers at infosec shop Securify revealed this week a vulnerability, designated CVE-2018-17153, which allows an unauthenticated attacker with network access to the device to bypass password checks and login with admin privileg

Despite Data Caps and Throttling, Industry Says Mobile Can Replace Home Internet
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: AT&T and Verizon are trying to convince the Federal Communications Commission that mobile broadband is good enough for Internet users who don't have access to fiber or cab

Alibaba's Jack Ma Backs Down From Promise To Trump To Bring 1 Million Jobs to the US
Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba, has abandoned a promise to create one million new jobs in the US, in a sign of the threat that rising trade tensions with China pose to some of US President Donald Trump's key economic goals. From a r

Times Newer Roman is a Font Designed To Make Your Essays Look Longer
Chaim Gartenberg, writing for The Verge: Times Newer Roman, a font from internet marketing firm MSCHF (which you may remember from the Tabagotchi Chrome extension). Times Newer Roman looks a lot like the go-to academic font, but e

Amazon is Reportedly Planning Up To 3,000 Cashierless Stores By 2021
Amazon is planning to open 3,000 of its cashierless stores by 2021, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, planning a major push into retail as it continues to scale its online platform. CNBC: The e-commerce giant currently has three locat


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  Gigaom Show All 
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  CIO Show All 
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  WSJ.com: WSJD Show All 
Apple's New Strategy: Sell Pricier iPhones First
For the second straight year, Apple is starting to sell its new iPhone models at different times—but this time, the lag reflects a staggered production timeline set by the tech giant rather than manufacturing issues it experienced last year.

EU Starts Preliminary Probe of Amazon's Treatment of Merchants
European Union antitrust authorities have opened a preliminary investigation into Amazon.com’s treatment of other merchants that sell products using its platform, starting a new regulatory front against an American tech giant.

Bringing iPhone Assembly to U.S. Would Be a Hollow Victory for Trump
If Apple moved smartphone production to the U.S. to avoid the president’s tariffs, it could do more harm than good, Greg Ip writes.

Google, T-Mobile Tackle 911 Call Problem
Android phones will soon send Google Maps-like location data to emergency call centers.

The Cyberthreats That Most Worry Election Officials
How attacks could be attempted—and what officials are doing to make sure they don’t affect the midterms.

Facial Recognition Goes Mainstream
Restaurants, airlines and others want to use the technology in everyday commerce. If, that is, customers let them.

DOJ Opened Probe of Tesla After Musk's Going-Private Tweet
Tesla said it received a “voluntary request for documents” from the Justice Department, which came after CEO Elon Musk’s tweet about taking the electric-car maker private.

Amazon Forecast to Be No. 3 Digital Advertising Player in 2018
Th tech giant is expected to surpass Verizon’s Oath and Microsoft, according to new eMarketer estimates, according to research firm eMarketer.

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Facebook expands fake election news fight, but falsehoods still rampant
Facebook Inc on Wednesday said it would team with two U.S. non-profits to slow the global spread of misinformation that could influence elections, acknowledging that fake news sites were still read by millions.
Amazon considering opening up to 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021 - Bloomberg
Amazon.com Inc is considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 new Amazon Go cashierless stores in the next few years, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Facebook yet to comply with EU consumer rules, Airbnb in line - EU sources
Facebook may face sanctions because it has yet to comply with EU consumer rules while Airbnb has made the necessary changes in response to regulatory demands, EU sources said on Wednesday.
Banks, traders launch first commodities blockchain platform
Global banks and trading firms are launching the first blockchain-based platform for financing the trading of commodities from oil to wheat, they said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
Amazon's use of merchant data under EU microscope
European Union regulators are checking whether U.S. online retailer Amazon is using merchants' data in a way that stifles competition, Europe's antitrust chief said on Wednesday.
Germany to reach target of 1 million electric cars later than planned
Germany will likely have to delay its target of having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by two years to 2022, according to a government-sponsored report.
Startup Picnic runs grocery delivery bus in Dutch online shopping boom
Coming to a stop outside yet another front door on Utrecht's narrow streets, 25-year-old Susann Huber gets out of her electric minivan, pulls out a crate of groceries and hands them over to a waiting customer.
Goldman Sachs nears deal to sell its fintech app: source
Goldman Sachs is in advanced talks with several financial companies to spin off its three-year-old app, Simon, which sells complex financial products to retail investors, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
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Google’s GitHub competitor gets better search tools

Google today announced an update to Cloud Source Repositories, its recently relaunched Git-based source code repository, that brings a significantly better search experience to the service. This new search feature is based on the same tool that Google’s own engineers use day in and day out and it’s now available in the beta release of Cloud Source Repositories.

If you’ve been on the internet for a while, then you probably remember Google Code Search. Code Search allowed you to search through any open-source code on the internet. Sadly, Google shut this down back in 2012. This new feature isn’t quite the same, though. It only allows you to search your own code — or that from other people in your company. It’s just as fast as Google’s own search, though, and allows you to use regular expressions and other advanced search features.

One nifty feature here is that for Java, JavaScript, Go, C++, Python, TypeScript and Proto files, the tools will also return information on whether the match is a class, method, enum or field.

Google argues that searching through code locally is not very efficient and means you are often looking at outdated code.

As Google also notes, you can mirror your code from GitHub and Bitbucket with Cloud Source Repositories. I’m not sure a lot of developers will do this only to get the advanced search tools, but it’s definitely a way for Google to get more users onto its platform, which is a bit of an underdog in an ecosystem that’s dominated by the likes of GitHub.

“One key benefit is that now all owned repositories that are either mirrored or added to Cloud Source Repositories can be searched in a single query,” Cloud Source Repositories product manager Russell Wolf writes in today’s announcement. “This works whether you have a small weekend project or a code base the size of Google’s. And it’s fast: You’ll get the answers you need super quickly—much faster than previous functionality—so you can get back to writing code. And indexing is super fast, too, so the time between new code being added and being available means you’re always searching up-to-date code.”


Google brings vulnerability scanning to its Cloud Build CI/CD platform

Google today announced an important update to its Cloud Build CI/CD platform that brings vulnerability scanning to all container images built using the service. Container Registry vulnerability scanning, which is now in beta, is meant to ensure that as businesses adopt modern DevOps practices, the container they eventually deploy are free of known vulnerabilities.

As Google rightly notes, the only way to ensure that security protocols are always followed is by automating the process. In this case, all new Cloud Build images are automatically scanned when Cloud Build creates an image and stores it in the Container Registry.

The service uses the standard security databases to find new issues. Currently, the service can identify package vulnerabilities for Ubuntu, Debian, and Alpine, with CentOS and RHEL support coming soon.

When it finds an issue, the service will notify the user, but businesses can also set up automatic rules (using Pub/Sub notifications and Cloud Functions) to take actions automatically. Users also get detailed reports about the severity of the vulnerability, VCSS scores, which packages were affected and whether there’s a fix available already.


Google’s Cloud Memorystore for Redis is now generally available

After five months in public beta, Google today announced that its Cloud Memorystore for Redis, its fully managed in-memory data store, is now generally available.

The service, which is fully compatible with the Redis protocol, promises to offer sub-millisecond responses for applications that need to use in-memory caching. And because of its compatibility with Redis, developers should be able to easily migrate their applications to this service without making any code changes.

Cloud Memorystore offers two service tiers — a basic one for simple caching and a standard tier for users who need a highly available Redis instance. For the standard tier, Google offers a 99.9 percent availability SLA.

Since it first launched in beta, Google added a few additional capabilities to the service. You can now see your metrics in Stackdriver, for example. Google also added custom IAM roles and improved logging.

As for pricing, Google charges per GB-hour, depending on the service level and capacity you use. You can find the full pricing list here.


‘Jackrabbot 2’ takes to the sidewalks to learn how humans navigate politely

Autonomous vehicles and robots have to know how to get from A to B without hitting obstacles or pedestrians — but how can they do so politely and without disturbing nearby humans? That’s what Stanford’s Jackrabbot project aims to learn, and now a redesigned robot will be cruising campus learning the subtleties of humans negotiating one another’s personal space.

“There are many behaviors that we humans subconsciously follow – when I’m walking through crowds, I maintain personal distance or, if I’m talking with you, someone wouldn’t go between us and interrupt,” said grad student Ashwini Pokle in a Stanford News release. “We’re working on these deep learning algorithms so that the robot can adapt these behaviors and be more polite to people.”

Of course there are practical applications pertaining to last mile problems and robotic delivery as well. What do you do if someone stops in front of you? What if there’s a group running up behind? Experience is the best teacher, as usual.

The first robot was put to work in 2016, and has been hard at work building a model of how humans (well, mostly undergrads) walk around safely, avoiding one another while taking efficient paths, and signal what they’re doing the whole time. But technology has advanced so quickly that a new iteration was called for.

The JackRabbot project team with JackRabbot 2 (from left to right): Patrick Goebel, Noriaki Hirose, Tin Tin Wisniewski, Amir Sadeghian, Alan Federman, Silivo Savarese, Roberto Martín-Martín, Pin Pin Tea-mangkornpan and Ashwini Pokle

The new robot has a vastly improved sensor suite compared to its predecessor: two Velodyne lidar units giving 360 degree coverage, plus a set of stereo cameras making up its neck that give it another depth-sensing 360 degree view. The cameras and sensors on its head can also be pointed wherever needed, of course, just like ours. All this imagery is collated by a pair of new GPUs in its base/body.

Amir Sadeghian, one of the researchers, said this makes Jackrabbot 2 “one of the most powerful robots of its size that has ever been built.”

This will allow the robot to sense human motion with a much greater degree of precision than before, and also operate more safely. It will also give the researchers a chance to see how the movement models created by the previous robot integrate with this new imagery.

The other major addition is a totally normal-looking arm that Jackrabbot 2 can use to gesture to others. After all, we do it, right? When it’s unclear who should enter a door first or what side of a path they should take, a wave of the hand is all it takes to clear things up. Usually. Hopefully this kinked little gripper accomplishes the same thing.

Jackrabbot 2 can zoom around for several hours at a time, Sadeghian said. “At this stage of the project for safety we have a human with a safety switch accompanying the robot, but the robot is able to navigate in a fully autonomous way.”

Having working knowledge of how people use the space around them and how to predict their movements will be useful to startups like Kiwi, Starship, and Marble. The first time a delivery robot smacks into someone’s legs is the last time they consider ordering something via one.


Lime is pissed at San Francisco for denying it an e-scooter permit, claims ‘unlawful bias’

Lime is waging a war against the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency (SFMTA), claiming that the organization acted with “unlawful bias” and “sought to punish Lime” when it chose not to award the e-scooter and dockless bike startup a permit to operate in San Francisco last month.

Lime has sent an appeal to the SFMTA, requesting an “unbiased hearing officer” reevaluate its application to participate in the city’s 12-month pilot program for e-scooter providers. The SFMTA, however, says they are “confident” they picked the right companies in Scoot and Skip.

“After a thorough, fair and transparent review process, we are confident we selected the strongest applicants to participate in the one-year scooter pilot,” a spokesperson for SFMTA said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “Scoot and Skip demonstrated the highest level of commitment to our city’s values of prioritizing public safety, promoting equity and ensuring accountability. Lime’s appeal will go to an independent hearing officer for further consideration.”

San Francisco’s permit process came as a result of Lime and its competitors, Bird and Spin, deploying their scooters without permission in the city this March. As part of a new city law, which went into effect in June, scooter startups are not able to operate in San Francisco without a permit.

Lyft, Skip, Spin, Lime, Scoot, ofo, Razor, CycleHop, USSCooter and Ridecell all applied for said permit in June.

Lime thinks the selection process was unfair and that because it deployed scooters in the city without asking permission — the Uber model of expansion — SFMTA intentionally rejected its application despite its qualifications.

“The SFMTA ignored the fact that Scoot’s price is twice that of other applicants, including Lime, and that Scoot declined to offer any discounted cash payment option to low-income users, as required by law,” Lime wrote in a statement today. “SFMTA inexplicably avoided inclusion of these factors as evaluation criteria and instead deemed Scoot “satisfactory” because they ‘agreed to comply.'”

When Lime learned of its rejection on Aug. 30, CEO Toby Sun said he was disappointed and planned to appeal the decision.

San Franciscans deserve an equitable and transparent process when it comes to transportation and mobility. Instead, the SFMTA has selected inexperienced scooter operators that plan to learn on the job, at the expense of the public good … The SFMTA’s handling of the dockless bike and scooter share programs has lacked transparency from the beginning. We call on the Mayor’s Office and Board of Supervisors to hold the SFMTA accountable for a flawed permitting process. As a San Francisco-based company, this is where we live and work. We want to serve this community.”

Though Lime wasn’t able to successfully sway San Francisco authorities, it was given permission to operate in Santa Monica last month alongside Bird, Lyft and JUMP Bikes.

E-scooters are expected to return to the streets of San Francisco on Oct. 15.


Facing sexual assault charges, 3D-printed gun advocate Cody Wilson evades US authorities

The gun rights activist who waged a very public legal war over the right to freely distribute 3D-printed gun schematics over the internet is facing serious charges that have nothing to do with firearms.

According to a law enforcement press conference today, Cody Wilson, 30, is believed to have traveled to Taipei after learning that he was under investigation for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old. Wilson, who travels frequently, also missed his scheduled return flight.

According to an affidavit filed on Wednesday, Wilson is charged with the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl in Travis County, Texas. The affidavit describes how Wilson, an Austin resident, began communicating with the alleged victim under the handle “Sanjuro” using the website “SugarDaddyMeet.com.”

The two continued talking via iMessage and Wilson allegedly identified himself to the victim and mentioned that he was a “big deal,” prompting her to find his name featured in recent news stories. In addition to his high-profile role in the debate over 3D-printed firearms, Wilson also attracted attention when he founded Hatreon, a crowdfunding site for fundraisers that violated the rules of sites like Patreon and Kickstarter.

The affidavit, published in full on Ars Technica, details how the two met in person on August 15 at a local coffee shop and Wilson then took the victim to a hotel in a vehicle registered to his company, Defense Distributed. The victim alleges that the sexual assault took place at Austin’s Archer hotel, after which Wilson paid her $500. Surveillance footage corroborates the victim’s story.

Austin’s police department is coordinating with international authorities to bring him back to the country to face the second-degree felony charges, which could be punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Update: A reporter with the Austin American-Statesman reports that the U.S. Marshals have issued a wanted poster for Wilson.


18 new details about Elon Musk’s redesigned, moon-bound ‘Big F*ing Rocket’

Although the spotlight at this week’s SpaceX event was squarely on Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa — the first paying passenger for the company’s nascent space tourism business — Elon Musk also revealed a wealth of new details about the BFR and just how this enormous rocket and spacecraft will get to the moon and back.

In a lengthy (one might even say rambling, in the true Musk style) presentation, we were treated to cinematic and technical views of the planned rocket, which is already under construction and could take flight as early as a couple years from now — and Musk then candidly held forth on numerous topics in a lengthy Q&A period. As a result we learned quite a bit about this newly redesigned craft-in-progress.

Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Hope you like pictures of spaceships!

(Note: Quotes are transcribed directly from the video but may have been very slightly edited for clarity, such as the removal of “you know” and “like.”)

BFR is “ridiculously big”

Well, that’s not really news — it’s right there in the name. But now we know exactly how ridiculously big.

“The production design of BFR is different in some important ways from what I presented about a year ago,” Musk said, including its dimensions. The redesigned spacecraft (or BFS) will be 118 meters in length, or about 387 feet; just under half of that, 55 meters, will be the spacecraft itself. Inside you have about 1,100 cubic meters of payload space. That’s all around 15-20 percent larger than how it was last described. Its max payload is 100 metric tons to low Earth orbit.

“I mean, this is a ridiculously big rocket,” he added. The illustration on the wall, he pointed out, is life-size. As you can see it dwarfs the crowd and the other rockets.

What will fit in there? It depends on the mission, as you’ll see later.

No one knows what to call the fin-wing-things

Although Musk was clear on how the spacecraft worked, he was still a little foggy on nomenclature — not because he forgot, but because the parts don’t really correspond exactly with anything in flight right now. “There are two forward and two rear actuated wings, or fins,” he said. They don’t really fit the definition of either, he suggested — especially since they also act as legs.

The top fin “really is just a leg”

The fin on top of the craft gives it a very Space Shuttle-esque look, and it was natural that most would think that it’s a vertical stabilizer of some kind. But Musk shut that down quickly: “It doesn’t have any aerodynamic purpose — it really is just a leg.” He pointed out that during any atmospheric operations, the fin will be in the lee of the craft and won’t have any real effect.

“It looks the same as the other ones for purposes of symmetry,” he explained.

“If in doubt, go with Tintin”

It was pointed out when the new design was teased last week that it bore some resemblance to the ship Tintin (and Captain Haddock, and Professor Calculus, et al.) pilot to the moon in the classic comics. Turns out this isn’t a coincidence.

“The iteration before this decoupled the landing legs from the control surfaces — it basically had 6 legs. I actually didn’t like the aesthetics of that design,” Musk said. “I love the Tintin rocket design, so I kind of wanted to bias it toward that. So now we have the three large legs, with two of them actuating as body flaps or large moving wings.”

“I think this design is probably on par with the other one. It might be better. Yeah, if in doubt, go with Tintin,” he said.

BFR is “more like a skydiver than an aircraft”

An interplanetary spacecraft doesn’t have the same design restrictions as a passenger jet, so it may fly completely differently.

“You want four control surfaces to be able to control the vehicle through a wide range of atmospheric densities and velocities,” Musk explained, referring to the four fin-wing-flaps. “The way it behaves is a bit more like a skydiver than an aircraft. If you apply normal intuition it will not make sense.”

Actually if you imagine the plane as a person falling to earth, and that person controlling their orientation by moving their arms and legs — their built-in flaps — it does seem rather intuitive.

Reentry will “look really epic”

“Almost the entire time it is reentering, it’s just trying to brake, while distributing that force over the most area possible — it uses the entire body to brake,” Musk said. This is another point of similarity with the Space Shuttle, which used its heat-resistance bottom surface as a huge air brake.

“This will look really epic in person,” he enthused.

Of course, that only applies when there’s an atmosphere. “Obviously if you’re landing on the moon you don’t need any aerodynamic surfaces at all, because there’s no air.”

The seven-engine configuration leaves a huge safety margin

Astute observers like yours truly noticed that the number and arrangement of the craft’s Raptor engines had changed in the picture tweeted last week. Musk complimented the questioner (and by extension, me) for noting this and explained.

“In order to minimize the development risk and costs, we decided to harmonize the engine between the booster and the ship,” he said. In other words, it made more sense and cost less to put a similar type of Raptor engine on both the craft itself and the rocket that would take it to space. Previously the ship had been planned to have four large Raptor engines and two smaller sea-level engines for landing purposes. The trade-off, obviously, is that it will be a bit more costly to build the ship, but the benefits are manifold.

“Having the engines in that configuration, with seven engines, means it’s definitely capable of engine out at any time, including two engine out in almost all circumstances,” he said, referring to the possibility of an engine cutting out during flight. “In fact in some cases you could lose up to four engines and still be fine. It only needs three engines for landing.”

The booster, of course, will have considerably more thrusters — 31 to start, and as many as 42 down the road. (The number was not chosen arbitrarily, as you might guess.)

It has a deployable solar array

In the video explaining the mission, the BFS deploys a set of what appear to be solar panels from near the engines. How exactly this would work wasn’t explained at all — and in the images you can see there really isn’t a place for them to retract into. So this is likely only in the concept phase right now.

This isn’t exactly a surprise — solar is by far the most practical way to replenish small to medium amounts of electricity used for things like lights and life support, as demonstrated by most spacecraft and of course the International Space Station.

But until now we haven’t seen how those solar panels would be deployed. The fan structure at the rear would keep the panels out of view of passengers and pilots, and the single-stem design would allow them to be tilted and rotated to capture the maximum amount of sunlight.

The interior will depend on the mission

Although everyone is no doubt eager to see what the inside of the spaceship looks like, Musk cautioned that they are still at a concept stage there. He did say that they have learned a lot from the Crew Dragon capsule, however, and that will be plenty of shared parts and designs.

“Depending on the type of mission, you’d have a different configuration,” he explained. “If you were going to Mars that’s at least a three-month journey. You want to have a cabin, like a common area for recreation, some sort of meeting rooms… because you’ll be in this thing for months.”

Water and air in a months-long journey would have to be a closed-loop system, he noted, though he didn’t give any indication how that would work.

But it will include “the most fun you can possibly have in zero G”

“Now if you’re going, say, to the moon or around the moon, you have a several-day journey,” Musk continued. But then he mused on what the spare space would be used for. “What is the most fun you can have in zero G? That for sure is a key thing. Fun is underrated. Whatever is the most enjoyable thing you could possibly do — we’ll do that.”

Assuming the passengers have gotten over their space sickness, of course.

BFR will cost “roughly $5 billion” to develop

Musk was reticent to put any hard numbers out, given how early SpaceX is in development, but said: “If I were to guess it would be something like 5 billion dollars, which would be really quite a small amount for a project of this nature.”

He’s not wrong. Just for a sense of scale, the Space Shuttle program would probably have cost nearly $200 billion in today’s dollars. The F-35 program will end up costing something like $400 billion. These things aren’t directly comparable, of course, but they do give you a sense of how much money is involved in this type of thing.

Funding is still a semi-open question

Where exactly that money will come from isn’t totally clear, but Musk did point out that SpaceX does have reliable business coming from its International Space Station resupply missions and commercial launches. And next year, he pointed out, crewed launches could bring another source of income to the mix.

That’s in addition to Starlink, the satellite internet service in the offing. That’s still in tests, of course (and Tintin-related, as well).

Yusaku Maezawa’s ticket price is a “non-trivial” contribution

Although both men declined to elaborate on the actual price Maezawa paid, Musk did indicate it was considerable — and of course, he’s also essentially paying for the artists he plans to bring with him.

“He’s made a significant deposit on the price, which is a significant price and will actually have a material effect on paying for the cost of developing the BFR,” Musk said. “It’s a non-trivial amount.”

But it’s already under construction

“We’re already building it. We’ve built the first cylinder section,” Musk said, showing an image of that part, 9 meters in diameter. “We’ll build the domes and the engine section soon.”

Test flights could begin as early as next year

“We’ll start doing hopper flights next year,” Musk said. “Depending on how those go we’ll do high-altitude, high-velocity flights in 2020, then start doing tests of the booster. If things go well we could be doing the first orbital flights in about two to three years.”

This is the most optimistic scenario, he later clarified.

“We’re definitely not sure. But you have to set a date that’s kind of like the ‘things go right’ date.”

The circumlunar flight could “skim the surface” of the moon

The flight plan for the trip around the moon is relatively straightforward, as lunar missions go. Launch, orbit Earth, thrust to zoom off towards the moon, use moon’s gravity to boomerang back, and then land. But the exact path is to be determined, and Musk has ideas.

“I think it would be pretty exciting to like skim the surface,” he said, attempting to illustrate the orbit with gestures. “Go real close, then zoom out far, then come back around. In the diagram it looks kinda symmetric but I think you’d want to go real close.”

As the moon has no atmosphere, there’s no question of the craft getting slowed down or having its path altered by getting closer to it. The orbital dynamics would change, of course, but the moon’s trajectory is nothing if not well understood, so it’s just a question of how safe the mission planners want to play it, regardless of Musk’s fantasies.

“This is pretty off the cuff,” he admitted.

“This is a dangerous mission”

There will be plenty of tests before Maezawa and his artist friends take off.

“We’ll do many such test flights before putting any people on board. I’m not sure if we will actually test a flight around the moon or not, but probably we will try to do that without people before sending people.”

“That would be wise,” he concluded, seeming to make a decision then and there. But spaceflight is inherently risky, and he did not attempt to hide that fact.

“This is a dangerous mission,” he said. “We’ll leave a lot of extra room for extra food and oxygen, food and water, spare parts… you know, just in case.”

Maezawa, who was sitting next to him on stage, did not seem perturbed by this — he was certain to have assessed the risks before buying the ticket. In answer to a related question, he did indicate that astronaut-style training was in the plans, but the regimen was not yet planned.

It probably won’t even be called the BFR

There’s no getting around the fact that BFR stands for “Big Fucking Rocket,” or at least that’s what Musk and others have implied while coyly avoiding confirming. This juvenile naming scheme is in line with Tesla’s. Perhaps cognizant of posterity and the dignity of mankind’s expansion into space, Musk suggested this might not be permanent.

“We should probably think of a different name,” he admitted. This was kind of a code name and it kind of stuck.”

Again, if it officially just stood for “Big Falcon Rocket,” this probably wouldn’t be an issue. But regardless, Musk’s trademark geeky sense of humor remained.

“The only thing is, we’d like to name the first ship that goes to Mars after — Douglas Adams, my favorite spaceship — the Heart of Gold, from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

As far off as the moon mission is, the Mars mission is even further, and Musk changes his mind on nearly everything — but this is one thing I can sense he’s committed to.


Lyft now integrates public transit info in app

Lyft has officially entered the public transit space with the launch of Nearby Transit, a feature currently available just in Santa Monica, Calif. This comes just a couple of days after Lyft deployed electric scooters in the city.

Today, Lyft customers in Santa Monica will see the Nearby Transit option, which includes route information and schedules for the Big Blue Bus, LA Metro and Metrolink. The feature is in partnership with Trafi, a transit information platform.

“Building on the launch of Lyft Scooters in Santa Monica this week, it’s another step toward providing effective, equitable, and sustainable transportation to our communities, and towards creating a more seamless and connected transportation network,” the company posted on its blog.

Lyft has also brought on Lilly Shoup, formerly of Nelson\Nygaard Consulting, to serve as senior director of transportation policy. In that role, Shoup will oversee Lyft’s multi-modal transportation efforts as they pertain to equity, land use, autonomous vehicles and more.

Uber announced its public transit ambitions back in April, but has yet to integrate those offerings into the app. Whenever Uber integrates public transit, the company will take it a step further than Lyft by enabling people to purchase tickets, not just check routes.


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Teaching robots to predict the future

Future-predicting robots are all the rage this year in machine learning circles, but today’s deep learning techniques can only take the research so far. That’s why some ambitious AI developers are turning to an already established prediction engine for inspiration: The human brain. Researchers around the world are closing in on the development of a truly autonomous robot. Sure, there’s plenty of robotics that can do amazing things without human intervention. But none of them are ready to be released, unsupervised, into the wild where they’re free to move about and occupy the same spaces as human members of the…

This story continues at The Next Web

PlayStation One Classic won’t fix the biggest problem with retro consoles

Sony today announced it was releasing the PlayStation One Classic later this year — the sixty millionth retro console so far (I’m guesstimating). You’d think, now that we’re so deep into this trend, we’d see a little innovation, or at least something other than a tiny hunk of plastic with a couple of emulated games on it. But no, we’re not going to get much beside yet another NES Classic. The PS One Classic was first hinted at earlier this year when Sony Interactive President Takeshi Kodera let slip the company was having “discussions” about it. I didn’t expect to see…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Playstation

New physics AI could be the key to a quantum computing revolution

Quantum computing is one of the most exciting technologies there is, but its basis in quantum physics makes it a pain in the ass to understand and even harder to do anything with. A recent breakthrough in physics research, however, might change all of that and start a computing revolution. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. IBM’s Thomas J Watson (the person the Watson AI was named after) famously said “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers,” in 1943. That’s probably because, at the time, a computer filled up an entire room. But,…

This story continues at The Next Web

HQ Trivia’s next game is a Wheel of Fortune lookalike

If you’re reading this site, you’ve probably heard of HQ Trivia, the live mobile gameshow where you answer questions to win real money. The HQ team is now looking to branch out with its latest project: HQ Words. As first reported by Digiday, it’s basically an HQ-ified Wheel of Fortune. That means you get a blank grid of potential letters, along with a clue as to what lies hidden beneath. You’ll see a selection of letters to choose from and earn points for each correct guess. Three strikes and you’re out. If you’re wondering how HQ can survive giving out…

This story continues at The Next Web

PUBG rumored to drop on PS4 soon

The Korean game ratings board dropped a listing for a PS4 version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, indicating a long-awaited release is on the horizon — and not a moment too soon for the floundering battle royale game. The listing was spotted earlier today by Twitter user @Nibellion, and clearly shows “PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS PS4” along with a description of the violence inherent in the game. PUBG for PS4 has popped up on the Korean Ratings Board https://t.co/4D8eIRWO0l pic.twitter.com/s9HPiGVHvt — Nibel (@Nibellion) September 19, 2018 PUBG has been an Xbox console exclusive for quite some time, even being offered in a bundle with Microsoft’s Xbox One…

This story continues at The Next Web

Researchers paid people to talk to themselves so AI will sound less dumb

A team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh developed a novel method for teaching AI to respond to queries in a more conversational manner: They paid people to talk to themselves. It turns out that paying one person to pretend to be two people is a cost-effective way of training an AI to recognize natural human language. That may seem like a no-brainer, but the interesting part is that it also produces better results than current multi-speaker conversation datasets. Here’s an example from the self-dialogue database — despite the denotations this is a single study participant providing both sides…

This story continues at The Next Web

Beauty app teams up with Kik to bring cryptocurrency to 92 million women

AR-powered vanity platform Perfect365, which touts more than 100 million (mostly female) users, is the latest startup to embrace blockchain technology and tokenize its platform. Through a collaboration with Kin (a cryptocurrency developed by messaging giant Kik), the beauty app will soon reward users with cryptocurrency for their activity on Perfect365. To earn tokens, users will have to complete surveys and other tasks on Perfect365. With an audience made up of 92 percent women, Perfect365 claims the Kin integration aims to introduce cryptocurrency to a group which has mostly remained absent from the blockchain space. Indeed, recent survey by social…

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Europol: Criminals are still using Bitcoin, but ISIS loves ZCash

Europol has found that Bitcoin is still the chosen cryptocurrency of the internet underworld. The insight comes from Europol’s latest Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) report. Among other things, the research claims cybercriminals still favor Bitcoin over other cryptocurrencies – despite its lack of anonymity features. Europol also notes Bitcoin’s share of the cryptocurrency market has dropped significantly, from over 80 percent to less than 35 percent (it’s worth pointing out Bitcoin currently accounts for 55 percent of the market, according to CoinMarketCap). “The abuse of cryptocurrencies by cybercriminals continues to play a pivotal role in the commission, perpetration…

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