There’s an Implosion of Early-Stage VC Funding, and No One’s Talking About It
“This is now a three-year trend, so cannot be “blamed” on macro or short-term factors. More worryingly, it comes at a time of unprecedented stock market valuations worldwide.”
FCC Commissioner Clyburn Takes Down Chairman’s Net Neutrality Doom and Gloom
“In a brief but to-the-point document posted to the FCC website, she lists a number of the Chairman’s apocalyptic predictions for how the new rules would allow price regulation, let the FCC tell ISPs what their service offerings should be and of course eventually be struck down by the courts.”
The Boring Company Proposes 125-150mph “Loop” for Chicago Express Train Request
“Wednesday’s RFQ specified that any service that the city would consider should offer travel times of 20 minutes or less between the two hubs, with departures every 15 minutes. Any ‘premium’ fares would have to cost less than any ride-hailing service.”
Warner Bros And Intel Partner To Bring The Horror Show Of ‘Entertainment’ Inside Your Autonomous Car
“Those being transported the cars no longer will have to drive or pay attention to the road, so they may want to watch movies or TV. The windows of the car could become screens for augmented reality, or the car itself could be a mobile billboard.”
Volkswagen Is Going to Start Making Electric Cars in the U.S.
“Chattanooga is our first choice’ for making EVs destined for the North American market.”
The Futuristic BMW i8 Looks Even Better as a Convertible
“BMW says the gains in the new version are coming from even better output from the electric motor, combined with higher battery capacity, which should also improve the all-electric range by about 10 miles to 33 overall.”
Kano Computer Kit Complete Review
“All programs listed here rely on code-based blocks that are pieced together like a puzzle, although there are examples like Make Light that require kids to type in lines of code to understand how each line works.”
Microsoft joins the MariaDB Foundation and launches Azure Database for MariaDB
“MariaDB is essentially a drop-in replacement for MySQL that isn’t linked to Oracle, which — thanks to its acquisition of Sun, which acquired MySQL — is currently the corporate home of the open-source database.”
Google shares developer preview of TensorFlow Lite
“The software library is aimed at creating a more lightweight machine learning solution for smartphone and embedded devices.”
The Tesla Semi does 500 miles, and it’s ready to (silently) conquer the freeway
“Put simply, the Semi blows diesel trucks out of the water.”
2017 BMW M240i review: One of the best cars you can buy today
“Power comes from the now turbocharged I6 and with 335 hp, it whips this car around with a vengeance.”
How Mercedes Is Preparing For The 4th Industrial Revolution: Big Data, Machine Learning And Drones
“Not only are they designing new vehicles, but their services, influence in the transportation industry and factories are transforming to embrace the new opportunities and demands of their customers.”
Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot can now do unbelievably good backflips
“In the past, we’ve seen this robot walk around, pick up boxes, open doors, and get tripped with hockey sticks. Now it’s learnt a new trick: backflipping.”
Security vs. convenience? IoT requires another level of thinking about risk
Whether it is “worth” compromising some security/privacy to reap the conveniences offered by these products is a very personal and subjective decision.
Google’s AI Wizard Unveils a New Twist on Neural Networks
Hinton’s new approach, known as capsule networks, is a twist on neural networks intended to make machines better able to understand the world through images or video.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy a ride through the history of self-driving cars
In 1925, the inventor Francis Houdina demonstrates a radio-controlled car, which he drives through the streets of Manhattan without anyone at the steering wheel. According to the New York Times, the radio-controlled vehicle can start its engine, shift gears, and sound its horn, “as if a phantom hand were at the wheel.”
Ryder will Start Renting Electric Vans in New York, California, and Illinois
Rental company Ryder has ordered 125 all-electric vans from Chanje (pronounced “change”), a California startup built on industry talent from auto companies like Volkswagen to Faraday Future.
BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen team up on high-power charging network
The collaborative venture formed by the automakers is intended to make it easier for Europeans to manage long road trips using electric cars, and to put in place a key infrastructure component needed to make electric vehicles a viable option for general consumer use.
Rudolph lights the way, but Mercedes-Benz will pull the sleigh at this year’s Toronto Santa Claus Parade
“Santa is obviously the star of this show, but we’re thrilled that our three-pointed star will help pull his sleigh!”
Uber’s Next Loyalty Strategy is Through a Credit Card
A list of attractive perks will sure turn the heads of ride-hailing millennials. One of its most unique perk is a $50 reward towards Netflix or Spotify if the card swipes $5,000 in a year.
Beheld is a new startup that lets you scan, send, and print yourself
“We’re taking the components which already exist, and neatly tying them together to create a truly fun and memorable experience for consumers while simultaneously creating a turnkey experience for businesses. We’re placing scanners in an environment that makes them accessible to everyone.”
eBay Launches Visual Search Tools that Let You Shop Using Photos from Your Phone or Web
The tools, Image Search and Find it on eBay, leverage advancements in computer vision and deep learning, including the use of neural networks, the company notes.
Walmart is Using Shelf-Scanning Robots to Audit its Stores
They sit in recharging stations in the store until a human employee gives them a “mission” — e.g. checking a particular aisle to see what needs re-stocking. The robots are supposed to save workers’ time, but Walmart says it will also use the data they collect to improve efficiency nationwide.
New Crash Tests Aimed at Boosting Front-Passenger Safety
Now the IIHS is upping the ante again by introducing a passenger-side version of the aforementioned small overlap crash test after determining that while many vehicles did a superior job of protecting the driver under such circumstances, some didn’t safeguard the front passenger as effectively.
To Let Self-Driving Cars Go Anywhere, Train Them Everywhere
Today, most companies testing self-driving technology use a combination of radar, lidar laser scanners, and cameras. Radar works great in bad weather. Like Superman himself, it can see right through thick fog, rain, and snow. But its data isn’t detailed enough to let a self-driving car navigate a complex world.
You Can’t Buy a Self-Driving BMW Until 2021 (And That’s a Good Thing)
It wants to make sure everyone knows it’s moving forward, but doing so at its own pace, to make sure it delivers an experience that’s on-brand. If you’re a BMW driver, you probably appreciate that.
Car2go: Smart Cars are Out, Mercedes-Benz Vehicles are In
The Seattle Times
The company has slowly been upgrading its fleet of smartphone-accessed rental cars, replacing the two-passenger Smart cars with five-passenger Mercedes vehicles.
16 Years Ago Today, Apple Unveiled the Original iPod
“How many times have you gone on the road with a CD player and said ‘Oh God, I didn’t bring the CD I wanted to listen to.’ To have your whole music library with you at all times is a quantum leap in listening to music.”
Bloodhound SSC Finally Runs, Breaks 210 mph in First Runway Test
“Although 210 mph is far below the car’s ultimate target of 1,000 mph, today was a proper workout for the vehicle,” Green said. “The car is designed for high speed on a desert rather than sprint performance off the line, but it still accelerated from zero to 210 mph in less than eight seconds.”
Verizon’s Longshot Bet to Disrupt Google and Facebook
Oath could set itself apart from the duopoly by giving advertisers what they say they really want: more transparency and accountability in advertising.
Cities around US offer billions in tax breaks to be Amazon’s HQ2
Some of the proposals include massive tax breaks, while other cities are trying out humorous gimmicks to get the company’s attention.
These Weird Cars Show What Happens When Designers Ignore the Rulebook
Some were truly ahead of their times, but others were probably best left on the drawing board.
Yellow Is The Color Of Money When It Comes To A Car’s Resale Value
Is this a case of brightly colored cars simply standing out in a crowded used-car lot filled with dull and oddly painted rides, attracting buyers like honey bees to sunflowers, or is there deeper market forces being flexed?
2019 Audi A7 First Look: Four-Door Fastback Gets Techier
Inside, the 2019 Audi A7 features a similar interior layout as the larger A8 sedan with two large touchscreen at the center of the dash—the upper one measuring 10.1 inches and the lower one 8.6 inches.
The Last 65 Mercedes-AMG G65s Will Be Special
While the G-Class, as introduced in 1979, will live on, Mercedes-AMG says the G65 will not. On Thursday, the company announced it would be releasing 65 “Final Edition” G65s to mark the occasion.
Saving the Great Barrier Reef with simulated oceans and 3D coral
Artificial reefs allow researchers to test the impact of climate change, often examining multiple scenarios at once, without putting the real thing at risk.
FAA Proposes Worldwide Laptop Ban For Checked Bags on International Flights
Tests conducted by the agency have concluded that when large electronics overheat in luggage they run the risk of combustion.
Bug bounty hunters can make big bucks with the right hack
Talented hackers are learning they can earn a lot of money for essentially breaking into a web service, while major companies figure it’s easier to pay bounty hunters to find their flaws than spend hours searching for it themselves.
Google’s Learning Software Learns to Write Learning Software
In some instances, what it comes up with is more powerful and efficient than the best systems the researchers themselves can design.
Sony’s projector that turns your surface into a touchscreen is now available
The Touch runs all sorts of Android apps, from Skype to calendars to games for kids.
New Tesla voluntary recall applies to 11,000 Model X vehicles
Tesla is taking a “proactive measure” out of an “abundance of caution,” the company says, in handling an issue with a cable used in the adjusting of second-row seating in a small percent of Model X vehicles.
See Everything A Car Has To Offer With This Mixed Reality Showroom
By simply using an iPad with an attached depth sensor, a physical space can be scanned in order to overlay a 3D replica of the car for the dealer and consumer to explore.
Waymo releases its first self-driving ‘Safety Report’
Waymo also breaks down the five basic categories it uses for defining “safety” relative to its autonomous vehicles, including behavioral safety (driving decision on the road), functional safety (safe operation, including backups and redundancies), crash safety (ability to protect people within the car), operational safety (safety and comfort in interaction between passenger and car) and non-collision safety (safety for anyone interacting with the vehicle in any capacity, basically).
Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo earns starring role in “Justice League” film
It’s certainly fit for a superhero with its futuristic design and gullwing doors—a nod to the classic 300 SL and its gullwing doors.
BMW India introduces BMW M Performance Training Program in Bengaluru
The Economic Times
The ‘BMW M Performance Training’ program will involve various driving conditions such as cornering, high-speed straights and dynamic braking and avoidance manoeuvres, dual lane changes, oversteering, understeering and timed slalom dramatic changes in elevation.
Hyatt breach exposed customer payment data at 41 hotels
Affected customers will have been notified directly if contact info was available, but that’s no guarantee.
Google commits $1 billion in grants to train U.S. workers for high-tech jobs
“A child in a school here in Pittsburgh can access the same information on Google as a professor at Carnegie Mellon. In the end, the internet is a powerful equalizer, capable of propelling new ideas and people forward.”
Russian Hackers Used Popular Antivirus Software to Steal NSA Data, Report Says
The hackers reportedly found the files via Kaspersky’s antivirus software after an National Security Agency contractor put the files on his home computer.
Everything You Need To Know About The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
At a jam-packed October 4 conference in San Francisco, Google announced the Google Home Mini, a high-end Chromebook called the Pixelbook, and a new Daydream View virtual reality headset. But the undisputed highlights were the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, two high-end smartphones designed with enthusiasts in mind.
Facebook Quietly Launches Mac and PC Workplace Chat Apps with Screen Share
Combining the familiarity of Facebook’s design with the prominence of dedicated desktop apps could encourage the constant collaboration the company hopes to enable.
This Week in the Future of Cars: Things Just Got Serious
This week, we saw major American carmakers General Motors and Ford announce serious investments into electric vehicles. Dyson, the British company best known for making vacuums, is getting into the EV biz too. Meanwhile, a report Uber commissioned back in 2016 was finally made public, with major implications for its legal battle with Waymo over trade secret theft.
Does Uber Lead To Less Drunk Driving? It’s Complicated
The team delved into whether ride-hailing affected crash rates in four…American cities in which Uber, the nation’s largest ride-sharing company, launched, ceased, then resumed operations. And the results were mixed.
BMW is Integrating Alexa Into Its Cars in 2018
With Alexa inside the vehicle, drivers can use voice commands to use basic Alexa commands like asking for news and weather, in addition to third-party apps like Starbucks and NPR.
Audi R8 2.9-Litre V6 Spotted Testing Ahead of 2018 Launch
It’s a 90deg engine that has been developed in a joint venture by Audi and Porsche as part of a new modular engine family known under the working title KoVoMo.
Smart Glasses Stage New Experiences for Deaf Theater Fans
This week it launched a trial that will see deaf and hearing-impaired customers supplied with the eyewear, which displays subtitles in their field of vision wherever they’re sitting.
Here’s Why Android Wear Has Been Removed from Google’s Online Store
It is a sensible explanation, but seems unfortunate for those who really love the Android Wear platform and those who are looking for a smartwatch alongside their new Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.
Hey, Turn Bluetooth Off When You’re Not Using It
When Bluetooth is on in a device, it is constantly open to and waiting for potential connections.
Microsoft’s Nadella Wants to Help Coders Take a Quantum Leap
Theory suggests some problems that would take millions of years on a conventional supercomputer might take minutes on a modest quantum computer.
Critical Code In Millions Of Macs Isn’t Getting Apple’s Updates
For certain models of Apple laptops and desktop computers, close to a third or half of machines have EFI versions that haven’t kept pace with their operating system system updates. And for many models, Apple hasn’t released new firmware updates at all, leaving a subset of Apple machines vulnerable to known years-old EFI attacks that could gain deep and persistent control of a victim’s machine.
3 Modern Car ‘Conveniences’ That Are More Hassle Than They’re Worth
Lane Keep Assist…automatically turning the wheel to physically keep you in line. Fair enough. When it works. When it bugs out while you’re driving like a saint, then it becomes a distraction. You find yourself focused on why it’s being triggered, not what’s ahead.
Electric RV Gives Campers Almost Unlimited Range
This RV has the best of both worlds, electric charging capabilities and solar power for back up if you’re out in a remote location sans grid.
BMW is set to offer a pad to wirelessly charge your car
Wireless charging has become one of the biggest buzzwords for devices this fall, and its importance for transportation shouldn’t be underestimated when agencies and municipalities think about how we’re going to charge all of the electric vehicles of the future.
Mercedes-Benz kicks off drone delivery pilot in Zurich
For this demonstration, the drone flew at about 260 ft in the air…It flies consistently at this height all the way to the destination, and then it descends to land on the roof of a Mercedes-Benz van.
Spielberg-backed VR startup grabs $20M led by AMC to bring headsets into movie theaters
Dreamscape has signed a sizable partnership with AMC to start bringing the company’s full-body motion capture VR tech, which allows up to six simultaneous users in a shared social experience, into movie theaters and standalone locations.
Stop calling those fasteners ‘Velcro’ please, Velcro’s legal team begs of us
Velcro’s legal team really really needs you to stop calling those Velcro-type fasteners Velcro. Because it’s infringing its trademark, and making its lawyers cry.
CCleaner supply chain malware targeted tech giants
Cisco Talos’ researchers take the view that the targeting of “high-profile technology companies” suggests “a very focused actor after valuable intellectual property”.
Google/HTC deal is official, Google to acquire part of HTC’s smartphone team
While earlier rumors pointed to an outright acquisition of HTC by Google, HTC remains an independent company and will still manufacture smartphones.
When Websites Design Themselves
Today, we’re on the verge of another revolution, as artificial intelligence and machine learning turn the graphic design field on its head again.
Former Apple Engineers Working on New Eyes for Driverless Cars
The New York Times
These sensors gave cars a way of measuring distances to nearby vehicles, pedestrians and other objects. They also provided Google and other companies with a way of mapping urban roadways in three dimensions, so that cars will know exactly where they are at any given moment — something GPS cannot always provide.
Victoria Police to get BMW highway patrol cars, with other states poised to follow
“BMW is the only company to date that has been able to provide a factory fitted ‘police pack’ making the commercial agreement an extremely attractive value for money decision.”
Newly Developed Artificial Muscles Can Lift 1,000 Times Their Own Weight
“This may lead to development of low cost, nature-like soft and soft-hard robots, capable of assisting in the fields of healthcare, disasters management, elderly care, and almost any imaginable kind of assistance that people may need in their routine life, at home, on their way [to work], or at work, when robots are working side by side with humans.”
Amazon launched Prime Now in Singapore and sold 3 times the volume that it did in Seattle. Here’s how.
Amazon closed three times the order volume in this tiny island than it did when it launched in its home city of Seattle in 2015.
Face ID on iPhone X is going to be safer than you might think
Face ID is one of the big talking points coming off the back of the iPhone X announcement this week. The new flagship from Apple will use a scan of your face to open, replacing the Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
Facebook is reinventing art, and maybe consciousness, too
Click here for video
It’s the first large scale piece of art created with Facebook Camera, a new platform for augmented reality, in which digital images are overlaid on top of what you’re seeing in the real world.
Every Major Car Debut At The 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show Was Electrified
The biennial home show for German brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi is traditionally a big news event for automotive design and technology. For 2017 the focus was clearly on offering a clearer picture what sorts of electric vehicles the German brands are looking to produce.
BMW Aims to Cut Parts Costs by $2.4 Billion in E-Car Shift
The German carmakers are pushing for cost reductions to offset weaker margins for electric cars, which Stuttgart-based Daimler estimates could have just half the profitability of conventional models.
Here’s a look at BMW’s electric sports sedan of the future
Over all, the i Vision’s design is clean and minimalist. Aesthetically, BMW’s goal for the car’s design features was to do more with less in the sense that it conveys modernity and technology in an understated manner.
Boeing planes could fire lasers from their noses to spot turbulence
It’s part of a new system that Boeing hopes could spot brutal turbulence that can damage aircraft and toss passengers around the cabin—and give crews enough time to hunker down before the going gets tough.
Mission controllers reacting to the end of the Cassini mission at Saturn will make you emotional
Some of the researchers on the Cassini project have been with the mission since it began, as it launched to space in 1997, when Bill Clinton was still president.