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Transportation

Tesla Working On Autonomous Cars: Musk Wants Teslas With Auto-Pilot 287

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
cartechboy writes "Do you like driving? Well then, you're going to hate the future, because automakers are racing to beat each other to the starting line of the self-driving car race. By 2020, autonomous vehicles may arrive from Cadillac, Nissan, Volvo, Mercedes, Audi, and even Google. But now Tesla wants to jump into the ring. CEO Elon Musk told the Financial Times that the electric-car maker will build a self-driving car...within three years. You'll note that's much sooner than 2020, which means Tesla would beat other, larger automakers to the punch. For those who fear self-driving cars, Musk said the autonomous Tesla could drive 90 percent of the time, but that in his opinion, a vehicle without a human in the cockpit isn't feasible. Like it or not, our roads will probably be safer because you won't actually be driving — well, OK, that other guy who's texting or talking or drinking a huge coffee or ... you get the idea."
Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Pro Reviews Arrive 320

Posted by Soulskill
from the evaluating-the-turducken-of-modern-computing dept.
The release date is approaching for Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet, and reviews for the new device have started appearing. The Surface Pro differs from the Surface in that it runs a full version of Windows 8 Pro, rather than the tablet-centric Windows RT. It also has much beefier hardware specs: 4GB RAM, an Intel Core i5 CPU, and a full HD display with 10-point multitouch. Ars describes it as having the expected good performance at the expected costs of heat, noise, and battery life. "This is not an all-day machine. Surface RT probably is. But Surface Pro is not." The review praises the screen and the stylus, but points out some odd scaling issues as well. The Verge's review also mentions the scaling, and notes the strangeness of dealing with issues inherent to a Windows desktop OS — like antivirus — on a tablet. BGR looks at the big picture, calling the Surface Pro Microsoft's "declaration of war" on its hardware partners. All three reviews dwell on how the Surface Pro exists at the intersection of laptop and tablet, and doesn't quite fulfill either role. Ars says, "From the tablet perspective, Surface Pro is not acceptable. It gets too hot for a hand-held device, its battery life is woefully inadequate, and it's too thick and heavy to be comfortable to hand hold for long sessions. ... From a laptop perspective, Surface Pro falls down too. The traditional laptop has a stiff hinge to hold the screen at an angle of your choosing. ... In practice, the Surface RT and Surface Pro have a bigger footprint on my lap even than my old 15-inch MacBook Pro. And if I move a little, whomp, the screen drops off the back of my knees and folds out of sight." The Verge adds, "The real dealbreaker for me was that it's just unusable in my most common position — sitting on my couch, feet on the coffee table, with the computer on my lap."
The Internet

Are You Ready For the Digital Afterlife? 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-ads-and-buffering-bars-in-digital-hell dept.
theodp writes "Dave Winer's call for Future-Safe Archives goes mainstream in Rob Walker's NY Times Magazine cover story on how the Internet can provide a certain kind of immortality to those who are prepared. To illustrate how digital afterlives might play out, Walker cites the case of 34-year-old writer Mac Tonnies, who updated his blog on Oct. 18, 2009, sent out some public tweets and private messages via Twitter, went to bed and died of cardiac arrhythmia. As word of his death spread via his own blog, Tonnies's small, but devoted audience rushed in to save his online identity. 'Finding solace in a Twitter feed may sound odd,' writes Walker, 'but the idea that Tonnies's friends would revisit and preserve such digital artifacts isn't so different from keeping postcards or other physical ephemera of a deceased friend or loved one.' Unfortunately, how long Mac Tonnies's digital afterlife will remain for his Web friends and parents is still a big question, since it's preserved in a hodge-podge of possibly gone-tomorrow online services for which no one has the passwords. Hoping to fill the need for digital-estate-planning services are companies like Legacy Locker, which are betting that people will increasingly want control over their digital afterlife. 'We're entering a world where we can all leave as much of a legacy as George Bush or Bill Clinton,' says filmmaker-and-friend-of-Tonnies Paul Kimball. 'Maybe that's the ultimate democratization. It gives all of us a chance at immortality.'"
Announcements

Obama Sets End of Iraq Combat For August 31st 659

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the end-of-an-era dept.
eldavojohn writes "President Barack Obama has announced that on August 31st the United States will cease all combat operations in Iraq, although 50,000 troops will remain until the end of 2011. It's been a long seven-and-a-half years, with no guarantee of this announcement actually signifying the end of violence. Pundits are already speculating on whether or not this withdrawal speech is 'Mission Accomplished 2.' It's possibly the most significant confirmation of and commitment to a withdrawal the world will hear from the United States in Iraq."
Google

Google Enhances Street View With User Photos 133

Posted by kdawson
from the pick-your-point-of-view dept.
Google has launched a competitor or counterpart to Microsoft's Photosynth, which employs user-contributed photos of much-photographed sites to supplement the street-level view in an immersive way. Google's offering is called simply Navigate through User Photos, and unlike Photosynth — which requires Sliverlight and therefore is not available on Linux — is implemented in Flash. This YouTube video (also embedded at the link above) offers a quick tour of the new feature, which can use photos uploaded to Panoramico, Flickr, and Picasa.

Comment: Re:As a current free DynDNS user... (Score 1) 125

by The-Pheon (#30742262) Attached to: DynDNS.com Acquires EveryDNS

EveryDNS is more like the "custom DNS" feature in DynDNS which uses their servers to provide nameservers for your own domain. DynDNS's custom DNS service is $30/year if you aren't hosting with them, while EveryDNS is/was free.

ThatIP only charges $10/year for the same "custom DNS", and now started doing dedicated ipv6 nameservers too!

Operating Systems

Old Operating Systems Never Die 875

Posted by timothy
from the they-just-start-running-in-loops dept.
Harry writes "Haiku, an open-source re-creation of legendary 1990s operating system BeOS, was released in alpha form this week. The news made me happy and led me to check in on the status of other once-prominent OSes — CP/M, OS/2, AmigaOS, and more. Remarkably, none of them are truly defunct: In one form or another, they or their descendants are still available, being used by real people to accomplish useful tasks. Has there ever been a major OS that simply went away, period?"

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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