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Submission + - French government removed evidence of emissions cheating by Renault from report (ft.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: In the past year, there was a steady flow of evidence for various forms of trickery in automobile emissions controls, prompting, among others, the French government to investigate the behaviour of a number of popular cars certified to conform to Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission standards.

While the report concluded that some Renault models emitted many times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) on the road than during the official emissions test, it did not mention that a Renault Captur SUV was observed to perform a cleaning procedure on its lean NOx trap (LNT) five times in a row when the prescribed preparations for emissions testing where made, rendering it much more effective in the test than under normal conditions.

Three members of the enquiry commission told the Financial Times that the French state, which owns a 20% interest in Renault, decided that these findings should remain confidential. A spokesperson of the French environment ministry denies that facts where hidden on purpose. Meanwhile, the anti-fraud agency in France continues its investigations into Renault's emissions practices.

Renault has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but it has agreed to voluntarily recall 15,000 cars to perform a software update that should reduce NOx emissions.

Submission + - KickStarter project wants to standardize :penis: and :vagina: emoji 1

An anonymous reader writes: This project is looking to petition the Unicode Consortium to add a penis, vagina and breasts emoji to the Unicode standard. If you've ever wanted send a little penis icon from the system standard keyboard on your phone then this is the crowd funding campaign for you.

Submission + - KickStarter project wants to standardize :penis: and :vagina: emoji

An anonymous reader writes: For anyone sick of using the eggplant emoji, there's a KickStarter project just for you. The objective is to raise enough money to join the Unicode Consortium and petition/push for a little penis, vagina, and breasts icon to be included on every emoji keyboard. There's even a stretch goal to add a :butt: emoji.

Submission + - Apple Acquires Machine Learning and AI Startup Turi (geekwire.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Machine learning and artificial intelligence startup Turi has been acquired by Apple in a deal characterized as a blockbuster exit for the Seattle-based company, formerly known as Dato and GraphLab, GeekWire has learned. The acquisition reflects a larger push by Apple into artificial intelligence and machine learning. It also promises to further increase the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s presence in the Seattle region, where Apple has been building an engineering outpost for the past two years. Multiple sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed that Turi has been acquired. Sources close to the deal pegged the purchase price at around $200 million, marking a huge outcome for the original investors and early shareholders. Apple’s plans for Turi’s technology are not clear, but the company has been making a broad push into artificial intelligence through an expansion of its Siri personal assistant and related technologies. Turi lets developers build apps with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities that automatically scale and tune. Its products —which include the Turi Machine Learning Platform, GraphLab Create, Turi Distributed, and Turi Predictive Services — are largely designed to help large and small organizations make better sense of data. Use cases include recommendation engines, fraud detection, predicting customer churn, sentiment analysis, and customer segmentation.

Submission + - Man Says Tesla Autopilot Saved His Life By Driving Him To The Hospital (cnbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Last month a man sent an email to Elon Musk explaining how his Tesla Model S with Autopilot activated may have saved a pedestrian's life. Now, it appears Autopilot may have saved the life of a Tesla Model X driver. CNBC reports: "A Missouri man says his Tesla helped saved his life by driving him to the hospital during a life-threatening emergency. Joshua Neally is a lawyer and Tesla owner from Springfield, Missouri, who often uses the semi-autonomous driving system called Autopilot on his Tesla Model X. The system has come under fire after it was involved in a fatal Florida crash in May, but Neally told online magazine Slate that Autopilot drove him 20 miles down a freeway to a hospital, while Neally suffered a potentially fatal blood vessel blockage in his lung, known as a pulmonary embolism. The hospital was right off the freeway exit, and Neally was able to steer the car the last few meters and check himself into the emergency room, the report said."

Submission + - DJI Issues Software Update That Restricts Its Drones From Rio Olympics (pcmag.com)

An anonymous reader writes: DJI has issued a software update this week that prevents its unmanned aerial vehicles from flying over the Olympic venues. The temporary no-fly zones, which will be in place for throughout the games, include Rio de Janeiro, Sau Paulo, Brasilia, and several other Brazilian cities. The Brazilian military requested DJI to prohibit its drones from entering certain coordinates in the cities, and DJI complied. "DJI is proud to work with Brazilian authorities to put temporary no-fly zones in place during this important time, in order to increase safety and security at high-profile locations and reduce the likelihood of drone operators inadvertently entering sensitive areas," Manual Martinez, DJI Latin America corporate communications director, said in a statement. "The overwhelming majority of DJI customers want to operate safely and within the law," Martinez said. "And establishing clear no-fly zones helps reduce any potential for drone operations that could distract from the upcoming events."

Submission + - The F-35 is So Stealthy it Produced Training Challenges (airforcetimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Reporting for Air Force Times Phillip Swarts writes, "The F-35 Lightning II is so stealthy, pilots are facing an unusual challenge. They're having difficulty participating in some types of training exercises, a squadron commander told reporters Wednesday. During a recent exercise at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, F-35 squadrons wanted to practice evading surface-to-air threats. There was just one problem: No one on the ground could track the plane. 'If they never saw us, they couldn’t target us,' said Lt. Col. George Watkins, the commander of the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The F-35s resorted to flipping on their transponders, used for FAA identification, so that simulated anti-air weapons could track the planes, Watkins said."

Comment I don't eat breakfast and I'm not alone (Score 1) 300

I never had the custom of eating breakfast. I wake up and work till noon and have lunch. I never ate before school as a child. I haven't experienced any negative side effects from this, I'm not overweight, I don't have digestive issues and I don't run out of energy in the morning. I doubt people from one of the many countries/cultures around the world that don't have a "breakfast" meal have any major issues either.

Comment Re:See, told u Audi is better than those cheap Asi (Score 1) 100

That's an interesting history! Personally I'm addicted to good MT so it's hard to imagine the jump from Z's to various AT vehicles. As for the Imp it's such a broad badge it's hard for me to make any judgement. I'm honestly glad they separated the Impreza badge from the WRX STI in the newest generation.

Do yourself a favour and check out a manual BRZ the next time you have a whim to look. Customizable, maintainable, reasonably priced and intensely satisfying.

Comment Re:See, told u Audi is better than those cheap Asi (Score 1) 100

With all the troubles you report on the A8 I think that would make an excellent episode of RCR!

I actually had to call my mechanic anyway because a plate on my right front damper keeps coming loose and I'd rather not tighten it myself without a lift and all. He's a Subaru specialist, also does Toyota. I asked him about ball joint replacements and his response basically amounted to "for most models they wouldn't be easy to replace yourself without tools and lift, but they're not that big of a deal to replace". Granted this is a guy who worked on the Subaru world rally team so his definition of "not a big deal" is probably a bit different - but I don't get the impression they're machined into the frame in such a way as they are impossible to replace.

As for Toyota using combined and unitized parts that's just how the whole industry is going. Sure you can't just turn a wrench to tighten something up but conversely this is what has enabled electronic tuning and quite a bit of sophisticated cross component integration. It also seems like a natural evolution into electric and hybrid systems - though I'm sure you're with me when I say you'll be prying the shift knob to my mechanical transmission from my cold, dead hands.

Comment Re:See, told u Audi is better than those cheap Asi (Score 1) 100

Changing fluids, transmission included, is a regular service for any car - or any machine for that matter. As for parts you can't replace... I hate to tell you that but that's sort of a staple of German cars. It's practically a running joke that you can buy an older M series BMW for peanuts, then have to sell an organ to get it in running order.

Look at cars like the GT86/BRZ - practically every part on that car has at least one 3rd party manufacturer replacement. In fact Toyota/Subaru literally have specification documents they released with the specifications for different parts of the car so 3rd party manufacturers could make customized parts. Same goes for the Mazda Roadster (Miata), Honda Civic, Toyota Hilux, Subaru Impreza/WRX STI, Lexus RF-C, Mitsubishi Lancer, etc. etc.. Having 3rd party parts available and long-going active communities around the car make maintenance a much more accessible task.

I've got an early model MR-S that's been treated like trash, thrown around, and generally treated poorly. I've only had to replace a few parts on it but all were purchased new out of parts catalogues almost 17 years after the car was made. And this is a car that is notorious for requiring a lot of maintenance for a Toyota. Definitely no headaches in the maintenance department for me.

If you haven't yet you should check out "Regular Car Reviews" on YouTube. It's hilarious but he also goes into a lot of history on cars, explains the reasons behind different defects and quirks, etc. No review for the older A8 but there is one for the A4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Re:Having used Android, iOS and Windows Phone... (Score 1) 242

I have an iOS device and an Android device sitting right in front of me for most of the day and from what I see iOS "back" buttons are optional for the developer and do not consistently perform the same function. Furthermore, the back buttons on iOS are not tied to the system (Android back button sends an interrupt) and are generally less responsive.

That said, of the two devices the one I put in my pocket when I leave my desk is the Android. It's not perfect, but it's way less hassle and much more usable for me.

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