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Submission + - How Apple's CarPlay could save the car stereo industry (

Velcroman1 writes: Car stereo salesmen and installers around the country are giddy with excitement because Apple’s CarPlay in-car infotainment system will have a big presence in the aftermarket car stereo industry. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Alpine is making car stereo head units for between $500 – $700 that will run the iOS-like system Apple unveiled last month, and Macrumors added Clarion to the list of CarPlay supporters. Even Pioneer is getting into the game with support said to be coming to existing car stereo models in its NEX line ($700 – $1400) via firmware update, according to Twice. Given Apple’s wildly supportive fan base, its likely that a lot of aftermarket CarPlay units are about to fly off stereo shop shelves. Indeed, CarPlay coming to aftermarket stereo units could bring back what Apple indirectly stole from the industry going back as far as 2006.

Submission + - With Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft finally delivers (

Velcroman1 writes: Wow. Who knew one-tenth of a number could make such a difference? Windows Phone 8.1, the next version of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system, is now out for early download, and the first reviews are in. And reviewers are really impressed. The upgrade brings a long list of small tweaks, many of which may sound insignificant. But all together they’ve made Windows Phone an OS that worked better in your life than past versions, whihc meant a lot of big and small sacrifices. For the first time, Microsoft may have finally caught up to its rivals. You heard it here first: Windows Phone is finally a good alternative to your iPhone, Galaxy, or Nexus.

Submission + - Astronauts of Future Could Survive on Their Own Urine (

sciencehabit writes: Future space travelers could more efficiently recycle their own urine to reclaim its water and make a little electrical power to boot. Researchers have found a way to separate the toxic byproducts of urine, leaving behind water that is safe to drink, plus chemicals that can be fed into a battery-like fuel cell. In tests, the amount of electrical power generated is small: Voltages are about 0.2 volts, and currents about 2 milliamps. But the team hopes to improve the power output in its next version of the system.

Submission + - Heartbleed bug affects phones and tablets too (

Velcroman1 writes: The Heartbleed bug is bad and affects a huge portion of all websites — as much as 66 percent of all sites around the world. Unfortunately, your smartphone isn't safe either. The bug can be exploited on mobile devices, though the risks aren’t as great as they are on a desktop computer browsing the Web. Mobile security company Lookout downplayed the risks, saying: “The good news is that we have yet to see any attacks targeting a mobile device, and while this is a credible risk, the likelihood of you encountering an exploit is low.” iOS devices are safe, and Windows Phone OS is likely safe. BlackBerry is “investigating.” But Android is vulnerable if you have version 4.1.1, according to Google.

Submission + - It's time to return to the moon, former NASA propulsion chief says (

Velcroman1 writes: Close your eyes. You see that shimmering, veiny darkness that most people see, right? Not me. I see the moon. It’s the closest otherworldly body to us, making it the least challenging to explore of all the planets, moons and asteroids in our solar system. It's an opportunity for humans to establish a permanent presence off Earth — a moon base for scientists or a colony for all of humanity. It could facilitate planet-wide cooperation among Earth’s nations in the pursuit of an answer to life’s biggest question: “Why are we here?” Why go back to the moon? I say, all of the above.

Submission + - Betting with bitcoin: Site lets Americans gamble on elections, sports (

Velcroman1 writes: The digital currency bitcoin — once used to facilitate online drug deals — now appears to be enabling people to get around regulations banning online betting., a new company from Ireland, offers a "prediction market" that allows people to bet on everything from the U.S. presidential election to the Olympics and the Oscars. And it’s all made possible by bitcoins. Betting of this sort is a legal gray area in the U.S., where the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) decided in a 2012 regulatory order not to allow prediction markets on the grounds that they are "contrary to the public interest." While the CFTC forbids prediction markets that use cash, it is less certain that it will go after one that uses bitcoins. “There is no way I can answer [that]. Too speculative for us,” CFTC spokesman Steven Adamske told

Submission + - Yup, there's already someone lined up to buy the iPhone 6 (

zacharye writes: Last year ahead of Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch, lines began forming outside Apple stores weeks in advance. At the time, we thought it was pretty crazy that anyone would line up that far in advance to buy a cell phone — but now we know what crazy really looks like. A Japanese man named “Yoppy” says he has already lined up to buy Apple’s unannounced iPhone 6, which isn’t expected to launch for another seven months...

Submission + - What if feels like to ride in a car of the future ( 1

Velcroman1 writes: V2V or vehicle-to-vehicle communications will allow cars to warn each other of their presence. One car could alert another that, "Hey, my idiot driver isn't going to stop for the red light, look out!" or "My owner has just hit something ahead of you, stop!" To see how such V2V technology will work, last month Ford gave me a demonstration of the technologies involved on a closed course. I sat in the front passenger seat of a specially tricked out 2014 Ford Taurus. Although the drive seemed engineered to scare the pants off me, it actually proved how much safer V2V cars can be, preventing accidents and saving lives. At a T-intersection a truck was strategically placed to block our right-hand view of oncoming traffic. As we edged into the intersection, another Ford test driver barreled down the road toward us. An audible alarm and red flashing lights swept from left to right above the dash, tipping us off to the impending danger and allowing us to stop safely.

Submission + - Google Fiber launches in Provo -- and here's what it feels like (

Velcroman1 writes: I’ve seen the future. It’s called gigabit Internet by Google Fiber, and it just launched in my hometown of Provo, Utah, the second of three scheduled cities to get speeds that are 100 times faster than the rest of America. “What good is really fast Internet if the content stays the same?” you may ask yourself. I certainly did, before testing the service. Besides, my “high speed” Internet from Comcast seemed fast enough, enabling my household to stream HD videos, load web pages quickly, and connect multiple devices as needed, largely without hiccup. I was wrong. Using gigabit Internet, even in its infancy, opened my eyes to speed and reminded me of why I love the Internet.

Submission + - New digital audio revolution is coming (

Velcroman1 writes: MP3 is great and all. But it's really not all that great. Compressed music sucks. And a growing number of musicians, composers and sound engineers aim to fix that by putting the fidelity back into your digital hi-fi, and getting the output — the song you listen to — to match the input that went into it at a mixing board. Your ears won’t believe the detail and clarity, they say. “It’s like cleaning off a dirty windshield,” said MIke Mettler, former editor in chief of Sound and Vision magazine, during a panel at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show that delved into high-resolution digital music. And with a new line of home audio products from Sony and a new push from the CEA, expect to hear great things in 2014.

Submission + - NASA's LLCD Tests Confirm Laser Communication Capabilities in Space (

An anonymous reader writes: This week, NASA released the results of its Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration’s (LLCD) 30-day test carried out by its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) that is currently in orbit around the Moon. According to the space agency, the LLCD mission proved that laser communications are practical at a distance of a quarter of a million miles and that such a system could perform as well, if not better, than any NASA radio system.

Submission + - PC makers plan rebellion against Microsoft at CES ( 1

Velcroman1 writes: Fearing rapidly plummeting sales of traditional laptops and desktop computers — which fell by another 10 percent or so in 2013 — manufacturers are planning a revolt against Microsoft and the Windows operating system, analysts say. At the 2014 CES in Las Vegas, multiple computer makers will unveil systems that simultaneously run two different operating systems, both Windows and the Android OS that powers many of the world’s tablets and smartphones, two different analysts said recently. The new devices will be called “PC Plus” machines, explained analyst Tim Bajarin. "A PC Plus machine will run Windows 8.1 but will also run Android apps as well," Bajarin wrote. Another analyst put the threat to Windows bluntly: "This should scare the heck out of Microsoft."

Submission + - Small Businesses Claim U.S. Government Stealing Their Ideas (

cold fjord writes: Fox News reports, "Hnatio claims the government has put his company, FoodquestTQ, nearly out of business by stealing his firm's software ... The FDA "took our ideas, plagiarized my doctoral dissertation on which a patent was based, and then they infringed on our patent. ...The U.S. Army settled a case in November by paying $50 million to a Texas company, Apptricity, which claimed the government took some of its software, which tracks military equipment from MRE's to troops, without paying for it. ... In 2009, NASA was ordered to pay $28.3 million to Boeing after the court found that the government infringed on the company's aluminum alloy patent. ... "There is no reason to think it can't happen," observes New York University law Professor Jeanne Fromer, an intellectual property and copyright law specialist. "The government can take patent rights, as long as they compensate for it. It is not dissimilar, in that sense, to notions of eminent domain." ... "We are hearing more frequently from companies about intellectual property theft by the government," notes John Palatiello, head of the Washington, D.C.- area lobbying group, the Business Coalition for Fair Competition ... "Companies are becoming more vocal about it." Hnatio believes there is a troubling explanation for alleged government flinching. "What we are seeing is a direct competition between the private sector and the U.S. government. The problem for small businesses is that they are simply being destroyed by their own government in spite of the fact that we hear politicians say all the time, that small business is's extremely disturbing because it means we lose jobs, and it means we lose our competitive edge in the world. ...""

Submission + - JPMorgan files patent application on 'Bitcoin killer' (

Velcroman1 writes: Banking giant JPMorgan Chase has filed a patent application for an electronic commerce system that sounds remarkably like Bitcoin — but never mentions the controversial, Internet-only currency. The patent application was filed in early August but made publicly available only at the end of November; it describes a “method and system for processing Internet payments using the electronic funds transfer network.” The system would allow people to pay bills anonymously over the Internet through an electronic transfer of funds — just like Bitcoin. It would allow for micropayments without processing fees — just like bitcoin. And it could kill off wire transfers through companies like Western Union — just like Bitcoin. There are 18,126 words in the patent application. “Bitcoin” is not one of them.

Submission + - Moon Express unveils next moon lander (

Velcroman1 writes: A U.S. spacecraft hasn’t made a controlled landing on the moon since Apollo 17 left the lunar surface on Dec. 14, 1972. That’s about to change. Moon Express will unveil the MX-1 spacecraft at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas Thursday evening — a micro-spacecraft that will in 2015 mark the first U.S. "soft" landing since the days of the Apollo program, has learned. The craft looks for all the world like a pair of donuts wearing an ice cream cone, and the tiny vehicle clearly isn’t big enough for a human being. But it is big enough to scoop up some rocks and dirt, store them in an internal compartment, and return it to Earth. After all, the moondirt Gene Cernan, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin once trod holds a king’s ransom of titanium, platinum, and other rare elements. Moon Express plans to mine it.

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