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Submission + - Volkswagen CEO Issues Apology Over Emission-Cheating Software

cartechboy writes: Last Friday we learned that Volkswagen got caught cheating on emissions testing via software programming. The punishment? It could get slapped with up to $18 billion in fines. While they company has yet to admit to any wrong doing, the CEO has now issued a formal apology and said the automaker will cooperate fully with any and all investigations. It's issued a stop-sale on all new and used TDI vehicles until further notice. VW's currently in talks with the EPA and the California Air Resources Board in regards to these allegations. It's also ordered an external investigation of its own into the matter. Whether criminal charges will be filed is yet to be seen.

Submission + - Chevrolet Corvette Brakes Hacked Via Text Message

cartechboy writes: First, Chrysler's Uconnect system was hacked and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled 1.4 million vehicles. Then, General Motors realized it might have a problem with OnStar and worked with hackers to fix vulnerabilities. Then Tesla's own Model S electric car was hacked. Now, the Chevrolet Corvette's brakes were hacked using text messages. Seriously, the hackers communicated with the target vehicle by sending a text message. Using the text message they were able to exploit a security hole in a dongle and gain access to the Corvette's CAN bus. Once in, they sent more messages that turned off safety systems including disabling the brakes entirely. While this was merely a proof-of-concept exercise, it shows continue to bring the real-life issue we have on our hands now that our vehicles are basically rolling computers. The future, it's a scary place.

Submission + - Tesla Model S Has Been Hacked

cartechboy writes: First, it was Chrysler last month with its Uconnect system being hacked while being driven down the road. Now, it's Tesla's turn. That's right, the Silicon Valley automaker's very own Model S electric car has been hacked by two white-hat hackers. The duo were able to manipulate the speedometer, lock and unlock the car, and at speeds of less than 5 mph they were able to make all the electronics go blank and shut down the car while engaging the emergency parking brake dragging the car to a stop. Tesla's already issues a software update that owners can download today to path the security flaw. Welcome to the new world where cars can be hacked thanks to all their electronics.

Submission + - Reddit updates content policy, bans more subreddits (

AmiMoJo writes: Reddit's new CEO, Steve Huffman, announced new a content policy and the banning of a small number of subreddits today. Additionally, some subreddits will be "quarantined", so users can't see their content unless they explicitly opt in. "Our most important policy over the last ten years has been to allow just about anything so long as it does not prevent others from enjoying Reddit for what it is: the best place online to have truly authentic conversations.I believe these policies strike the right balance."

The list of removed subreddits includes /r/CoonTown and /r/WatchNiggersDie, while the list of quarantined boards includes /r/NiggerDrama, /r/NiggerFacts and /r/whitesarecriminals.

Submission + - SPAM: Taking The 2016 Audi TTâ(TM)s Virtual Cockpit For A Spin

DaneTerry88 writes: The newÂ2016 Audi TT virtual cockpitÂboasts high-definition, crystal-clear digital graphics, Google Earth imagery and navigation, haptic feedback, Google-like search, voice command operation and just write touch features. The display is pretty slick, with 60fps PC gaming speeds andÂNvidias quad-core Tegra 3Âprocessing technology that is reminiscent of the Tesla Model Read More
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Starting Now at Netflix: Unlimited Maternity and Paternity Leave

vivaoporto writes: Netflix announced this tuesday that, during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption, employees will be able to take off however long they feel they need to.

They can return on a full- or part-time basis, and even take subsequent time off later in the year if needed. Netflix will "keep paying them normally,"

The TIME comments that this Netflix’s policy "deserves high marks for extending leave to fathers, as well as understanding that the entire first year after childbirth can be challenging for new parents".

Submission + - Mercedes-Benz Copies Tesla, Plans To Offer Home Energy Storage

cartechboy writes: It's like a game of follow the leader. First, Tesla announced its Powerwall Batteries, and now Mercedes-Benz plans to follow suit by entering the energy-storage business as well. A division of parent company Daimler has been testing battery packs that can power houses, and plans to launch commercially in September. Supposedly a battery pack for "light industrial, commercial, and private" use is being tested with sizes ranging from 2.5 kWh to 5.9 kWh. While Tesla's building a massive Gigafactory to make all its batteries for its Powerwall and electric cars, it's unclear exactly how Daimler plans to produce its batteries in a larger-scale energy-storage operation. Will Daimler build a battery factory of its own, or is this a ploy to steal some headlines from Tesla while the topic is hot?

Submission + - SPAM: Parking Ticket Figures in Scotland

An anonymous reader writes: Dominic Sellar & Co. investigates the ticket happy culture common in many Scottish councils.

Many newspaper column inches are dedicated to the struggles of motorists fighting private parking tickets. Many decry them illegal, some call them powerless and a few lambaste them as immoral.

Little, however, is spent questioning the tickets issued through either Police Scotland or local councils.

There seems to be an implicit acceptance that parking tickets issued on public land are like the permanently late train or the almighty downpour as soon as you open your door, that they are just another inevitable part of life.

Our position at the heart of road traffic offers a unique perspective on the situation. Every day we hear about hundreds of complaints about unjust parking penalties. The volume of complaints suggests that it’s not simply the inconsiderate and uncaring that are caught out but thousands of generally law abiding motorists too.

Through a series of freedom of information requests made by our team at Dominic Sellar & Co., we can now reveal incredible extent of public ticketing carried out by councils across Scotland.

Link to Original Source

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Apple, Spotify, and the futile economics of music streaming - VentureBeat (


Apple, Spotify, and the futile economics of music streaming
Several weeks ago, I suggested that it didn't make much sense for Apple to pursue such a thing. While I certainly didn't expect the company to take my advice and forget about streaming, everything I've heard since then has only convinced me that the efforts...
Apple is reportedly days from launching its Spotify-challenging music-streaming ... The Week Magazine
Apple's Streaming Plans Come into Focus as WWDC NearsTom's Guide
Drake and Pharrell rumoured to be iTunes Radio guest DJsThe Guardian 10-Times of India
all 194 news articles

Submission + - Use Augmented Reality To See Under The Skin Of New Ferraris

cartechboy writes: Augmented reality, we've now entered the age where this is a thing. In an era where automakers like Lexus use X-rays to service its supercar, you have to wonder why one should even bother stepping into a new car showroom to check out a car. Ferrari's realized this and just recreated an augmented reality app that lets you actually see under the skin of its supercars. With the app, buyers can see seven different aspects of the car, from wind tunnel animations to exploded diagrams of of the wheels, drivetrain, and more. The app works with five new Ferrari vehicles, with more to possibly come. While this tech is clearly aimed at enthusiasts, it's a good example of how an AR app could offer buyers a closer look at the top features of nearly any car someday in the near future.

Submission + - An Audi A7 Just Drove Itself From San Francisco To Las Vegas On Public Roads

cartechboy writes: Audi has been working on autonomous car tech for a while. Last year it showed us at CES an A7 that could drop someone off at the front door of a mall and then park itself. Now, it has just shown off an A7 that drove itself 550 miles from San Francisco to Las Vegas for CES. Yes, a self-driving Audi A7 just drove itself 550 miles. Heck, it might have even passed you on the roads and you didn't even notice. The car drove itself between speeds of 0 and 70 mph including making lane changes and passing maneuvers. The car relies on a combination of various sensors, many of which are close to production ready. These include long-range radar sensors, which are already in use in Audi's cruise control and side-assist driving aids, as well as two mid-range radar sensors that complete a 360 degree view. Laser scanners are mounted within the grille and rear bumper to provide information on various objects, both static and moving, on the road. There's also a high-resolution 3D video camera as well. A computer processes all of this information and adjusts the steering wheel, brakes, and transmission. The car is now at CES and is being shown.

Submission + - Mercedes-Benz's Self-Driving Concept Car Is Here

cartechboy writes: In what might be the worst kept secret ever, Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off its autonomous concept car dubbed the F015 Luxury in Motion Concept. Shown at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas last night, the concept is a self-driving, fully-connected, hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid that touts a vision of driving in the future. Mercedes says this concept is not only a means for getting someone from one point to another, but also a usable space for entertainment or work as well as a platform for communication and interaction. The hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid system is unique in that it produces zero emissions at all times. It consists of a hydrogen fuel cell stack, a lithium-ion battery, and two electric motors. The F015 has a driving range of 124 miles with a fully charged battery, and up to 684 miles with a full tank of hydrogen. Using Car-2-Car and Car-2-Ojbect communications the F015 is fully autonomous, and features a variable seat system with four lounge-style chairs inside. While not intended for production, Mercedes shows us that it has the technology today to produce a zero-emission vehicle that can drive itself. The future, is here.

Submission + - Tesla's about to announce a battery-swap pilot program, how it works leaked

cartechboy writes: Remember 18 months ago when Tesla promised it was going to launch battery-swap stations? Well, it's finally happening, sort of. It seems Tesla's about to announce a battery-swap pilot program that will launch next week. The swap site will be located across the street from a Tesla Supercharger site in Harris Ranch, California--184 miles south of San Francisco and about 200 miles north of Los Angeles. The pilot program will involve an unspecified number of Model S electric-car owners, who will be invited to take part in the test. For now, the battery-swap service will be offered by appointment only, at a cost of roughly a tank of gas in a premium sedan. Tesla's using words to describe this pilot program like "exploratory work" and "intended to test technology and assess demand" for a swapping service. While originally pitched that the battery swap would take less time than it would to take to refill the gas tank of a comparable luxury sedan, the company says now that "for this specific iteration" the swap process will take "approximately 3 minutes"--though it adds Tesla has "the ability to improve that time with future iterations." Is this test going to show that battery swapping is or isn't a realistic initiative?

Submission + - Are Republicans Behind The Tesla Sales Bans?

cartechboy writes: The common assumption among Tesla fans seems to be that state auto-dealer lobbyists are working with Republican legislators to enact laws banning direct sales of Tesla's electric cars to retail buyers. Is it true? The New York Time s published an article with some data points that assesses the supposition. While the article mainly focuses on the conflict between Uber and the Republican party, some quotes could be easily applied to Tesla. For instance, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus said, "It should be consumers, not government bureaucrats or legislators, that deicde what companies get our business." The author of the article Josh Barro wrote that 22 states permit direct sales of automobiles by Tesla to retail buyers, and of those the majority--14 of them-- voted for President Obama. He suggested that Democratic California, Illinois, and New York "have freer markets in auto retailing than Texas," which is presently Republican. When looking at a five-year-old article by Nate Silver that looked at political donations by car dealers, fully 88 percent of those donations went to Republican candidates, and just 12 percent to Democrats. That possibly suggests a propensity among Republican state legislators to support the interests for car dealers over those of electric-car buyers. Is the small bit of evidence enough to make a case?

Submission + - Jaguar And Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

cartechboy writes: We've all been there, driving down a city street and we miss that pedestrian or bicycle because they are in our blind spot. Not the blind spot behind us, but covered up by the A-pillar on your vehicle. This is a growing concern as pillars and cars in general bulk up to meet new, ever stricter safety standards. Now Jaguar and Land Rover might have come up with a solution that eliminates the risk: transparent pillars. Imagine having zero blinds spots as you pull up to that intersection. No concerns about not seeing something or someone that's hidden by that large A-pillar. The technology is called 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen and it provides a 360-degree view out of the vehicle. How does it work? Essentially, a screen embedded in the surface of each pillar inside the car relays a live video feed from cameras covering the angles outside the car. To avoid overloading the driver the screens are off in default mode, and are only activated automatically when the driver uses a turn signal or checks over their head to switch lanes. While there's zero mention of when this tech will go into production, it's clear, this is the future and it's crazy.

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One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.