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Submission + - 61% of Americans Use Their Smartphone in the Bathroom (slideshare.net)

thecarchik writes: It may (or may not) surprise you that of the 400 Americans we surveyed, 61% of them said they’ve used their mobile phone while in the bathroom.

49% of people take the time to catch up on text messages

A whopping 92% are checking Facebook. (We don’t want to read those status updates)

An immodest 31% answer their phones while in the bathroom, and 44% have heard the toilet flush while on the phone with someone else

Have you ever really had to go, and waiting for someone to come out seemed to take forever? Well it could be because 31% of people say they’ve stayed in the bathroom longer than necessary in order to finish mobile activity.

Submission + - Baidu Launches Baidu Eye, Their Version of Google Glass

thecarchik writes: Chinese search engine Baidu is launching a wearable headset very similar to Google Glass that they are calling Baidu Eye. The company showed off the new device, which was first rumored to be in development in April 2013, at its annual showcase event, Baidu World in Beijing.

The device does not feature a screen, and instead just beams information to a user’s smartphone.

Submission + - PHP.net Compromised

An anonymous reader writes: The open source PHP project site was compromised earlier today. The site appears to have been compromised and had some of its javascript altered to exploit vulnerable systems visiting the website. Googles stop-badware system caught this as well and flagged php.net as distributing malware, warning users who’s browsers support it not to visit the site. The comment by a Google employee over the hacker news thread (official google webmaster forum thread) seems to suggest that php.net wasn't incorrectly flagged. So stay safe.

Submission + - How OS X 10.9 Mavericks Breaks Gmail (tidbits.com) 1

jcenters writes: Joe Kissell reports on the broken way Mail.app works with Gmail accounts in OS X 10.9 Mavericks. You now have to enable the "All Mail" IMAP inbox in Gmail, which forces Mail.app to re-download every message in the account. Seemingly a way to address Google's non-standard IMAP implementation, the new Mail.app seems to break AppleScripts, unread counts, and Smart Mailboxes as well.

Submission + - Let The Cars Drive Themselves, We'll Save Money And Lives 1

cartechboy writes: Autonomous cars are coming even if tech companies have to produce them. The biggest hurdles are the technology (very expensive and often still surprisingly rudimentary) and how vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication happens (one car anticipates or sees an accident, it should tell nearby cars). So what are the benefits to self-driving cars? They may save us thousands of lives and not a small amount of cash. A new study from the Eno Center for Transportation (PDF) suggests that if just 10 percent of vehicles on the road were autonomous, the U.S. could see 1,000 fewer highway fatalities annually and save $38 billion in lost productivity (due to congestion and other traffic problems). Right off the bat you can imagine autonomous driving easily topping your average intoxicated drivers' ability behind the wheel. At a 90 percent adoption mark those same numbers in theory would become: 21,700 lives spared, and a whopping $447 billion saved. If that's the case, bring on robot drivers.

Submission + - Wait, Cars Catch Fire When Crashed? Taking A Breath On Tesla

thecarchik writes: Talk about jumping the gun. People all over the web are freaking out about a Tesla Model S catching fire after hitting a *metal object* in the road this week. People are sharing videos like wildfire, that's causing Tesla's stock price to plunge, and EV forums are hopping mad. But let's remain calm for a second and remember some essential truths. Cars sometimes catch fire when they crash. The Tesla Model S is--surprise--a car. So what's the big deal? Storing a lot of energy in a small space is a prerequisite for any car, and that stored energy can be dangerous in certain circumstances. When things outside of normal operating parameters occur (say, a metal object crashing into the car), that energy can escape--sometimes in violent ways. This is true no matter whether the car runs on gas, electricity, nuclear power, you name it. So let's all take a breath and realize that this sort of thing happens every day.

Submission + - Death of the Car Salesman? BMW Make a Siri-like App To Sell Electric Cars (motorauthority.com)

cartechboy writes: You thought Willy Loman had it bad. BMW is launching an artificial intelligence app allowing consumers to ask questions about its new BMW i3 electric car without the hassle of having to pick up the phone or go into dealership. Potential customers can text a simple question (to 84737*) about the i3 and the system builds an appropriate response in real-time using AI — interpreting words, sentiment, and context. The futuristic robo-car salesman was developed by 19-year-old entrepreneur Dmitry Aksenov and operates around the clock. No word on whether the app says, "Wait here — I'll check with my sales manager" like human car dealers often do.

Submission + - What is in A Tesla Model S Battery, And What It May Cost

thecarchik writes: In contrast to every other automaker, which use specialized large format Li-Ion cells, Tesla's battery pack is made up of thousands of inexpensive commodity cells similar to those found in laptops. Unlike automotive cells, these cells are produced in the billions, subject to the fierce competitive pressures that are a signature characteristic of the computer and consumer electronics industries.

Even including the overhead of the pack enclosure, connections between cells in modules (and modules in the pack), sensors, and circuitry, Tesla likely has lower pack costs than any other maker of plug-in electric cars. But even without the simplified design Tesla created, the standard Panasonic NCR18650A 3100mAh cells that Tesla uses probably don't come close to costing it $400 per kWh that the media has estimated.

It's not unreasonable to think that less advanced, but high-quality 3100mAh cells are now indeed selling for $2 per cell (or $180/kWh). If the cheaper Tesla-designed, cap saves even a dime per cell, that would cut the price to around $170 per kWh.

Submission + - No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than A SUV (greencarreports.com) 1

thecarchik writes: In an exhaustive 6,500-word article on the financial website Seeking Alpha, analyst Nathan Weiss lays out a case that the latest Tesla Model S actually has higher effective emissions than most large SUVs of both the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and smog-producing pollutants like sulfur dioxide.

This is absolutely false.

Virtually all electric car advocate agree that when toting up the environmental pros and cons of electric cars, it's only fair to include powerplant emissions. When this has been done previously, the numbers have still favored electric cars. The Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, concluded in a 2012 report, "Electric vehicles charged on the power grid have lower global warming emissions than the average gasoline-based vehicle sold today.

Working through everyone of Weiss' conclusions may show a higher emissions rate than Tesla's published numbers but in no way does a Model S pollute the amounts even close to an SUV.

Submission + - Terrafugia XF-T Flying Car Offers Vertical Takeoff

thecarchik writes: Terrafugia, manufacturer of the DOT approved flying car called the Transition has a new model in the works which does vertical takeoffs.

The model is called the Terrafugia XF-T. As you'll see in the video clip here , it expands on the company's existing Transition vehicle by offering helicopter-like rotors, which allow the XF-T to take off and land vertically.

According to the folks at Terrafugia, flying the XF-T "should be statistically safer than driving a modern automobile". That's in part because the XF-T "will be capable of automatically avoiding other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted and tower-controlled airspace".

Submission + - USAF strips 17 officers of nuclear launch authority

Freshly Exhumed writes: In an unprecedented action, a United States Air Force commander has stripped 17 of his officers of their authority to control and launch nuclear missiles. After a string of failings that the group's deputy commander said stemmed from "rot" within the ranks, the suspensions followed a March inspection of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, that resulted in a "D" grade for the team tested on its mastery of the Minuteman III missile launch operations system. The 17 are being assigned to intensive retraining courses of 60 to 90 days, according to Lt. Col. John Dorrian, an Air Force spokesman.

Submission + - U.S. DOJ say they don't need warrants for e-mail, Facebook chats (cnet.com)

gannebraemorr writes: The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI believe they don't need a search warrant to review Americans' e-mails, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and other private files, internal documents reveal. Government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and provided to CNET show a split over electronic privacy rights within the Obama administration, with Justice Department prosecutors and investigators privately insisting they're not legally required to obtain search warrants for e-mail.

Submission + - Will Future Tesla Cars Use Metal-Air Batteries? (greencarreports.com)

thecarchik writes: Most advocates and industry analysts expect lithium-ion batteries to dominate electric-car energy storage for the rest of this decade. But is Tesla Motors planning to add a new type of battery to increase the range of its electric cars? Tesla has filed for eight separate patents on uses of metal-air battery technology . The metals covered for use in the metal-air battery are aluminum, iron, lithium, magnesium, vanadium, and zinc.

Metal-air batteries, which slowly consume their anodes to give off energy, hit the news last month when Israeli startup Phinergy demonstrated its prototype battery and let reporters drive a test vehicle fitted with the energy-storage device.
Mounted in a subcompact demonstration car, Phinergy's aluminum-air battery provides 1,000 miles of range, it said, and requires refills of distilled water (which acts as electrolyte in the cells) about every 200 miles.

Submission + - Elon Musk Announces New Tesla Financing, National Math Lessons Ensue

cartechboy writes: Elon Musk created a firestorm online with his announcement of Tesla financing. Basically Tesla has a new financing plan that can allow buyers to get into a (yes!) Tesla Model S for a claimed $543 "effective monthly cost." The only problem was the math — which is what the online firestorm was about. The two best articles breaking down the math were Motor Authority ("Tesla Model S for $500 Per Month? No. Just No") and Green Car Reports (“Oh, Tesla: Your ‘Lease’ Is Smart, but That Calculator Wasn’t”). Some nice math analysis. Wow, but the car is still cool.

Submission + - Working from home: Perk or necessity? (surveymonkey.com)

thecarchik writes: Nearly half all of workers (46%) responded to a work from home survey that if workplace flexibility was eliminated, they’d dig their gig less however when asked if they’d go so far as to quit their job if working from home was removed? Over 70% said they wouldn’t go that far but nearly a quarter of folks replied with a "Maybe."

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