Technology

BMW’s New Motorcycle Concept Is So Smart You Won’t Need a Helmet

On Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif., BMW Group debuted a motorcycle concept so artificially intelligent that it eliminates the need for the rider to wear protective gear, including a helmet. 
The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 motorcycle is the latest incarnation of BMW’s Vision Next series, which celebrates 100 years of the German brand with forward-looking concept vehicles from Rolls-Royce, Mini, and BMW. The group has been hosting events around the world this year to debut each new concept in a different city. California’s event, held in an old airplane hangar, displayed the motorcycle along each of the group's other previously shown concepts. This is the fourth and final of its concepts to be shown. 

So what does the future of motorcycles hold? 

At least according to BMW, it's a bike that has self-balancing systems to keep it upright both when standing (a boon for novice riders, on par with training wheels for bicycles) and in motion (beneficial for experienced riders who want erudite handling at high speed). Several systems—one BMW calls a “Digital Companion,” which offers riding advice and adjustment ideas to optimize the experience, and one called “The Visor,” which is a pair of glasses that span the entire field of vision and are controlled by eye movements—correlate to return active feedback about road conditions to the rider while adjusting the ride of the bike continuously depending on the rider’s driving style. (Sure beats today's motorcycle touchscreen technology.)

Read more HERE

 

Sony's new PlayStation VR headset 'could lead to EYE DISEASE and VOMITING epidemic', doctor warns

The PlayStation VR is due to hit UK stores on October 13, with a headset costing just £350 and allowing gamers to immerse themselves in a stunning 3D world like never before.

With more than 40 million PS4s sold globally, many experts are tipping PSVR to finally make virtual reality truly mainstream.

Tech giant Sony is certainly adding to the buzz by touring the hardware across Britain throughout September and October.

But while video enthusiasts are clamouring to get their hands on the devices, experts have warned about the dangers when it comes to long-term eye damage. And they could also lead to copious amounts of puke.

Leading laser eye surgeon Dr David Allamby, clinical director of London’s Focus clinic, says VR could be setting up a generation of young adults for myopia and agonisingly-painful "dry eye".

Read more HERE

Ferrari’s Sold-Out $2.1 Million Aperta Underpins Growth Push

Ferrari NV sold out a $2.1 million open-top version of its LaFerrari supercar before its public debut, underscoring the marque’s allure even as the former unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV widens its line-up with more affordable models.

That two-pronged strategy was on display at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday. At one end of the scale, the Italian sports-car maker teased visitors with the aura of the LaFerrari Aperta, which is limited to 200 vehicles and was so sought-after that a collector sued for being left off the buyer’s list. At the other end is the four-seat GTC4 Lusso T, equipped with a smaller V8 motor instead of the standard V12.

“For us a limited edition is a way to reward our clients,” Ferrari’s head of sales and marketing Enrico Galliera said at the Paris unveilings. The Lusso, meanwhile, is meant to fill a market gap. “There were a number of clients that were looking for something different. They were looking for the same emotion of driving a Ferrari-- which is sporty and versatile -- but at the same time is specifically designed to be driven every day.”

Ferrari has been under pressure to show that its strategy of wooing the world’s elite can work without the backing of a bigger player. The automaker’s stock has been below theinitial public offering price of $52 a share since November, and its ambition to broaden the brand beyond exotic cars and challenge luxury icons such as Hermes and Louis Vuitton has failed to make headway.

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NASA to release details of ‘surprising activity’ on Europa

NASA has announced a teleconference to be held on Monday afternoon next week, during which it will present new findings from images of Europa, one of the largest of Jupiter’s 67 known moons, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

“Astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa,” the agency said.

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Could holographic televisions be the next big thing? BBC creates amazing experimental device

A research team at the BBC has been working on an incredible new "holographic TV"- and they have already produced some stunning results.

The experiment brief was to invent a device using low-fi and low-cost materials could be used to completely change our way of viewing the small screen.

It comes as the BBC continues to explore emerging technologies for future audiences.

The team admitted that they had seen the phenomenon of a holographic image created by people using their mobile phones, but they wanted to extend the scale and go one step bigger.

Cyrus Saihan, Head of Digital Partnerships for the BBC said: "We had seen that people had created small 'holographic' displays using mobile phones and so it occurred to us that making a super-sized version of these low-cost displays would give us a way to see how 'holograms' might work on a larger scale, something comparable to the size of a living room TV.

"To make our 'holographic' TV, we took a 46" TV that we had in the office and then asked a local plastics cutter to make a simple acrylic pyramid shape based on some sketches that we had done.

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Apple’s iOS 10 update caused major issues for some iPhone users

A number of iPhone users who upgraded to iOS 10 on Tuesday were left with inoperable devices as the new operating system took hold.

Some of those who attempted to download the new mobile operating system shortly after it was released took to Twitter to complain that the upgrade forced their phone into “recovery mode” – which meant they would have to wipe their phone’s memory in order to try to reinstall the software.

“We experienced a brief issue with the software update process, affecting a small number of users during the first hour of availability,” read a statement from Apple.

“The problem was quickly resolved and we apologize to those customers. Anyone who was affected should connect to iTunes to complete the update or contact AppleCare for help.”

Read more HERE

Samsung formally recalls the Note 7 in the US

After weeks of investigation, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a formal recall of the Galaxy Note 7 in conjunction with Samsung today. The move outlines the problems with the phone's exploding battery and puts in place a path for consumers to return or replace the device. The news should come as source of relief for Samsung customers, many of whom have been grappling with the company's mixed messaging and sometimes confusing responses to the Note 7's ongoing issues. The formal recall covers about 1 million devices.

"Consumers should immediately stop using and power down the recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices purchased before September 15th, 2016," reads the CPSC's recommendation. "Contact the wireless carrier, retail outlet, or Samsung.com where you purchased your device to receive free of charge a new Galaxy Note 7 with a different battery, a refund, or a new replacement device." The CPSC has also updated the US incident count, pegging the number of units with overheating batteries at 92, including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage.

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Facebook fires human editors, algorithm immediately posts fake news

Earlier this year, Facebook denied criticisms that its Trending feature was surfacing news stories that were biased against conservatives. But in an abrupt reversal, the company fired all the human editors for Trending on Friday afternoon, replacing them with an algorithm that promotes stories based entirely on what Facebook users are talking about. Within 72 hours, according to the Washington Post, the top story on Trending was about how Fox News icon Megyn Kelly was a pro-Clinton "traitor" who had been fired (she wasn't).

The original accusations of bias came from a disgruntled ex-editor at Facebook, who leaked internal Trending training materials to Gizmodo. The training package offered tips on, among other things, how to curate news from an RSS feed of reputable sources when the stories provided by Facebook users were false or repetitive. Though the human editors were always expendable—they were mostly there to train the Trending algorithm—they were still engaging in quality control to weed out blatant falsehoods and non-news like #lunch. And after Trending latched on to the fake Kelly scoop, it appears that human intervention might still be required to make Facebook's algorithms a legitimate source of news after all.

In a post about the changes, Facebook said the early move to eliminate human editors was a direct response to "the feedback we got from the Facebook community earlier this year," an oblique reference to the raging controversy unleashed by the Gizmodo revelations. Facebook explained that the new, non-human Trending module is personalized "based on a number of factors, including Pages you’ve liked, your location (e.g., home state sports news), the previous trending topics with which you’ve interacted, and what is trending across Facebook overall." Instead of paying humans to "write topic descriptions and short story summaries," the company said "we’re relying on an algorithm to pull excerpts directly from news stories." Which is why millions of Facebook readers this morning saw the "news" that Megyn Kelly is a traitor who has been fired.

Read more HERE

Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

An international team of scientists from the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are investigating mysterious signal spikes emitting from a 6.3-billion-year-old star in the constellation Hercules–95 light years away from Earth. The implications are extraordinary and point to the possibility of a civilization far more advanced than our own.

The unusual signal was originally detected on May 15, 2015 by the Russian Academy of Science-operated RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia but was kept secret from the international community. Interstellar space reporter  Paul Gilster broke the story after the researchers quietly circulated a paper announcing the detection of “a strong signal in the direction of HD164595.”

The mysterious star’s designation is HD164595 and it’s considered to be sun-like in nature with a nearly identical metallic composition to our own star. So far, a single Neptune-like (but warmer) planet has been discovered in its orbit–HD 164595 b. But as Gilster explained, “there could, of course, be other planets still undetected in this system.”

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From the iPhone 7 to the Apple Watch 2, here’s everything we expect Apple to announce next week

Earlier today, Apple sent out official invitations for a special event set to take place on September 7 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. While Apple’s iPhone 7 will undoubtedly be the primary focus of the event, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Apple take the opportunity to announce some other new products as well.

To help get you up to speed regarding what Apple likely has in store for us come September 7, we’ve put together a short but sweet summary highlighting all of the potential new products Apple may introduce to the world next week. 

This one is a no-brainer. Every September, the collective eyes of the tech world all hone in on Apple’s September media event to take a look at what type of new features the company’s next-gen iPhone brings to the table. With the iPhone 7, word is that we won’t see any groundbreaking new features, but that’s not to say that the iPhone 7 will be a ho-hum upgrade.

 

Apple is reportedly working on an app that sounds a lot like Snapchat

In a curious move, Apple appears to be exploring a move into social networking.

According to a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple is developing a Snapchat-like app that lets you share video clips with friends. Like with Snapchat, you can edit your videos with filters, drawings, and stickers. 

If the project gets approved, the app could launch as early as 2017, the report says.

It's a strange move for Apple, which has been adverse to creating social networking apps in the past, especially after failures like iTunes Ping and the Connect feature in Apple Music.

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Does Facebook think you're liberal or conservative? Here's how to find out

You probably already know that Facebook shows you ads based on what it thinks you like and dislike, but you might not be aware that it also labels your political preferences — even if you don't state them yourself. Earlier this month, the social network made this information easier to find with a new ad preference tool. This lets you see what the company's algorithms have determined as your interests (covering art, music, and hobbies, as well as politics) and edit them to your liking.

To find out what Facebook thinks your political allegiances are, head over to www.facebook.com/ads/preferences. From there, click on the "Lifestyle and culture" tab under the Interests section. There should be a box in that section titled "US politics" (you may have to click "see more" to find it), which will include, in parentheses, your political designation — for example, liberal, conservative, moderate, etc. (This information might also appear in a drop down menu.) As with the other ad preferences on this page you can remove it by clicking the X in the top right corner.

Read more HERE

Windows 10 Anniversary Update broke millions of webcams

If your webcam is freezing after about a minute when using Skype, or another app, then you can thank Microsoft.

 

The Redmond giant meant to allow multiple apps to access the camera at the same time, but didn’t want users to suffer poor performance as those apps concurrently accessed the webcam and the MJPEG or H264 encoding processes. So Microsoft decided the best plan was to stop USB webcams from using MJPEG or H264 and instead to only support webcams that use YUY2 encoding.

Although Microsoft claimed there have been a “small number of reports,” that doesn’t jive with comments on Microsoft’s community forums. It seems that both enterprise and consumers have been impacted since the Anniversary Update.

User Dacuda posted: “We have a working product running for years and millions of unhappy users that are unable to use it at all after this update.” He added, “We have millions of users and we are in situation now where we have to tell them not to update the Windows anymore or switch to Mac OS.”

Stephan B, Crealogix, wrote, “Thousands of our customers can’t use our product now to process their payments by e-banking!”

Read more HERE

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 versus S7 Edge: Which phone to bu

Note 7 or S7 Edge? Both Samsung Galaxy phones have a lot in common, especially those wraparound screens that look awesome and are home to special shortcut software. Both phones share similar specs, including a sharp-shooting, 12-megapixel camera and the same speedy processor.

There are slight variations, but the biggest differences come down to this:

  • Note 7's S Pen stylus
  • Note 7's higher price
  • S7 Edge's slightly longer battery life
  • Note 7's 64GB of onboard storage versus the Edge's 32GB

I really enjoy the Note 7. It's Samsung's best, most luxe-feeling phone, and I enjoy using it to navigate around and mark up the screen. But if you're not going to use the digital pen, then the phone probably isn't for you. The S7 Edge's more sloping curves will get you the same immersive, feeling as the Note 7 (arguably more so) and the battery will take you a little further, too.

Although the Note 7 doubles the S7 Edge's storage, casual users can get away with the Edge's 32GB capacity, or can buy a microSD card for more space. (Both the S7 Edge and Note 7 card slots accept up to 256GB more.) Those cards are reasonably priced, but it's nice not to have to think about storage at all.

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Uber’s First Self-Driving Fleet Arrives in Pittsburgh This Month

Near the end of 2014, Uber co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick flew to Pittsburgh on a mission: to hire dozens of the world’s experts in autonomous vehicles. The city is home to Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics department, which has produced many of the biggest names in the newly hot field. Sebastian Thrun, the creator of Google’s self-driving car project, spent seven years researching autonomous robots at CMU, and the project’s former director, Chris Urmson, was a CMU grad student.

“Travis had an idea that he wanted to do self-driving,” says John Bares, who had run CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center for 13 years before founding Carnegie Robotics, a Pittsburgh-based company that makes components for self-driving industrial robots used in mining, farming, and the military. “I turned him down three times. But the case was pretty compelling.” Bares joined Uber in January 2015 and by early 2016 had recruited hundreds of engineers, robotics experts, and even a few car mechanics to join the venture. The goal: to replace Uber’s more than 1 million human drivers with robot drivers—as quickly as possible.

The plan seemed audacious, even reckless. And according to most analysts, true self-driving cars are years or decades away. Kalanick begs to differ. “We are going commercial,” he says in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. “This can’t just be about science.”

Read more HERE

Airlander 10: is this the dawning of a new age of the airship?

Above a field in rural Bedfordshire, a shiny, futuristic craft the size of a football pitch ascends majestically into the evening sky, and gawping onlookers crane their necks for a better view. This could be the trailer for the latest Independence Day film, but it is the maiden flight of the Airlander 10, a helium-filled craft aiming to kickstart a new age of the airship.

It has been a while coming – the first flight had been delayed several times and Wednesday’s takeoff was held up for hours – but once in the air, showing off its curves as it banks and soars for its audience, the Airlander is quite a spectacle.

At 92m long and 43.5m wide, this is the world’s largest aircraft, dwarfing heavyweights such as the Airbus A380 “superjumbo”. It is a bit cheaper, too, with a catalogue price of £25m, compared with $375m (£287m) for an A380.

It can also carry a 10-tonne payload, comparable with military transport helicopters such as the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, the US Air Force’s workhorse of choice.

Read more HERE

Linux flaw puts 1.4 billion Android devices at risk of spying attack, experts warn

A Linux flaw that lets attackers hijack internet traffic also affects nearly 80 percent of Android devices, security researchers warned this week.

Mobile security company Lookout reports that the recently discovered Linux flaw could impact around 1.4 billion Android devices. “The vulnerability lets attackers obtain unencrypted traffic and degrade encrypted traffic to spy on victims,” explained Lookout Security Researcher Andrew Blaich, in a blog post Monday.

While the Linux flaw is not specific to Android, its potential to affect a large number of devices has grabbed plenty of attention.

The flaw first appeared with the introduction of Linux 3.6 in 2012, according to Ars Technica, which warns that an attacker could insert malicious code or content into unencrypted TCP internet connections between two parties. Even if the connection is encrypted, an attacker may be able to terminate it, Ars Technica adds.

Read more HERE

Intel's next-gen PC chip works, it's the fastest ever, and it's coming this fall

The PC industry's glory days, when people snapped up new computers powered by steadily faster chips, are over. But Intel thinks its newest PC processor will get some hearts racing in a few months.

At its Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich showed PCs powered by a seventh-generation Core processor in PCs handling some demanding chores -- editing high-resolution 4K GoPro video and playing a hot new first-person shooter game, Overwatch.

It's "the highest performance CPU Intel has ever built. It'll make rich experiences available to everyone," Krzanich said. "We're shipping seventh-generation Core already to our PC partners and will launch devices to consumers this fall."

The seventh-generation Core processor, code-named Kaby Lake, is the first PC chip to emerge since Intel slowed its "tick-tock" pace of processor development. It previously introduced new chip designs and new manufacturing technology in alternating years, but Kaby Lake just refines an existing design on an existing manufacturing process.

The slower cadence isn't the only trouble for Intel. The steady improvement in processor clock speeds has largely stalled, PC sales are shrinking and consumers have flocked to smartphones powered by other companies' chips. But Krzanich is optimistic about Moore's Law, the observation named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that the number of electronic components on a chip doubles every two years.

"Moore's Law is far from dead," Krzanich said.

Source - CNET

The iPad is reportedly getting a 'revolutionary' redesign in 2018

An analyst with a reputation for accurately predicting what Apple's working on has issued a new note looking at the company's line of iPad tablets.

KGI Securities' Ming Chi Kuo thinks Apple may be launching a new iPad size in the next year,MacRumors reports.

Currently, iPads come in three sizes: the iPad Mini, with a 7.9-inch screen; the classic iPad, with a 9.7-inch screen; and the largest iPad, the iPad Pro, which sports a 12.9-inch screen.

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MIT Unveils DuoSkin: Temporary Tattoos That Function As On-Skin Interfaces To Interact With Computers, Mobile Devices

MIT Media Lab, in partnership with Microsoft Research, has unveiled DuoSkin, a project that uses temporary tattoos as connected interfaces that can be used in a variety of ways.

DuoSkin, as described by MIT researchers on the project's dedicated page, is a fabrication process that allows for the creation of customized functional devices that can be attached onto the skin of users.

According to MIT Media Lab PhD student Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, the project originated from the growing trend of metallic temporary tattoos, making DuoSkin a combination of existing fashion with useful functions in the connected world.

Read more HERE