Raspberry Pi is merging with a coding foundation
May26

Raspberry Pi is merging with a coding foundation

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Raspberry Pi’s credit card-sized computers have helped kickstart a coding revolution. Thanks to their low cost, major companies like Google and VMWare have distributed thousands of the DIY boards to children all over the world in the hope that it’ll inspire the next generation of computer scientists. The Raspberry Pi Foundation routinely works with educational partners to get its computers in the right hands, and its latest announcement is set to boost that outreach even more. Today, the foundation confirmed that it is to merge with CoderDojo to form what it believes will be the biggest code-promoting organization on the planet. CoderDojo, if you’re not aware, is a Dublin-based organization that focuses on getting young people coding. It facilitates the creation of volunteer-run programming clubs for youngsters aged between 7 to 17. The organization says that there are more than 1,250 CoderDojos in 69 countries, which serve more than 35,000 children and teenagers. While the Raspberry Pi Foundation is best known for its cheap computing boards, it also has a vocal and passionate community. It offers resources to help support educators who want to teach coding and also runs its Code Club network of programming clubs for children aged between 9 and 13 (which are attended by over 150,000 kids a week). Code Club wasn’t its own creation, though — the Foundation merged with the eponymous organization back in 2015. Looking at numbers alone, it’s easy to see why Raspberry Pi and CoderDojo are a good fit. Plus, it’s something the hardware maker has done successfully in the past. While their programming clubs may slightly differ, both organizations agree there is “a need and room for both.” Raspberry Pi Foundation CEO Eben Upton recently said that the organization would move away from major product launches and focus more on software, as well as “doubling down” on its charitable work. Today’s announcement suggests that dream is becoming a reality. “Raspberry Pi will work closely with CoderDojo to advance our shared goals, pooling our resources and expertise to get more adult volunteers and young people involved in the movement,” said the Raspberry Pi Foundation a statement. “Our combined scale will allow us to invest more in the infrastructure and systems that underpin our work, and to offer a wider range of products and services to our communities.” Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Second-gen Moto 360 smartwatches will get Android Wear 2.0 soon
May26

Second-gen Moto 360 smartwatches will get Android Wear 2.0 soon

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. A bunch of smartwatches got Android Wear 2.0 when it finally came out in April, but sadly, Moto 360 wasn’t one of them. The company promised a late-May availability, and it sounds like it’s staying true to its word. Motorola Support’s Twitter account has revealed that the updated OS will soon start rolling out to second-gen Moto 360s in phases — it might have even begun yesterday, which means some people could already have updated devices. The long-delayed Wear 2.0 comes with a new user interface that was especially designed for computing on a tiny screen. It reduces the number of clicks and swipes needed to navigate the OS, and it puts the Play Store right on your smartwatch so you can download apps directly. The platform also adds Google Assistant to your device, giving you an easy way to make a query or to control your apps with voice commands. Before you celebrate, though, make sure that what you have is the base second-gen version. The Moto 360 Sport will eventually get an update, but it won’t be anytime soon. As for the first-gen Moto 360, the company is unfortunately leaving it out of the update altogether. @NamelessWing @Moto Happy to report that AndroidWear 2.0 will start rolling out in phases on Moto 360 2nd Gen, possibly as early as today. — Motorola Support (@Moto_Support) May 25, 2017 Via: 9to5google Source: Motorola Support Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
SmartCar connects Facebook's chatbot to your Tesla
May25

SmartCar connects Facebook's chatbot to your Tesla

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. We’ve seen AI-powered chatbots for almost everything, and now a company called Smartcar has developed one specifically for Tesla electric vehicles. Owners can access any number of features via Tesla’s mobile app, and by logging in via TeslaBot, they can pop open Facebook Messenger to ask questions or send commands. That’s a pretty low bar for use, particularly compared to the Tesla app Smartcar’s founder developed for Google Glass. Of course, most of us don’t have a Tesla yet (at least until the Model 3 comes out), but we could see more tech like this quickly, as Smartcar is already working with Hyundai on its Ioniq platform. Source: TeslaBot AI (Facebook Messenger), TeslaBot.ai Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
The educational games of your youth have their own museum exhibit
May25

The educational games of your youth have their own museum exhibit

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The Minnesota Education Computing Corporation might not be the most recognizable game developer today, but if you went to elementary school in the US anytime in the eighties or nineties, then you’ve almost certainly played — and probably learned something from — one of its educational games. The company started in 1973 as an initiative to put more computers into classrooms across Minnesota and eventually created over 300 different software titles, including the version of The Oregon Trail that became the cultural touchstone it is today. Now MECC and The Oregon Trail are finally getting the recognition they deserve in a retrospective exhibit from the Strong, the National Museum of Play. The museum actually inducted The Oregon Trail into the Video Game Hall of Fame back in 2016, and the new exhibit will include playable original versions of the game so younger generations can experience the excitement of hunting for buffalo in all it’s 8-bit glory. Aside from teaching countless schoolkids grammar with Word Munchers, MECC is also considered a pioneer in STEM education that popularized computer learning. To preserve that legacy, a group of former MECC employees, including Oregon Trail co-creator Don Rawitsch and co-founder Dale LaFrenz, recently donated a cache of documents, videos, and software to the museum that will show how the company evolved from a part of the public school system to a beloved piece of our collective memories. The Oregon Trail, MECC, and the Rise of Computer Learning exhibit officially opens on June 17th. But if you can’t make it to Rochester, New York, you can also explore and play the original on Archive.org or take a trip down memory lane on MECC’s own site. Source: The Museum of Play Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Android exploit adds secret, thieving layers to your phone
May25

Android exploit adds secret, thieving layers to your phone

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Researchers from UC Santa Barbara and Georgia Tech have discovered a fresh class of Android attacks, called Cloak and Dagger, that can operate secretly on a phone, allowing hackers to log keystrokes, install software and otherwise control a device without alerting its owner. Cloak and Dagger exploits take advantage of the Android UI, and they require just two permissions to get rolling: SYSTEM ALERT WINDOW (“draw on top”) and BIND ACCESSIBILITY SERVICE (“a11y”). This concerns researchers because Android automatically grants the draw-on-top permission for any app downloaded from the Play Store, and once a hacker is in, it’s possible to trick someone into granting the a11y permission. A Cloak and Dagger-enabled app hides a layer of malicious activity under seemingly harmless visuals, luring users to click on unseen buttons and keystroke loggers. “To make things worse, we noticed that the accessibility app can inject the events, unlock the phone, and interact with any other app while the phone screen remains off,” the researchers write. “That is, an attacker can perform a series of malicious operations with the screen completely off and, at the end, it can lock the phone back, leaving the user completely in the dark.” Google is aware of the exploit. “We’ve been in close touch with the researchers and, as always, we appreciate their efforts to help keep our users safer,” a spokesperson says. “We have updated Google Play Protect — our security services on all Android devices with Google Play — to detect and prevent the installation of these apps. Prior to this report, we had already built new security protections into Android O that will further strengthen our protection from these issues, moving forward.” One of the researchers, Yanick Fratantonio, tells TechCrunch the recent updates to Android O might address Cloak and Dagger, and the team will test it out and update its website accordingly. For now, he says, don’t download random apps and keep an eye on those permissions. Source: Cloak and Dagger Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Keybase brings seamless encrypted chats to anyone on the web
May25

Keybase brings seamless encrypted chats to anyone on the web

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Keybase is on a mission to make end-to-end encryption as easy as possible, everywhere you go online. After launching frictionless encrypted file sharing last year, the open-source security company rolled out Keybase Chat, a desktop and mobile chat app that allows users to send encrypted messages to anyone on the internet using just their Twitter, Facebook or Reddit username. Today, Keybase announced a few new launches that will make it even easier to send encrypted messages to anyone — even if your recipient isn’t set up to receive them yet. First, up a new Chrome extension adds an encrypted message button to user profiles on any of the social networks Keybase supports. (Aside from Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, the service also works with Hacker News and GitHub accounts.) If the user you’re trying to message isn’t already signed up for Keybase, they’ll be notified via the social network they’re on that they have an encrypted message waiting for them. The extension works alongside the Keybase desktop app, so your messages are encrypted end-to-end and they will be stored and unreadable until the recipient unlocks it. If you don’t use Chrome, you can also use the main app to search for social media profiles and send a message from there. Speaking of the the app, Keybase Chat has also quietly made its way to Linux and Windows 10 machines, as well as mobile devices on Android and iOS. Since the project is open source, the company is still refining and adding features as more users come on board. Most importantly though, founder Chris Coyne has committed to implementing advanced blocking and abuse reporting features, which is important when you consider everyone on the web now has an encrypted inbox waiting for them. Source: Keybase Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Amazon opens its first drive-through grocery store
May25

Amazon opens its first drive-through grocery store

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Need to pick up some supplies but can’t be bothered to walk across a parking lot for them? Amazon’s got you covered. In Seattle on Thursday, the company opened a grocery store that doesn’t require you leave your vehicle, promising customers will only have to “drive in… and drive out.” The service, dubbed AmazonFresh Pickup, is now live at two locations: in the SODO and Ballard neighborhoods. It’s free for Prime members and there is no minimum order amount. Customers simply place their order online, drive to the store and wait. Once the order is ready, an employee wheels it out to the car and puts it in the trunk. That’s it. The stores carry everything you’d expect to find at your local supermarket, albeit at a significantly higher price. Expect to pay $1 per lemon, $6.60 for a gallon of milk and $1.29 per apple. Or you can just do your shopping like you always have and save some cash. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Popular iOS notes app Bear adds sketching (and stickers)
May25

Popular iOS notes app Bear adds sketching (and stickers)

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Bear, a fast, lightweight and lovely note-taking app for iOS and the Mac, has been building a following over the past year or so. The app’s excellent design, small but essential feature set and steady stream of updates have made it worth its subscription cost ($14.99 per year or $1.49 per month, though you can get most of its features for free). Today, a pretty major update is rolling out to the iOS app: Bear now supports sketching. In keeping with Bear’s focus on essentials, the sketching feature includes two different brushes, each with three different widths and a variety of colors. You can use your finger or a stylus, including the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro, and drawings sync across your iPhone, iPad and Mac provided you’re a subscriber. But you can only create and edit drawings on the iPhone or iPad; on the Mac you can just view your scribbles. Those images live as attachments to text notes just like any other picture you bring into Bear. Another iOS-only feature is stickers for iMessage, because why not? As you might expect, they encompass a cute bear doing a variety of cute things. The last little update pertains to the app’s visual themes — now, when you change the app’s theme, it’ll also change the home screen icon on your phone or the dock icon on your Mac. But the main attraction is obviously sketching. While I don’t want Bear’s developers to add too many features and make the app into a bloated monster, pretty much every notes app out there (including Apple’s Notes app) supports drawing to some extent. Having it in Bear just makes good sense. Source: Bear Writer Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Tesla’s Model 3 budget EV can do 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds
May25

Tesla’s Model 3 budget EV can do 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Some of the performance details of Tesla’s Model 3, which is set to begin production in July, were leaked today by insiders at the Tesla Model 3 Owners Club. An infographic comparing the new, $35,000 model with the fancier and more powerful Model S reports a 0-60 time of a zippy 5.6 seconds. While that’s slower than the Model S, the cheapest version of which is $69,500, it’s a bit quicker than the comparably priced Chevy Bolt, which takes 6.5 seconds to hit 60MPH. The leaked specs, which were confirmed to Road & Track by a Tesla spokesperson, also note a range of 215-plus miles. And while that number isn’t confirmed yet by the EPA, it’s just short of the Bolt’s 238-mile rating. The highly anticipated Model 3 pulled in a whopping 252,000 pre-orders in the first two days of its availability alone and reached around 400,000 in total. But while the car is fast, the production is slow. And unfortunately for those waiting, the infographic also appears to confirm the expected mid-2018 delivery date. Your electric car road races will just have to wait. Via: Road & Track Source: Tesla Model 3 Owners Club Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Disney CEO Bob Iger now says the company wasn't hacked
May25

Disney CEO Bob Iger now says the company wasn't hacked

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. A couple of weeks ago, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Disney CEO Bob Iger had emailed employees about a ransom demand. Rumors indicated that hackers claimed to have a copy of an upcoming movie, possibly Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, but now the exec tells Yahoo Finance that “We don’t believe that it was real and nothing has happened.” The threat was probably taken more seriously in light of a hacker releasing Orange is the New Black episodes, but as of tonight, the only people threatening the world with another Pirates flick are the folks at Disney. Via: CNBC Source: Yahoo Finance Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
‘Titanfall 2’ gets its first new mech
May25

‘Titanfall 2’ gets its first new mech

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Titanfall 2 was one of last year’s most hotly-anticipated –and well-received — titles and the team behind it has kept its multiplayer scene alive with several free DLC releases. While the playerbase has dwindled, the next gratis content addition, Monarch Reigns, might lure enough back to revive the game when it drops on May 30th. At long last players will get a seventh titan, the first new battle mech added to the game since its launch. The Monarch is a rework of the Vanguard titan — aka, the original model that housed your robot bestie from the campaign mode, BT — but tweaked for PVP. As the video’s description states, the new robosuit “features a unique Upgrade Core, which allows her to improve her combat abilities during a battle based on options set by her Pilot. Monarch also has an impressive ability to draw power from enemy Titans to recharge her own shields, or the shields of her friendly Titans.” The Monarch Reigns DLC will also add a new map, Relic, which returns from the first Titanfall. Expect many vertical faces to wallrun and big open space to snipe. Players can also buy a pair of prime skins for the Tone and Ronin titans, plus other in-game items, to support the team. Y’know, since they keep giving content away for free. Source: YouTube Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Android co-founder teases smartphone reveal date on Twitter
May25

Android co-founder teases smartphone reveal date on Twitter

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Android co-founder Andy Rubin teased us with a photo of his new smartphone this past March. The glimpse was small, showing only a corner of the new phone made by Rubin’s company, Essential Products, Inc. The company jumped on Twitter today to announce that “something big” was coming May 30. Assuming the hype machine is in full force, this likely means that we will get a glimpse of the Essential smart phone in five days. Hi, welcome to our Twitter page. We’re here to let you know something big is coming May 30th! Stay tuned… — Essential (@essential) May 25, 2017 Essential will focus on a line up of connected tablets, smartphones and mobile software, according to early reports. The smartphone prototypes are reportedly larger than Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus and feature bezel-free sreens and ceramic backings. The reports also say that the Essential team is working on a feature similar to Apple’s 3D Touch and magnetic charging capabilities, which seems to position Rubin’s new company as iPhone competition rather than other Android-powered hardware. We hope to find out more next week. Via: The Verge Source: Essential/Twitter Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Baidu’s text-to-speech system mimics a variety of accents ‘perfectly'
May25

Baidu’s text-to-speech system mimics a variety of accents ‘perfectly'

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Chinese tech giant Baidu’s text-to-speech system, Deep Voice, is making a lot of progress toward sounding more human. The latest news about the tech are audio samples showcasing its ability to accurately portray differences in regional accents. The company says that the new version, aptly named Deep Voice 2, has been able to “learn from hundreds of unique voices from less than a half an hour of data per speaker, while achieving high audio quality.” That’s compared to the 20 hours hours of training it took to get similar results from the previous iteration, for a single voice, further pushing its efficiency past Google’s WaveNet in a few months time. Baidu says that unlike previous text-to-speech systems, Deep Voice 2 finds shared qualities between the training voices entirely on its own, and without any previous guidance. “Deep voice 2 can learn from hundreds of voices and imitate them perfectly,” a blog post says. In a research paper (PDF), Baidu concludes that its neural network can create voice pretty effectively even from small voice samples from hundreds of different speakers. All of which to say, it might not be long before we start hearing digital assistants that are more representative of the voices users encounter in their day-to-day lives. To hear how far the tech has come and for more information of how the team got to this point, hit the source links below. Via: The Verge Source: Baidu (1), (2) (PDF) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Robot uses machine-learning to grab objects on the first try
May25

Robot uses machine-learning to grab objects on the first try

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Training robots how to grasp various objects without dropping them usually requires a lot of practice. But a new robot, designed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Siemens and described in an upcoming paper, can learn how to grip new objects just by studying a database of 3D shapes. The robot is connected to a 3D sensor and a deep-learning neural network to which researchers fed images of objects. They included information about the objects’ shapes, visual appearances and the physics of how to go about grabbing them. So, when a new object is placed in front of the robot, it just has to match it to a similar object in the database. In practice, when the robot was more than 50 percent confident that it could grab a new object, the robot was able to grip and not drop it 98 percent of the time. If it was less than 50 percent confident, the robot would give the object a poke and then decide on a gripping strategy. In those cases, the robot was successful 99 percent of the time. A quick little inspection is all it needs to overcome a lack of confidence. This method of robot training can shave a lot of time off from machine-learning processes and can produce robots with greater dexterity. “We can generate sufficient training data for deep neural networks in a day or so instead of running months of physical trials on a real robot,” Jeff Mahler, a postdoctoral researcher working on the project, told MIT Technology Review. The robots currently used in factories are very precise and accurate with known objects but can’t adjust well when faced with new ones. The efficiency of this training strategy and the reliability of the robot’s grip sets this method up nicely for commercial use in the future. Via: MIT Technology Review Source: Arxiv Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Instagram Direct doesn't care about your (photo) orientation
May25

Instagram Direct doesn't care about your (photo) orientation

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Instagram Direct debuted in 2013 as a way to send photos and videos, well, directly to your friends on the photo sharing service. The Facebook-owned company has added more features to the system over the intervening years, like threaded messaging, disappearing messages and live video. Instagram Direct’s latest update adds two more features aimed at creating a more robust messaging service: non-square images and links. When you send a permanent, non-disappearing photo to a buddy with Instagram Direct, you don’t have find the perfect square crop anymore. Simply grab a portrait or landscape oriented photo from your camera roll and let fly. Sounds a lot easier than uploading non-square photos in the regular Instagram feed. Also, when you send a link, phone number or address in Direct, your friend can tap through to launch the appropriate app to handle it, like Safari, the phone app or your contacts. Instagram added more Snapchat-like features — disappearing photos and live video — to its Direct service in November 2016. It also bundled permanent and disappearing photos together this past April. These new additions might further encourage users to stay within the walled Instagram garden when chatting, instead of hopping over to apps like Snapchat. Landscape and portrait uploads are available on iOS now with Android to come later. Links, however, are available with the update on both platforms. Source: Instagram Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Your mall will basically have to be psychic to survive
May25

Your mall will basically have to be psychic to survive

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Repeat after me: Shopping is therapy. Whether you believe it or not, the rush some of us get from buying a new dress or gadget can be cathartic. And in the not-too-distant future, real-world shopping will get so seamless that it could feel like the store is actually psychic. But it’s not just about flashy displays of bleeding-edge tech. Instead, expect a subtler approach that focuses on understanding your tastes to find you your next outfit while you’re in the fitting room, all in the right size. Stores will learn to recognize you as you browse and change dynamically to show things that matter more to you so you won’t have to be disappointed by missing sizes or sift through stuff you wouldn’t have bought anyway. For instance, shelves of shoes will also show if each design is available in your size or if you have to go online to find it. In future fitting rooms, the mirror might welcome you back when you walk in, and it’ll already know your preferred fit, cuts, brands and sizes so it can predict what you might like to try on. If you’ve bought a particular shade of foundation, a screen on the shelf can show you looks that are mapped to that hue. When you drive up to a gas pump, it will already know which credit card you’ll be using because it detected and authenticated your license plate and identity. These scenarios are just examples that form part of Healey Cypher’s vision of the retail store of the future. He’s the CEO of San Francisco-based startup Oak Labs, which calls itself a “retail innovation company” and has been working with brands like Ralph Lauren and Rebecca Minkoff to embed tech in their stores for unique shopping experiences. “It’s not a lot of screens or holograms or robots taking your hands guiding you along,” Cypher told Engadget. He believes it will be tech that you can’t see but that works behind the scenes to show you information that you need. That seamlessness extends to the payment process as well. With all the infrastructure that will have been embedded into various surfaces throughout the store, checkout counters could eventually disappear altogether. “From the window of the storefront all the way to the fitting room environment… any surface could be a purchase interaction or counter,” said Stephane Wyper, senior vice president of new commerce and partnerships at Mastercard. You could pay for your goods no matter where you are in (or even outside) the store and that could eliminate the lines that...

Read More
Texas legislature overrules Austin, allows Uber and Lyft to return
May25

Texas legislature overrules Austin, allows Uber and Lyft to return

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. When Austin citizens voted in May 2016 to require fingerprint-based background checks from ride-sharing drivers and ban passenger pickup in traffic lanes, Uber and Lyft promptly pulled out of the city. But both are scheduled to restart operations in the city next Monday thanks to legislation passed by the Texas Legislature this month. The bill overrides local ordinances like Austin’s that regulate ride-hailing services and only needs Governor Greg Abbott’s signature to become law. Buckle up. Coming soon. https://t.co/AF34IVISL2 — Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 17, 2017 While Lyft and Uber are celebrating, the city isn’t. The bill, HB 100, would override the state’s 20-plus local ordinances and require ride-sharing companies to conduct criminal background and sex offender checks for drivers — but allow them to use ones they prefer. Uber’s internal checks have failed to discover criminal records before, and when Massachusetts enacted tougher background research rules last month, over 8,000 current drivers were rejected for violent/sexual crimes or drunk or reckless driving. Doubtless these enhanced checks aim to weed out predatory chauffeurs — like Uber drivers who have sexually assault passengers, which the company has tried wiggling out of legal responsibility for. Once Lyft and Uber activate their drivers, both ride-sharing titans will have to compete with local operators that sprung up in the interim. Companies like Fare and Fasten along with the nonprofit ride-hailing service RideAustin complied with Austin’s rules, which were passed by the city to raise the standards of ride-sharing drivers to match taxi drivers (who are required to submit fingerprints and pass background checks). Whether the homegrown services retain their lead once the industry-dominating Lyft and Uber return depends on the passengers — and how they’ll vote with their wallet. Source: Austin American-Statesman Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
HTC Link promises a high-end VR experience with a smartphone
May25

HTC Link promises a high-end VR experience with a smartphone

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Consumers with an interest in VR currently have two options: The high-end systems, such as the Oculus Rift, have their own displays and are powered by a computer. The more portable systems, like the Samsung Gear VR, are powered by your smartphone and use it as a display. There hasn’t been much to bridge this gap in VR systems until now. Enter the HTC Link, which stands in between the two types of VR that are currently available. It connects with a smartphone — the company’s flagship U11 — but has its own display. It also offers a full range of motion, promising six degrees of freedom (6DOF) in a two-meter by two-meter square space, which hasn’t been available in smartphone-powered VR devices. The device promises to be “cableless,” though it will still connect to your phone and an external camera. Unlike the Vive’s system, the Link’s headset and controllers have PlayStation VR-style lights that will likely be tracked via an external sensor. For the screen, the HTC Link boasts two 3.6-inch AMOLED panels with 1080 x 1200 resolution and a 90-Hz refresh rate, which is the same as the Oculus Rift and the Vive. The catch? As of right now, it’s only available in Japan. Additionally, the specs and features of the HTC Link could be a challenge for developers, and it will be interesting to see the differences between this and the standalone HTC Vive Daydream VR headsets. The real question is what the debut of the HTC Link might mean for VR. Could this device be the answer to the tension between a high-end VR experience and the desire for affordability? We don’t have pricing details on the HTC Link yet, but it’s possible. Source: HTC, Upload VR Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Class-action suit alleges GM cheated emissions test
May25

Class-action suit alleges GM cheated emissions test

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Yet another automaker has potentially been caught trying to cheat on its EPA emissions tests. Following VW’s “diesel-gate” SNAFU in 2015 and the Justice Department going after Fiat-Chrysler just last week, GM on Thursday found itself the defendant in a class-action suit over its alleged use of “defeat devices” similar to those used by VW. The suit, filed in federal court in Detroit, is on behalf of more than 705,000 people who bought or leased Chevy “Duramax” Silverado and Sierra trucks between 2011 and 2016. It alleges that the company employed three different “defeat devices” to bypass state and federally mandated emissions tests and that these vehicles actually produce between two and five times the legal limit of NOx gas. GM has denied the charges’ validity, calling the lawsuit “baseless”. A group of law firms, including Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro (which was involved in the VW case), filed the suit. Via: Business Insider Source: Reuters Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Everyone's favorite useless Pokemon gets its own game
May25

Everyone's favorite useless Pokemon gets its own game

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It’s pretty obvious that Pokémon Go wouldn’t have been the worldwide success without, well, Pokemon. Niantic and Nintendo tapped a phenomenally rich vein of wish fulfillment when they sent people scurrying around the real world catching monsters on their phone. The app was sadly limited to collecting, not raising the fighting beasts as the original game/manga/anime/feature films showcased. But a smartphone game has come out promising that elusive trainer experience with the greatest Pokémon of them all. Give a warm welcome to Magikarp Jump. The game follows the typical lifespan of the derpy, majestic Magikarp: Fish one out of the water (hope for a shiny), train it with punching bags, match it against other Magikarp to compete for highest leap and finally retire it at level 20. (In the games, that’s when it can evolve into the far more powerful Gyrados, though some would call that blasphemy.) Magikarp Jump is free on iOS and Android, though it seems the game is suffering a little of the old Pokémon Go popularity curse: I wouldn’t get past the loading screen, but darn if its background music isn’t catchy. It’s all worth it for the Magikarp. Source: The Pokemon Company Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Lyft challenges Uber Black with its own luxury cars
May25

Lyft challenges Uber Black with its own luxury cars

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Lyft passengers who prefer a black Audi or Lexus to the ubiquitous Toyota Camry can rest easy. On Thursday, Lyft launched their Lux service in New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Chicago, bringing premium black cars with drivers ranked 4.7 and above. Lyft says they want customers not only using this service for business travel, but attending weddings too — Lux SUV is for parties of six or more. The service is one tier higher than Lyft Premier, which launched last year. Lyft’s new service competes with Uber Black, and follows a huge expansion that brought Lyft to over 50 new cities earlier this year. As Uber has a string of shady practices exposed — the latest was a New York Times report that Uber owes tens of millions of dollars to drivers in miscalculated commissions — Lyft may be capitalizing on an opportunity to steal customers. Yet while Lyft had a good 2016, it has a lot catching-up to do: Uber is still supposedly worth almost nine times its closest rival. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Microsoft’s Twitch competitor gets a new name and co-op streaming
May25

Microsoft’s Twitch competitor gets a new name and co-op streaming

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. While Twitch has been busy expanding the breadth of what you can watch on its platform, Microsoft has been quietly improving how you watch and broadcast with its Beam service. Just to get it out of the way, Beam will henceforth be known as “Mixer.” There’s a PR-speak reason for the change in nomenclature, but it doesn’t really matter. What does is how the service is improving. Specifically, Mixer now offers co-operative streaming and broadcasts in 4K UHD. Trying to watch a group of friends streaming on Twitch has always been kind of a mess. You’d need four browser windows open, each with their own chat stream and, for the broadcasters themselves, setting something up was a logistical nightmare. The base functionality is available right now, and Microsoft says that soon (probably during E3) you’ll be able to invite friends to co-stream with you directly from the Xbox Guide. “Co-streaming doesn’t require streamers to play the same game or even do the same activity, and you can join a co-stream with friends who are streaming from different types of devices,” a post on the Major Nelson blog reads. Meaning, if you want to play some Dota 2 while one of your pals is grinding in Destiny and two others are playing Portal 2‘s co-operative campaign, that’s absolutely doable, with one common chat room. It’s pretty wild. Oh, and if you want to catch Xbox’s media briefing in 4K UHD that’ll be available as well. We’ve reached out to Microsoft to see if 4K game broadcasting is in the works. Beyond this, Mixer is playing catch-up to Twitch and going mobile. The app is in beta right now but Microsoft promises that “soon” the ability to self-broadcast your on-the-go gaming will be available for everyone and that you’ll even be able to co-stream from the app. Curious for more? Mixer is getting its own dedicated page on the Xbox One dashboard, a curated homepage featuring all manner of broadcasts called Mixer One, Microsoft has built a live-streaming studio at its flagship store in New York and will also host a stream today dishing out more details and announcements. The latter starts at 2pm Eastern. Twitch, the ball’s in your court — adjustable video playback speed and pre-recorded chats don’t quite stack up compared to what Microsoft is doing. Source: Major Nelson Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
B&O hides high-end speakers in hexagonal wall art
May25

B&O hides high-end speakers in hexagonal wall art

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. When buying a new piece of tech that’s going to live with you for years, your primary concern is balancing price, features and future-proofing. But some products don’t wave spec sheets around, instead focusing on design that complements minimalist spaces, or conceals its true function. Bang & Olufsen’s new BeoSound Shape modular speaker system falls firmly into that category, and would look more at home in a modern art gallery than a high-end Hi-Fi store. B&O is exhibiting the BeoSound Shape as part of London’s Clerkenwell Design Week, and the accompanying presentation is slanted appropriately. I heard about how the mosaic speaker system is “domesticating technology” and how the peaked, many-faced design plays with light in the same way mountain ranges do at dusk. The tagline “good sound, good silence” came up at one point, but cut through the colorful, emotive pitch and you’re looking at a fairly elaborate bit of kit. Not all tiles that make up the speaker installations are equal. The heart of every system is a hexagon B&O calls the “Core.” This is what drives the amps that, in turn, power the speakers. It supports several wireless streaming protocols including humble Bluetooth, as well as AirPlay and Chromecast, and plays nice with B&O’s other speakers for multi-room shenanigans. The Core is also responsible for tweaking the output of individual speakers, so no matter the eye-pleasing geometric arrangement, sound is spread across the canvas like musicians across a stage. This means vocals are prioritized in the center, with other pockets emphasizing specific ranges/instruments. They aren’t dainty little modules, either, kicking out a wall of sound that can easily be overwhelming. But as there’s so much speaker footprint (at least with regard to the demo setup I heard), it excels in filling the room with a subtler background sound of ambiguous origin. The size of your wallet is almost the only factor limiting how expansive and elaborate you want your wall art to be. B&O offers plenty of tile textures and colors, every Core supports 11 amps, and every amp can drive four speakers. That means one system can comprise up to 44 speakers or 56 hexagons in total, not including acoustic dampener tiles: Inert modules you can use to flesh out designs. Only the deepest of pockets could entertain such an audio display, though. Ahead of the BeoSound Shape’s August launch, B&O has released speculative pricing of $4,025/£3,400 for “a standard setup” that includes one Core, one amp, two speakers and two dampeners. Pricing aside, the tiles are pretty big — each roughly the size...

Read More
Binge-watching will be as easy as breathing
May25

Binge-watching will be as easy as breathing

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It’s never been a better time to be a media addict. We’re in the midst of a television renaissance, where writers are pushing the medium to new heights. It’s easier than ever to get access to foreign and independent films. And the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, as well as digital rentals, makes it a cinch to watch just about anything we’d like at a whim. If anything, one of the biggest issues with the media landscape today is that there’s simply too much to watch. Just 10 years ago, though, things were much different. Netflix’s streaming video service was just getting started, with around 1,000 films at launch and a very limited amount of viewing time (the $18 plan got you 18 hours of video, at most). Consumers were trying to wrap their heads around HDTVs. And HD-DVDs were still fighting it out with Blu-ray discs. Given how quickly the media industry changed over the past decade, we’re expecting similar shifts in the decade ahead. Streaming thrives If there’s one certainty, it’s that streaming video isn’t going anywhere. When it comes to media formats, the more convenient one always ends up winning over consumers. That was true for VHS (compared to better quality, but more expensive, technology like Laserdisc and Betamax) and compressed audio files (MP3 and AAC, which killed off CDs), and it’s already the case for streaming video, which has led to a major decline in Blu-ray and DVD sales. Naturally, streaming video quality will get better over time. You can already get great looking 4K/HDR (high dynamic range) content from Netflix, Amazon and Vudu today, but it’ll get even better as compression and internet speeds improve. The real turning point will be when streaming can deliver picture quality that looks as good as a 4K Blu-ray. Many consumers might already be hard-pressed to tell the difference, but it’s not tough for A/V experts to detect the telltale signs of lower bit rates. A decade from now, streaming video will be even more seamless than it is today. Loading times will practically be nonexistent, buffering will be a thing of the past (you’ll be able to preload several hours of video in seconds), and there will be even more ways to access your streaming libraries. Both Netflix and Amazon already offer offline viewing, and that feature will only become more widespread as storage capacities and download speeds improve. Honestly, the idea of being “offline” might even be extinct in 10 years, except for the most extreme circumstances. At this point, streaming video...

Read More
IFTTT's free 'maker' tier lets anyone create and share recipes
May25

IFTTT's free 'maker' tier lets anyone create and share recipes

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. We thought the combined might of Domino’s Pizza and IFTTT shortcuts was as good as it might get, but that may just be the start. IFTTT is opening up its recipe/ applet creating platform to everyone, with a free ‘maker’ tier that offers deeper (read: harder) programming options beyond the simple “if this then that” UI most IFTTT aficionados use. You could already do this, making private applets for your own use, but this announcement means part-time developers can share any awesome applets with the greater IFTTT community, including lazy ingrates like myself. Its means that any developer with a smart idea (even if they’re not directly involved with a company or online service), can bring their own internet shortcuts to the masses. Better still, because of how these applets work, they’ll do the job on any connected device, even if the developer doesn’t own the device themselves. There are already 440 services to tap into on IFTTT, and you’ll be able to apply your own Javascript code to recipes. “Over 200,000 makers already use IFTTT to play, iterate, and test,” said IFTTT cofounder and CEO Linden Tibbets. “Giving them access to the tools our partners have is a no-brainer — it’s a win for both users and partners. We’re excited to see what they create and in the future, we expect to see new services originating from makers as well.” More fast-food applets, then, if you could. Via: VentureBeat Source: IFTTT (1), (2) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Alto uses your emails to clean up your calendar
May25

Alto uses your emails to clean up your calendar

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Smartphones are an absolute godsend for organizing… well, pretty much everything. Yet despite all they do for us, it can still be hugely frustrating when your various calendar apps don’t play nicely with each other. AOL (Engadget’s parent company, for full disclosure) is trying to solve this headache with the latest update for its Mail tool, Alto. For the uninitiated, Alto is an iOS and Android app that combines all your calendar appointments and email accounts into one tap-able hub. While it’s it looks like AOL is addressing a few of them in its latest update. Although it has always combined your various email inboxes, annoyingly, Alto would only previously track your appointments if they were made via Google Calendar. Now, the app will link together all of your different email calendars whether they’re from Exchange email accounts, Yahoo, iCloud or most other providers. This will allow users to schedule, track and edit all their appointments in one easy to manage place. In another nice touch, this update makes Calendar events appear as actionable cards in the app’s dashboard, helping appointments to stay just as visible as important emails. For those who prefer talking to their phone rather than swiping at it, the update also looks to make its existing Alexa support more useful. Previously, Amazon’s personal assistant only really integrated with Google Calendar, merely allowing users to ask about events that you’d penciled in already. Now, she will have access to all of your email accounts too, meaning that by asking her a simple question she can dig through your inbox for you, finding the date of that meeting that you’ve been dreading. If like me, you sorely need a bit of organization in your life you can download the Alto update now from both the App Store and the Google Play Store. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Imzy, the nice Reddit, is shutting down
May25

Imzy, the nice Reddit, is shutting down

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Imzy, an online community that billed itself as Reddit, but for nice people, has announced that it will be closing down. In a statement, CEO Dan McComas admitted that after two years, the site was unable to find its “place in the market.” Imzy’s last day of operations is June 23rd, giving folks around a month to move their communities to other places online. McComas also noted that the site’s users don’t need to worry about their personal data being sold on later, saying that “nothing” will happen to it from now. McComas joined Reddit after his project, RedditGifts, was acquired by the site, and rose to the role of SVP of Product in the company. He subsequently left to found Imzy, which operated on a similar model to Reddit, albeit with a mission to foster a much nicer community. McComas intended to do so by designing out toxicity by ensuring users only had one log-in per board and enabling moderators to set their own standards. Unfortunately, history is replete with “alternatives” to popular web communities falling by the wayside, just ask App.net, Orkut, Secret (for now), and So.cl, amongst others. Source: Imzy Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
Rocket Lab nails first orbital rocket launch from a private pad
May25

Rocket Lab nails first orbital rocket launch from a private pad

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Rocket Lab has successfully launched its 56-foot-tall Electron rocket for the first time. The relatively tiny vehicle designed to ferry small payloads to orbit reached outer space around 20 minutes past midnight (Eastern time) on May 25th. Rocket Lab opened its 10-day launch window on May 21st and had to scrub three times due to poor weather conditions. Now that Electron was finally able to head outside our planet’s atmosphere, the company also became the first to launch an orbital-class rocket from a private facility. Rocket Lab chief Peter Beck said in a statement: “It has been an incredible day and I’m immensely proud of our talented team. We’re one of a few companies to ever develop a rocket from scratch and we did it in under four years. We’ve worked tirelessly to get to this point. We’ve developed everything in house, built the world’s first private orbital launch range [in New Zealand], and we’ve done it with a small team.” The Electron has a carbon-composite shell and uses the company’s proprietary Rutherford engines, which has 3D-printed primary components. It can carry up to 330 pounds worth of cargo to orbit, so its main payloads will mostly be small satellites like CubeSats. The company expects to stage a lift off 50 times a year, though it’s legally allowed to launch up to 120 times. That’s probably more than what it can realistically book at this point in time — as Wired points out, there were only 85 overall launches in 2016. Rocket Lab believes it can eventually do more launches than other aerospace companies, though, since it will offer cheaper services to customers who typically have to pay big money to hitch a ride on larger rockets. It already has clients lined up, including NASA, but before it can officially fulfill their order, it still has to successfully complete its next two test flights. The Rocket Lab team plans to use what it learns from this round to plan for its second flight, which will send an Electron to orbit. Source: Rocket Lab Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
A major investment company is taking bitcoin very seriously
May25

A major investment company is taking bitcoin very seriously

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Many predicted that the world would soon lose interest in bitcoin. Yet, eight years after its inception, its surprisingly robust Blockchain tech and prominence on the darkweb has led to the cryptocurrency trading at an all time high. This success hasn’t gone unnoticed in the financial world, and now bitcoin is being integrated into one of America’s largest brokerage company — Fidelity Investments. Later this year, Fidelity’s clients will be able to check their cryptocurrency balance straight from the company’s website, providing they store it on Coinbase — one of the leading bitcoin exchange sites. Despite the cryptocurrency being around for almost a decade, this very public bitcoin recognition makes Fidelity just one of a handful of big investment companies who have chosen to integrate it into their website. The announcement came at a recent Blockchain conference, where Fidelity’s CEO Abigail Johnson discussed the difficulties that bitcoin raises for the financial world. While she admitted that many companies in the sector have given up on the cryptocurrency, she claimed that Fidelity is still “a believer”, revealing that even the company’s cafeteria accepts bitcoin. Despite the currency’s success, its shady uses mean that many banks are still hesitant to adopt bitcoin. However, that ethical dilemma hasn’t stopped the financial industry in taking a more than a healthy interest in the tech that powers it — Blockchain. With its underlying tech potentially saving banks time and money on tracking transactions, it looks like bitcoin’s seemingly minimal impact may well be felt in the financial world for years to come. Source: Reuters Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More
BBC Store to close because people prefer streaming
May25

BBC Store to close because people prefer streaming

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The BBC has confirmed it will close its digital download store less than 18 months after it launched following poor sales and tough competition from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video. The corporation has begun emailing customers about the closure, noting that it has already stopped making programmes available to buy before it completely shuts down on November 1st. As customers will no longer be able to access the content they’ve paid for, the BBC has said it will offer full refunds on purchases made since November 2015. Alternatively, the BBC will provide Amazon Video vouchers that can be used to buy or rent digital downloads. They’ll be worth more than total purchase values on the BBC Store and can be used to buy BBC programmes (and any other content) listed on Amazon UK. “Since the appetite for BBC shows on SVOD and other third party platforms is growing in the UK and abroad, it doesn’t make sense for us to invest further in BBC Store where demand has not been as strong as we’d hoped in a rapidly changing market,” a spokesperson said in a statement. It will continue to sell programmes via DVD and iTunes, but is keen to reduce costs as it prepares to offer free TV licenses to over-75s. Even though the BBC will help customers find similar programming on Amazon, the Store offered over 7,000 hours of TV, which including shows that have never been available digitally before, like Dad’s Army and Morecambe & Wise. However, the corporation says it is working “to find new ways to make archive content available.” If the rumours are true, BritBox — the BBC- and ITV-owned streaming service that launched in the US earlier this year — could be expanded to host more of the BBC’s back catalogue and eventually launch in the UK. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

Read More