Obama pardons Stuxnet leak source James Cartwright
Jan17

Obama pardons Stuxnet leak source James Cartwright

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Chelsea Manning isn’t the only source of online leaks to get a new lease on life. President Obama has pardoned General James Cartwright, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI when it investigated leaks that revealed details of Stuxnet, the US-backed malware that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program. He had denied slipping out classified details to two New York Times reporters (including book author David Sanger) in a 2012 interview with the Bureau, only to be caught out later on. He had been facing up to 5 years in prison and was due to be sentenced the same day as the pardon. At the moment, it’s not certain why Cartwright is receiving the pardon. He was the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from his nomination in 2007 through to his retirement from Marine Corps service in 2011, but he wasn’t Obama’s golden boy. Cartwright was denied the top Chairman spot in 2011 in part because of questions surrounding his staff management practices, including an alleged (though never punished) “unduly familiar relationship” with a female Captain. One theory is that the outgoing White House administration wants to put a lid on discussion of Stuxnet. The Washington Post claimed that the investigation into Cartwright ran aground when officials realized they might have to confirm details of the malware in order to secure a conviction. That would have been particularly problematic at the time, when the US was negotiating the eventual Iranian nuclear shutdown agreement — did it really want to admit to a cyberattack at such a critical moment? We wouldn’t rule out any motivations at this point, but the guilty plea and pardon might spare the government from disclosing secrets. Via: Charlie Savage (Twitter) Source: White House Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Super Bowl 51 will stream for free on Fox Sports Go
Jan17

Super Bowl 51 will stream for free on Fox Sports Go

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.The Super Bowl has been streaming for awhile now, but watching the commercials (arguably the best part) has been hit or miss in the past. Remember when all that streamed was the game? Yep, that was pretty terrible. This year, however, Fox Sports has a new plan in place: showing local commercials from some 170 affiliate stations, in addition to the national commercials. You’ll be able to watch the big game via the Fox Sports Go app or on the Fox Sports Go website come February 5th, and best of all it’ll be free. That’s right, no need for a pay-tv login this time. More than that, you’ll be able to watch via Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and Xbox One in addition to Android, Fire tablets, iOS devices and Windows. Even if you’re without a cable subscription or a means of watching over-the-air TV, you’ll still be able to catch gems like the one below. Via: Deadline Source: Fox Sports Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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FTC sues Qualcomm over anti-competitive practices
Jan17

FTC sues Qualcomm over anti-competitive practices

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The U.S. is the latest country to target Qualcomm over anti-competitive behavior. The FTC announced this afternoon that it was suing the company over monopolistic tactics around its baseband processor business — the hardware that smartphones and tablets rely on for network connectivity. In particular, the FTC claims Qualcomm “engaged in exclusionary conduct that taxes its competitors’ baseband processor sales, reduces competitors’ ability and incentive to innovate, and raises prices paid by consumers for cell phones and tablets,” according to a court filing. Developing… Source: FTC Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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LG's Nexus-like Android Wear watches emerge in a leak
Jan17

LG's Nexus-like Android Wear watches emerge in a leak

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. For months, rumors have circulated of Google formally launching Android Wear 2.0 with a pair of flagship smartwatches — not Google-designed, but certainly intended as reference models like Nexus phones used to be. But what will they be like? We might just have an idea — Evan Blass (of @evleaks fame) claims to have details of the two devices, LG’s Watch Sport and Watch Style. Both will reportedly arrive on February 9th alongside Android Wear 2.0 itself. They won’t have revolutionary specs, if the leak is accurate, but they will be showcases for what Google’s latest wearable software can do. The Watch Style would be the entry-level model with a 1.2-inch, 360 x 360 circular screen, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a 240mAh battery and connectivity that’s limited to Bluetooth and WiFi. You’d really get it because of its looks (there will be rose gold, silver and titanium colors), swappable straps and smaller casing. Supposedly, the Android Police mockup you see at right is a good representation of its looks. However, the Watch Sport is clearly the star of the show. It’ll reportedly center around a 1.38-inch 480 x 480 round display (similar to the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition) and carry cellular data, GPS, a heart rate sensor and support for Android Pay. You should get the same 768MB of RAM as the Urbane, although you’ll curiously get a smaller battery (430mAh versus the Urbane’s 570mAh). And as the name indicates, you’ll get a rougher, tougher design. You may be looking at a reasonable facsimile of it on the left. It’s not certain how much you’ll pay for either watch. Blass hears that they’ll go on sale in the US on February 10th, though. And that’s important. While Casio and New Balance have already shown off Android Wear 2.0 devices that tout more features or will even arrive sooner (in New Balance’s case), the LG watches should arrive quickly enough that it’ll be worth holding out to see whether or not they’re better values. Source: VentureBeat Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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President Obama commutes most of Chelsea Manning's sentence
Jan17

President Obama commutes most of Chelsea Manning's sentence

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the majority of Chelsea Manning’s remaining prison sentence — the former army intelligence analyst is scheduled to be released on May 17th, 2017, rather than in 2045. Manning provided hundreds of thousands of classified military files to Wikileaks in 2010, including a video of a US helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed two Reuters journalists. The video and accompanying data catapulted Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, into the limelight. Developing… Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Auto and oil industries want to pit hydrogen cars against EVs
Jan17

Auto and oil industries want to pit hydrogen cars against EVs

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. A consortium of companies from the car and power industries are teaming up to push hydrogen as the fuel of the future. Plenty of big names are involved, including Toyota, Daimler, BMW, Honda and Hyundai representing the automobile world. On the other side, we have Linde (Industrial Gas), Shell (Oil and Gas), Anglo American (Mining), Total (Oil and Gas) and Engie (Gas). Together, they will form the Hydrogen Council which has the job of positioning “hydrogen among the key solutions of the energy transition.” The announcement was made at the World Economic Forum at Davos and sees 13 companies in total signing up. Their job will be to convince other companies, regulators and the public that switching to hydrogen is essential to our continued survival. Oh, and a big bucket of new subsidies for the oil and gas industry, since the transition to cleaner fuels will only happen “with appropriate policies and supporting schemes.” Air Liquide CEO Benoît Poiter adds that the group “cannot do it alone,” so governments should “back hydrogen” with “large-scale infrastructure investment schemes.” EVs are also subsidized, sure, but then The announcement describes hydrogen as a “clean fuel or energy source” because it “does not release any CO2 at the point of use.” That’s not the same thing as being good for the environment, since the emissions all take place at the refinery rather than in the tailpipe. Natural gas will be used to reform methane into hydrogen, a process that releases carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. Transportation is responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gases, so a cleaner alternative to petroleum is welcome. Hydrogen is an improvement, but certainly not the wonder substance that these companies would have you believe. Don’t forget that methane has a tendency to leak from natural gas plants and is a much nastier greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The reasons why these companies are teaming up around hydrogen isn’t about saving the planet, but maintaining relevancy. After all, electric cars require far less infrastructure investment than hydrogen and can be significantly cleaner. Not to mention that EVs aren’t directly contributing to oil and gas companies bottom lines. When you look at all those pre-orders for Tesla’s Model 3, you can see why oil company executives are nervous. Electric vehicles aren’t yet perfect, by any means, since there are still issues around battery capacity and range anxiety that need to be addressed. But all it takes is a little more research into supercapacitors and better fast-charging equipment and any argument for hydrogen falls along the wayside....

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Zotac's tiny gaming PC is powerful enough to play in VR
Jan17

Zotac's tiny gaming PC is powerful enough to play in VR

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. A major obstacle currently facing VR is the fact that the headsets themselves (generally) have to remain tethered to a bulky desktop tower. With the new Zbox Magnus EN1070K from Zotac, however, that tower is now barely bigger than a Mac Mini. The EN1070K is part of Zotac’s gaming line of ultra-compact PCs, but don’t let its miniscule footprint fool you. It offers the current Intel Kaby Lake Core i5 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU and can accommodate up to 32GB of RAM. That’s more than enough processing power to run a VR setup such as the Oculus Rift. There’s no word yet on when the EN1070K will be released, or for how much. Given that the last generation E-series cost around $1,500, you can pretty safely bet the new one will retail for roughly the same, depending on the specific components you elect for. So even though it may be small enough to fit into a VR backpack, the EN1070K’s price tag may be too big to fit into your budget. Via: The Verge Source: AnandTech Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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AT&T no longer works with your 2G phone
Jan17

AT&T no longer works with your 2G phone

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. We hope you weren’t planning to use your old-school iPhone or BlackBerry Pearl on AT&T’s network for nostalgia’s sake — unfortunately, you’re not going to get anywhere. As promised way back in 2012, the carrier has confirmed that it shut down 2G services on January 1st, 2017. If your phone only makes GSM calls and uses EDGE for data, you’re stuck. The move won’t hurt very many people (even basic phones have been using 3G and LTE for years), but it’s hard not to shed a little tear for a technology that had been around for so long. As it stands, you probably won’t mind much given what AT&T has in store. It’ll repurpose that newly freed spectrum for LTE, and the move will ultimately create more headroom for 5G wireless. Just as with the end to analog cell service, the small sacrifice you make now will likely pay much larger dividends down the road. The shutdown is also a reminder of just how far mobile data has come since 2G hit the scene (in the US, at the turn of the millennium). EDGE was considered fine at a time when any mobile data was a relative novelty, and the most you did with it was check email or surf the most basic of websites. Now, even a modestly-sized app or photo download would absolutely crush 2G — the modern mobile internet depends on speeds that are orders of magnitude faster. We can only imagine what it’ll be like when 3G bites the dust and LTE is considered the baseline. Via: The Verge Source: AT&T Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Burner's virtual phone lines add automatic robocall blocking
Jan17

Burner's virtual phone lines add automatic robocall blocking

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. When it debuted in 2015, the Burner virtual phone number app promised to help privacy-minded folks shield their private digits with temporary phone numbers while adding a few useful cloud-based integrations at the same time. Today, Burner announced a new integration with Nomorobo — the winner of the FTC’s Robocall Challenge — to eliminate another major phone-related headache: Rachel from Card Services. The Burner and Nomorobo partnership adds the latter’s call-blocking features and “massive” blacklist of known telemarketers to prevent those calls from ever reaching your phone. (Or, in this case, your temporary Burner number.) Incoming calls are checked against Nomorobo’s database and then automatically screened. Although you can blissfully ignore those calls if you like, the Burner app places them in a “Filtered Calls” section of your call history so you can review them later. Incorrectly filtered calls can be whitelisted and moved to the Inbox just like checking your email spam folder. Burner users with a Premium $4.99 monthly subscription can add Nomorobo’s services to their account simply by updating to the latest version of the app. Nomorobo will be enabled by default in both the iOS and Android versions. Source: Burner Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Mark Zuckerberg defends Oculus in court against VR rival
Jan17

Mark Zuckerberg defends Oculus in court against VR rival

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was grilled in court this morning over the creation of the Oculus Rift VR headset, as part of a $2 billion lawsuit brought by ZeniMax Media. ZeniMax — the owner of Bethesda Softworks, id Software and other video game studios — says Oculus chief technology officer John Carmack stole ZeniMax’s intellectual property when he left the company in 2013. Essentially, ZeniMax argues that it owns the technological foundation behind the Oculus Rift VR headset. Zuckerberg purchased Oculus in 2014 for $2.3 billion — and as he made clear on the stand this morning, he disagrees entirely with ZeniMax’s claims. Lawyer, incredulously: “Your plan was to begin legal diligence on Friday, and sign the deal on monday.” Zuckerberg: “Yep.” — ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) January 17, 2017 The New York Times technology reporter Mike Isaac and Gizmodo reporter William Turton have been live-tweeting the Facebook-ZeniMax trial, where Zuckerberg was first on the stand today. According to their tweets, Zuckerberg was questioned about a letter ZeniMax sent to Facebook two weeks after closing the Oculus deal, outlining the company’s legal concerns over potential stolen tech. Zuckerberg apparently brushed off the letter. “It is pretty common when you announce a big deal or do something that all kinds of people just kind of come out of the woodwork and claim that they own some portion of the deal,” Zuckerberg said, according to Isaac. “Like most people in the court, I’ve never even heard of ZeniMax before. I know that our legal team would look into this and examine this, but they aren’t going to take a lot of my time on something they don’t think is credible.” ZM lawyer: “If I steal a bike, paint it and put a bell on it, does that make it my bike?” Zuck scoffs, “no.” — William Turton (@WilliamTurton) January 17, 2017 Details about Facebook’s purchase of Oculus are coming out in the trial, as well. Zuckerberg apparently moved through the acquisition process quickly, planning to vet Oculus on a Friday and sign the deal the following Monday. Plus, there are some financial nuggets here: Facebook paid “about $2 billion” to buy Oculus as a company, plus it threw down an additional $700 million to retain key employees and set aside $300 million for milestones. Zuckerberg also shared his thoughts on the promises of VR in general. “We want to get closer to this kind of perfect representation, so you can capture a moment you had,” Zuckerberg said, according to Isaac. Zuckerberg additionally lamented the closed nature of Google’s and Apple’s operating systems,...

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Google+ revives one of its most useful features: Events
Jan17

Google+ revives one of its most useful features: Events

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Google overhauled Google+ from top to bottom in late 2015 to shift the focus to communities. The company has been tweaking the social platform since that change and today its announcing the latest updates. First, events are back on Google+. Starting January 24th, one of the more handy features the social network had to offer will return. The means you will be able to create and join events on the web, but the tool won’t be part of G Suite right now. Google+ will now hide “low-quality” comments by default. You will still be able to see them if you want to view all of the feedback on a post, but Google says hiding some allows you to focus on the ones that “matter most.” The company says it tweaked the app to more efficiently use screen size, too. This means you should notice less white space and more posts. There’s also a new zoom tool for Google+ on the web that will let you take a closer look at the finer details of an image. While Google continues to keep Google+ afloat, it’s still adding features that seem really useful. Last week, the company revealed its RASIR image compression tool that replicates large photos using a quarter of the pixels. For now, that tech is only available inside Google+, but it should make its way to other apps in the future. Lastly, if you’re still using the old Google+ on the web, you won’t be able to do so after January 24th. Google says it’s shuttering the old version of the platform on that date, but promises it’s still working on a shiny new one. Source: Google Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Facebook stops paying publishers to stream live video
Jan17

Facebook stops paying publishers to stream live video

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. For a while, Facebook was obsessed with live video — it even paid publishers to make sure there was a steady flow of professionally-shot streams on offer. However, Zuckerberg and company appear to be tempering their enthusiasm a little bit. Recode sources understand that the social network is “de-emphasizing” Facebook Live when it talks to publishers, and isn’t expected to renew the pay-to-stream deals it struck in 2016. Instead, the focus is reportedly on long pre-recorded videos. The company isn’t commenting on the report. Supposedly, though, the shift is as much about the cool reception to livestreaming deals as it is changing priorities. While Facebook is still eager to promote user-made broadcasts, publishers weren’t enthused with the cash from their deals as it frequently didn’t justify the cost of staging a live feed. Why hop on Facebook Live if it’d be easier to do nothing? Facebook didn’t intend the paid deals to last long, according to Recode‘s tipsters, but it might not have had much luck even if it wanted extended agreements. This doesn’t mean that pros will avoid Facebook Live entirely. Major events like electoral debates are still going to draw a lot of viewers, and for some brands it simply makes sense to go live instead of shooting canned video. With that in mind, don’t be shocked if you see a marked drop in the number of pro-level livestreams. Not that Facebook is necessarily worried — if it goes ahead with plans for mid-roll video ads, it could still make plenty of money. Source: Recode Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Google Maps may soon offer parking suggestions
Jan17

Google Maps may soon offer parking suggestions

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Google Maps can already tell you how congested your drive will be, but how about when you arrive? It looks like the app is about to give you at least a decent idea about the parking situation, thanks to a new feature spotted in the latest 9.44 beta by Android Police. Availability of spaces at a selected destination is shown as “easy,” “medium” and “limited,” with the latter situation highlighted in red. Once you start navigating, it’ll give further details in the instructions, indicating that parking around your arrival address is “usually not easy” or “limited,” for instance. Waze and Inrix touted a similar feature last September, so Google may be trying to ensure that it at least keeps up. Waze’s app can actually find you a spot, however, while Google’s app just gives a general overview of the situation. It’s not clear yet how Google is getting the data. I downloaded the app and parking availability didn’t work anywhere I tried in Paris, France, and Ars Technica says it’s not appearing in the New York/Long Island area either. However, it did show up for me at the destinations that Android Police‘s tipster tried (somewhere in Maryland, I think). So far, locations seem to be limited to malls, airports and other public spots, which is not surprising considering that the feature is still in beta. It may work for you, though — you can download it from the APK Mirror if you’re feeling adventurous, or wait for the official release. Via: Ars Technica Source: Google Maps Beta (APK mirror), Android Police Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Realtor.com uses augmented reality to help you find a new home
Jan17

Realtor.com uses augmented reality to help you find a new home

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. When it comes to looking for a new house, the process of browsing listings, visiting properties and more can become quite the chore. Realtor.com is looking to make things a bit easier on perspective home buyers with two new features for its Android app: Street Peek and Sign Snap. Street Peek uses augmented reality to display details about a home when you point your phone’s camera at it. Even if the house isn’t for sale, you’ll still see all the important details from the real estate website’s database. Street Peek can also show you info on a group of houses at the same time. Expect to see details like listing or rental price, recently sold price, estimated value and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms for the houses you frame inside the app. What’s more, the AR tool will show you a map of what’s nearby when you tilt the screen. Unfortunately, Street Peek won’t be available until spring in the Realtor.com Android app. The good news is you can use the other feature the company is announcing today immediately. Sign Snap employs image recognition and GPS to access information on a listing from the Realtor.com database. As the name suggests, all you have to do is take a picture of a “For Sale” or “For Rent” sign with your phone. From there, you can browse photos, property details, price data, open house dates and more. And yes, you will have the option of sharing your finds via email, text or your social channels. Realtor.com says iOS users can expect to use Street Peek and Sign Snap after the former feature launches on Android in the coming months. For now, you can see both tools in action in the videos below. Source: Realtor.com Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Roku revamps its mobile app with improved ease of use
Jan17

Roku revamps its mobile app with improved ease of use

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Roku is giving its mobile app a bit of a makeover for the new year. A revamped navigation toolbar resides at screen’s bottom now, offering quick access to installed channels, app settings, tossing photos from your mobile device to your TV and remote control functionality. And speaking of the remote control, the company says that once you launch a channel the app will automatically go into remote control mode. What’s more, said mode looks a bit more like the outfit’s physical remotes, which should make navigating things a bit more intuitive. Why the app doesn’t mirror the remote layout entirely is anyone’s guess. There are a few minor additions as well, like a new splash screen and the What’s On tab. Basic, quality of life stuff is the name of the game with this update, not sweeping changes. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Evernote aims for speed and simplicity with its new iOS app
Jan17

Evernote aims for speed and simplicity with its new iOS app

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. How do you keep loyal users after quickly stepping back from a potentially intrusive new privacy policy? For Evernote, it’s by releasing a new app that focuses on the core features its users love. The company’s latest iOS app has been “rebuilt from the ground up” around simplicity. Gone are the many options from the last Evernote app; now you’re presented with your notebook immediately, and you can quickly add new notes by tapping on the plus button on the bottom of the screen. The goal, according to Evernote’s chief product officer Erik Wrobel, is to “spend less time navigating and more time getting stuff done.” The app’s new design is reminiscent of Evernote’s web interface, which has featured a minimalist style for years. Expect more white space, and less of the company’s iconic green color throughout the app. Editing notes should be a lot simpler, as well. Now there are only four buttons at the bottom of every individual note screen (for adding photos, voice clips, drawings and other files). Before, there was also a button for adding reminders, as well as a drop down list for more options. If you want to hop between notebooks, you just need to tap on the top of the screen for an organized view of all of your content. It might not seem very different to some, but the interface changes should make it easier to focus on your notes, rather than be distracted by options you never use. Additionally, you’ll finally be able to format the color and style of text in your notes. People who rely on Evernote for work will also have more separation between their personal and professional notes. When it comes to privacy moving forward, both Wrobel and Evernote VP of design Nate Fortin say that they’ll start engaging with users earlier, so that they’ll know in advance if a change goes too far. They also hope to start working with the wider privacy and security community, though they didn’t list any specifics on how they’d approach that. Wroben and Fortin reiterated that Evernote is still committed to its Three Laws of Data Protection, which states that users own their data, and that their data is also protected and portable. Last year, before the uproar around its privacy changes, Evernote CEO Chris O’Neill told us user trust is his main concern. I didn’t have a chance to try out the new iOS app, so I can’t say if Evernote’s claims actually hold true. But on paper, at least, it seems like a worthwhile upgrade for...

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Gravity wave ripples across Venus' hellish atmosphere
Jan17

Gravity wave ripples across Venus' hellish atmosphere

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It took the Japanese atmospheric probe Akatsuki a while, but once it got into orbit around Venus just over a year ago, it immediately spotted a large, bow-shaped disturbance. Researchers now believe the phenomenon was a gravity wave, or atmospheric formation caused by the topography below. The feature is nearly 6,000 miles wide and remained in nearly the same spot for four days, despite scalding surface winds that whip at 250 mph. The unusual nature of the wave led the scientists to conclude that atmospheric conditions on the surface of Venus may be different than previously thought. The term “gravity wave” (not to be confused with the space-time distorting gravitational wave) is a bit confusing — in the atmosphere, it can be thought of as vertical wave. The most common way to trigger a vertical wave is by putting something in the way of surface winds, like a mountain. That forces it to rise, and if the surrounding air is stable enough, gravity will make it sink right back down, kicking off the wave cycle. On our planet, this can cause long, thin clouds to appear at high elevations over mountainous regions at the “peaks” of the gravity wave (as shown in the GIF below). On Venus, it’s the same phenomenon, but in a much more extreme setting. The “morning star” is like Bizarro Earth, if every single person drove diesel Volkswagens for the next billion years or so. The planet’s sulfuric acid atmosphere is 90 times denser than ours, and those greenhouse gases produce surface temperatures of 850 degrees F, while winds constantly whip the planet at up to 250 mph. (Venus is about 72 percent of Earth’s distance to the Sun and nearly the same size.) Using its UV and infrared cameras, the Akatsuki team examined temperature variances on the bow wave, with known topography from the planet overlaid (below). The center of the bow is located at the western slope of “Aphrodite Terra,” an Africa-sized highland region stretching up to 5 km (15,000 feet) high. Mission scientists figure that the winds whipped across these highlands, rapidly pushing a column of air into the upper reaches of the 65km thick atmosphere. At a certain elevation, conditions were right to form a stable, bow-shaped gravity wave in the atmosphere, scientists believe. “It further shows that such stationary gravity waves can have a very large scale — perhaps the greatest ever observed in the solar system,” the team writes. Simulations show such a feature should be theoretically possible, but it doesn’t fit known data about the planet’s surface...

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Astronomers more accurately calculate the Milky Way's mass
Jan17

Astronomers more accurately calculate the Milky Way's mass

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It’s impossible to arrive at an exact measurement for the billions of stars and other objects that make up the Milky Way. However, a group of astronomers say they have calculated the most accurate estimate to date. In a paper that will be published in The Astrophysics Journal, the scientists estimate the mass of the Milky Way to be 9.5 x 1041 kilograms or 95 followed by 40 zeros. For reference, that’s 4.8 x 1011 times the mass of the sun. Astronomers use the so-called “solar masses” as a standard unit of measure, comparing other objects and formations to the sun. The scientists used some super complex math and stats calculations to arrive at that estimate. More specifically, the team employed a combination hierarchical Bayesian analysis along with direct measurements of the velocity of globular clusters. Astronomers can estimate the mass of the sun by observing its gravitational pull on the Earth. The same can be done for the Milky Way by measuring its gravitational pull on those globular clusters. This new estimate includes stars, planets, moons, dust, dark matter and more that make up the galaxy. Researchers say the key to this calculation is that they include any uncertainties in the estimate. Gwendolyn M. Eadie, a doctoral candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, explained to The New York Times that the methods used here could have wider implications for future research. The methods have been employed in other fields before, but they’re becoming more useful to astronomers now that computers have enough processing power to handle the complex calculations. Via: The New York Times Source: Cornell University Library Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Live video comes to Instagram Stories in the UK
Jan17

Live video comes to Instagram Stories in the UK

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. While Facebook and Instagram are fundamentally different platforms, that doesn’t mean they aren’t taking inspiration from each other. About a month ago, Instagram adopted live video streaming, a feature that has been blowing up on Facebook, but it was only available to users in the US. Today, the feature is making its debut on this side of the Atlantic — as well as in Germany, France, Brazil, Canada and Japan — helping to build out Instagram’s burgeoning Stories platform. Instead of just adding new photos and video to Stories, Brits can now swipe across into the camera and select “Live” mode. Real-time videos are designed to be ephemeral, which means they’ll disappear as soon as recording ends. Instagram says this is designed to make users “feel comfortable sharing what [they] want.” Comments can also be switched off, ensuring things stay fun. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Smart air freshener lets you select scents with your phone
Jan17

Smart air freshener lets you select scents with your phone

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Thanks to the internet of things, we have the ability to control our home’s lighting and temperature at the touch of a button. But what about the smell? For that, we’re left with shoving a Glade plug-in air freshener into a socket or opening a window. That’s set to change with the introduction of Moodo, a SensorWake-esque device that’s designed to customize your home’s scent at will. Moodo is, essentially, a diffusion machine that’ll blow air through up to four capsules at a time, each one full of differently-scented crystals. The capsules will come in various flavors, such as “Precious Spices,” “Eucalyptus Nights” and “Sandal Wood.” Users will then be able to use the companion app to blend each of the scents to create a unique aroma. You can also buy pre-set scent families that set a specific mood, from cozy cottage (Cozzzy) through to a floral scene (Gardens of Isphahan). Much like other smart home devices, like Philips’ Hue, Moodo comes with a variety of pre-set patterns for your ease of use. But if your custom concoction is good enough, you can share it with the community and receive other patterns back. In addition, you can set “fragrance playlists” that’ll change your room’s general pong across an evening should you be throwing a party. Obviously, like any outlandish gadget, Moodoo is debuting on Indiegogo looking for your cash to begin production. Early birds looking to snag the gadget on the cheap can do so by throwing $139 for a box and four capsules, while two devices and 48 capsules will set you back $518 — rather than the $1,000 it’ll cost at retail. How much is a bottle of Febreze again? Source: Indiegogo Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Atmospheric 'lens' could shield troops from laser weapons
Jan17

Atmospheric 'lens' could shield troops from laser weapons

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. How do you defend yourself against laser weapons when they fire at the speed of light? BAE Systems has an idea. It’s developing Laser Developed Atmopsheric Lens technology that, as the name suggests, uses lasers to temporarily ionize the atmosphere to create lens-like structures. If you’re facing a laser attack, you just have to form a lens to serve as a refractive shield. The technology could protect both aircraft and land-based forces from deadly blasts, and it could fill other roles as well. BAE expects LDAL to be useful for reconnaissance, for instance. You could use it as a magnifying glass to get a clearer look at the enemy than you would with conventional sensors. The lensing system could also create mirages that fool enemies who are still looking for a target to strike. The technology is very early, to put it mildly. The company imagines LDAL going into service sometime in the next 50 years, which can feel like an eternity in the military world. However, it’s scientifically feasible — the big question is simply whether or not laser weapons will dominate the battlefield to the point where atmospheric lensing is practical. Via: Wired Source: BAE Systems Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Should we get our hopes up again for cloud gaming?
Jan17

Should we get our hopes up again for cloud gaming?

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. “We, in no way, take credit for the idea.” LiquidSky CEO Ian McLoughlin knows video game streaming isn’t a new concept. For years, various companies have promised players they’d be able to load up any game on any device via cloud streaming. Play the latest Fallout on an Android tablet or boot up the new Witcher at max settings on a four-year-old MacBook Air. It sounds too good to be true, and since the early 2010s, it has been. LiquidSky is the latest company to promise low-latency game streaming. The premise is simple: Play any game you own on any Windows, Mac, Android or Linux device, no matter how outdated or powerless it may be. Every LiquidSky user gets access to a unique SkyComputer, where he or she can install new games, including titles like Overwatch and League of Legends, on a virtual high-end PC, or access their existing libraries from Steam, Battle.net, Origin and others. Play any of these games on any device at any time. Once again, it all sounds too good to be true. McLoughlin is well aware of this fact. As a programmer and creator of LiquidSky, he’s studied the turbulent, cash-sucking history of video game streaming services. The most famous example is OnLive, a cloud gaming service that ended up $40 million in debt before finally disappearing in 2015. However, LiquidSky isn’t just copying OnLive’s model in a new technological era. McLoughlin thinks he knows where OnLive went wrong structurally — and how to fix it. “Those guys are pioneers,” he says. “But there comes a time when you are pushing a rock up a hill, so to speak.” OnLive and other streaming services, such as Gaikai or Nvidia’s GeForce Now, have traditionally used custom servers to handle each user’s heavy lifting. This means the companies install physical servers at crucial locations around the world, and as demand increases, the number of servers also has to increase. It’s a scalability problem, McLoughlin says. Just look at what happened to OnLive: The company employed a 1:1 concurrency model, which essentially meant there was a series of desktop PCs in a warehouse each hosting one user at a time. Eventually, the company was able to host two or three players at a time, but it was an unsustainable system from the beginning. “You have a million users flood in, you buy all these servers with massive capital up front, and those users are in different locations. There’s too much latency, and the only games you can play are Lego Batman and Lego Star Wars,” McLoughlin...

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The death of Phones4u is still playing out
Jan17

The death of Phones4u is still playing out

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It’s been nearly two and a half years since Phones4u folded, but the aftermath of the company’s abrupt closure is still being felt. Thanks to a recent employment tribunal, 400 former staff have been awarded 12 weeks redundancy pay on the basis there was no consultation period ahead of the layoffs — not unusual when a firm suddenly implodes. The government’s Redundancy Payments Service is forking out £3,712 per person, equivalent to 8 weeks of statutory pay, while the invoice for the remaining 5 weeks is now on the desk of administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which did not dispute the claim. It’s unlikely ex-Phones4u staff will end up seeing much, if anything from PwC, however. They join a long list of creditors owed money by the contract reseller, and are low enough down the pecking order that they can only expect a token payment when all is said and done. PwC is still picking at the carcass of Phones4u to find value wherever it can, including leasing old store sites and auctioning off leftover inventory like headphones. Phones4u famously collapsed in 2014 after its only remaining partners Vodafone and EE both dropped the contract reseller within weeks of each other, forcing the company into administration. The timing was particularly unfortunate as it came just days after the company opened up pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, leaving some customers out of pocket with little hope of a refund. The situation was worse for thousands of Phones4u employees, though, who were suddenly out of work. Dixons Carphone, Vodafone and EE all quickly stepped in to take over stores and save hundreds of jobs. Not everyone was so lucky, of course, but for a few hundred ex-staff at least, getting some of the redundancy pay they were entitled to is better than nothing. Via: Mobile News Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers, Evening Express Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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ICYMI: SpaceX redeems itself with a showstopper rocket launch
Jan17

ICYMI: SpaceX redeems itself with a showstopper rocket launch

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Today on In Case You Missed It: SpaceX is back in launching mode after the FAA grounded the company following an unfortunate explosion last September. The rocket company successfully launched satellites from its revamped Falcon9, then the motor completed its landing on a SpaceX floating pad. NASA Goddard released a video about its goals for earth science studies in the New Year and they mostly all point to studying climate change. Lastly, the last man of walk on the moon, astronaut Gene Cernan, died on Monday, leaving behind a legacy of being invaluable, even while working on the back-up team. As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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ZTE's crowdsouced phone will pack dual cameras
Jan17

ZTE's crowdsouced phone will pack dual cameras

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. ZTE has already confirmed that its crowdsourced Hawkeye phone will include showstopping features like eye tracking and a sticky case, but what about the nuts and bolts? Well, it’s finally spilling the beans… and Hawkeye is a fairly powerful device for the money. The Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage and 5.5-inch 1080p screen are good, though not mind-blowing. However, you’ll also get a dual rear camera system — 12-megapixel and 13-megapixel sensors will deliver iPhone 7 Plus-style zooming at a price where that feature is relatively rare. You’ll also find a backside fingerprint reader, NFC and a front 8-megapixel camera. You’ll also get LTE data on AT&T, T-Mobile and most Canadian carriers (including Freedom). ZTE is quick to boast about Hawkeye shipping with Android 7.0 Nougat, although that’s not exactly something we’d cheer about. Nougat is practically expected for a 2017 device, and could be old hat by the time Hawkeye reaches backers in September. The company is still asking for your input on the phone’s color and material. For a $199 Kickstarter price, though, what you’re getting is tempting. Even if you don’t care for the crowdsourced features, it promises to be at least a solid performer. Source: Kickstarter, ZTE Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Today's the last day to save your Vines
Jan17

Today's the last day to save your Vines

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Vine, the six-second video service that briefly up-ended popular culture is on life support, and today’s the day Jack Dorsey pulls the plug. From today, Vine as we know it will be shut down in favor of Vine Camera, an app that shoots six second clips to be shared on your Twitter feed. As such, you’ve only got a few short hours left to download your archive and remember all that you’ve done on the service. If you’ve yet to rescue your data from Vine, then you can head into the app and go straight to your own profile page. Beneath your avatar is a Save Videos button, from which you can either back up the clips to your phone or get a download link. The latter is probably preferable, since it also comes with a log of your likes and re-vines for every clip you shared. You can watch those while you console yourself that you were only just one decent re-vine away from becoming the next King Bach. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Raspberry Pi gives its PC-on-a-stick a big speed boost
Jan17

Raspberry Pi gives its PC-on-a-stick a big speed boost

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Raspberry Pi has taken its latest computing board and squished it onto the stick-sized Compute Module 3, giving it about ten times the power of the original Compute Module. Unlike the Raspberry Pi 3 upon which it’s based, however, the device is built for industrial applications, prototypers and advanced hobbyists, not students or casual users. It can now play that part a lot better, thanks to a 1.2GHz Broadcom processor, 1GB of RAM (double that of the original) and upgradeable storage. Raspberry Pi points out that NEC used the device in its latest signage and presentation monitors (below), giving you an idea as to the intended market. It fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM form factor, making it easy to find inexpensive sockets from several manufacturers. Developers will also want the Compute Module IO Board, giving you Pi-like pin and flexi connectors, MicroSD, HDMI and USB “so that you have an entire system that can boot Raspbian (or the OS of your choice),” the organization wrote. The idea with the Compute Module is “to provide the ‘team in a garage’ with easy access to the same technology as the big guys,” Raspberry Pi wrote. As such, manufacturers can add it into a dumb device to make it smart, since it can single-handedly do processing, memory and routing chores. At the same time, it should be relatively easy to program for anyone with some Pi experience. The Compute Module 3 with upgradeable MicroSD storage runs $30 (£27), but if you’re fine with 4GB of fixed flash memory, you can go for a $25 (£22) “Lite” module. The IO board is sold separately for £96 (around $116) or together with the Compute Module 3 for £126 (about $143). For details on how to get it in the UK, US and elsewhere, hit Raspberry Pi’s announcement post. Via: PC World Source: Raspberry Pi Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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The Morning After: Tuesday, January 17th 2017
Jan17

The Morning After: Tuesday, January 17th 2017

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Why are there so many sketchy ads for fake goods on Instagram? Why have e-waste levels jumped? And why is LG boasting that its next phone won’t burst into flames? That’s a lot of questions for a Tuesday morning. Great deals on Armami and Doir. Why do Instagram and Twitter want me to buy fake Yeezys? Both Facebook and Twitter are part of the Ads Integrity Alliance and have policies in place to keep out sketchy advertisers, but that’s clearly not keeping some from slipping through the cracks. Without much oversight from the social networks themselves, exercising common sense is key; if an ad sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re seeing an ad for a pair of Yeezys that cost less than their retail value, there’s no way those shoes are the real deal. For Facebook and Twitter, like harassment, this is yet another issue that needs to be taken more seriously. Those controllers are far more important than the hardware they attach to. The heart of Nintendo’s new console isn’t the Switch The Switch is harder to describe than the latest Xbox or PlayStation. The console itself is the tablet: the part that does all the processing and acts as a screen when it’s away from your housebound dock and TV. But if the tablet is the brains of Nintendo’s strange new 2-in-1, the heart is split between the two Joy-Con controllers. Gadget garbage levels have jumped almost two thirds in five years. E-waste levels are surging in Asia Throwaway gadget culture was already having a nasty effect on the environment, but now it’s getting considerably worse. A United Nations University study has revealed that the volume of e-waste in East and Southeast Asia surged 63 percent between 2010 and 2015, reaching 12.3 million tonnes. Some Asian countries (such as China) have rapidly burgeoning middle classes. That’s great for quality of life, but it also leads to more people buying gadgets that wind up in landfills Some even want a 50-year ban New York driver groups push for a ban on autonomous cars Companies like Uber and Lyft dream of a day when they can depend solely on self-driving cars, and that’s making driver organizations a little nervous. New York’s Upstate Transportation Association and Independent Drivers Guild are both pressing for bans on autonomous vehicles in the state, out of concern that they’ll ultimately cost thousands of transportation jobs. The IDG believes that it only needs to preserve existing laws to guarantee a ban, but the UTA is considerably more aggressive —...

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Apple hikes UK App Store prices by 25 percent because Brexit
Jan17

Apple hikes UK App Store prices by 25 percent because Brexit

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. If you’re an iPhone, iPad or Mac user in the UK, prepare yourself: App Store prices are on the rise. As 9to5Mac reports, developers are being notified that their software will soon be bumped up in price. Apps worth 79 pence before will soon cost 99 pence, while those priced at £1.49 will rise to £1.99. Similar increases will be seen at higher price points too — video games with a £7.99 price-tag, such as Super Mario Run, will soon shoot up to £9.99, for instance. The reason? Almost certainly Brexit, and the negative impact it’s having on the pound at the moment. An Apple spokesperson said: “Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business. These factors vary from region to region and over time.” The timing couldn’t be worse for UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who will announce later today that Britain is leaving the European single market. The pound slipped to a 31-year low against the dollar last week, and today dropped below the euro too. These fluctuations are tied to the ongoing uncertainty around Britain and the trade deals it will be able to negotiate once May triggers Article 50, the political starting pistol for the nation’s exit from the European Union. Apple isn’t the only technology company adapting to Brexit uncertainty. Last year, the OnePlus 3 and HTC Vive received small, but significant price increases in the UK. Tesla announced a similar move in December (the implementation has been pushed back to mid-January, however) upping its sticker prices by 5 percent to accommodate for the shifting currency. Apple has been doing the same, albeit quietly, for key hardware and we wouldn’t be surprised if more companies follow suit in the next few months. Source: 9to5Mac Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Autopilot update rolls out to all Teslas with HW2 hardware
Jan17

Autopilot update rolls out to all Teslas with HW2 hardware

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot update has rolled out to all its HW2 vehicles, company chief Elon Musk has announced on Twitter. HW2 is what the automaker calls its second-generation self-driving hardware found in its newer models, including the Model S and X. The Enhanced Autopilot update was designed to bring several autonomous features to the new hardware, such as autosteer, smart summon, autopark and auto lane change. Some of those features were available on the first-gen hardware, but Tesla had to deactivate them for HW2 until they’ve undergone more testing. Unfortunately, it might still take some time before you can try the reactivated features unless you’re one of the 1,000 testers who had early access to them. Musk said Enhanced Autopilot is in “non-actuating mode,” which means it’ll lurk in your system in an inactive state while Tesla continues to assess its reliability. If all goes well, the automaker could activate all the features that came with the update as soon as the end of this week. You’ll know for sure once they’ve appeared on the system’s patch notes. HW2 Autopilot now downloading to all HW2 cars, but in non-actuating mode to assess reliability. If looks good, actuation by end of week. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 16, 2017 Via: TechCrunch Source: Elon Musk (Twitter) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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