Technology

Wed
21
Jun
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Report: Tesla Autopilot Crash Driver Ignored Warnings

A man killed when his semi-autonomous Tesla car crashed ignored multiple warnings issued by the vehicle, newly-released documents show. The papers also suggest subsequent changes to the way the car's Autopilot feature works should prevent a repeat ... of the incident. Tesla's Autopilot feature is a brand name that covers a technology that's often classed as being "driver assistance," rather than strictly self-driving. The features in question covered a cruise control that kept the car at a constant speed while taking account of nearby vehicles, and an auto-steer function that ... (view more)

Tue
11
Apr
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Police to Use Hybrids as Pursuit Vehicles

New York and Los Angeles cops may be among the first to use a hybrid electric car that is specifically designed for police pursuits. The Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan (pic) aims to meet the twin needs of police vehicles: an occasional ... high-speed pursuit mixed in with a whole load of waiting around. A hybrid car uses both an ordinary gas engine and an electric motor. The balance of the two varies between models but one common set-up is to use the electricity when the car is starting up or driving at low speeds, where the electricity is the more efficient option. Another common feature is ... (view more)

Tue
28
Mar
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Amazon's High-Tech, Cashier-less Grocery Store Delayed

Amazon's plans for convenience stores without checkouts or cashiers have taken a knock. Initial test show the system doesn't work properly if more than 20 or so customers use the store at once. The Amazon Go store works through a dedicated ... smartphone app and a technology similar to that used in hotel minibars. When a customer picks up an item from the shelf it will automatically be added to their virtual shopping cart (as well as their real one), though if they put it back on the shelf it will be removed. Instead of paying for the items at the check out, the customer simply walks out ... (view more)

Thu
23
Feb
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Self-Driving Cars Could Change Insurance Rules

The British government says insurers should have to pay out if a customer's self-driving car crashes, whether or not the human was in control. It's the latest in a series of legal questions raised by the technology. The government has published the ... Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill and will now try to make it law through the country's parliamentary system. If adopted, the rules would mean the government would legally classify cars as self-driving on a model-by-model basis. With any car that fits into this category, the legally-required insurance policy would have to be set up ... (view more)

Wed
08
Feb
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Smart TV Maker Spied on Viewing Habits, Sold Data

Vizio is to pay $2.2 million in fines after tracking viewing habits on 11 million smart TVs without their owners' knowledge or permission. They then sold the details, including personal information, to advertisers. As part of a settlement, Vizio has ... now agreed to inform customers about the practice and promises to always get their express consent before tracking any viewing. It will also have to delete much of the data it has already collected. Vizio had relied on the idea that customers retained enough control because there was a setting named "Smart Interactivity" that could ... (view more)

Thu
02
Feb
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Computer AI Masters Poker

An artificial intelligence program has beaten professional poker players for the first time. It may sound trivial but marks a major advance in technology that could have practical benefits. Computers beat human experts at chess many years ago, and ... last year a computer beat the world champion at the far more complex board game "Go" for the first time. That was significant because the sheer number of possible moves available in Go means ever the most powerful computer can't assess every possible move. Instead the program had to learn to use human tactics such as heuristics (in ... (view more)

Thu
29
Dec
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Amazon Gadget could be Murder Case Key

Amazon has refused to give police access to data from a home gadget that may have recorded audio relevant to a murder investigation. The company says its policy is to only provide customer information if and when it gets a valid court order. The ... request by Arkansas police is for information that may have been recorded by an Amazon Echo. That's a gadget that combines a wireless speaker with voice recognition and an Internet connection. It lets users give voice commands for actions such as selecting music to play, carrying out voice searches of the Internet and controlling smart devices ... (view more)

Tue
27
Dec
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Tesla Autopilot No Longer Breaks Speed Limit

Tesla's automatic car steering tool will now restrict the car to the local speed limit on most roads. Users had previously been able to set the system to run up to five miles over the limit. The changes are to a feature which has the full title of ... Autopilot Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. It not only controls the car's speed as with normal cruise control, but automatically adjusts to keep a safe distance from surrounding vehicles and steers the car to keep in the lane. (Source: electrek.co ) Freeways an Exception to No-Speeding Policy Once the latest update takes effect, the feature ... (view more)

Wed
26
Oct
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Experts: Kids Tablet Use Requires Parental Interaction

Experts say toddlers should be allowed limited access to tablets and other gadgets. It reverses previous advice that kids under two be kept away from small screens altogether. The advice comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It now ... recommends 18 months as the minimum age to "use" screen devices, but says children aged five and under should spend a maximum of one hour a day in front of screens. It's not a case of 'anything goes', however. The AAP says young kids should only use screens for specific purposes. These include watching "high quality" ... (view more)

Wed
14
Sep
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Netflix Urges FCC to End All Data Caps

Netflix has called upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to examine whether data caps are harming the expansion of broadband data. The company, which also has close interest on the subject, says the FCC might have a legal duty to take ... action on the matter. The company complained in particular about monthly data limits on home broadband such as those imposed by Comcast, which recently enforced a 300GB a month cap on some customers - along with steep overage fees ($10 per 50GB). However, Comcast now says the cap has been bumped to 1TB , with unlimited data available in some areas, ... (view more)

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