Congress is about to hand over the keys to the big self-driving car companies — and that’s a problem

It was an unusual sight: Democrats and Republicans gently ribbing each other, giggling, and vowing to work closely together on legislation that is said to be vital to the health and safety of Americans. Of all the things that could bring both parties together in this era of rank partisanship, who would have thought it would be self-driving cars?

The convivial atmosphere in today’s hearing by the House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, which was to mark-up a package of bills related to autonomous vehicles, was by design. After all, it was carefully cultivated by the big automakers and tech companies that are working furiously on autonomous driving technology. These companies want to ensure their interests are…

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Security bot’s creators laugh over its fountain dive


A security robot in Washington DC took an unplanned dip in a mall fountain this week — and its creators are choosing to see the humor in the situation. Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself. We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots. pic.twitter.com/rGLTAWZMjn — Bilal Farooqui (@bilalfarooqui) July 17, 2017 The robot — a Knightscope K5 security bot with advanced sensors, 360-degree video streaming, and forensic capabilities — wound up in the fountain of the Washington Harbor, a waterfront office and retail building. It was assisted by compassionate humans. On the surface,…

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San Francisco’s biggest public radio station has been battling ransomware for over a month

For the last month, San Francisco’s KQED has been recovering from a massive ransomware attack, the station revealed today to The San Francisco Chronicle. The infection began on June 15, but more than a month later, many crucial systems remain offline at the National Public Radio member-station.

“It’s like we’ve been bombed back to 20 years ago, technology-wise,” one senior editor told the Chronicle.

The initial damage from the attack was severe, locking hard drives, erasing pre-recorded segments and bringing down the station’s internal email server. The station’s online broadcast was offline for more than 12 hours, although the FM broadcast continued uninterrupted. The office Wi-Fi remained offline for several days.

As systems recover,…

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Xiaomi Mi 5X scores over 100,000 registrations already

Earlier today we found out that Xiaomi plans on unveiling the Mi 5X at an event on July 26, when it will also make the latest version of its Android skin, MIUI 9, official. Now, just a few hours later, we can tell you that people in China seem to be extremely interested in the Mi 5X. That’s because the company’s official online store for the country has already logged more than 100,000 registrations for the handset’s first flash sale. 139,359, to be exact. Keep in mind that this has happened without anything official about the device being outed, except for a few promotional images that…

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The weather app dominating the field of aviation with over 26 million downloads


As the weather is a crucial factor for pilots, it should be of little surprise to learn that weather apps are greeted with an element of enthusiasm from those working in the aviation industry. A crowded marketplace has ensured that there are numerous weather apps available now making it hard for anything new to break through the white noise. However, MyRadar has somehow become very popular within a relatively short time with over 26 million downloads. ACME AtronOmatic, the software application development company behind the app found a route to success by actively engaging with those in the aviation industry…

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The Next Web

Google wins fight with Labor Department over pay gap data

Google appears to have emerged mostly triumphant in its fight with the Department of Labor over supplying pay gap data. An administrative law judge has ruled that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs overstepped its boundaries by askin…
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Feel like you’re zooming over Pluto and its moon Charon with NASA’s new 3D animations

It was two years ago, on July 14th, 2015, that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto — marking the first time we had ever explored this mysterious small world. The probe whizzed by within 7,750 miles of the dwarf planet’s surface and snapped the first ever close-up images of Pluto and its weird moons. Now, New Horizons is way beyond Pluto, journeying to another object at edge of the Solar System. But you can relive the flyby with this new animation from NASA that takes you over Pluto’s unique terrain.

Members of the New Horizons mission team put together the animation using data collected by the spacecraft, as well as elevation models of Pluto’s surface. The video starts just southwest of Sputnik Planitia — the huge plains of…

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It’s our last chance to choose information independence over special interests

Without net neutrality protections, the internet would no longer be a free and open ecosystem for innovation.

What if you were charged $ 30 dollars to access only 100 websites? Could you still stream videos online if you had to purchase a $ 10 “expansion bundle” every month to access video streaming services? Or would you still search the news if you had to spend an additional $ 20 dollars for an “extension package” every month to access Fox News, CNN, CNBC or MSNBC’s websites?

Scenarios like these are closer than you may think, and none of them are acceptable.

Under the new leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission has proposed a rule to reverse the progress made with the 2015 Open internet Order, stripping consumers of net neutrality protections. These protections prohibit internet providers from restricting access to legal content by blocking, slowing down speeds or charging for prioritization on the internet.

In other words, they prohibit internet providers from manipulating your access to online content.

Without net neutrality protections, the internet would no longer be a free and open ecosystem for innovation. We stand to lose the tool that revolutionized the world, defining the Digital Age, and with it — we stand to lose the independent flow of information critical to our economy, innovation, and free speech.

The good news is that the public outcry has been demonstrable and telling. I am heartened to see that more six million people have already reached out to the FCC to file official comments before the comment period ends on July 17. I am proud to have joined so many Americans by also personally submitting comments opposing this rollback.

So much is being threatened, and the worst part is that our online independence has continued to be compromised in other ways, as well.

In just a few months, the FCC has initiated several actions that undermine the independent flow of information and allow special interests to sell your private information.

In March, Republicans in Congress permanently rolled back online privacy rules, which required broadband companies to obtain your consent before using or sharing your personal information, to protect your data, and to notify you if there was breach of information. I fought against this permanent rollback in the House of Representatives, but Republicans charged forward, with President Trump and the FCC cheering them on.

What has replaced these privacy rules? A patchwork of state laws that are confusing to both providers and consumers. The only thing protecting your personal information is the goodwill of broadband companies, so all we can do is hope that they value consumer privacy over profits.

That is why I have been a leading co-sponsor of many bills aimed at defending the open internet and protecting your right to privacy, including the Email Privacy Act, legislation that protects Americans against warrantless searches of private emails; the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act, legislation that prohibits the sale of student data and targeted advertising to students, and the Speak Free Act, legislation that would enhance free speech protections for internet users by preventing bad actors from using a lawsuit to silence public opinion simply because they don’t agree with it. These are concepts that an overwhelming majority of Americans support, and both Democrats and Republicans in Congress should, too.

Americans’ information independence is under attack, whether it’s the repeal of net neutrality or the repeal of broadband privacy protections. The Federal Communications Commission needs to listen and serve the American people, not special interests. I am committed to protecting both your privacy and the internet as we know it. A free and open internet is essential to our democracy, economy and modern way of life.


Rep. Jared Polis is an independent leader who uses his private and public sector experience to find pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing Colorado and the nation. First elected to represent Colorado’s Second Congressional District in 2008, Polis serves on the powerful Committee on Rules, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Committee on Ethics, and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. While still attending Princeton University, Polis co-founded his first company, American Information Systems, a success he followed with the launching of bluemountain.com and ProFlowers.com. He has been named an Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. Reach him @jaredpolis.


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Over 100,000 Moto E4 Plus units sold in India in 24 hours

The Motorola Moto E4 Plus was launched in India earlier this week as a Flipkart-exclusive. And now, it has been revealed that over 100,000 units of the 5,000mAh battery-totting device were sold by the retailer in a time span of 24 hours. Moto E4 Plus Flipkart claims it managed to sell the handset at the rate of 580 units/minute for the first 60 minutes. The retailer also revealed that a total of 150,000 people visited the phone’s product page on its website within the first hour after sales began. The phone carries a price tag of INR 9,999, which translates into around…

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Waymo & Uber in settlement talks over stolen self-driving technology

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Alphabet’s self-driving car subsidiary, Waymo, is in court-ordered settlement talks with Uber — though the former maintains that its lawsuit can prove Uber used trade secrets taken by one-time employee Anthony Levandowski.
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