Lindsay Lohan’s ‘Grand Theft Auto’ suit is on the road to nowhere

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Lindsay Lohan has lost the appeal for her lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive, which alleged that the company's studio Rockstar Games used her likeness without permission for a character in Grand Theft Auto V. The case was originally dismissed back…
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Baidu, Jaguar autonomous cars take to the road despite Uber death

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Jaguar and Baidu continue with self-driving cars tests despite Uber crash

Automotive group Jaguar Land Rover and Chinese technology giant Baidu are continuing with new self-driving car tests this week, despite an autonomous Uber car killing a pedestrian in Arizona last weekend.

Both Uber and Toyota halted driverless car tests in the wake of the Uber accident, with Toyota saying it was concerned about the emotional effect on its safety drivers – comments that were criticised as inappropriate.

Five Baidu cars took to the roads for the first time in Beijing yesterday – just four days after 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed by an Uber Volvo that was travelling autonomously in Tempe, Arizona.

The fatality occurred almost exactly a year after another autonomous Uber Volvo was involved in a three-vehicle collision, also in Tempe Arizona. The accident left that vehicle lying on its side.

Arizona police have released a video of Sunday’s fatal accident, which some experts say shouldn’t have happened, suggesting that the vehicle’s sensors had enough time to detect the pedestrian.

Despite the controversy, Beijing has given the go-ahead for Baidu to test driverless cars on 33 roads – the first time a company has been given permission to conduct open-road tests in the Chinese capital. The experimental programme will be over 65 miles of roads in Beijing’s less-populated suburbs.

“With supportive policies, we believe that Beijing will become a rising hub for the autonomous driving industry,” said Baidu VP Zhao Cheng. “We hope to work with more partners to pave the way for the full development of autonomous driving.”

Meanwhile, the UK’s biggest car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover – since 2008 a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Tata – will continue its own autonomous car tests on roads in the Midlands. Among the new features being trialled this week include an emergency braking warning system, said the company.

The decision to begin new tests so soon after Sunday’s accident may alarm drivers and pedestrians in Beijing and in the Midlands.

However, at least one industry figure has come out strongly in support of the driverless car sector, saying that autonomous vehicles are the solution to the unacceptable road safety record of flesh and blood drivers, with 90 percent of car accidents caused by human error.

Chris Urmson, former CTO of Google’s autonomous vehicle division before co-founding Aurora Innovation, said: “Globally 1.2 million people die on the roads. In the US, it’s somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 people. That’s the equivalent of a 737 crashing every day.

“We wouldn’t accept that in air travel, and yet we do on the roads of America every day, so I think the big picture we have to focus on is that the status quo is not acceptable.

“I’ve been working in this space [driverless vehicles] for about 15 years and from the earliest time it was about saving lives,” he said at the Economist Innovation Summit.

Internet of Business says

Urmson is quite right to contrast the one fatality this year with the many that occur on roads every day throughout the world. Autonomous and connected vehicles may indeed be the solution to that problem.

However, two questions remain: was a catastrophic systems failure responsible for the Uber fatality? And if so, who – if anyone – is responsible for that failure?

This is the challenge inherent in all AI systems, and it is why we should remain concerned. In most road traffic accidents, people tend to be held responsible for their actions. But with driverless systems, what can the law do about it?

 

 

 

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GDC 2018: ‘Disco Road’ is a Multi-Lane Musical Runner

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Ever since I first fiddled around with Audio Surf ages ago, I’ve been fascinated by the potential of using music to generate content inside of games. Despite having access to the music library on the iOS device for years now, very few developers have used this functionality to do anything that cool. Disco Road is the latest title to take a crack at using your music to craft gameplay, in this case, via a multi-lane runner.

Disco Road is still in development, and is full of tricks. Towards the end of the video we even demonstrate that you can play it with your head using the front sensors of the iPhone X. Gimmicky maybe, but, that sort of thing is really neat once you start playing with it.

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[Update: Odd-even is live] Google Maps v9.73 beta prepares to allow reviews to be saved as drafts, odd-even road rules for Jakarta, and more (APK Teardown)

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A new version of Google Maps began rolling out late last night. The immediately visible changes are semi-cosmetic, including some slightly more informative details, but there aren’t any obviously huge additions to see here. As we turn to a teardown, there are signs that reviewers will soon be able to start writing, then save their work as a draft.

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[Update: Odd-even is live] Google Maps v9.73 beta prepares to allow reviews to be saved as drafts, odd-even road rules for Jakarta, and more (APK Teardown) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Hennessey’s Venom F5 could be the first road car to break 300 miles per hour

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Faster than an F1 car and named after an F5 tornado, the newest Hennessey Venom is the kind of car that unquestionably belongs at the Geneva Motor Show. It is all about raw power and radical design. It’s also about as rare as they come, with just 24 being made — half of which the company says have already been bought for a cool $ 1.6 million each.

Much of what we know about the Venom F5 are the stats that Hennessey Special Vehicles, the small company behind the car, has already shared. Teased for nearly a full year at this point, the Hennessey Venom F5’s 1,600 horsepower twin turbo V8 is supposedly capable of pushing the car to 301 miles per hour. The company’s founder, John Hennessey, said in a statement, “It’s no question of if we will…

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Battery breakthrough puts superfast-charging electric vehicles on road

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fast-charging electric vehicles

Research into battery technology by Surrey and Bristol universities, in partnership with Superdielectrics, could lead to electric vehicles that match the range of fossil fuel equivalents and charge in as little as 10 minutes.

The ground-breaking study into polymer materials could see lithium-ion battery technology superseded. Just a year ago, the partnership announced that their novel polymer materials have dielectric properties 1,000 to 10,000 time greater than existing electrical conductors.

Their breakthrough has now been applied to device-scale practical demonstrations. Small single-layer cells were charged to 1.5 volts for two to five minutes and then ran demonstration devices, such as a small fan. The team also used a three-cell series stack that can be rapidly charged to five volts and operate an LED.

While these are small-scale demonstrations, they prove the technology’s huge potential over lithium-ion batteries. Existing supercapacitors have poor energy density per kilogram – around one twentieth of existing battery technology – offsetting their ability to charge and deliver energy quickly.

Dr Donald Highgate, Director of Research for Superdielectrics said:

The present work, if it can be translated into production, promises to make rapid charging possible for electric vehicles, as well as offering a much-needed low-cost method of storing the transient output from renewable energy systems. Wind, wave, and solar energy is available but it is intermittent and, without storage, cannot be relied upon to meet our energy needs.

“This new work would transform the energy system which underpins our entire way of life – it is the necessary development before we and our children can have a genuinely sustainable, environmentally safe energy supply.”

A new chapter in energy storage

The new material can hold roughly 180 watt-hours per kilogram, a major increase over the 100-120 watt-hours per kilogram storage density found in most ordinary EV batteries.

Dr Brendan Howlin, Senior Lecturer in Computational Chemistry at the University of Surrey, said: “These results are extremely exciting and it is hard to believe that we have come so far in such a short time.

“We could be at the start of a new chapter in the technology of low-cost electrical energy storage that could shape the future of industry and society for many years to come.”

The University of Bristol is going further by producing a complex series-parallel cell structure in which both the total capacitance and operating voltage can be separately controlled.

“Following the unveiling of the preliminary results at the first press conference just 14 months ago, the team has worked hard to increase the storage capability of these innovative materials still further,” said Dr Ian Hamerton, from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol, commented.

“Our foremost challenge is now to translate these scientific findings into robust engineered devices and unlock their revolutionary potential.”

Superdielectrics, the company behind this technology, is now looking to build a research and low-volume production centre. If successful in production, the material could be used to power much more than just electric cars or smartphones.

Internet of Business says

The big breakthrough in electric vehicle adoption is likely to come from supercapacitors. The ability to store larger amounts of energy in supercapacitors would enable electric vehicles to overcome their two greatest weaknesses: range and charging speed.

The energy density of the new polymer technology is easily capable of surpassing the max range of existing electric vehicles (currently around 350 miles) and could cut charging times from around eight hours to 10 minutes. This would be beyond the tipping point required from these specifications to trigger mass electric vehicle adoption.

The challenge now is developing supercaps that can scale effectively and sustainably, and at a viable cost.


Our Internet of Energy event is taking place in Berlin, Germany on 6 & 7 March 2018. Attendees will hear how companies in this sector are harnessing the power of IoT to transform distributed energy resources. 

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Google Maps v9.73 beta prepares to allow reviews to be saved as drafts, odd-even road rules for Jakarta, and more [APK Teardown]

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

A new version of Google Maps began rolling out late last night. The immediately visible changes are semi-cosmetic, including some slightly more informative details, but there aren’t any obviously huge additions to see here. As we turn to a teardown, there are signs that reviewers will soon be able to start writing, then saved their work as a draft. Also, if you’re going to be driving in Jakarta, Indonesia, Google maps is going to make it easier to deal with odd-even driving restrictions.

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Google Maps v9.73 beta prepares to allow reviews to be saved as drafts, odd-even road rules for Jakarta, and more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Quick Takes: Apple Celebrating Women’s Week, The Road to Swift 5, and New macOS 11 Concept

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Thursday, March 1

Apple celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s Week with in-store events: Apple Orchard Road in Singapore will be hosting Today at Apple sessions over the next week in celebration of women who inspire the community. Apple Marché Saint-Germain in France will be hosting a recruiting event on March 8, billed as an evening of inspiration, participation, and celebration.


Commentary: International Women’s Day is observed on March 8 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Apple has honored the day in previous years with featured content in iTunes and Apple Music.

macOS 11 concept reimagines Apple’s desktop operating system: Spanish graphic designer and University of Navarra student Álvaro Pabesion has shared a macOS 11 concept on Behance. The mockups visualize how Apple’s desktop operating system could look with a simpler design.


Commentary: While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s hard not to drool over the idea of a more systemwide dark mode and iTunes being easier to navigate. macOS last received a major redesign as part of OS X Yosemite in 2014.

“Apple Is Going to Be the First Trillion-Dollar Company”: A bold headline from Bloomberg View columnist Barry Ritholtz, who believes Apple will achieve the milestone at some point this year. He considers share repurchases, continued investments from Warren Buffett, index buyers, and several new products being on the horizon as four factors key to Apple’s continued upward momentum.

Commentary: Apple is certainly leading the race to a trillion dollar valuation, with a market capitalization hovering around the $900 billion mark. Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft are next closest, each with market caps approaching the $750 billion mark. AAPL is down nearly two percent today.

Apple outlines release process for Swift 4.2, introduces SwiftNIO: Apple has shared a blog post that describes the goals, release process, and estimated schedule for Swift 4.2. Apple has also introduced SwiftNIO at a conference in Tokyo, described as a low-level tool for building high-performance networking applications in Swift.


Commentary: A couple of notable items for developers who use Apple’s open source programming language. Today is also the cutoff date for proposing ideas for Swift 5.0, expected to be released in late 2018.

For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.

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Google Maps v9.72 beta prepares to warn you about packed mass transit, improve road closure reports, and more [APK Teardown]

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A new version of Google Maps slipped out late last night, just in time for the weekend. While there are a couple of small cosmetic changes showing up, we haven’t spotted any big additions yet. A teardown tells a bit of a different story. The Google Maps team is getting ready to add a new form for reporting road closures, and another for creating new accounts with Uber. There will also be a new notification for confirming your mode of transportations during commutes, and best of all, you’ll soon be able to tell how full busses and subways are likely to be.

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Google Maps v9.72 beta prepares to warn you about packed mass transit, improve road closure reports, and more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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