YouTube picture-in-picture now being tested on the web

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For a while now the YouTube app on both Android and iOS has allowed users to minimize a playing video into a floating window, letting them browse other content without interrupting playback. A similar floating mode is apparently being tested on the web now.

The writers at 9to5Google discovered that YouTube on the web is A/B testing a picture-in-picture feature and it has already started hitting a small number of users. If you are one of the lucky few, you’ll be able to start a video and then click anywhere on YouTube (return to the homepage, search, or browse channels) and the video will continue to play in a floating window on the bottom right corner.

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YouTube picture-in-picture now being tested on the web was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Driverless Autonomous Cars Can Now Be Tested in California

New regulations that allow driverless autonomous cars to be tested on California roads were officially approved by the California Office of Administrative Law on Monday, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

Starting on April 2, companies in the Bay Area that are working on self-driving vehicle technology will be able to deploy cars that do not have a driver behind the wheel. The new autonomous vehicle regulations have been under review since January 11, but were green lit this morning.


The news is of interest as Apple is one of more than 50 companies testing self-driving vehicle technology in the Bay Area. For almost a year now, Apple has been testing autonomous driving software in a series of 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs, which can often be seen on the streets surrounding its Cupertino headquarters.

While little has been said about Apple’s testing efforts in recent months, the company was spotted using new LIDAR equipment in August of 2017, and as of January 2018, Apple has 27 vehicles running autonomous driving software, up from the three it started with last year.

With the new regulations in place, Apple can potentially apply for a new deployment permit with the California DMV that would allow it to test its software sans drivers. It’s not known, however, if Apple is ready for that kind of advanced testing.

While California is allowing companies to deploy and test fully autonomous driverless cars, a “communication link” must be maintained between the testing vehicle and remote operators. All remote vehicle operators must monitor the status of driverless vehicles at all times and be ready to step in should the vehicle experience “failures that would endanger the safety of the vehicle’s passengers or other road users.” Cars must be protected from cyberattacks and must also be able to transmit information in the event of a crash.

Companies must also certify that a vehicle is capable of operating without the presence of a driver and develop a “law enforcement interaction plan” to be provided to the California Highway Patrol.

Should Apple choose to take advantage of the new policies, the company will need to obtain a permit from the California DMV, and granted permits are made available to the public. So should Apple opt for this route, it won’t be able to keep its work secret. These kinds of regulations have already spurred Apple CEO Tim Cook to confirm the company’s work on autonomous systems.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems. It’s a core technology that we view as very important. We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects. It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on,” Cook said back in June of 2017.

Some other states have already adopted more relaxed rules that allow companies to deploy autonomous vehicles without drivers. In Arizona, for example, Google-owned company Waymo is already operating autonomous minivans sans safety driver.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

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Google System being tested to locate 911 callers more accurately

We live in a world where Uber and Facebook are able to get much more accurate location information than where it is realty needed, in the event of an emergency. Apple and Google have both faced pressure in the past few years to make Android and iOS’ comprehensive location information available to 911 dispatchers. Google is the first to address this by tackling a very pressing issue that faces emergency responders in the United States. When you call 911 during an emergency, the call center receives carrier information of the location of the caller. However, the problem is that the…

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Tested: Hater, the dating app with a difference

If you’ve tried dating apps, you’ll know that most try to match people based on shared interests. Hater does things a bit differently…

Created by former Goldman Sachs banker Brendan Alper, Hater offers up topics, usually in the form of a gif, which you decide if you hate or not. They’ll then match you up based on your selected “hates” and the rest could be history.

Hater currently has a whole host of randoms topics including Boston Terriers, bubble baths, the sound of filing nails and even YouTube stars. Like Bumble and Tinder users swipe through the topics choosing either right or left depending if they like it or hate it and can skip altogether if no preference.

The app will then find your most compatible matches, giving you the option to see, in detail, what they like and hate. You can even choose if the app searches locally or across the world…

The rest is up to you, if you fancy giving it a go download Hater from the Google Play Store, happy swiping!

If you’re in a relationship and want to know if Hater would have matched you and your SO, ask yourself… how would you feel about their answers to the below:

Love or hate?

– Sudoku
– Eating straight from the fridge
– Will Ferrell
– The beach
– When someone you hate makes a joke
– Big cities
– Harley Quinn
– Community
– Pet sitting
– Thunderstorms

Have you used your smartphone to find love? Post your stories in the comments below…

 

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Tested: Can Investment Apps Make You Rich?

If you’ve been paying attention to the Sony Mobile Blog, you will have noticed our recent budgeting post and potentially started managing your finances directly from your Xperia. Great choice. But now does it feel like that cash is burning a hole in your pocket? Sure, you could splash those hard earned savings on a flat white – or – you could launch your empire. You’ve seen Wolf of Wall Street, it’s easy, buy low, sell high, retire at 26.

Okay, it’s not that straightforward, but we’ve tested some of the most downloaded apps that could see that one coffee, turn into two and that’s not a bad place to start.

Before you know it, you’ve got a nice little nest egg to throw into Beanie Babies, Tulip Bulbs or Bitcoin.

Please remember with any investment, your capital is at risk, so please do invest with caution.

 

iBillionaire

This is a pretty simple concept, you want to invest, but you, like us, have no clue about the markets. But you know who does? Billionaire investors with a track record for getting things right. iBillionaire lets you peak over the shoulder of the likes of Warren Buffet, David Einhorn and Carl Icahn. How does it do this? Every quarter, iBillionaire automatically updates your portfolio to replicate billionaires’ filings. If it works for them, it should work for you right?

You’ve got a number of investment options here – you can take the Billionaire route as above, or you could invest in their Bitcoin Fund, their Real Estate Fund or maybe you’ve read up on Bridgewater’s All Weather strategy and think that’s the way to go? Whatever you choose, it starts at $ 1 a month (including four rebalances every year) and there are no additional costs or commissions charged. They claim for as little as $ 5 a week, you could invest like a billionaire.

 

Acorns (USA) and Money Box (UK)

Acorns and Money Box though created by different developers, have a similar aim – making everyday investing a habit. The cleverest part (in our opinion) is how you can save. The first barrier most people run into is that they don’t have any money to invest in the first place. Where these apps succeed is taking the sting out of investing, by making it gradual. Buying a sandwich for $ 3.75? Your purchase gets rounded up to an even $ 4.00, you notice nothing at the time, but over a couple of months, this rounding up turns into real money.

Depending on whether you’re using Acorns or Money Box, your money will be put into Funds and ISAs, which you can customise to your preferred level of risk. For example, with Money Box, depending on the level of risk you are willing to accept, there are three investment options: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous

Acorns charges $ 1 a month (accounts investing up to $ 5,000), while Moneybox costs £1 a month and 0.45% of the value of your investments per year (at the time of writing, Moneybox is offering to waive the £1 fee for the first three months).

 

Nutmeg

To be honest, this one isn’t an app you’ll be opening every forty minutes, it’s a slow burner. Nutmeg means business. You put money in it every month and invest it – the app is just a nice way to keep track.

You can get a Lifetime ISA with contributions starting at £100 a month, a Nutmeg ISA or general investment account within initial £500 when you make monthly contributions of £100, or consolidate your pension with a £5,000 investment.

You’ve handed over your money, but what are Nutmeg bringing to the table? Their schemes have been built by investment experts – they’ve created a number of diversified portfolios that limit risk but have options for those of you who want to play it a little more dangerously.

They’ve also got award winning service and it’s really straightforward to use – so if you do happen to get a bit stuck, they’ll get someone on the case for you.

 

So now you’re an “investor”, you may not be a wolf, but you’re certainly not a sheep. Good luck.

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Graphene’s Properties Have Been Tested in Micro-Gravity for the First Time

Zero-Gravity Graphene

Everyone’s favorite wonder-material has moved beyond the boundaries of gravity in its latest round of testing. The material was brought aboard a parabolic flight, where a plane alternated climbing and diving in a regular rhythm to simulate micro-gravity for brief intervals of about 23 seconds at a time. These flights are often affectionately referred to as the “vomit comet,” as they tend to inspire some queasiness in humans. The graphene aboard, however, endured the environment and performed well.

According to Professor Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre, and Science and Technology Officer and Chair of the Management Panel for the Graphene Flagship,“One of graphene’s potential uses, recognised early on, is space applications, and this is the first time that graphene has been tested in space-like applications,” she said in a press release.

The researchers tested graphene’s ability to improve the performance of satellites’ cooling systems by taking advantage of the material’s unique thermal qualities. As Ferrari explained, “We are using graphene in what are called loop-heat pipes. These are pumps that move fluid without the need for any mechanical parts, so there is no wear and tear, which is very important for space applications.”

The graphene was first tested on the ground. Those results were significantly better than those from the control group.

“By adding graphene, we will have a more reliable loop heat pipe that can operate autonomously in space,” says Dr. Marco Molina, Chief Technical Officer of the Airborne and Space System Division at Leonardo.

For the experiment, the researchers coated the main element of the loop-heat pipe, the metallic wick, in graphene. Graphene’s thermal properties allow for improved heat transfer while the porous structure of the material also increases the amount of surface area the liquid is able to come in contact with. It also allows the liquid to flow faster through the wick.

The results of the micro-gravity tests showed an increased performance of the graphene-coated wicks compared to untreated ones. The researchers will pivot to developing a prototype utilizing graphene on a satellite or space station which could be tested in space.

Graphene Goals

Many look to graphene as a definite means of shifting the paradigm of materials science. It seems that the only limit to its potential applications is the imagination of the innovators playing with its properties. Researchers have reported uses for the material ranging from ultra-thin, super-strong bulletproof body armor, batteries that charge up to five times faster, and even unbreakable rubberbands.

Researchers are coming up with new ways to manufacture the material cheaply and easily. If this trend continues, it could help the material gain new life by becoming a practical material more widely affordable for consumers. And the innovation continues: scientists are even bringing in spiders to create super-hero strength materials.

The future of graphene is bright. Its usefulness on Earth is already established and we will finally begin to see how that may extend into the cosmos. With more testing researchers are bound to find greater applications for this wonder material far beyond cooling systems for satellites. Its versatility is one of its strongest attributes, after all.

The post Graphene’s Properties Have Been Tested in Micro-Gravity for the First Time appeared first on Futurism.

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Virgin Galactic Just Successfully Tested One of Their Spaceplanes

Hopeful space tourists have reason to smile today. This morning, the Spaceship Company, a spacecraft manufacturer owned by Virgin Galactic, successfully flight tested a Scaled Composites Model 339 SpaceShipTwo (SS2 or SpaceShipTwo), a spaceplane designed specifically with space tourism in mind.

Virgin Galactic announced the VSS Unity’s seventh test flight via Twitter early this morning.

They followed that up with a few updates, as well as an image of the successful landing.

The SpaceShipTwo was publicly unveiled in 2009 and has since been in development and testing. Each of the air-launched, suborbital planes can carry a total of six passengers and two pilots, and Virgin Galactic hopes to have a fleet of five for their private passenger service.

While this SpaceShipTwo test flight puts Virgin Galactic one step closer to their lofty goal of creating the world’s first commercial spaceline, they aren’t there yet. The SpaceShipTwo will require more testing, and even once Virgin Galactic is happy with the craft’s performance, space tourism is uncharted territory that will likely require significant regulatory review.

The post Virgin Galactic Just Successfully Tested One of Their Spaceplanes appeared first on Futurism.

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A new search bar design is being tested for the Google feed

Over the years, the Google Now page has undergone more than a few changes, and it was even renamed a few months ago to ‘feed.’ Some users are reporting that they’re seeing a new search bar design in their Google feed. Now that it’s here (again), it’s a bit confusing why it disappeared in the first place.

 

As anyone who uses Google services will know, the company changes UIs up entirely too often.

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A new search bar design is being tested for the Google feed was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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