Tech News Feed

LA Auto Show: Volkswagen I.D. Crozz EV gets a production version in 2020 - Roadshow

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 22:54
Volkswagen announced plans at the Los Angeles Auto Show to double down on EV production, starting with the I.D. Crozz.

This is the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz EV coming to America in 2020 - Roadshow

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 22:53
Sure, the production vehicle will probably have a few changes, but the I.D. Crozz in concept form is pretty snazzy.

MacOS High Sierra 'Root' Bug Makes Hacking it Easy

PCMag News - Tue, 2017-11-28 22:37
The bug appears to only affect High Sierra (MacOS 10.13.1), and Apple is working on a fix.

Watch two crazy wingsuit flyers land into a moving plane - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 22:30
Commentary: This seems beyond science. Beyond sense, too.

AI Goes Bilingual -- Without a Dictionary

SlashDot - Tue, 2017-11-28 22:30
sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: Automatic language translation has come a long way, thanks to neural networks -- computer algorithms that take inspiration from the human brain. But training such networks requires an enormous amount of data: millions of sentence-by-sentence translations to demonstrate how a human would do it. Now, two new papers show that neural networks can learn to translate with no parallel texts -- a surprising advance that could make documents in many languages more accessible. The two new papers, both of which have been submitted to next year's International Conference on Learning Representations but have not been peer reviewed, focus on another method: unsupervised machine learning. To start, each constructs bilingual dictionaries without the aid of a human teacher telling them when their guesses are right. That's possible because languages have strong similarities in the ways words cluster around one another. The words for table and chair, for example, are frequently used together in all languages. So if a computer maps out these co-occurrences like a giant road atlas with words for cities, the maps for different languages will resemble each other, just with different names. A computer can then figure out the best way to overlay one atlas on another. Voila! You have a bilingual dictionary. The studies -- "Unsupervised Machine Translation Using Monolingual Corpora Only" and "Unsupervised Neural Machine Translation" -- were both submitted to the e-print archive

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The 'X-Files' revival continues with a mobile game

Engadget - Tue, 2017-11-28 22:27
X-Files' resurgence isn't just limited to new TV episodes. Fox has taken the wraps off of X-Files: Deep State, a mystery title for Android, iOS and Facebook that should arrive February 6th, 2018, or just over a month after the January 3rd TV premier...

Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens team on a hybrid electric aircraft

Engadget - Tue, 2017-11-28 21:35
Purely electric aircraft are still in their relative infancy. Hybrid aircraft, however? They're closer than you think. Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are partnering on a hybrid electric aircraft prototype, the E-Fan X, that will prove the mixture...

Bitcoin blasts past $10,000 mark amid bubble concerns - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 21:15
The cryptocurrency has risen nine-fold since the beginning of the year.

Ridiculous game that barely runs on PC is coming to your phone - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 21:07
Tencent is officially bringing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to mobile phones -- and there's a surprisingly fun clone called Rules of Survival you can play right now.

'Break Up Google and Facebook If You Ever Want Innovation Again'

SlashDot - Tue, 2017-11-28 21:05
Hal_Porter shares a report from The Register: If the tech industry wants another wave of innovation to match the PC or the internet, Google and Facebook must be broken up, journalist and film producer Jonathan Taplin told an audience at University College London's Faculty of Law this week. He was speaking at an event titled Crisis in Copyright Policy: How the digital monopolies have cornered culture and what it means for all of us, where he credited the clampers put on Bell then IBM for helping to create the PC industry and the internet. Taplin told his audience that he'd been moved by the fate of his friend Levon Helm, The Band's drummer, who was forced to go back on the road in his sixties, after radiation therapy for cancer. Helm died broke. Today, Taplin points out, YouTube accounts for 57 per cent of all songs streamed over the internet, but thanks to a loophole returns just 13.5 per cent of revenue. "That's not a willing buyer-seller relationship," he said, referring to the UGC loophole that Google enjoys, one not available to Spotify or Apple Music. But it isn't just songwriters and musicians who are poorly paid. The average person "works for two hours a day for Mark Zuckerberg" generating a data profile. Taplin pointed out that Bell held patents on many technologies including the transistor, the laser and the solar cell, that it agreed to license, royalty free, as part of a 1956 consent decree. Taplin saw history repeated with IBM. Under the 1956 (again) consent decree IBM was obliged to unbundle software from hardware in the 1960s. But competition authorities again opened up an investigation in 1969 which ran for 13 years. Caution made IBM ensure its first microcomputer, the IBM PC, launched in 1981, was an open platform. IBM chose three operating systems to run on the first PC but clearly favoured an outsider, from a tiny Seattle outfit originally called "Micro-Soft." Then Microsoft got the treatment. "Every 20 years we have this fight -- and we're about to have it again," Taplin told the audience. Antitrust was necessary "not because they're too big, but because there's no market solution" to Google and Facebook. The barriers to entry are now so high nobody is going bust open the ad duopoly. Taplin cited Snapchat an example of a company that tried to innovate, but refused to take Facebook's buyout offer. Facebook has simply copied its features.

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Toyota safety systems get a big capability boost in 2018 - Roadshow

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 21:00
They'll be standard on certain Toyota models starting next year, although it's not clear which ones.

Google fixes cheeseburger emoji faux pas - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 20:56
New version of emoji moves the cheese to above the patty, satisfying burger purists.

The sights and sounds of Anime Festival Asia 2017 - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 20:51
One of the largest anime events held outside of Japan, the 10th annual festival in Singapore took place on November 24 to 26 and drew plenty of cosplayers and attendees.

Three Quarters of Android Apps Track Users With Third Party Tools, Says Study

SlashDot - Tue, 2017-11-28 20:25
A study by French research organization Exodus Privacy and Yale University's Privacy Lab analyzed the mobile apps for the signatures of 25 known trackers and found that more than three in four Android apps contain at least one third-party "tracker." The Guardian reports: Among the apps found to be using some sort of tracking plugin were some of the most popular apps on the Google Play Store, including Tinder, Spotify, Uber and OKCupid. All four apps use a service owned by Google, called Crashlytics, that primarily tracks app crash reports, but can also provide the ability to "get insight into your users, what they're doing, and inject live social content to delight them." Other less widely-used trackers can go much further. One cited by Yale is FidZup, a French tracking provider with technology that can "detect the presence of mobile phones and therefore their owners" using ultrasonic tones. FidZup says it no-longer uses that technology, however, since tracking users through simple wifi networks works just as well.

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Infiniti unveils a semi-autonomous QX50 for 2019

Engadget - Tue, 2017-11-28 20:02
After nearly a year of teasing, Infiniti finally debuted its newest QX50 crossover at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show on Tuesday. The vehicle features not only an inline-4 engine capable of adjusting the length of each cylinder's piston stroke on the...

A Supreme Court Case This Week Could Change US Digital Privacy Standards

SlashDot - Tue, 2017-11-28 19:45
On November 29th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Carpenter v. US, a case essentially asking whether or not authorities need a warrant based on probable cause and signed by a judge to see your cellphone location data. For now, they do not. Given the fact that about 95% of Americans have cellphones, this case has major implications. Quartz reports: Mobile-service providers collect "cell site location information" (CSLI) for all phones, ostensibly to use for things like improving their networks. The U.S. government considers these data "routinely collected business records" rather than private information. That means it can demand the records without proving probable cause. That's what happened in the criminal case of Timothy Carpenter, accused of a series of Detroit, Michigan robberies. At Carpenter's trial, prosecutors presented evidence collected by private companies, obtained by the law without probable cause. They used 127 days-worth of cellphone-location data, amounting to almost 13,000 data points, to tell a circumstantial story of Carpenter comings and goings. In its brief to the high court, filed in September, the justice department argued that when Carpenter signed onto his cell-phone provider's service, he agreed that his call records weren't private information belonging to him, but rather business records belonging to the company. Therefore, he should have "no reasonable expectation of privacy" when it comes to these records, government attorneys wrote. Carpenter argues that the location evidence was obtained illegally. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied that claim last year, basing their decision on Supreme Court cases from the 1970s: Smith v. Maryland and US v. Miller . The appeals court concluded that, under what's called the "third-party doctrine," Americans don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in things like check deposit slips, similar banking records, and dialed telephone numbers.

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NASA to release Voyager Golden Record as a vinyl box set

Engadget - Tue, 2017-11-28 19:44
Speaking as a space-loving child of the '70s and a music fan, it was hard to contain my excitement when NASA took to Kickstarter to fund a pressing of the space agency's Voyager Golden Records. Sent into space in 1977, the Golden Record contained sou...

FCC chairman calls Twitter the real threat to an open internet - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 19:40
Ajit Pai also poked fun at criticism from celebrities like Alyssa Milano about his plan to repeal net neutrality rules and called out Twitter for censorship.

Hacker pleads guilty to conspiring with Russia to breach accounts - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 19:25
Karim Baratov entered the plea after US federal prosecutors indicted him for his role in helping the same hackers who targeted Yahoo accounts in 2014.

YouTube deletes 150,000 videos following boycott - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-28 19:07
The Google-owned video site faces controversy over inappropriate videos and comments aimed at children -- and major brands have reportedly pulled ads.