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Israel Aims To Ban Gasoline, Diesel Vehicles By 2030

SlashDot - Mon, 2018-11-12 22:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CleanTechnica: 2030 seems like a long way off, but it's really just around the corner. And when the bell tolls at midnight on December 31, 2030, you may not be able to buy a gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle in Israel. After that date, all passenger cars will be electric and all trucks will be powered by electricity or compressed natural gas, if a proposal currently under consideration gets approved by the government. A final decision is expected by the end of this year. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz [told Reuters last month] the biggest challenge will be creating a "critical mass" of electric and CNG powered vehicles before the deadline arrives. "We are already encouraging [the transition] by funding ... more than 2,000 new charging stations around the country," he says. The plan was set in motion one day after the United Nations issued its latest climate assessment that finds nations must do far more than they are currently doing in order to stave off warmer global average temperatures that will put the environment at risk. In order to reach the goal, the Israeli government will "reduce taxation on electric cars to almost zero, so they are going to be much cheaper," Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said. He expects there will be about 177,000 electric cars on Israeli roads around 2025. By 2030, the expectation is that there will be nearly 1.5 million EVs in the country. The country has a ways to go though, as there are less than 100 electric cars on the roads today.

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Amazon reportedly picks New York, northern Virginia for HQ2 - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2018-11-12 22:14
Decision to be formerly announced as soon as Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

What's on TV: 'Narcos: Mexico,' 'Pokémon: Let's Go,' and 'Fallout 76'

Engadget - Mon, 2018-11-12 22:06
This week there's a flood of new content arriving on streaming services, including a new season of Narcos or the premiere of She-Ra on Netflix, The Gymkhana Files on Amazon Prime, and Channel 4's The Bisexual arriving on Hulu. For gamers there are th...

Facebook To Let French Regulators Investigate On Moderation Processes

SlashDot - Mon, 2018-11-12 21:05
Facebook and the French government are working together to look at the social media company's efforts to moderate content on its site. "At the start of 2019, French regulators will launch an informal investigation on algorithm-powered and human moderation," reports TechCrunch. "Facebook is willing to cooperate and give unprecedented access to its internal processes." From the report: Regulators will look at multiple steps: how flagging works, how Facebook identifies problematic content, how Facebook decides if it's problematic or not and what happens when Facebook takes down a post, a video or an image. This type of investigation is reminiscent of banking and nuclear regulation. It involves deep cooperation so that regulators can certify that a company is doing everything right. It's still unclear who's going to be in charge of this investigation. There could be regulators from France's telecom regulator (ARCEP), from the government's tech team (DINSIC), from the TV and radio regulator (CSA)... There's one thing for sure, the French government wants to focus on hate speech for now, so don't expect anyone from the privacy regulator (CNIL). The investigation isn't going to be limited to talking with the moderation teams and looking at their guidelines. The French government wants to find algorithmic bias and test data sets against Facebook's automated moderation tools.

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Tesla Model 3 Performance booted from podium at Global Time Attack - Roadshow

CNET News - Mon, 2018-11-12 20:54
Despite placing second overall at the event, another driver complained that electricity was not an approved fuel.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 back on Netflix to rip film turkeys - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2018-11-12 20:48
Movie sign! Binge-watch six of the most terrible B-grade movies in the universe this Thanksgiving with the MST3K crew on Netflix.

Amazon's Echo Buttons now perform whole routines with a tap

Engadget - Mon, 2018-11-12 20:41
Amazon's Echo Buttons are now useful for considerably more than playing party games. The company has enabled support for performing Alexa routines by tapping a button. You can turn on the lights without talking to your speaker, or let guests cue mu...

Scientists predict a 'dark matter hurricane' will collide with the Earth - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2018-11-12 20:25
Yes, here's the story of the dark matter hurricane -- a cosmic event that may provide our first glimpse of the mysterious, invisible particle.

Should Comcast Be Investigated For Antitrust Violations?

SlashDot - Mon, 2018-11-12 20:25
The American Cable Association (ACA), an industry group that represents over 700 small and medium-sized cable operators, wants antitrust regulators to investigate whether Comcast-NBCUniversal is abusing its power to hurt smaller television and internet service providers. The group has "asked U.S. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim to 'immediately' open an investigation into Comcast's practices," reports The Verge. Comcast is denying the claims, and while the Justice Department hasn't publicly responded, that may change soon. President Donald Trump tweeted about the ACA's claims earlier this afternoon. From the report: The ACA claims Comcast has a uniquely powerful hold on the U.S. cable industry because it controls a large chunk of "must have" programming like NBC's regional sports channels. The group argues that the Comcast "has shown a willingness to harm rivals" in the past, even while bound by a 2011 consent decree that expired earlier this year. The letter is dated November 6th but was published today, after Fox Business Networks reported on its existence last week. Contra Trump's description, the letter doesn't seem to describe "routine" violations of antitrust law. It's primarily arguing that there's a huge risk of Comcast abusing its market position, while explaining just how much damage could result if Comcast did so. The ACA has put forward more concrete claims in the past, though -- like a 2017 complaint that Comcast was forcing smaller cable providers to bundle unwanted NBC-owned channels into TV packages, driving up their costs. The ACA's letter also raises concerns involving Hulu, suggesting that Comcast could effectively hold the service hostage. "We have heard from ACA members that they fear that ComcastNBCU may restrict, if it is not already restricting, their ability to access Hulu and make it available to their customers as an alternative to their cable offerings," reads the letter.

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The Next Version of HTTP Won't Be Using TCP

SlashDot - Mon, 2018-11-12 19:45
"The HTTP-over-QUIC experimental protocol will be renamed to HTTP/3 and is expected to become the third official version of the HTTP protocol, officials at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have revealed," writes Catalin Cimpanu via ZDNet. "This will become the second Google-developed experimental technology to become an official HTTP protocol upgrade after Google's SPDY technology became the base of HTTP/2." From the report: HTTP-over-QUIC is a rewrite of the HTTP protocol that uses Google's QUIC instead of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) as its base technology. QUIC stands for "Quick UDP Internet Connections" and is, itself, Google's attempt at rewriting the TCP protocol as an improved technology that combines HTTP/2, TCP, UDP, and TLS (for encryption), among many other things. Google wants QUIC to slowly replace both TCP and UDP as the new protocol of choice for moving binary data across the Internet, and for good reasons, as test have proven that QUIC is both faster and more secure because of its encrypted-by-default implementation (current HTTP-over-QUIC protocol draft uses the newly released TLS 1.3 protocol). In a mailing list discussion last month, Mark Nottingham, Chair of the IETF HTTP and QUIC Working Group, made the official request to rename HTTP-over-QUIC as HTTP/3, and pass it's development from the QUIC Working Group to the HTTP Working Group. In the subsequent discussions that followed and stretched over several days, Nottingham's proposal was accepted by fellow IETF members, who gave their official seal of approval that HTTP-over-QUIC become HTTP/3, the next major iteration of the HTTP protocol, the technology that underpins today's World Wide Web.

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Self-driving cars could be the brothels of the future, UK researchers say - Roadshow

CNET News - Mon, 2018-11-12 19:20
A new study outlines the effects that autonomous cars could have on tourism -- even the seedier parts.

Stan Lee characters that changed our lives - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2018-11-12 19:18
He created hundreds of characters in 95 years on this planet. Here are some of our all-time personal favorites.

Steve Ballmer says Google, Facebook should engage more with regulators - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2018-11-12 19:12
And Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey criticizes the partisanship that keeps Americans from agreeing on things they'd normally have in common.

The Real Reason Palmer Luckey Was Fired From Facebook

SlashDot - Mon, 2018-11-12 19:03
ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols argues that the founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, wasn't fired because of his political views, as a recently-published Wall Street Journal article suggests, but because the virtual-reality company lost a $500 million intellectual property theft case to game maker ZeniMax. An anonymous reader shares the report: According to The Wall Street Journal, Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, a virtual reality company, was fired by Facebook because "he donated $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group" during the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign. But the article fails to mention a simple little fact: On Feb. 1, 2017, Oculus lost an intellectual property (IP) theft case against game maker ZeniMax, to the tune of $500 million. So, if one of your employees just cost your company a cool half-billion bucks for doing wrong what would you do? Well, Facebook isn't saying, even now, but on March 30, 2017, it let Luckey go. Yes, Luckey also lied about his political moves, which went well beyond donating to an anti-Hillary billboard campaign. But let's look at the record. Everyone knew he'd lied by Feb. 22, 2016. Was he fired then? No. Was he fired after being found guilty of stealing ZeniMax's trade secrets? Yes. Officially, Facebook stated: "All details associated with specific personnel matters are kept strictly confidential. This is our policy for all employees, no matter their seniority. But we can say unequivocally that Palmer's departure was not due to his political views." Let me spell it out for you: He made some political waves. Nothing happened. He cost Facebook $500 million. He was fired. Can anyone here seriously not draw the lines between the dots?

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Volkswagen owners can use Siri Shortcuts to unlock their car

Engadget - Mon, 2018-11-12 19:02
If you're a Volkswagen driver, you now have another way to lock and unlock your car, start and stop electric charging and check your remaining estimated mileage. That's because VW has added Siri integration to its Car-Net app.

AI toilets will scan your poop to diagnose your ailments - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2018-11-12 18:46
Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra sees smart loos in our future and is anxious to sell the chips they will need.

How the Bugatti Chiron is made - Roadshow

CNET News - Mon, 2018-11-12 18:39
We take a look inside Bugatti's Molsheim factory to see how one of the world's best hypercars is made.

Drive-By Shooting Suspect Remotely Wipes iPhone X, Catches Extra Charges

SlashDot - Mon, 2018-11-12 18:20
schwit1 shares a report from Apple Insider: A woman from Schenectady, N.Y. accused of being the driver in a shooting used Apple's remote wipe feature to destroy evidence on her iPhone X that might have been related to the event. The iPhone was seized as evidence in the case, but police say that shortly after she triggered the remote wipe, an option available via Find My iPhone in iCloud. Normally the tool is intended for people with lost or stolen devices. The suspected driver, Juelle Grant, was arrested on November 2nd and charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and one count of hindering prosecution. As Apple Insider notes, only one of the tampering counts is connected to the iPhone.

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These antique phones are precious, private Alexa vessels

TechCrunch - Mon, 2018-11-12 17:53

Amazon’s Alexa may be in ten thousand different devices now, but they all have one other thing in common: they’re new. So for those of us that prefer old things but still want to be able to set timers and do metric-imperial conversions without pulling out our phones, Grain Design is retrofitting these fabulous old telephones to provide Alexa access with no other hints of modernity. There’s even a privacy angle!

The phones themselves (spotted by a BoingBoing tipster) are genuine antiques, and not even the mass-produced Bell sets you see so often. I personally love the copper-plated model, though I certainly wouldn’t say no to the candlestick.

Dick Whitney, who runs the company, modifies the hardware to make room for an Echo Dot inside. Pick up the phone and speak, and Alexa answers, just like the operators of yore! Except you can ask Alexa anything and it won’t be irritated. Some of the Alexaphones, as he calls them, will include the original audio hardware so you can experience the cognitive dissonance of talking to a virtual assistant and having them answer using a century-old speaker. (I bet it sounds terrible and brilliant.)

I’m also delighted to say that the microphone physically disconnects when the phone is on the hook, though — so Amazon won’t be listening in to your conversations and emailing them to random people.

“The Echo microphones have their connections severed or are removed completely, and the microphone in the handset is connected via the original switches in the base, so it’s only in contact when the handset is picked up,” explained Whitney in an email.

The modifications to the phones don’t end there: in the rear of each will be a 1/8″ audio port so you can plug in a real speaker. No one wants to sit at their telephone table (remember those?) and listen to a few songs in mono through vintage hardware. Although having written that sentence I do have to say I’d try it once. Right now all the audio would have to go out that way, but Whitney says he may have a trick to switch it back and forth in the future (you can always just unplug the audio for privacy).

There’s also an LED hidden on the front so you have that basic feedback of whether the device is on, listening and such. The rotary dial isn’t used, unfortunately, though more because it’s hard to apply its principles to a voice-operated device.

“It’s funny,” he wrote when I asked about the latter, “I’d actually built an installation for Android at MWC [Mobile World Congress] a few years ago that used a rotary dialer, so I know how to do it and have the hardware around (it’s very simple), but both couldn’t figure out a function that seemed interesting enough (dial 1 to increase the volume? Certainly open to suggestions) and didn’t want to add more complexity inside the telephones. Maybe in the future!”

No soldering or weird old tech stuff required on your part — the device will run on USB power and set up just like any other Alexa gadget. Of course, these things also cost $1,500. Yeah, kind of out of my price range, too. Still, they’re lovely and a great subversion of the “smart home” idea.

Microsoft’s Black Friday deals include discounts on Surface devices

Engadget - Mon, 2018-11-12 17:49
Microsoft already announced its Xbox Black Friday deals -- which include $100 off an Xbox One X -- and now it's previewing the discounts you can expect on its Surface line. You'll be able to save $300 on the Surface Laptop 2 in black and up to $50 on...