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Bolt won’t beat Uber by copying it – it needs to forge its own path May 23, 2019

Bolt, previously known as Taxify, is a ride-sharing app and one of Estonia‘s four unicorns (AKA startups valued at over $1 billion). On a visit to Talinn, TNW met with Martin Villig, the company’s co-founder, to hear about Bolt’s plans to become the de facto transport app in the world. The problem? Its plans for […]

How to Use Valve's New Steam Chat App

Steam has mainly been a gaming marketplace for PC games over the years, but Valve appears to be doubling down on the platform’s social aspects with its newly launched Steam Chat messaging app for Android and iOS.

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How to Use Valve's New Steam Chat App
Source: Life Hacker

Google says around 25% of calls placed using its Duplex AI service started with a human; calls to ~12 restaurants found people made 3 of 4 successful bookings (New York Times)


New York Times:

Google says around 25% of calls placed using its Duplex AI service started with a human; calls to ~12 restaurants found people made 3 of 4 successful bookings  —  In a free service, bots call restaurants and make reservations.  The technology is impressive, except for when the caller is actually a person.

Google says around 25% of calls placed using its Duplex AI service started with a human; calls to ~12 restaurants found people made 3 of 4 successful bookings (New York Times)
Source: Tech Meme

Here Are the Best Account Security Methods, According to Google

Everywhere you turn, someone is handing out advice about account security and privacy. And while it never hurts to be reminded about all the ways you can protect your critical data, have you topped to wonder whether any of the various security measures you’re taking are actually effective?

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Here Are the Best Account Security Methods, According to Google
Source: Life Hacker

Amazon Investors Reject Proposals on Climate Change and Facial Recognition

The resolutions, voted on by shareholders, would have pushed the company to reconsider its societal impact. Amazon Investors Reject Proposals on Climate Change and Facial Recognition
Source: NY Times Tech

Google faces EU probe over ad privacy practices – CNET

Privacy regulator wants to know if the search giant’s ad practices are in line with the GDPR. Google faces EU probe over ad privacy practices – CNET
Source: CNet

League of Legends may be headed to iOS and Android, report says – CNET

One of the most popular esports games may be on its way to mobile devices. League of Legends may be headed to iOS and Android, report says – CNET
Source: CNet

Tech Fix: Google’s Duplex Uses A.I. to Mimic Humans (Sometimes)

In a free service, bots call restaurants and make reservations. The technology is impressive, except for when the caller is actually a person. Tech Fix: Google’s Duplex Uses A.I. to Mimic Humans (Sometimes)
Source: NY Times Tech

Google’s Duplex Uses A.I. to Mimic Humans (Sometimes)

In a free service, bots call restaurants and make reservations. The technology is impressive, except for when the caller is actually a person. Google’s Duplex Uses A.I. to Mimic Humans (Sometimes)
Source: NY Times Tech

Air Force Space Fence passes debris test – CNET

It’s another step in dealing with the problem of space junk. Air Force Space Fence passes debris test – CNET
Source: CNet

13 new science fiction and fantasy books to check out in late May

One of the books that defined my childhood was Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story. National Geographic has adapted it for a dramatic series set to start next week, and to prepare, I flipped through a couple of the chapters to refresh my memory on it.

The book is as it felt to me back when I read it in 7th grade: it’s a gripping story about the horrors of Ebola and the early outbreaks that brought it to the world’s attention. Reading it again in 2019 is a good reminder that worse outbreaks were to come: one in West Africa between 2013 and 2015 (Preston has a new book, Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History and of the Outbreaks to Come, out in July, about that outbreak) and…

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13 new science fiction and fantasy books to check out in late May
Source: New feed

Consumer Reports blasts Tesla Navigate on Autopilot as 'less competent' than humans – Roadshow

CR claims it could even present new safety risks for drivers. Consumer Reports blasts Tesla Navigate on Autopilot as 'less competent' than humans – Roadshow
Source: CNet

Apple has a new way to crack down on ads tracking you in Safari – CNET

And it’s proposing the plan as a standard all browsers should embrace. Apple has a new way to crack down on ads tracking you in Safari – CNET
Source: CNet

Modern Evolution of the Classic Water Rocket

Whether it was home-built from scraps or one of the various commercial versions that have popped over up over the years, there’s an excellent chance that the average Hackaday reader spent at least a couple of their more formative summers flying water rockets. You might not have realized it at the time, but with shirt soaked and head craned skywards, you were getting a practical physics lesson that was more relatable than anything out of a textbook. Water rockets are a great STEM tool for young people, but in a post-Fortnite world, the idea could use a little modernization to help keep kids engaged.

With his entry into the 2019 Hackaday Prize, [Darian Johnson] hopes to breathe some new life into this classic physics toy. His open source kit would provide a modular water rocket intended for a wide range of ages thanks to various payloads and upgrade options. The younger players would be content to simply see it take off, but high school students could outfit the craft with an electronic payload to capture performance data or an automatic parachute.

[Darian] has been building and flying rockets with his own children and other youth in community for years now, and has found them to be a huge hit. They became so popular that he started thinking of a way to not produce them in larger quantities, but make them stronger so they would survive more flights.

Of course, the fuselages are easy enough; there’s no shortage of one-liter bottles you can recycle. But for the nose cone, fins, and ultimately even the launch pad, [Darian] turned to 3D printing. This allows him to continually optimize the design while delivering repeatable performance. When he had a semi-printable water rocket on his hands, he started to wonder if he could get older kids interested by adding some electronics into the mix.

His current proof of concept is a flight data recorder using a Adafruit nRF52 Bluefruit LE Feather, a BMP280 sensor to determine altitude via barometric pressure, and an SD card breakout for local data storage. Long term, [Darian] wants to be able to stream flight data to student’s phones over Bluetooth, with the SD card providing a local copy which can be analyzed after the flight.

[Darian] has leaned heavily on the open source community for the various components of his water rocket kit, and is dedicated to giving back. He hopes that his final kit will allow communities to create engaging STEM activities at little to no cost. This includes creating a repository of lesson plans and designs contributed from others experimenting with water rockets. It’s a noble goal, and we’re excited to see how the project progresses.

Modern Evolution of the Classic Water Rocket
Source: HackADay

Anonymize Your Android Browsing with Tor's New App

After several months of testing, the first stable, public build of a Tor browser for Android is finally available on the Google Play Store.

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Anonymize Your Android Browsing with Tor's New App
Source: Life Hacker

Researcher: devices can be tracked across apps and sites with info from sensors like gyroscope; patched on iOS; a minor issue on Android, given poor calibration (Catalin Cimpanu/ZDNet)


Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:

Researcher: devices can be tracked across apps and sites with info from sensors like gyroscope; patched on iOS; a minor issue on Android, given poor calibration  —  SensorID technique can track users across apps and websites using sensor calibration data.  —  A new device fingerprinting technique …

Researcher: devices can be tracked across apps and sites with info from sensors like gyroscope; patched on iOS; a minor issue on Android, given poor calibration (Catalin Cimpanu/ZDNet)
Source: Tech Meme

Despite support from 7,500+ employees, Amazon shareholders voted down a proposal asking Jeff Bezos to produce a comprehensive climate change plan (Emily Stewart/Vox)


Emily Stewart / Vox:

Despite support from 7,500+ employees, Amazon shareholders voted down a proposal asking Jeff Bezos to produce a comprehensive climate change plan  —  Amazon is already doing a lot to reduce its carbon footprint — but employees say it’s not enough.  —  Amazon shareholders just voted …

Despite support from 7,500+ employees, Amazon shareholders voted down a proposal asking Jeff Bezos to produce a comprehensive climate change plan (Emily Stewart/Vox)
Source: Tech Meme

Citi Bikes can now be rented through the Lyft app

In July 2018, Lyft announced that it was buying Motivate, the largest bike-share operator in the US, including Citi Bike in New York City. At the time, it was seen as a major move by the ride-hailing company to expand beyond cars. Now, bikes and cars are on equal footing as Lyft announces that Citi Bike has been completely integrated into its smartphone app.

Lyft previously announced the beta-testing of Citi Bike in its app for about 20 percent of its users. Today, it will be available to everyone with the Lyft app on their phone. Customers can rent a bike as easily as they hail a car. (Citi Bike still requires the input of five-digit code to unlock a bike.)

Lyft will also be launching a new marketing campaign to tout its $100 million…

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Citi Bikes can now be rented through the Lyft app
Source: New feed

Source: Block.one, which raised ~$4B in its ICO, has made $174M in VC investments and bought back 10% of its stock, rewarding early investors like Peter Thiel (Alastair Marsh/Bloomberg)


Alastair Marsh / Bloomberg:

Source: Block.one, which raised ~$4B in its ICO, has made $174M in VC investments and bought back 10% of its stock, rewarding early investors like Peter Thiel  —  Billionaire moneymen Peter Thiel, Alan Howard and Louis Bacon have seen plenty of big paydays—but probably none as unusual as this one.

Source: Block.one, which raised ~B in its ICO, has made 4M in VC investments and bought back 10% of its stock, rewarding early investors like Peter Thiel (Alastair Marsh/Bloomberg)
Source: Tech Meme

Amazon shareholders vote down proposals on facial recognition and climate change

Amazon shareholders have voted down proposals meant to curb sales of the company’s controversial facial recognition tool and to limit its carbon output.

The proposals, which were driven by shareholding activists and employees, were nonbinding, but represented a moment of defiance against Amazon. The company’s Rekognition tool, which is sold to law enforcement, has been criticized on civil liberties grounds, and employees have said the company could be doing more to fight climate change.

Two Rekognition proposals would have asked Amazon to cease sales to government agencies and to complete a review of the tool’s civil liberties implications. Amazon went to the Securities…

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Amazon shareholders vote down proposals on facial recognition and climate change
Source: New feed

Blasting facial-recognition technology, lawmakers urge regulation before it ‘gets out of control’

A hearing on Wednesday suggested that opposition to facial recognition technology could be the rare issue progressives and conversatives in Congress. Several members voiced worries about the technology being used here as it is currently is in China, where it contributes to the surveillance state’s systems of public monitoring and social control. Blasting facial-recognition technology, lawmakers urge regulation before it ‘gets out of control’
Source: Washington Post Tech

At heart, Amazon’s Good Omens is a gay cosmic rom-com

An extended pre-credits sequence in one episode of Amazon’s Good Omens displays the best part of the six-episode miniseries based on the book of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The segment traces the 6,000-year relationship between prissy angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen of The Queen and Frost/Nixon) and swaggering demon Crowley (Doctor Who star David Tennant), who have known each other since the Garden of Eden was a going concern. The sequence is an entertaining romp through myth and history, with the two popping up as knights in Arthurian England, as part of a goofy spy drama during the Blitz, and going out for crepes during the Reign of Terror. Even though they technically stand on opposing sides of a cosmic conflict…

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At heart, Amazon’s Good Omens is a gay cosmic rom-com
Source: New feed

Google is facing its first GDPR probe from Irish privacy regulators

Google is the subject of its first GDPR probe from Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DCP), Reuters is reporting. It’s the first major standoff between the company and its lead privacy regulator in Europe, raising difficult questions about how the ad giant handles personal data across the internet.

The probe will investigate how Google treats personal data at each stage of its ad-tracking system. Those questions originate in part from a complaint filed by the browser company Brave in September, which alleged that Google’s ad auction system constituted a data breach under GDPR rules.

“Every time a person visits a website and is shown a ‘behavioural’ ad on a website, intimate personal data that describes each visitor, and what they…

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Google is facing its first GDPR probe from Irish privacy regulators
Source: New feed

Testing finds Tesla's updated Autopilot software, designed to make changing lanes "more seamless", does not work well and could create safety risks for drivers (Keith Barry/Consumer Reports)


Keith Barry / Consumer Reports:

Testing finds Tesla’s updated Autopilot software, designed to make changing lanes “more seamless”, does not work well and could create safety risks for drivers  —  CR finds that latest version of Tesla’s automatic lane-changing feature is far less competent than a human driver

Testing finds Tesla's updated Autopilot software, designed to make changing lanes "more seamless", does not work well and could create safety risks for drivers (Keith Barry/Consumer Reports)
Source: Tech Meme

How to Find Vitamins That Have Been Tested for Contaminants

Supplements, including vitamins, aren’t subject to the same testing requirements as drugs. The FDA takes a hands-off approach, allowing companies to do their own quality control. And as a result, many supplements contain contaminants that aren’t on the label, or they may be missing some of their ingredients.

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How to Find Vitamins That Have Been Tested for Contaminants
Source: Life Hacker

The CEO of pogo stick-sharing startup Cangoroo insists his company isn’t a hoax


I just got off the phone with Adam Mikkelsen, founder and CEO of shared mobility startup Cangoroo, who insists that his company is totally real. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up. Cangoroo is a pogo stick-sharing startup that hails from Stockholm, Sweden. It operates on the same basis as Bird and Lime, with users paying based on their usage. The main difference is, well… pogo sticks. That alone raises eyebrows. And then there’s the fact that the company is owned by ODD Company, a branding and communications agency that has produced viral stunts for companies like Carlsberg,…

This story continues at The Next Web

The CEO of pogo stick-sharing startup Cangoroo insists his company isn’t a hoax
Source: The Next Web

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