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Aging Japan: Robots may have role in future of elder care

March 28, 2018 Alex 0

TOKYO (Reuters) – Paro the furry seal cries softly while an elderly woman pets it. Pepper, a humanoid, waves while leading a group of senior citizens in exercises. The upright Tree guides a disabled man taking shaky steps, saying in a gentle feminine voice, “right, left, well done!”

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Uber will not re-apply for self-driving car permit in California

March 27, 2018 Alex 0

Uber, after suspending its self-driving car operations in all markets following a fatal crash, has decided not to re-apply for its self-driving car permit in California. Uber’s current permit in California expires March 31.

“We proactively suspended our self-driving operations, including in California, immediately following the Tempe incident,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Given this, we decided to not reapply for a California permit with the understanding that our self-driving vehicles would not operate in the state in the immediate future.”

Uber’s decision not to reapply comes in tandem with a letter the DMV sent to Uber’s head of public affairs, Austin Heyworth, today. The letter pertains to the fatal self-driving car crash that happened in Tempe, Arizona last week.

“In addition to this decision to suspend testing throughout the country, Uber has indicated that it will not renew its current permit to test autonomous vehicles in California,” DMV Deputy Director/Chief Cou..

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Inquiry finds FBI sued Apple to unlock phone without considering all options

March 27, 2018 Alex 0

The Office of the Inspector General has issued its report on the circumstances surrounding the FBI’s 2016 lawsuit attempting to force Apple to unlock an iPhone as part of a criminal investigation. While it stops short of saying the FBI was untruthful in its justification of going to court, the report is unsparing of the bureaucracy and clashing political motives that ultimately undermined that justification.

The official narrative, briefly summarized, is that the FBI wanted to get into a locked iPhone allegedly used in the San Bernardino attack in late 2015. Then-director Comey explained on February 9 that the Bureau did not have the capability to unlock the phone, and that as Apple was refusing to help voluntarily, a lawsuit would be filed compelling it to assist.

But then, a month later, a miracle occurred: a third-party had come forward with a working method to unlock the phone and the lawsuit would not be necessary after all.

Though this mooted the court proceedings, which were ..

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This electric 1959 Mini Cooper is everything that’s right in the world

March 27, 2018 Alex 0

Take a break from the dumpster fire that is 2018. This electric Mini will make you smile.

Built as a show piece, the car features an electric powertrain in a restored 1959 Mini Cooper. Of course it’s red with a white stripe, and, of course, there are rally lights across the grill. This is how a Mini should look, and an electric powertrain should make it feel the part, too.

Minis are supposed to be oversized go-karts that go like mad with near-instant acceleration. And that’s the best part of electric vehicles: instant torque that produces insane acceleration.

Mini hasn’t revealed the range or capabilities of this show car. Its purpose is mostly to draw attention to Mini’s other electric vehicles and concepts. Mini has been producing electric vehicles since 2008 when it created a limited run of Mini E, which was used to make the BMW i3. More recently Mini announced the Mini Electric Concept and intends to put it on the market by 2019.

But forget about that new car that’s sure to be ..

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Comparing Apple, Google and Microsoft’s education plays

March 27, 2018 Alex 0

Today’s Apple event in Chicago was about more than just showing off new hardware and software in the classroom — the company was reasserting itself as a major player in education. The category has long been a lynchpin in Apple’s strategy — something that Steve Jobs held near and dear.

Any ’80s kid will tell you that Apple was a force to be reckoned with — Apple computers were mainstays in computer labs across the country. It’s always been a good fit for a company focused on serving creators, bringing that extra bit of pizzazz to the classroom. In recent years, however, there’s been a major shift. The Chromebook has become the king of the classroom, thanks in no small part to the inexpensive hardware and limited spec requirements.

Based on Google’s early positioning of the category, it appears that the Chromebook’s classroom success even managed to catch its creators off-guard. The company has since happily embraced that success — while Microsoft appears to have shifted its own appr..

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Build your own PC inside the PC you built with PC Building Simulator

March 27, 2018 Alex 0

Considering we’ve got simulators for everything from driving a junker (x2) to moving into a neighborhood with a bunch of hot dads in it, I suppose it was only a matter of time until someone made a game where you assemble your own PC. It’s called PC Building Simulator, as you might guess, and it looks fabulous.

I’ve built all my PCs over the years, including my current one, which I really should have waited on, since the early Skylake mobos were apparently trash. I’m sure we can line up the screw holes better than that, MSI!

What was I talking about? Oh yes, the simulator. This is no joke game: it uses real, licensed parts from major manufacturers, which are (or will be) simulated down to their power draws, pins, draw counts and so on. So if you pick a power supply without enough molex connectors to handle your SLI rig and PCIe solid state system drive (or whatever), it won’t start. Or if you try to close the ultra-slim case with an 8-inch-tall heatsink on your overclocked CPU, it’ll ..

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Uber won’t renew its permit to test self-driving cars in California

March 27, 2018 Alex 0

Uber will not renew its permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in California — further evidence that the company is pulling back from its aggressive plans to launch a self-driving service in the wake of a fatal crash in Arizona which resulted in the death of a pedestrian.

In a letter, the California DMV confirmed that Uber’s authority to test self-driving cars in the state will end March 31st following the decision not to renew its license. A spokesperson for Uber confirmed that it would not seek to continue testing in California in light of the crash in Arizona. Federal investigators are currently probing the cause of the crash.

“We proactively suspended our self-driving operations, including in California, immediately…

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You can now control GarageBand with your face on iPhone X

March 27, 2018 Alex 0

Apple pushed several updates to its music creation software GarageBand today, following education-based announcements including a cheaper iPad and new Crayon stylus earlier in the day.

There’s an intriguing new feature that makes use of the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera and face tracking features. If you’ve got Apple’s flagship phone, you’ll now be able to use your face to control effects and synths, hands-free. Yup, GarageBand will read your facial expressions and translate them into instrument controls. If available for use on an instrument or effect, a small smiley face icon will appear. The parameters that can be adjusted are locked and can’t be customized, but there are some fun options. For example, smiling / opening your mouth…

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