Trust the World's Fastest VPN with Your Internet Security & Freedom with PureVPN - 79% off. ×
Power

AG Scores Victory In Bid To Shut Down Indian Point (lohud.com) 16

mdsolar quotes a report from The Journal News: Federal safety regulators used the wrong data to analyze the potential economic impacts of a severe accident at the Indian Point nuclear power plant, a panel of commissioners for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled Wednesday. The ruling, which reversed an earlier finding, will force the NRC to conduct a fresh analysis of the costs of a devastating accident and cleanup at the nuclear power plant in Buchanan, 24 miles north of New York City. The decision was hailed by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, whose office is spearheading the state's challenge to Indian Point's efforts to renew federal licenses for its two reactors. Schneiderman estimates that some 1.5 million workers would be needed in to take part in decontamination efforts in the event of a nuclear mishap, with cleanup costs surging as high as $1 trillion.
Power

Finger-Tracking Tech Turns Your Arm Into A Touchpad (gizmag.com) 13

New submitter Keys of Cars quotes a report from Gizmag: Smartwatches may be handy, but their tiny touchscreens can easily be obscured by your fingers as you're using them on the device. As a result, we've seen various attempts to move the control surface. One of the latest, Carnegie Mellon University's SkinTrack system, moves it onto your hand and lower arm. The strap of the smartwatch features multiple electrodes, which detects a ring that is worn on your "control finger" (on your non smartwatch-wearing arm) that emits a high-frequency electrical signal. When your finger, specifically the ring, approaches and/or touches the arm with the watch, the high-frequency electrical signal is propagated through the skin. It will work even if your skin is covered with clothing! The system is reportedly 99% accurate, and can locate touches with a mean error of 7.6mm. SkinTrack was used to control games, scroll through lists, zoom in and out of maps, draw pictures, and operate an onscreen number pad.
Businesses

Tesla Plans To Produce 500,000 Electric Cars In 2018, 1 Million In 2020 (reuters.com) 41

"Tesla Motors Inc said it was stepping up production plans for its upcoming Model 3 mass-market sedan and would build a total of 500,000 all-electric vehicles in 2018, two years ahead of schedule, but warned that spending will ramp up in tandem," reports Reuters. Tesla said capital spending would rise about 50% more than originally planned this year, to around $2.25 billion. Producing 500,000 vehicles in 2018 will be no easy task, especially considering the company is only on track to deliver between 80,000 and 90,000 electric vehicles this year. In addition to producing 500,000 electric vehicles in 2018, Elon Musk also said the company expects to produce nearly 1 million vehicles in 2020. These are certainly ambitious goals, even for a company that had the 'biggest one-week launch of any product ever.'
Businesses

SAP Partners With Apple To Expand iOS In The Enterprise (techcrunch.com) 16

SAP has announced a partnership with Apple to bring iOS to SAP's enterprise customers. Steve Lucas, president for SAP's Digital Enterprise Platform, says SAP is firmly an enterprise company which has built a cloud platform to access all the software it has developed -- ERP product, SuccessFactors or Concur. With the new deal, Apple hopes to take a bite out of Microsoft's territory by selling hardware to companies who traditionally shop for PCs. In an effort to push iOS to its customers, SAP has announced a new set of apps for the iPhone and iPad that take advantage of data stored in SAP tools. They're providing an iOS SDK for its in-memory database product, SAP HANA, to allow organizations to build their own customized apps using the data stored in HANA. SAP is also offering SAP Academy for iOS as a way for SAP programmers to learn to use the HANA iOS SDK. The deal between Apple and SAP echoes the deal from a couple years ago between Apple and IBM.
Government

FDA To Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Tobacco (cnn.com) 241

An anonymous reader writes: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been all the rage lately, as many claim they are healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes. Since they are so relatively new to the market, the government hasn't been able to effectively study them and determine whether or not they should be regulated like traditional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco -- until now. The FDA has released their final rule Thursday, broadening the definition of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipe tobacco, premium cigars, little cigars and other products. "Going forward, the FDA will be able to review new tobacco products not yet on the market, help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers, evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made, and communicate the potential risks of tobacco products," the agency said. The new rule will go into effect immediately. According to CDC data from 2014, e-cigarette use among adults has gone up about 12.6%. People under the age of 18 will no longer be able to buy these products with the new regulations, and the products will be required to be sold in child-resistant packaging. In addition, the government will now be able to have a say in what goes into the products. Previously, there was no law mandating that manufacturers tell you what you are inhaling when trying their products.
Books

Man Sets World Record With 25 Continuous Hours In Virtual Reality (roadtovr.com) 74

An anonymous reader writes: Derek Westerman has made it in the Guinness Book of World Records by spending 25 straight hours in virtual reality. He used the HTC Vive and spent his entire time playing Tilt Brush. "Guinness has a whole set of rules and regulations, one of those being 'one game only the whole time.' I wanted to pick something that gave me the most freedom," Westerman says, "And painting in 3D space for 25 hours seemed like the best bet." At around the 17th hour mark, Westerman reportedly experienced some vertigo and threw up into a bucket provided for him by an assistant. The same bucket was used around the 6th hour mark when Westerman had to urinate. Then around the 21st hour, he starts babbling incoherently while waving the Vive controllers around, saying at one point, "I don't know where I'm at..." The video of the event has been released on Wednesday, even though Guinness lists the record as being achieved on April 7th.
Medicine

Robot Stitches Tissue By Itself Without A Real Doctor Pulling The Strings (seattletimes.com) 53

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have created a robotic system that is capable of stitching up tissue in living animals without a human doctor pulling the strings. Wednesday's research brings us one step closer toward autonomous surgical robots. While doctors did supervise the robot, the robot performed as well, and in some cases a bit better, as some competing surgeons in stitching together intestinal tissue of pigs used in the tests. Wednesday's project is "the first baby step toward true autonomy," said Dr. Umamaheswar Duvvuri of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He cautioned others to not expect to see doctors leave entire operations in a robot's digital hands -- yet. The tissue-stitching robot is designed to do one specific tasks, similar to machines in other industries. For example, robot arms do the welding and painting in most U.S. car assembly lines. The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) system is equipped with suturing equipment plus smart imaging technologies to let it track moving tissue in 3D and with an equivalent of night vision. Sensors have been added to help guide each stitch and tell how tightly to pull. All the surgeons have to do is place fluorescent markers on the tissue that needs stitching, and the robot takes aim. Human studies should begin within the next few years. The STAR system is just one of many up and coming robots to put surgery into the hands of non-surgeons.
Hardware

Half Of Teens Think They're Addicted To Their Smartphones (cnn.com) 103

An anonymous reader writes: A new poll confirms just how much teens depend on their phones. Fifty percent of teens feel they are addicted to their mobile devices, according to the poll, which was conducted for Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on helping children, parents, teachers and policymakers negotiate media and technology. A larger number of parents, 59%, said their teens were addicted. The poll involved 1,240 interviews with parents and their children, ages 12 to 18. "Technological addiction can happen to anyone," said digital detox expert Holland Haiis. "If your teens would prefer gaming indoors, alone, as opposed to going out to the movies, meeting friends for burgers or any of the other ways that teens build camaraderie, you may have a problem."
Power

New Record Set for World's Cheapest Solar, Now Undercutting Coal (bloomberg.com) 159

Anna Hirtenstein, reporting for Bloomberg: Solar power set another record-low price as renewable energy developers working in the United Arab Emirates shrugged off financial turmoil in the industry to promise projects costs that undercut even coal-fired generators. Developers bid as little as 2.99 cents a kilowatt-hour to develop 800 megawatts of solar-power projects for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the utility for the Persian Gulf emirate. That's 15 percent lower than the previous record set in Mexico last month, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The lowest priced solar power has plunged almost 50 percent in the past year. Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power International set a record in January 2015 by offering to build a portion of the same Dubai solar park for power priced at 5.85 cents per kilowatt-hour. Records were subsequently set in Peru and Mexico before Dubai reclaimed its mantel as purveyor of the world's cheapest solar power. "This bid tells us that some bidders are willing to risk a lot for the prestige of being the cheapest solar developer," said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at BNEF. "Nobody knows how it's meant to work."
Apple

Life's Too Short For Slow Computers (theverge.com) 136

Nilay Patel, the Editor-in-Chief of The Verge looks back the Apple Watch, the company's first wearable device which went on sale roughly a year ago. In the article, Patel notes that Apple Watch, a computing product, is just too slow at doing some of the most basic things such as running apps. He writes: Here's the problem with the Apple Watch: it's slow. It was slow when it was first announced, it was slow when it came out, and it stayed slow when Watch OS 2.0 arrived. When I reviewed it last year, the slowness was so immediately annoying that I got on the phone with Apple to double check their performance expectations before making "it's kind of slow" the opening of the review. [...] The grand ambition of the Apple Watch is to be a full-fledged computer on your wrist, and right now it's a very slow computer. If Apple believes the watch is indeed destined to become that computer, it needs to radically increase the raw power of the Watch's processor, while maintaining its just-almost-acceptable battery life. And it needs to do that while all of the other computers around us keep getting faster themselves.
IBM

IBM Gives Everyone Access To Its Five-Qubit Quantum Computer (fortune.com) 84

An anonymous reader writes: IBM said on Wednesday that it's giving everyone access to one of its quantum computing processors, which can be used to crunch large amounts of data. Anyone can apply through IBM Research's website to test the processor, however, IBM will determine how much access people will have to the processor depending on their technology background -- specifically how knowledgeable they are about quantum technology. With the project being "broadly accessible," IBM hopes more people will be interested in the technology, said Jerry Chow, manager of IBM's experimental quantum computing group. Users can interact with the quantum processor through the Internet, even though the chip is stored at IBM's research center in Yorktown Heights, New York, in a complex refrigeration system that keeps the chip cooled near absolute zero.
Iphone

Apple Loses Exclusive Rights To 'iPhone' Trademark For Non-Smartphone Products In China (appleinsider.com) 87

An anonymous reader quotes a report from AppleInsider: Adding to the company's problems in the region, Apple has lost exclusivity on the use of the "iPhone" trademark in China, and must now share it with Beijing-based leather products maker Xintong Tiandi Technology, reports said on Tuesday. On March 31, the Beijing Municipal High People's Court rejected an Apple appeal of an earlier ruling, according to Quartz. Xintong Tiandi is already selling a number of "IPHONE" products, including purses, passport cases, and most notably phone cases. The company registered its trademark in China in 2007, the same year as the Apple iPhone launched in the United States. That was, however, still five years after Apple registered the iPhone name in China for computer products, something which formed the basis of a 2012 complaint to the country's trademark authorities. In 2013 the government ruled that because Apple couldn't prove the name "IPHONE" was well-known prior to Xintong Tiandi's registration, the public wouldn't link its use in a way that would harm Apple interests. In rejecting Apple's appeal, the High People's Court further noted that the company didn't sell the iPhone in mainland China until 2009. This comes after Apple reported its first earnings decline in more than a decade.
Google

Google, Fiat Chrysler Plan Partnership On Self-Driving Minivans (androidheadlines.com) 73

An anonymous reader writes: Google and Fiat Chrysler were in "late stage talks" last week about working out a partnership where the two could build some self-driving cars together. Google has the tech available -- it just needs to partner with a car manufacturer, as Google hasn't mass-produced a car before, and could use the experience. A report coming out of Bloomberg says the two companies could be putting Google's autonomous driving technology into some prototypes of the upcoming Pacifica minivan. The report says Fiat Chrysler is looking to equip their upcoming plug-in hybrid Pacifica with Google's autonomous technology. Google could still work out a deal with Ford, which was rumored a few months ago, and they have been reportedly in talks with General Motors, but the deal with Chrysler could be signed as soon as today.
Iphone

Tim Cook Defends Apple, Teases Exciting New Products In The Pipeline (bgr.com) 222

anderzole quotes a report from BGR: Apple's earnings report last week saw the company report a year over year decline in profits for the first time since 2003. The biggest contributing factor to the decline, not surprisingly, is that year over year iPhone sales dropped by 16%. Notably, Apple's most recent quarter represents the company's first iPhone sales decline in history. Consequently, the usual contingent of pundits and analysts have come out of the woodwork, all exclaiming that we've reached 'peak iPhone' and that Apple at this point has nowhere to go but down. In an effort to inject a bit of good news and all-around optimism to a particularly negative Apple news cycle, Tim Cook earlier today appeared on CNBC with Jim Cramer where the Apple CEO teased that Apple's still has a lot of innovation left to do and some interesting items in the product pipeline. "We've got great innovation in the pipeline," Cook said to Cramer. "New iPhones that will incentivize you and other people that have iPhones today to upgrade to new iPhones. We are going to give you things you can't live without that you just don't know you need today. That has always been the objective of Apple is to do things that really enrich people's lives. That you look back on and you wonder, how did I live without this."
China

China Creates World's First Graphene Electronic Paper (techtimes.com) 92

An anonymous reader writes from a report published on Tech Times: China has developed the world's first graphene electronic paper that can possibly revolutionize the screen displays on electronic gadgets such as wearable devices and e-readers. Developed by Guangzhou OED Technologies in partnership with another company in the Chongqing Province, the material is also the world's lightest and strongest material in prevalence today. It's 0.335 nanometers thick and can be used to create hard or flexible graphene displays. Graphene e-paper comes with the capability to conduct both heat and electricity, and it can supposedly enhance optical displays to a brighter level, owing to its high-light transmittance properties. What about cost? Since it's derived from carbon, graphene-based e-papers can be easily produced cost-effectively. Traditional e-papers use indium metal for their display, which is very expensive and rare to source.
Hardware

LG's New Fingerprint Sensor Doesn't Need A Button (mashable.com) 65

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Mashable: LG Innotek has developed a fingerprint sensor that's placed under a glass surface instead of in a physical button, the company announced Sunday. The new sensor could lead to smartphones that you can unlock by placing your finger on the phone screen. The LG-owned electronics parts manufacturer achieved this by cutting out a 0.01-inch thick slot in the lower part of a smartphone's cover glass, and then inserting a very thin fingerprint sensor into it. In other words, the sensor is still under the cover glass, but the slot moves the sensor close enough to the surface to read a fingerprint. That way, the sensor is protected from water and scratches, and can be installed anywhere under the phone's glass surface.
Compaq

20-Yr-Old Compaq Laptop Is Still Crucial to Maintaining McLaren's Multi-Million Dollar Cars (jalopnik.com) 162

An anonymous reader writes: It may come as a surprise to many, but the 20-year-old Compaq LTE 5280 still plays a vital role in maintaining multi-million dollar McLaren F1s. Jalopnik recently visited McLaren's Special Operations workshop where it found several of Compaq's old laptops serving their masters. Why do they rely on these dated computers, you ask? A McLaren Special Operations staff explains, "The reason we need those specific Compaq laptops is that they run a bespoke CA card which is installed into them. The CA card is an interface between the laptop software (which is DOS based) and the car. We are currently working on a new interface which will be compatible with modern laptops as the old Compaqs are getting less and less reliable and harder to find." For those wondering, the Compaq LTE 5280 comes with a 120MHz Intel Pentium processor, up to "80MB" of RAM, and up to 1.2GB of HDD.
Cloud

Datto Launches Datto Drive For SMBs; Offers 1TB at $10 a Month For Unlimited Users (dattodrive.com) 50

Austin McChord, Datto's founder writes: In the era of nearly free cloud storage why on earth am I paying $15 a month per user (for Dropbox and Box). This seems absurd. As the founder of a cloud storage company I thought we could fix this. We combined OwnCloud which is an enterprise level open source file sync and share solution with our skills in infrastructure. Today we are launching Datto Drive, a file sync and share service for businesses that costs just $10 a month for unlimited users and 1TB of combined storage. To get started we are giving the first year away free for the first million businesses that sign up. One thing I'm worried about is whether this service will exist for more than a couple of years. We've seen plenty of startups offer us interesting services at great prices over the past few years, but many of them disappear. Tech Republic has more information about the aforementioned service. Update: 05/02 17:09 GMT by M : Reader torrija points us to a service called HubiC which offers 10TB for 5 euro a month. He adds that the feature is limited to one user, though.
Robotics

Elon Musk Open Sources New 'AI Gym' (csmonitor.com) 44

An anonymous reader writes: OpenAI, a billion-dollar research non-profit backed by Elon Musk and other Silicon Valley executives, just released a public beta of a new Open Source gym for computer programmers working on artificial intelligence. "Nothing beats a competitive environment to motivate developers," says Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. "It's like a monster truck rally for AI programmers."

The gym lets developers run tests in a standardized environment and share their results, and was built by OpenAI to develop algorithms for the non-profit's own research, according to the Christian Science Monitor. "The gym's exercises range from robot simulations to Atari games and are designed to develop reinforcement learning, the type of computer skills needed for motor control, and decision-making. 'Long-term, we want this curation to be a community effort rather than something owned by us,' Greg Brockman and John Schulman wrote in an OpenAI blog post. 'We'll necessarily have to figure out the details over time, and we'd would love your help in doing so.'"

Robotics

Robots Battle In 25th Annual FIRST Competition (vice.com) 25

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vice: Saturday marked the conclusion of the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition, which saw over 20,000 high school students from around the world descend on St. Louis, Missouri... 900 teams pitted their robots against one another in various games... The ultimate robotics test occurred in the championship round, known as the FIRST Stronghold, which involves two alliances composed of three robots each. At each end of a pitch are two towers, representing each alliance's stronghold. The alliances must breach their opponent's stronghold by throwing boulders to goals on the tower to weaken it. There's some embedded videos from the event in Vice's article, which points out that it's the competition's 25th anniversary. (Here's Slashdot's post about the event from 2004). This year 40,000 people attended, including will.i.am and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

Slashdot Top Deals