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Ford expands self-driving vehicle program to Washington D.C.

Ford is bringing its autonomous vehicles to Washington D.C., the fourth city to join the automaker’s testing program as it prepares to launch a self-driving taxi and delivery service in 2021.Ford will begin testing its self-driving vehicles in the district in the first quarter of 2019. The company is already is testing in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Miami. Ford is a bit different from other companies that have launched autonomous vehicle pilots in the U.S. Ford is pursuing two parallels tracks—testing the business model and autonomous technology—that will eventually combine ahead of its commercial launch in 2021.Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based company that Ford invested $1 billion into in 2017, is developing the virtual driver system and high-definition maps designed for Ford’s self-driving vehicles. Meanwhile, Ford is testing out its go-to-market strategy through pilot programs with partners like Dominos and Postmates, and even some local businesses.The testing program in DC will follow th…

Apple unveils repair pricing for iPhone XR, screen fix costs $199

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Apple will start shipping the iPhone XR this week, and ahead of its launch, the company has unveiled repair pricing. If you crack that notched LCD display, it’ll cost you $199 to fix (if you don’t have AppleCare+). That’s significantly cheaper than the OLEDs on the iPhone XS and XS Max: the XS costs $279, and the XS Max costs $329. Meanwhile, a battery replacement will cost $69 across the three new devices.Repairs related to “other damage,” like a shattered glass back, cost $399 on the iPhone XR versus $549 on the XS and $599 on the XS Max. The iPhone XS and X from last year have the same repair costs overall. AppleCare+ covers two accidental damage incidents at $99, regardless of your iPhone model, while a screen repair through the...Continue reading…

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Richard Branson reportedly quits as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One

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Richard Branson has stepped down as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, Bloomberg and Reuters are reporting. Branson announced his decision Monday, saying the company needed a more involved chairman as it moves forward with its plans to build a fully operational hyperloop.Last week, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia had canceled a feasibility study with the company after Branson criticized the kingdom for its involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.A little over a year ago, the company made the surprise announcement that Branson would be joining the board of directors, as well as making an undisclosed investment, leading the company to rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One.“At this stage in the company’s...Continue reading…

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The AI Threat to Democracy

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The rise of strong artificial intelligence could well send the spool of democracy unraveling across the floor.The post The AI Threat to Democracy appeared first on ExtremeTech.

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NASA lost a rover and other space artifacts due to sloppy management, report says

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Thanks to improper management, NASA has lost a wide array of historical spaceflight memorabilia over the last few decades — such as an old lunar soil bag, former spaceflight hand controllers, and even a test lunar rover. That’s according to a new report out today from NASA’s Office of the Inspector General, which analyzed how the space agency oversees its historical assets. While procedures have improved at NASA, a few unique pieces of storied spaceflight property have either been misplaced or taken by ex-employees.NASA mainly has two types of historical property to look after: actual property like buildings and test sites, some of which are still used to support current missions; and personal items like spacesuits and other tools, many...Continue reading…

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A look at the Android Market (aka Google Play) on its 10th Anniversary

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Google Play has generated more than twice the downloads of the iOS App Store, reaching a 70% share of worldwide downloads in 2017, according to a new report from App Annie, released in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Android Market, now called Google Play. The report also examined the state of Google Play’s marketplace and the habits of Android users.It found that, despite the large share of downloads, Google Play only accounted for 34% of worldwide consumer spend on apps, compared with 66% on the iOS App Store in 2017 – a figure that’s stayed relatively consistent for years.Those numbers are consistent with the narrative that’s been told about the two app marketplaces for some time as well. That is, Google has the sheer download numbers, thanks to the wide distribution of its devices – including its reach into emerging markets, thanks to low-cost smartphones. But Apple’s ecosystem is the one making more money from apps.App Annie also found that the APAC (Asia-Pacific) re…

Former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe is leaving Facebook

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Brendan Iribe, former CEO of Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus, is leaving the company. Iribe posted the news on Facebook, writing that “after six incredible years, I am moving on” from Oculus. Iribe didn’t give a reason for his departure or say exactly what he’ll be doing next. “Working alongside so many talented people at Oculus and Facebook has been the most transformative experience of my career,” he wrote. “This will be the first real break I’ve taken in over 20 years. It’s time to recharge, reflect and be creative. I’m excited for the next chapter.”Iribe was an Oculus co-founder, helping Rift inventor Palmer Luckey to launch the experimental headset on Kickstarter in 2012. He served as CEO until 2016, when he stepped...Continue reading…

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