Uber Self-driving Car Kills Woman In Arizona

Uber self-driving Car hits, kills Arizona pedestrian; company suspends testing

The self-driving car, which is considered to the future of transportation, was involved in a fatal vehicle accident that killed one pedestrian woman. An Uber self-driving car in Arizona was involved in a crash that killed a woman crossing the street early on Monday, ABC15 reported, making it the first fatality involving an autonomous vehicle in the U.S.

The Tempe police said in a statement that the self-driving car was in autonomous mode when the vehicle struck 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg while she was walking outside of a crosswalk. Herzberg was taken to a hospital where she later died of her injuries.

“The pedestrian was outside of the crosswalk. As soon as she walked into the lane of traffic she was struck,” Tempe Police Sergeant Ronald Elcock told reporters during a news conference. While the vehicle was moving around 40 miles per hour when it struck Herzberg reveal the preliminary investigation, it is not yet known how close Herzberg was to the vehicle when she stepped into the lane, he added.

Elcock also said he believed Herzberg may have been homeless.

Chief of police Sylvia Moir told the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday that video footage taken from cameras fitted to the autonomous Volvo SUV potentially indicate that Uber is not at fault and the victim is more likely to be blamed for the incident.

“It’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode [autonomous or human-driven] based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway,” Moir told the paper, adding that the incident took place roughly 100 yards from a crosswalk. “It is dangerous to cross roadways in the evening hour when well-illuminated managed crosswalks are available,” she said.

Although the vehicle was operating in autonomous mode, a driver was present in the front seat. But Moir said there appears to be little he could have done to intervene before the crash.

“The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them,” Moir said. “His first alert to the collision was the sound of the collision.”

Following the incident, Uber said it has suspended North American tests of its self-driving vehicles, which are currently going on in Arizona, Pittsburgh and Toronto. Uber said in a statement on Twitter: “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.” However, a spokesman refused to comment further on the crash.

Uber’s CEO, tweeted: “Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.”

The incident is currently being investigated by Tempe authorities and federal officials. Canada’s transportation ministry in Ontario, where Uber conducts testing, also said it was reviewing the accident.

Video footage will help the ongoing investigation, and the case would be submitted to the district attorney, Elcock said.

“Our investigators have that information, and they will be using that in their investigation as well as the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office as part of their investigation,” said Elcock. “They are going to attempt to try to find who was possibly at fault and how we can better be safe, whether it’s pedestrians or whether it’s the vehicle itself.”

The latest incident is a prime example that self-driving technology is still in its early stage of development and hence, self-driving cars are not yet ready for our roads.

The Tech that Will Help You Through University

University has never been a breeze. Studying hard and balancing that against what is often a newfound experience of freedom, can take a lot of practice to figure out, and even then many of us don’t manage to master it by the time we leave. Luckily for us, we live in an age where our advanced technology allows us many advantages that simply were not viable to classes of the past. In this article, we’ll go over just a few of the smart tech which can help create the difference between success and failure, making your life easier in the process.
Mobile Hardware

A modern piece of technology which no student should be without if they can help it. Any piece of sufficiently advanced mobile equipment will work here, whether a phone, tablet or laptop. This helps not only in being able to easily check online for updates but in allowing the quick research of anything which comes up in real time. This is something our parents would have killed for, so make the most of it.

Advanced Search

Many of us perform searches on the web every day, but many of us only know the most basic facets of this type of information gathering. Learning a few extra search commands, also known as “search operators”, to use on Google can massively increase the efficacy of your searches, and finding the right searches on which to search can also create a world of difference in usable results. Most commonly, at least on our end, we found the – command especially helpful for Google. This can be used to simply remove any results with the word following the -. A little thing, but one which can make all the difference, and this is only one of many possible options.

Another good bet, especially when you’re really stuck, is taking advantage of the already existing homework market to get an idea of the correct answer. There are websites out there which can help with direct questions, for those without the time to mess around.

Finally, be sure to check out websites dedicated to academic article searches, like Google Scholar. These are a godsend when it comes to proper citations, not only in terms of actually counting as real citations but in terms of also generating the exact citation for you, so you don’t have to bother with the constant hassle.

Social Media

Despite being a form of technology that is so widely used by so many people, there are some who would rather avoid having their personal information online. While this is something we can absolutely agree with this, there are issues when it comes to group work that becomes so much easier with access to social media. Websites like Facebook, for example, allow a simple creation of groups for classes and assignments that are simply not possible in everyday situations. In cases like this, it can absolutely be worth to create an account to take advantage. Alternatively, there are other platforms and forums where such conversation can take place, but it’s often up to what the creator of the group has chosen to use – and, more often than not, that’s Facebook. If you are concerned about your private data, considering keeping your profile devoid of other information, just use it to access the study group.

Stay Alert

Be sure to keep an eye out when it comes to new developments in helpful technology. This is a marketplace and forum which continues to develop alongside the new technology, and it is often the first adopters who manage to pull out ahead of the pack. Remember what we wrote, and keep an eye on what your successful classmates use, and you’ll be well on your way to a much more successful university experience.

Facebook Bans Bitcoin And All Other Cryptocurrency Ads On Its Social Network

As a part of their refreshed advertising policy, Facebook won’t allow advertisements related to cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICO), and binary trading, according to a post made by company’s product management director Rob Leathern.

“Ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency. Please click here to learn more,” the new policy reads.

Although the names aren’t explicitly mentioned, this will prohibit anyone from promoting cryptocoins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, etc. Some of the examples include ads providing discounted ICOs, asking users to pay retirement funds in Bitcoin, etc.

Facebook cryptocurrency ads ban

Leathern agrees that the policy is “intentionally broad” and it might affect legitimate crypto advertisers, but Facebook could make changes in the future as their signals improve. Also, their tracking system might not be fool-proof as it sounds, some ads may manage to slip through their filters. If that happens, Facebook provides users an option to report advertisements.

This move from Facebook could “better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices” and safeguard users from online scammers running false offers and trying to pump hard earned money out of people’s pockets. The new advertising policy applies to the company’s platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network.

A cheap and easy blood test could catch cancer early

A simple-to-take test that tells if you have a tumor lurking, and even where it is in your body, is a lot closer to reality—and may cost only $500.

The new test, developed at Johns Hopkins University, looks for signs of eight common types of cancer. It requires only a blood sample and may prove inexpensive enough for doctors to give during a routine physical.

“The idea is this test would make its way into the public and we could set up screening centers,” says Nickolas Papadopoulos, one of the Johns Hopkins researchers behind the test. “That’s why it has to be cheap and noninvasive.”

Although the test isn’t commercially available yet, it will be used to screen 50,000 retirement-age women with no history of cancer as part of a $50 million, five-year study with the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, a spokesperson with the insurer said.

The test, detailed today in the journal Science, could be a major advance for “liquid biopsy” technology, which aims to detect cancer in the blood before a person feels sick or notices a lump.

That’s useful because early-stage cancer that hasn’t spread can often be cured.

Companies have been pouring money into developing liquid biopsies. One startup, Grail Bio, has raised over $1 billion in pursuit of a single blood test for many cancers.

For their test, Hopkins researchers looked at blood from 1,005 people with previously diagnosed ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, esophageal, colorectal, lung, or breast cancer.
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Their test searches for a combination of eight cancer proteins as well as 16 cancer-related genetic mutations.

The test was best at finding ovarian cancer, which it detected up to 98 percent of the time. It correctly identified a third of breast cancer cases and about 70 percent of people with pancreatic cancer, which has a particularly grim outlook.

The chance of a false alarm was low: only seven of 812 apparently healthy people turned up positive on the test.

The researchers also trained a machine-learning algorithm to determine the location of a person’s tumor from the blood clues. The algorithm guessed right 83 percent of the time.

“I think we will eventually get to a point where we can detect cancer before it’s otherwise visible,” says Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

He cautions that screening tests can sometimes harm rather than help. That can happen if they set off too many false alarms or if doctors end up treating slow-growing cancers that are not likely to do much harm.

MacBook users accuse Apple of overstating standby battery life

MacBook users claim Apple exaggerating standby battery life, resisting repairs

Recently, Apple was criticized by its irate users for deliberately slowing down older iPhone performances so as to get its loyalists buy its latest offering, iPhone 8 or iPhone X. Following the accusation, Apple apologized for battery-related iPhone performance problems and is now offering anyone with an iPhone 6 or later a battery replacement for $29 starting in late January through December 2018 — a discount of $50 from the usual battery replacement cost of $79.

While Apple is trying its best to calm the situation, it appears that this time another product of there is having battery related problem. The issue which was highlighted by VentureBeat reader Nicholas Antoniou, who claimed that some MacBook laptops promising “up to 30 days standby time” are experiencing higher battery drain. The same has been confirmed in the Apple Support Community and other discussion boards. Even the Apple technicians seem reluctant to conduct thorough testing or fix the problem.

Apparently, the average daily power consumption should not exceed 3.3% of the battery charge when a MacBook’s lid is closed for some time. However, some MacBook batteries are consuming between 2-10 times of the actual standby power, resulting in standby time of only 3 to 15 days. Some users claim that even when MacBook is shut down, the daily power consumption is still up to 15%, which is the “normal behavior with the new hardware generation,” according to Apple.

In the case of Antoniou, his 12-inch MacBook consumes 7% of power every day, which is over twice the expected amount, leading to what he describes as “nearly zero charge” after 10 days. Antoniou took his MacBook to an Apple Store, which was under the AppleCare extended warranty, where the technicians performed a battery diagnosis. However, the diagnosis didn’t include the test for standby time, but yet the technicians claimed that the battery had cleared Apple’s tests and would not be replaced, Antoniou said.

When Antoniou contacted Apple’s CEO Tim Cook directly, he was contacted by Apple’s spokesperson Shane Barton, who told him that “”Apple had no problems with the battery,” and even stopped the local Apple store from allowing him to pay for a new battery. When Antoniou suggested that there could be a widespread problem with Apple laptops’ claimed standby life, and questioned Apple’s refusal to honor the MacBook’s extended warranty, he was allegedly told: “If you want to get a lawsuit, come on!”

According to Apple, its 12-inch MacBook battery performance when under active use, includes promises of “10-hour wireless web” and “12-hour iTunes movie playback” but it varies across machines. However, Apple’s claims of “up to 30 days of standby time” usually remains the same for all its laptops. While “upto” may be understood as a definitive warranty in some countries, the promise of a standby period of 0 to 30 days can also be seen as creating an unspoken expectation of performance for nearly 30 days, which is definitely not 3 days, 10 days or even 20.

What is disturbing that Apple’s own forums discussions suggest that AppleCare technicians have been recently referring to 5% of their daily power consumption as “expected behavior”, which means that from an Apple point of view, the 20-day standby time is normal – only equivalent to 66% of advertised performance. This is reportedly “below 80 percent” threshold which usually flunks the battery, qualifying them AppleCare replacement.

Apparently, Apple dropped its iPhone battery diagnostic tests and 80 percent performance threshold after reports of Apple staff refusing to replace “working” iPhone batteries cropped up. They started offering discounted replacement batteries to iPhone users last month instead. However, this precedent for iPhones doesn’t mean Apple will do the same for MacBook users.

So, what is the impact on MacBook users? As Antoniou suggested, the problem is not that being able to immediately resume work after 30 days, but rather trying to resume work on a MacBook that is not used for 10 days, only to find that all of its power is virtually lost as well as all unsaved work.

It’s worth noting that MacBook standby life problems have been reported for many years in Apple’s forums and others, for many years and across different models. Apple has also tried to solve these problems with solutions, such as operating system updates, deletion of errant apps, and disconnection of some attachments, but the result may or may not address a given machine’s issue.

Apple has yet to respond on Antoniou’s case.

Samsung Secretly Unveiled Their Foldable Galaxy X Smartphone At CES 2018, Says Report

Apart from the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9, there is another Samsung flagship device that the tech world is eagerly waiting to get their hands on – the foldable smartphone, dubbed Galaxy X.

While the device seems to be nowhere near an expected release, it is known that Samsung revealed the same at CES 2018 in front of a private audience on January 10, says a report by The Korea Herald.

“Samsung Display said it has developed a 7.3-inch foldable panel with plans to start production later this year,” an anonymous source said.

According to the report, Samsung also shared the launch schedule with the private clients during the meeting. Another source told the publication that the development of the foldable Samsung device is ‘almost finished’ which would raise launch expectations.

The upcoming Samsung device would arrive in two versions: an infolding type smartphone which could go into production sometime around November this year. Another is an outfolding type having lesser curvature rate (5R) than infolding (1R) but with more advanced next-generation technology to address durability issues.

Until now, all the company has revealed about their device is Samsung Electronics chief DJ Koh finding it difficult to talk about the launch date as it “seems a bit early”. Last year, in September, Koh gathered attention by announcing that Samsung’s foldable phone could release sometime in 2018.

Another recently published Korean media report has hinted towards an expected launch date for Samsung’s foldable phone in December 2018 or possibly early next year.

The flexible OLED display would be developed by March, and the production would start in September with the final version coming out in November. There are several production issues, maybe software based and related to the OLED display. The goal is to create a display that doesn’t develop creases and folds smoothly.

Microsoft updates messaging app in Windows 10

Microsoft implements Fluent design in the updated messaging app

The latest Windows 10 PC Insider Preview build 17074 for Insiders released recently in the Fast and Skip Ahead rings has an updated version of Microsoft Messaging app (3.36.14001.0) with Fluent Design.

For those unaware, the Microsoft Messaging app in Windows 10 is based on Skype and was announced back in 2015. The Microsoft Messaging app in Windows 10 on PC keeps a record of messages sent from Windows 10 PCs with cellular connectivity and SMS messages sent via Skype SMS Relay service. However, the app cannot be used to actually send text messages on PC. Back in 2016, Microsoft had pulled Skype integration from the app.

This is the first major refresh for UI (user interface) of Windows Operating System as per Microsoft’s latest Fluent design guidelines. It is suspected that the update could likely be related to the upcoming Always Connected PCs and long rumored Andromeda device (also referred to as the Surface Phone) that will run on Windows 10 S and have LTE connectivity would require a desktop messaging app.

The built-in messaging app’s user interface (UI) now includes Acrylic blur and Reveal effects that are part of the Fluent Design System, which was announced by Microsoft back in May 2017.

Fluent Design is based on five key components: Light, Depth, Motion, Material, and Scale. The visual effect of the design language can be noticed only when users hover the cursor on the menu. By implementing the Fluent Design in the Messaging app, it improves the overall experience. However, the app still misses some important features.

“The new Reveal Highlight behaviour is an interaction visualization that helps guide users. Reveal is now enabled by default on ListView and other XAML collection controls in experiences that target the Fall Creators Update,” the company said.

Earlier last year, Microsoft had revealed Fluent Design System alongside the Fall Creators Update. Around three months ago, initial implementations of this system were observed with the release of the Fall Creators Update. Microsoft’s upcoming feature updates, Redstone 4 and Redstone 5 are too expected to include even more Fluent Design additions in 2018.

As of yet, the update hasn’t been rolled out for Windows 10 Mobile.

Microsoft to block future Windows updates if your antivirus is not set up properly

Microsoft require your antivirus provider to certify compatibility for future Windows updates

Microsoft said it is blocking security updates to Windows PCs for Spectre and Meltdown CPU flaws due to compatibility issue with some versions of Antivirus software. This security path was “only being made applicable to the machines where the Antivirus ISV has updated the ALLOW REGKEY,” the tech giant said. The future security updates will be released to Windows PCs only when a specific registry setting is changed, it revealed.

Microsoft said in a support page: “After investigating, Microsoft has determined that some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown.”

As a result, Microsoft placed the rollout of Windows Meltdown and Spectre Patches for AMD Devices on hold. “Customers will not receive the January 2018 security updates (or any subsequent security updates) and will not be protected from security vulnerabilities unless their antivirus software vendor sets the following registry key,” it added.

According to Microsoft, the compatibility issue has arisen as some antivirus applications are making unsupported calls into Windows kernel memory. Therefore, the solution provided by Intel and Microsoft was to obstruct the kernel in its own isolated virtual memory address space, which will not allow the antivirus software that depends upon using deep links into the kernel to freely access it the way it used to do previously.

However, this may lead to stop errors (also known as blue screen errors) and, in some cases, even a total failure of the device to boot up. Hence, Microsoft said it has set the update to apply only when the registry key has been changed.

To help prevent stop errors that are caused by incompatible antivirus applications, Microsoft is only offering the Windows security updates that were released on January 3, 2018, to devices that are running antivirus software that is from partners who have confirmed that their software is compatible with the January 2018 Windows operating system security update.

Microsoft is also working closely with antivirus software partners to ensure that all customers receive the January Windows security updates as soon as possible.

Some antivirus vendors such as Avast, Avira, AVG, ESET, F-Secure, BitDefender, Kaspersky, Sophos, Malwarebytes, and Symantec are not only compatible with the patches but have also changed the registry key as per Microsoft’s guidelines.

If your system has not been offered the security update, then it may be running incompatible antivirus software, and you should check with the software vendor.

Microsoft is suggesting all its customers to run a compatible and supported antivirus program in order to protect their devices. Customers can take advantage of built-in antivirus protection, Windows Defender Antivirus, for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 devices or a compatible third-party antivirus application.

Further, some antivirus software who do not have the ability to change Windows registry keys, may require some time to add those abilities to the software. Others who can’t install or run antivirus software, Microsoft recommends them to manually (which could be dangerous) set the registry key.

In order to receive the January 2018 security updates, the antivirus software must set a registry key to the startup sequence as described below, in order to certify that their software works with Microsoft’s patches.

Key=”HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”Subkey=”SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\QualityCompat”

Value Name=”cadca5fe-87d3-4b96-b7fb-a231484277cc”

Type=”REG_DWORD”

Data=”0x00000000”

You can check security researcher Kevin Beaumont’s list to see if your antivirus is compatible with the patches and if the antivirus vendors have changed the registry key.

More than 460 HP laptop models found with pre-installed keylogger

Keylogger found in HP Notebook models

Earlier this year, we had reported how the audio driver pre-installed on several Hewlett-Packard (HP) laptops contained a built-in keylogger code that recorded all of a user’s keystrokes and stored the information such as usernames and passwords, personal information in a human-readable file. In order to rectify this, HP then rolled out patches to remove the keylogger, which also deleted the log file containing the keystrokes.

Now, a security researcher named ‘ZwClose’ has claimed of discovering similar built-in keylogger issue in several HP laptops that allows hackers to record every keystroke of the user and steal sensitive data, including passwords, account information, and credit card details.

More than 460 HP Notebook models were reported to have been exposed for exploit to hackers due to the keylogger found present in the SynTP.sys file, which is a part of the Synaptics Touchpad driver that ships with some HP notebook models.

Even though the keylogger component is disabled by default, it could be enabled “by setting a registry value” by utilizing open source tools available for evading User Account Control (UAC).

Volocopter: Intel Shows Off A ‘Flying Car’ At CES 2018

Intel demonstrates a battery-operated flying car at CES 2018

Looks like ‘flying car’ is the flavor of the season. Earlier last year, Uber, the ride sharing giant, had revealed its plans to deploy its flying taxis, in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and Dubai by 2020.

Now, Intel has showed off its prototype of ‘Volocopter 2X’ – a drone made by German company Volocopter in partnership with the chipmaker – at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas, which the former claims is big enough to carry two passengers (up to a weight of 180 kilograms).

Demonstrated live behind a cage as a safety precaution, the drone briefly flew on stage at the Park Theater, the huge concert hall at the Monte Carlo Park Theater in Las Vegas.

Designed to operate as an autonomous air taxi, Volocopter 2X, is powered by Intel technology and runs on battery. It is the first fully electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVOTL) designed for passenger transport.

“The Intel® Flight Control Technology used in the Volocopter is based on the intelligence found in the Intel Falcon™ 8+ drone used for inspection, surveying, and mapping, showing the powerful intersection of data and autonomous technology. The Intel flight control technology analyzes environmental data with highly redundant sensors and is able to compensate for certain flight malfunctions. It can also accommodate for certain wind gusts and shifts in the center of gravity to help stabilize the position of the aircraft,” says Intel.

The Volocopter began its journey to autonomous air taxis in 2013. The drone’s 18 rotors that can fly up to 100km/h are powered by nine independent battery systems. Each one of them powers a pair of rotors to ensure that the vehicle keeps flying in the event one or two battery packs fail and that does not seriously impact the stability of the Volocopter.

Volocopter 2X can fly up to 17 miles on a single charge with a traveling speed of 43 mph. It takes 120 minutes to charge (with a 40-minute fast charge option) and currently has a flight time of 30 minutes, which is long enough for urban air-transportation, according to the creators, who are hoping to expand this duration to 1 hour in the near future. In the meanwhile, the batteries can be quickly swapped to increase the flight time until the technology improves, Volocopter says. It also has built-in emergency parachutes.

“Fifty-five years ago the TV show The Jetsons first aired and showed us a future where flying cars were a part of everyday life,” Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich said while displaying the flying car at CES. “We’re on the cusp of making that a reality. Imagine pulling out your phone, opening up a transportation app and summoning your own personalised ride by air taxi. That sci-fi vision of the future is actually much closer than you may think.”

Florian Reuter, Volocopter chief executive, said the company conducted the first-ever manned flight outdoors with a version of the vehicle in 2016, and has completed manned test flights in Germany and the first flight of an autonomous air taxi in the city of Dubai.

eVTOL “is a flying super computer, creating a pleasant and safe ride,” Reuter said. “The Volocopter is an entirely novel type of vertical take-off and landing aircraft. Soon we will offer autonomous air taxi flights as a service across cities across the world, revolutionising the way we all experience urban mobility today. And the best about it? It has the potential to be affordable for all of us.”

The company also revealed during the keynote that Krzanich was the world’s first passenger in a Volocopter, an event that took place in a Germany exhibition hall last month.

“That was fantastic,” Krzanich said once back on the ground after the December flight. “That was the best flight I have ever had. Everybody will fly one of these someday.”

Whether or not an autonomous sky taxi becomes a reality needs to be seen, the very idea of even discussing such a vehicle has given wings to our imagination of this being a reality in the distant future.