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7th September 2017

Uber rival Taxify is being investigated by Transport for London

Unlike other world cities, London is a pretty supportive place when it comes to transport innovation. Transport for London (TfL) has attempted to keep the peace as traditional taxi companies battle it out with private hire challengers like Uber, impo… – Source

LiDAR maker Innoviz raises $65M from Delphi, Magna and more

Innoviz, a company making LiDAR sensors to support the development and deployment of autonomous driving, has raised a new $65 million in Series B funding, from strategic partners and leading auto industry suppliers Delphi Automotive and Magna International, along with other investors. The vote of confidence from Magna and Delphi is especially noteworthy, however, because both stand ready to… Read More

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How to hurricane-proof a Web server for Harvey

Enlarge / We could all use a little levity in the IT world (especially if you lived in the path of Hurricane Harvey). (credit: Aurich / Getty)

HOUSTON—I had enough to worry about as Hurricane Harvey plowed into the Texas Gulf Coast on the night of August 25 and delivered a category 4 punch to the nearby city of Rockport. But I simultaneously faced a different kind of storm: an unexpected surge of traffic hitting the Space City Weather Web server. This was the first of what would turn into several very long and restless nights.

Space City Weather is a Houston-area weather blog and forecasting site run by my coworker Eric Berger and his buddy Matt Lanza (along with contributing author Braniff Davis). A few months before Hurricane Harvey decided to crap all over us in Texas, after watching Eric and Matt struggle with Web hosting companies during previous high-traffic weather events, I offered to host SCW on my own private dedicated server (and not the one in my closet—a real server in a real data center). After all, I thought, the box was heavily underutilized with just my own silly stuff. I’d previously had some experience in self-hosting WordPress sites, and my usual hosting strategy ought to do just fine against SCW’s projected traffic. It’d be fun!

But that Friday evening, with Harvey battering Rockport and forecasters predicting doom and gloom for hundreds of miles of Texas coastline, SCW’s 24-hour page view counter zipped past the 800,000 mark and kept on going. The unique visitor number was north of 400,000 and climbing. The server was dishing out between 10 and 20 pages per second. The traffic storm had arrived.

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NASA channels ‘Stars Wars’ for its 2017 ISS mission patch

The International Space Station’s mission patch for 2017 will look very familiar if you’re a huge fan of that galaxy far, far away. CASIS or the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, the organization that oversees all the experiments aboard… – Source

BlackBerry releases September security update for its Android phones

After Nokia, Google, and most recently Sony, it’s BlackBerry’s turn to push out the latest security update to its Android smartphones. The update bumps the security patch level to September 5.

Usually, BlackBerry’s vulnerability management team BBSIRT announces the roll out of monthly security updates through their Twitter account, but this time the news comes courtesy of a new post on the company’s online Knowledge Base.

As is usually the case, units purchased through Shop BlackBerry will be getting the September update first, followed by the carrier variants, that usually receive…

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Duolingo launches Korean language course, Klingon coming by the end of the month

Duolingo’s Korean for English speakers language learning page has been asking for people to sign up for a while now. It’s one of the top languages people register their interest in and today the course is finally launching.

While I don’t see the option in my Duolingo app yet, the lesson courses should show up soon — today, hopefully. They follow the same style as Duolingo’s other courses, using fun cards, associations, listening skills, and a gamification aspect to keep you coming back for more lessons to improve your new language skills.

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Duolingo launches Korean language course, Klingon coming by the end of the month was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Fully autonomous drone maker Airobotics nabs $32.5M, expands into defense

Airobotics, a startup building autonomous drones for the enterprise sector that do not require humans to get involved in any aspect of operating them, has picked up $32.5 million in funding to expand its business into defense and homeland security, and to expand its business globally.
The Series C round was led by BlueRun Ventures China, with participation also from Microsoft Ventures… Read More

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Watch a man mod a headphone jack into his iPhone 7

Apple may have been brave enough to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, but it’s fair to say there are a lot of cowards out there who would love to get it back. But since it’s become apparent that Apple won’t be changing its decision on the matter any time soon, at least one YouTuber has taken it upon himself to fix this problem.
Scotty Allen, a.k.a Strange Parts, recently did a fairly impressive stunt by assembling his own iPhone 6s from spare parts, but his latest hack has a much more practical application. Namely, he managed to successfully … – Source

Xiaomi Mi A1 first impressions: How’s stock Android on a Xiaomi phone?

The pitch for the new Mi A1 by Xiaomi is that the phone is ‘created by Xiaomi, powered by Google’. It’s an interesting amalgamation, but does it bring any value to the consumer?

I spent some time with the Xiaomi Mi A1 in last few days, and here are my initial impressions of the first Xiaomi device that is powered by Android One.


At first glance, the Mi A1 impresses with its minimalistic yet premium design and full metal chassis. The antenna bands fluidly blend with the top and bottom edges at the back, and while they look quite prominent in gold and rose gold variants, they are hardly noticeable in the black variant. There’s a minor camera bump on the back, but it’s not an eyesore.

Also, it’s slimmer than other Xiaomi devices with curved corners which makes it a compact smartphone that fits comfortably in your palm and at 165 grams, it weighs just right too. The buttons on the side and the fingerprint sensor on the back are also comfortably within reach.

Overall, I think it’s the best-designed Xiaomi device in its price segment as yet. It has a refreshing new design language, something similar to what we recently saw with the Mi Max 2, and the Mi A1 looks like a smaller sibling of the Mi Max 2.


The Mi A1 sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display with a 2.5D curved glass, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top for protection.

The display is quite bright and the text and images look sharp. Even though the display is a tad reflective, sunlight legibility is good enough and viewing angles are great.


For the Android One experiment, Xiaomi goes back to its recent favorite, the Snapdragon 625 chipset paired with 4 GB of RAM. The mid-range Snapdragon 625 processor is not the most powerful in the business, but offers a good balance of power optimization (leading to longer battery life) and performance push.

And with those internals, the Mi A1 does quite well chugging along nicely with whatever one throws at it. I’ve not stress-tested it till now, but multitasking with several apps in the background and everyday navigation is quite breezy. There’s no noticeable lag or stuttering, and the smartphone is quite responsive in everyday usage.

Like always, the Mi A1 packs in a hybrid tray so you can either use two SIM cards or one SIM card and one microSD card for storage expansion. However, 64 GB of onboard storage on the Mi A1 should be good enough for most users.

The Mi A1 packs in 3,080 mAh battery under the hood, and thankfully, Xiaomi has now opted for the USB Type-C port for charging keeping up with the times. Like always, there’s an infrared blaster as well.


The Mi A1 is powered by stock Android, and comes with Android 7.1.2 out of the box. As an Android One smartphone, it aims to offer pure Android Nougat experience with a guarantee of Android Oreo update before the end of this year. In a surprise – Source

Definitive Technology Demand D7 Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

Definitive Technology has announced three new standmount speakers which offer striking looks and affordable prices – Source

This smart tea kettle shows the boiling point of bad IoT security video – CNET

When your tea kettle has “000000” for its password and can’t be changed, you’re in trouble. – Source

Polk Signa Solo Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

The Polk Signa Solo is a subwoofer-less sound bar for one of the lowest prices we’ve ever seen. – Source

Smart tea kettle leaves your home Wi-Fi security in hot water – CNET

When a connected tea kettle has an unchangeable password of only six characters, maybe it’s not so smart. – Source

Tech’s uphill political battle to save the DACA Dreamers – CNET

High-profile companies like Facebook and Apple are seeking a way to prevent immigrants from losing their rights to live in the US. Skeptics see challenges. – Source

Flagship Nokia 8 phone looks great, but won’t come to the US – CNET

Nokia is positioning the phone as a challenger to flagship Samsung and Apple models. – Source

Signal adds encrypted profiles to beta chat app

Signal, the encrypted chat app preferred by the US Senate, has finally launched profiles — but only as part of its latest beta release. You can now add a photo and a display name to make group chats less confusing. But since this is Signal we’re tal… – Source

‘Pilot’ says he Photoshops his selfies, and yet somehow people still think they’re real

There are some outrageously cheeky jokes that take so long to die they become tedious.

SEE ALSO: AR glasses are giving airport ground staff superpowers on the runway

Take for example Daniel Centeno, a.k.apilotganso on his 57,000-follower strong Instagram.

For the past few years, Centeno has been posting photographs that show him taking a selfie out of a plane window while mid-flight.

📍23 de Outubro, DIA DO AVIADOR ✈️✈️✈️ Parabéns amigos e colegas que fazem da cabine de comando de um avião seu local de trabalho… Desconheço trabalho que tenha uma vista melhor que a nossa! ESSA FOTO É MONTAGEM | I have to let you know that photo is fake guys, just in case🆗😁😁😁😁😁 ✈️🚁🌄⛅️🌅☁️🌌❄️🌍☀️🌏☔️🛃📝🆒⚠️📚🕚💱⏰🏧🆓📵

A post shared by PilotGanso (@pilotganso) on Oct 23, 2015 at 7:03am PDT…

More about Instagram, Pilot, Hoax, Selfie, and Fake News

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These paid Android games are free for a limited time, grab them while you can!

Looking for some nice new games to play on your Android smartphone? If that’s the case, you might be pleased to hear that several games that are usually paid are now available for free on Google Play.

This collection features several different genres, so we’ve made sure to include an image, video (where available), and a short description below each title in order to aid you in the selection process.

Also, make sure to check out the end of sale times for each game below the respective download link. At the time of writing (September 7th), some of these titles … – Source

T-Mobile to offer free Netflix, Roku launches free movie channel video – CNET

Today’s major tech headlines include T-Mobile offering free Netflix to certain customers, Roku’s launch of a free ad-supported movie channel and Amazon and Apple joining the hunt to acquire the franchise rights to James Bond. – Source

‘No fire risk’ with new lithium batteries

Lithium-ion batteries that are resistant to exploding or igniting have been developed by scientists in the US. – Source

A huge solar flare temporarily knocked out GPS communications

On the morning of 6 September the sun let out two pretty sizeable burps of radiation. Both were considered X-class — the strongest type of solar flare — with one of them proving to be the most powerful since 2005. If a solar flare is directed at Ea… – Source

New battery technologies are getting a charge from venture investors

Venture capital investors once again are getting charged up over new battery technologies. The quest to build a better battery has occupied venture investors for nearly a decade, since the initial clean technology investment bubble of the mid-2000s. Now, some of those same investors are returning to invest in battery businesses, drawn by the promise of novel chemistries and new materials that… Read More

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Facebook is testing further UI changes, including a pull-down navigation drawer

The devs in Menlo Park have been busy recently rolling out significant changes to the look of the Facebook app for Android, more about which you can read here. We’ve now received tips about a further change that’s currently being tested which changes the linear, swipe- left hamburger menu to a pull-down grid of options. The new layout even has notification dots, just like Android Oreo.

Left: Old swipe menu. Right: New pull-down grid.

Read More

Facebook is testing further UI changes, including a pull-down navigation drawer was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review key takeaways: 8 things that you should know

Our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review is out, laying it all on the table.
The latest high-end smartphone has been deemed “a Galaxy S8+ with an S Pen and worse battery life” by some, and while they might be correct for themselves, there’s no denying that the Note 8 is successfully building upon the strong foundations laid by Samsung’s post-Note 7 era phones.

We strongly recommend you to check out our full review of the phone which will give you the fullest possible picture pertaining to its qualities and drawbacks, but for anyone … – Source

Motorola Moto XT1799-2 appears on TENAA with 4GB RAM and Android Nougat

A new Motorola smartphone has been certified by China’s TENAA. Listed as Moto XT1799-2, the device sports a 5.2-inch Full HD display, and comes in 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB memory configurations.

The listing also reveals an SoC with dual-core, 1.5GHz processor. That probably is a typo, though, as there are no dual-core chipsets for Android handsets these days. It could be a reference to the number of clusters or to the big cores in some 6-core or 10-core setup.

Anyway, there’s an 8MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. Measuring 150×73.5×8.2mm and weighing in at 157g, the handset…

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US judge dismisses email invention claim

The claim was dismissed in a libel lawsuit brought by a man who believes he pioneered electronic messaging. – Source

Street art project puts a price on your personal data – CNET

Ben Eine invites us to consider the value of the information we give away for free. – Source

Jaguar has restored this old E-type with an electric upgrade

Ask any enthusiast and they’ll tell you the same thing—if you want to build a good electric vehicle, you have to start from the ground up. You sandwich the battery pack between the axles, keep the center of gravity nice and low to counteract all that weight, and go from there. That’s why cars like the Model S or Bolt are so much better than Californian compliance cars. But we’ll make an exception for electric restomods, stuff like one of Zelectric’s electric air-cooled conversions. Jaguar evidently agrees with our exception; while next year’s I-Pace was designed as an EV from the ground up, you can’t say the same for its latest, the E-type Zero.

The starting point was a Series 1.5 E-type convertible, built in Coventry some time between 1967 and 1968. More recently it returned to the city and to Jaguar, which has a nice sideline these days restoring its old cars and even building continuations of things like the XKSS. Here’s where things get really interesting. Rather than just give it a nuts and bolts restoration before selling it to a deep pocketed Jaguar lover, someone decided to take out the old XK straight six engine along with the rest of the drivetrain and replace it with an electric motor and batteries.

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Jaguar Land Rover to electrify all its cars by 2020

Enlarge (credit: David Rogers/Getty Images)

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has pledged to stop building cars powered solely by petrol and diesel. The company hopes that every car built after 2020 will either be fully electric, or a hybrid that makes use of both an electric motor and a traditional petrol-powered engine.

“Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020,” Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth said in a statement. “We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles.”

The move comes just months after rival Volvo Cars confirmed that it would electrify its entire range of vehicles by 2019. Between 2019 and 2021, Volvo plans to launch five new electric vehicles, while every other car in the range will feature some form of hybrid engine. Honda has also promised that all of its new models from 2020 on will have an electrified variant.

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Apple bolsters its TV unit with more top Sony talent

Seasoned execs from the world of network television are dotted all around video services. Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon have all made big hires from TV land to help boost original programming. And, it seems Apple has been taking notes. Keen to launch… – Source

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