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Updated: 2 days 27 min ago

Tesla owner sacrifices his car to save driver having a stroke

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 17:54
On a highway in Munich, Germany, a Tesla owner recently sacrificed his car to rescue another driver having a stroke. According to  Muenchner Merkur , the Tesla driver saw a VW Passat swerving erratically, hitting the guardrail several times. On closer inspection, he noticed that the driver appeared to be unconcious. So, the Tesla driver maouvered his car in front and slowed down gradually, forcing a gentle collision and bringing both cars to a halt. The fire driver was able to extract the driver successfully, and German media reports that he was likely suffering a stroke. According to newspaper reports, the combined damages for both vehicles were minor -- bumper damage to the Tesla and the Passat -- but totalled around $10,000. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has since said that Tesla is covering all repair costs in recognition of the heroism: It's a rare, unvarnished act of heroism from the Tesla driver to put his own safety (and car!) on the line to try and save a stranger. It's also a good answer to the occasional question about why Tesla drivers are still able to override the car's safety mechanisms when necessary. If the car was programmed to always use its sensors to avoid collisions, the Tesla driver wouldn't have been able to pull off the stunt.

New bill would require cops to get warrants for Stingray cell tracking

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 17:51

A bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers today introduced a bill that would require US police agencies to obtain a warrant before deploying cell-site simulation surveillance devices known as “stingrays,” reports USA Today. Stingrays are typically used by police to triangulate a criminal suspect’s location based on data emitted from their smartphones or wearable devices with cellular connectivity. Stingrays are a controversial form of surveillance technology as it can accurately pinpoint a suspect’s location, but can also intercept data from innocent bystanders.

How Apple’s arrogance impacts its ability to acquire new companies

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 17:23
A new report from Bloomberg sheds some interesting light on the hazy underpinnings of Apple's acquisition strategy. Famously, Apple's tends to shy away from large corporate acquisitions, with the company's $3 billion purchase of Beats a few years ago standing as a lone exception. That notwithstanding, the report relays that Apple's own arrogance and "take it or leave it" attitude might be precluding it from successfully inking similar large-scale acquisitions. Per the report, many of Apple's acquisitions are spearheaded by engineers who routinely meet with Apple's M&A guru Adrian Perica to discuss attractive new technologies and companies that might help advance the company's product roadmap. So while identifying potential acquisition targets isn't a problem, Apple's penchant for believing that a) it can do everything on its own and that b) companies should be flattered to be swallowed up by Apple has sometimes led to a few standstills. As a quick example, Apple clearly bit off a lot more than it could chew when it decided to explore researching and developing its own electric car many months ago. This is arguably problematic because by the time Apple realizes it can't do something, potential acquisition targets may become too expensive to pick up. Using Tesla as an example, the company's $44 billion market cap all but makes an Apple acquisition a non-starter. However, Apple could have picked up the company at a bargain back in 2013 when shares of Tesla were trading in the low $30 range. Even when Apple isn't intent on going it alone, their hubris can sometimes leave potential targets uneasy. Apple also dictates terms and tells targets to take it or leave it, betting that the promise of product development support later and the chance of appearing in future iPhones are alluring enough, the people said. That was the case when Apple acquired Metaio GmbH in 2015. Bankers appointed by the augmented-reality firm to negotiate weren’t allowed in the room, and while Metaio executives felt the offer was low, Apple’s vision for the technology convinced them to sell, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Interestingly, there's a famous story detailing how Apple was very close to acquiring Dropbox. As the story goes, Steve Jobs called Dropbox a "feature, not a product" and made a relatively low-ball offer for the company. When Dropbox CEO Drew Houston said no, Jobs insinuated that Houston might want to reconsider because Apple was going to go after the company's user base with a rival service. Of course, as it all played out, Apple's own iCloud offering hasn't exactly done much of anything to stymie Dropbox's growth. While the allure of working under the Apple umbrella certainly works sometimes, that's not always the case. Indeed, the cowboy-esque manner in which Apple tends to carry itself in negotiations isn't exactly suited for large-scale acquisitions, something which some analysts believe Apple needs to be more open to in the future. All that said, Tim Cook is on record as saying that Apple is "open to acquisitions of any size", an interesting take given previous indications that Apple last year explored picking up Time Warner.

GoDaddy Q4 solid as revenue climbs 14 percent

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 17:16

Shopify also reported strong earnings, with revenue increasing 86 percent compared to a year ago.

McDonald’s over-engineered the straw so you can drink your Shamrock Shake

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 17:10

McDonald’s is excited to ring in the new season with you all, too, and is definitely super excited to sell some shakes. The company hired the same teams who worked on Google’s Project Ara (NK Labs and JACE Design). Fast Company did a deep dive on this straw.

Spotify to relocate U.S. headquarters to 4 World Trade Center

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 17:09

(Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday Swedish music service company Spotify will expand its U.S. headquarters and relocate it to 4 World Trade Center, creating more than 1,000 new jobs and retaining 832 jobs. Spotify, which currently has offices in the Midtown South area of Manhattan, will move its New York office to the 378,000 square feet of office space owned by Silverstein Properties Inc in early 2018, Cuomo's statement said. Spotify, one of Europe's most highly valued venture-backed startups, is reportedly considering a potential U.S. stock market listing.

I've been doing Windows screenshots wrong this whole time

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 17:08

This is a new series called "Paul's doing it wrong and everyone is smarter than Paul and if he'd only just listened..." where I explain something dumb I've done in my life and people at work can't stop giving me shit about it.Let me just explain to you how I take screenshots on Windows, and either you'll immediately realize how foolish I've been, or you're in the same boat in which case I guess you can grow alongside me.So, first: find the Print Screen button. ...

Equinix adds Salesforce to its Cloud Exchange, plots more 2017 expansion

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:58

Equinix said it is launching new operations in Amsterdam, Chicago, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro and Toronto. Company also reports fourth quarter earnings.

Astronomers just found a piping hot ‘Super Earth’

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:55
It wasn't that long ago that finding exoplanets — that is, worlds that exist outside of our own solar system — was a rare occurrence. Those days are gone, however, and we now know that there are actually plenty of stars that host one or more planets. With that increased awareness, researchers have been making huge leaps in exoplanet discovery, and a group of astronomers from around the world just announced that they've detected not one, not two, but 60 new planets orbiting nearby stars. One of those planets is of particular interest, as it's a lot like Earth, only hotter. The planet has the decidedly unsexy name Gliese 411b — Gliese 411 being the name of the star it orbits, and "b" being the unique label for the world itself — but what it lacks in a cool moniker it makes up for with a fiery personality. Gliese 411b has been labeled a "Super Earth," which means that it's a rocky planet much like our own. However, it's much larger than Earth, and it's also a whole lot hotter. In fact, the planet is thought to be too hot to support any kind of life on its surface, according to Dr. Mikko Tuomi  of the University of Hertfordshire's Centre for Astrophysics, who helped lead the research effort. Gliese 411 and its orbiting planets are just eight light years from Earth, putting them right in our celestial backyard, but despite is relative proximity to our own planet, the star is still about six trillion miles away, so it's unlikely we'll be stopping by any time soon.

Elon Musk kept his harshest criticism of Trump's immigration ban in his Twitter drafts

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:51

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted and then quickly deleted three tweets condemning President Trump’s executive order on immigration today. The tweets took on a much more critical tone than the statements Musk made on January 28th.

Republicans may reverse internet privacy rules

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:47

Republicans may try to reverse a landmark privacy rule that requires internet providers to get permission before sharing your web browsing data and other sensitive information with outside companies. Politico reports that Senate Republicans are planning to introduce legislation that would reverse the rules, which began going into effect at the beginning of the year. The Congressional Review Act allows a new Congress to reverse rules recently passed by federal agencies — in this case, the rule comes from the FCC.

Parasitic worms might also trigger seizures — in case you needed another reason to hate them

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:45

Parasitic worms may be causing an often-deadly seizure disorder that has puzzled scientists for years. The seizures affect at least 17 percent of children in parts of Uganda, and make sufferers look like they’re nodding involuntarily. By analyzing the blood and spinal fluid of people living in Uganda and South Sudan, scientists have identified an antibody that’s more common in people with the seizure disorder, called nodding syndrome.

Travel website TripAdvisor's revenue misses estimates

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:40

(Reuters) - TripAdvisor Inc's quarterly revenue missed analysts' estimates, hurt by lower display advertisements on its websites and a fall in subscription revenue. Shares of the company, which owns websites such as and, fell 4.3 percent to $50.45 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. The company's net income fell to $1 million, or 1 cent per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $3 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 16 cents per share. ...

Yahoo notifies users of sophisticated breach methods

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:36

Yahoo said Wednesday it was notifying some users that hackers may have been able to use a maneuver to break into their accounts without stealing passwords. The notification indicates the investigation into the attacks are in the final stage, according to a source familiar with the matter, noting that messages had been sent to "a reasonably final list" of Yahoo users. A Yahoo spokesman said the company was notifying all potentially affected users and that it had "invalidated" the forged cookies.

San Diego police unlawfully took DNA swabs from black youth, says lawsuit

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:36

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit alleging that the San Diego police skirted California privacy law by taking DNA samples from five teenage boys without a warrant or meaningful consent. The ACLU contends that in doing so, police used a loophole to avoid following state rules that limit collecting DNA from minors. The lawsuit requests that the San Diego Police Department return any such samples, and that courts strike down the city policy allowing their collection.

How to make Siri talk to you like you’re LEGO Batman

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:20
With the world falling apart all around us, it's important to occasionally distract yourself from the chaos with lighthearted entertainment. That's what millions of Americans have already done with The LEGO Batman Movie , as evidenced by its massive success at the box office over the weekend , topping the likes of Fifty Shades Darker ,  John Wick: Chapter Two  and M. Night Shyamalan's Split . While the success of The LEGO Batman Movie is unsurprising ( The LEGO Movie was a huge hit too), what is surprising is that Apple and Warner Bros. have teamed up to bring a LEGO Batman easter egg to Siri. In the movie, LEGO Batman always says the phrase "Hey 'puter" before requesting something from his own voice-controlled computer system. If you say the same phrase (or the less silly "Hey Computer") to Siri, your iPhone will refer to you as Lego Batman and tell you what's going on in your home. "Hello, sir. Alfred is on the 17th floor, caulking the tiles in the second bathroom of the fifth master bedroom," was one response. "Welcome home, sir. I have your romcoms queued up, sorted by decade," was another. Straight up advertisements in Siri would likely be met with derision, but clever tie-ins like these are harmless and fun. If you never want your Siri to pretend that you've turned into a Will Arnett-voiced animated character, all you have to do is never utter "Hey Computer" into the speaker of your iPhone. On the other hand, if you do (and let's be honest, you do), it's a fun way to waste a couple of minutes.

The Growler Chill looks like a smarter way to drink beer at home

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:07

Growlers are a great way to buy beer from your local bar or brewery, but they tend to go stale or flat after a couple of days. There have been a few attempts to solve this problem by replicating the tap experience of a bar at your home, but nothing I’ve seen solves the issue as completely as the Growler Chill, a countertop tap system that’s currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. In addition to just keeping your growlers cold and pressurized so they last longer, the Growler Chill has some thoughtful design touches.

Want to protect your data at the border? Delete it

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 15:57

In the wake of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, travelers have reported increasingly invasive stops by border agents. On January 30th, NASA scientist and US citizen Sidd Bikkannavar was coerced into unlocking his phone for Customs agents at the border, possibly exposing sensitive information. Homeland Security leaders are also considering more invasive requirements, like demanding social media passwords from travelers.

Pioneer’s new headphones solve the iPhone 7’s dumbest problem

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 15:54
The iPhone 7 is an awesome smartphone, provided you aren't a fan of listening to music and charging the phone at the same time. Thanks to it only having the one Lightning port, charging and listening are two activities that don't go together. Apple's solution is a shrug and a pair of $200 wireless headphones, or some kind of god-awful dongle. So, Pioneer made a pair of headphones that build the dongle right in. The Pioneer Rayz Plus are a $150 pair of wired earbuds that include active noise-cancelling and auto-pause when you pull them out of your ears. Much more importantly, they also have a tiny Lightning port pass-through, which means that when you plug the headphones into your iPhone via the Lightning port, you can plug a Lightning cable into the headphones, and thus juice up your phone while also listening to music. This isn't a groundbreaking concept, but it is the most slickly-designed solution to Apple's home-made problem that we've seen yet. The headphones having a Lightning connector on the end also means that you can have active noise cancelling capabilities without the headphones themselves needing a battery. The circuitry to power the noise cancelling is powered from the phone, which is more convenient than other solutions, which normally require charging headphones separately, and only give you 10-20 hours of noise cancelling. If you're less concerned about charging your iPhone, there's also the $100 Rayz, which are virtually identical but without the Lightning pass-through. Both models are available for purchase through Pioneer's website right now.

The seven most dangerous attack techniques: A SANS Institute rundown

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 15:52

From ransomware to weak random number generators, the RSA Conference explores the worst threats and how to stop them.