Showing posts from April, 2015

EU to install crash alert in cars

The European Parliament has voted for an EU-wide emergency alert system dubbed eCall to help ambulance crews get to road accidents faster.New cars and light vans will have the system as standard from 31 March 2018.The eCall device will alert rescue services automatically, using the existing 112 emergency number.Basic data will be sent only when an accident occurs. The technology was first proposed in 2012, but legislation was delayed amid privacy concerns.After negotiations between MEPs and EU governments it was agreed that eCall would provide only basic data such as:• type of vehicle• fuel used• time of accident• locationThe European Commission says installation of the device is likely to add about €100 (£72; $109) to the cost of a new car.A standard accident alert system is needed in Europe, because "when you cross a border you have a language problem and often do not even really know where you are", said Czech Social Democrat MEP Olga Sehnalova, the parliament's lead …

Is this three-deck, zero-emissions super jumbo plane the future of flight?

Compared to modern aircraft, which rely on fossil fuels, the Progress Eagle would employ six hydrogen engines to attain lift-off, then generate its own energy with solar panels -- which would line the room and wings.
A vision of aviation's future 8 photos
Compared to modern aircraft, which rely on fossil fuels, the Progress Eagle would employ six hydrogen engines to attain lift-off, then generate its own energy with solar panels -- which would line the room and wings.
The aircraft would also be fitted with a rear engine that would double as a wind turbine.
A vision of aviation's future 8 photos
The aircraft would also be fitted with a rear engine that would double as a wind turbine.
Hide Caption
Built-in batteries would collect any extra energy. This would be recovered on the ground by special electrical storage trucks.
A vision of aviation's future 8 photos
Built-in batteries would collect any extra energy. This would be recovered on the ground by special electrical stora…

Google launches mobile phone network

Project Fi will connect users to open wi-fi hotspots and Sprint and T-Mobile USA's 4G networksGoogle has detailed its plan to run a mobile phone network in the US.The firm will rent voice and data capacity from two existing operators - Sprint and T-Mobile - and use existing wi-fi hotspots, rather than build new infrastructure from scratch.Initially, Project Fi will only be offered to Nexus 6 handset owners.Google Fiber, the firm's "ultra-fast" broadband service, is already seen as a disruptive force in the US telecoms market.It has been credited with encouraging Comcast and Time Warner Cable to offer their own customers speed boosts without higher prices.However, Fiber's roll-out involved Google buying infrastructure built by companies that had collapsed as well as laying its own fibre optic cables - giving it full control of the service.By contrast, one expert said running a mobile virtual network - which is dependent on rivals' equipment - might limit Proje…

What’s Up With WhatsApp’s Monthly Active User Numbers?

This week, WhatsApp passed a milestone when CEO Jan Koum revealed that it had broken 800 million active users. That’s quite something in this age, when the leading global social networks and Internet services are well established. Breaking into that club isn’t easy, but WhatsApp has done it — nearly doubling its user base over the past year, since it was acquired by Facebook for an eye-popping $19 billion. Yet, impressive as those numbers are, there is something troubling about this new data point. Here’s Koum’s Facebook post: At this point, most people know the difference between these two metrics. Monthly active users is a more accurate way to measure the reach and engagement of a service — but it is far from definitive. To suggest that MAUs provide a true picture of a business and its user base is at best naive, or at worst misleading. “We aren’t giving any additional data beyond the 800M MAUs,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told TechCrunch after we got in touch to ask for more info. Metrics A…

Why You’ll Hate the Apple Watch And The Important Business Lesson You Need To Learn

Editor’s Note: Nir Eyal is the author ofHooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and blogs about the psychology of products at If you are among the 19 million people Apple predicts will buy an AppleWatch, I have some bad news for you — I’m betting there is an important feature missing from the watch that’s going to drive you nuts. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy one. In fact, I’m ordering one myself. However, this paradox illustrates an importantlesson for the way companies design their products. Rarely are v.1 products very good. How is it, then, that some products thrive despite flagrant shortcomings? Meet Mr. Kano To find out why you’ll likely be disappointed by the AppleWatch, meet Professor Noriaki Kano. In the 1980s Professor Kano developed a model to explain a theory of customer satisfaction. Kano believes products have particular attributes, which are directly responsible for users’ happiness. He discovered that some qualities matter more than others. Kan…

Can the clever Innvelo Three redeem a maligned design?

Three-wheeled vehicles are all the rage among energy- and cost-conscious inventors looking to shake up the transportation status quo. The most stylish of these strange machines feature an aggressive stance, with two beefy wheels set at the front and a teardrop-shaped body that trails sleekly to a single rear wheel. The designs are compact, stable and easy to handle.
But turn them around — put that single wheel in the lead — and they tend to look and handle like a Bangkok tuk-tuk— or, worse, like aReliant Robin.
That doesn’t have to be the case, as the recent unveiling of the Innvelo Three electric vehicle attests; its sleek lines are more Blade Runner than meter maid. That shape, by Leipzig, Germany-based industrial design firm Form & Drang, is what’s garnering the most attention, but there’s some solid thinking in the engineering, courtesy of technical partner, the research institute ICM – Institut Chemnitzer Maschinen- und Anlagenbau.

But, there is still the biggest problem of one-…

5 tips to help you become WhatsApp master

WhatsApp tips and tricks 5 ways to master your messagingWhatsApp needs no introduction. It's the world's most popular instant messaging app, and for all its security flaws, privacy issues and annoying invite systems to get new features, we love it.
5 tips to help you become a WhatsApp master.
Send private messages in bulk, BCC-stylePrivacy on the internet is becoming a hard thing to hold onto, but even the famously unprivate WhatsApp has a few features that let you do things on the down-low.
Want to send out a group message without everyone in the group seeing who else received that message, then seeing every subsequent response to the message?
That's what the 'Broadcast' feature is for, and using it is simple    Tap the Options icon at the top right.
    Tap New broadcast.
    Enter the names of all the contacts you want to send your private message to.
    Tap Create, write your message, then send it.WhatsApp screen shotGo to Options and tap "New broadcast&…

The private investigator who spies using drones

Aerial vehicles are the latest tool for private detectives – but for how long? Rose Eveleth reports.
Chris Wright is a problem solver. Her clients come to her with an issue, a question, a mystery, and she figures out the best way to find the answer – using whatever tools she can. “I use a combination of new technology and old technology, because I have to solve a problem. So I’ve used everything from geese and dogs to Roombas to drones to GPS.” Wright is a private investigator – and owner of the Wright Group – based in Anaheim, California. She’s worked in the business for more than 40 years, and has seen the tools available to investigators change dramatically. Early on, stakeouts in vans were important. More recently new technology in the form of tiny cameras and social media has begun to play a role. And she’s embraced those changes. Today, when the problem calls for it, she uses drones to do her work. She gives me a few examples. If two people are meeting in a public place, a drone…

Intel shows 3D depth camera in phone

Intel, led by Brian Krzanich, says its RealSense technology is now small enough to fit in a smartphoneIntel has revealed a version of its 3D depth camera that is small and thin enough to be fitted into a 6in (15.2cm) smartphone.The RealSense sensor can be used to recognise hand and head movements and makes it possible to change the focus of photos after they have been taken.The prototype was unveiled by the company chief executive Brian Krzanich at an event in Shenzhen, China.One expert noted that questions remained about its power demands.Although Mr Krzanich showed off an example of a RealSense-enabled phone, he did not demonstrate it working, which may indicate it is still at an early stage of development."The device which was shown on stage at the Intel Developer Forum was a prototype that was created in collaboration with a Chinese firm, whom we are not naming," said a spokeswoman for the company."The device is meant to show the different types of apps, usage model…

Drones stream live video to YouTube

DJI has refreshed its family of drones with new models that are easier to take off and land.

The Phantom 3 quadcopters also gain the ability to hold their position without using a GPS location signal, making them more suitable for indoor use.And the app that controls the camera-equipped machines has been updated to allow live video streams to YouTube.However one expert suggested more should be done to protect the public from such remote-controlled aircraft.China-based DJI is the bestselling brand of drones in what is a fast-growing sector, with hobbyists, farmers, film-makers and land surveyors among its customers.The firm found itself at the centre of a security scare earlier this year when one of its previous models crashed into the lawn of the White House.Live video feedDJI has unveiled two versions of its latest aircraft, which offer different video recording capabilities.DJI suggests that he new drone could be used to film a wedding indoorsThe Phantom 3 Professional, which costs $…

Google Gmail hit by software glitch

The glitch hit people using Gmail and some of Google's appsGmail users around the world saw errors and safety warnings over the weekend after Google forgot to update a key part of the messaging software.Google said a "majority" of users were affected by the short-term software problem.While people could still access and use Gmail many people saw "unexpected behaviour" because of the problem.Many reported the errors via Twitter seeking clarification from Google about what had gone wrong.The error messages started appearing early on 4 April and hit people trying to send email messages from Gmail and some of the firm's messaging apps.The problems arose because Google had neglected to renew a security certificate for Gmail and its app services. The certificate helps the software establish a secure connection to a destination, so messages can be sent with little fear they will be spied upon.Google's own in-house security service, called Authority G2, adminis…

OnLive gaming service to switch off after Sony deal

Video game streaming pioneer OnLive is to shut down after selling several of its patents to Sony. The California-based firm had allowed PC and tablet owners to play console titles, which were run on its computer servers but controlled and viewed in the gamer's home.
Sony is expected to use the 140 patents it has acquired to support its own PlayStation Now streaming service.
OnLive was once valued at $1.8bn (£1.2bn).
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
It brings to an end a troubled five years of service.
In 2012, many of OnLive's staff lost their jobs when the company was sold to a venture capital firm after running up about $40m in debt.
Several of the biggest publishers had refused to support it, although the business had proven that gaming was possible without too much delay between a user pressing a gamepad button and their character responding.
Interest was also limited by the fact users needed a relatively fast broadband connection.
In addition, …