Carmakers test technology

  

Chevrolet SUV tech

GM (which own Chevrolet in photo), Toyota and VW are all testing systems that either nudge the driver or alert them when they are not paying attention to the road. The so-called driver monitoring systems are designed to determine if you are falling asleep or if you being distracted and cannot drive safely, the first of these new systems could be available as soon as next year. These artificial intelligence systems watch the driver and evaluate their fitness to be behind the wheel but just what the automated system is going to do if it determines you are unfit to be behind the wheel no one is quite prepared to say.

With the improvement in addition to more and more Internet connected entertainment automation technologies in cars the researchers are now putting their attention to doing something about what the researchers are saying, all the entertainment is distracting drivers. There are serious concerns amongst driver groups about maintaining their privacy with the systems in the vehicle but all of the technology providers say the same thing, data collected by a car is the property of the vehicle's owner, and they cannot legally release it without the written permission of the owner or having a court order issued. The biggest concern for driver groups is that there are almost no laws in place now that cover in car data collection.
One of the biggest concerns this technology is setting out to address is that the biggest cause of driver distraction is the use of cell phones and other mobile devices, research suggests drivers who type the text message whilst driving are six times more likely to be involved in an accident and those who answer a phone, look up contact or just browse the Internet are three times more likely to crash. A lot of people are now saying that these driver monitoring systems are being created to fix a problem that was created by automation technology in the first place.
Surprisingly, behind cell phones, the next biggest cause of distraction for drivers is cars with radar enhanced cruise control and lane keeping technology, both of which are sold as safety features but tend to make the driver less attentive, the driver thinks the car can do it all. A specialist lawyer who researches liability issues associated with autonomous vehicles, Bryant Walker Smith, law professor at the University of South Carolina said “we are replacing one set of risks and creating a whole new set of risks”.
There is another industry with parallel experience using automation and that is the aviation industry, the FAA just completed a report that noted pilots recently involved in either crashes or near misses lacked the skill necessary to take over a plane when it's autopilot failed. Today in the aviation industry 90% of the flying is done by computers, and the FAA believes that has led to a decline in skills of flight crew.
A major difficulty with any automation technology is its ability to understand what the person it is monitoring is actually doing, if the system thinks you are being inattentive but you are not how is that conflict going to be resolved. Today most car manufacturers agree the last thing they would expect a driver monitoring system to do is to actually take over control of the vehicle, generally they expect driver monitoring systems to warn the driver in various different ways when the system believes they should be warned that they are not doing what is expected.

 

Chinese leap in autonomous cars

  

autonomous cars

At the moment we have a rare event in the tech sector, right now in China there is developing a specialized tech sector that is zeroing in on what is called autonomous or self driving cars, while at the same time a very similar but completely separate market for exactly the same thing has been developing in the United States. Many people in this technological field actually believe China has better conditions for the uptake of the technology, and because of the much more aggressive support from the national and local governments in China the conditions are actually much more favorable for fast adoption of the driverless car. China also has one more advantage over the United States in that the Chinese never developed a passion for the open road and car ownership.

Pony.ai provides automobile engineering, technology solutions, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving technology for transportation and operates in the United States and China. Baidu Inc the main search engine in China also provides navigation services and Baidu serves clients globally. Aptiv (in photo) . Aptiv is a global technology company that develops safer, greener and more connected solutions enabling the future of mobility.
Of course in recent years car ownership in China has spiked dramatically, most economic experts agree that within 15 years China will be the largest automobile market in the world. Technological experts are actually putting their bets on to the automation of the Chinese taxi industry as a first step. As these cars would nearly all be electric vehicles, it would greatly aid the Chinese government in the lowering of the pollution levels in major cities of Beijing and Shanghai. There has been a massive torrent of startup companies in China going into this technological area.
Most of the start up companies are extremely unusual in that the executives, nearly 100%, have all come from being employed by major US tech giants, the best well-known is run by ex-Intel senior executive. This particular company, even though its backers are well guarded secret, is expecting to put its first demonstration model would show at the consumer electronic show in Las Vegas in 2017. This company has attracted what is commonly called a collection of super talent with one of their latest employees being the former head of Google in China. Both Tesla and Google, the two leaders in the US race to build a completely driverless car were asked their opinions of the Chinese companies that are also having their own race, both companies didn't really want to comment but Tesla says they expect their first self driving cars to be on the road in late 2018 and Google expects its first model to be on the roads by early 2019. Both of these dates are around about the same dates the Chinese are talking about.
When talking to some of the Chinese leaders they said something which caught everyone's attention, most of the people in the field only talk about China and the United States but the Chinese say they believe that BMW in Germany has also been working on an autonomous vehicle since 2013, so in their words the project should be well advanced by now.
The biggest hurdle both teams have is actually getting their cars on the road, in the United States both Tesla and Google have been fighting uphill battles to allow their cars to be tested on the open road, in China is the exact opposite, with the government the biggest driving force behind these cars as fast as one comes off the production line is on the road being tested.

 

Facebook F8 Zuckerberg showed off

  

f8 technologyinforms

2019 marks Facebook's 10th F8 but looking back when it was launched in 2004 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pitched it as a way to get a date, wonder if he succeeded. When he opened his company's annual F8 developer conference in San Francisco recently he illustrated just how ambitious he is now, 14 years later. He said Facebook will now bring the world online, it would pioneer artificial intelligence and perfect virtual-reality. He introduced a whole series of bots that basically are designed to serve as robotic customer service reps for anyone who really wants one. He also brought onto the stage a piece of the Aquila pilotless plane which will supposedly bring wireless Internet to parts of the developing world that don't currently have it.

He said that the idea of building a plane that could stay in the air for several months at 60,000 feet, which is twice the cruising height of a commercial airliner, and also weighs less than most small cars, then he would've said you were crazy. His ambitions illustrate exactly how technology companies are no longer content with just getting people to go to their website and maybe download something, these technology oligarchs now believe their future depends on them being omnipresent in people's lives. During his address Mark Zuckerberg made several thinly veiled attacks on Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump and his policy of closing the borders and turning the United States inward, he said “I hear fearful voices talking about building walls, it takes courage to choose hope over fear”.
He also said later on after he been challenged over the fact that he had spent the past three years lobbying for more visas for foreign workers, “instead of building walls we can build bridges, instead of dividing people we can connect them. We should do it one person at a time, one connection at a time and that is why I think the work we're doing together is more important than it has ever been before”. Developers will be able to build new chat bots to work with messenger, the CNN bot was demonstrated and also the 1-800-flowers bot was also demonstrated, with this plot you can order flower deliveries with personalized messages.
Much of the buzz at the developer event was around the seemingly nerdy new product of chat bots, these bots send live, automated messages or images or video into Facebook's chat tool, messenger, which is currently used by 900 million people every month as well as 50 million businesses. For most of the people who used the bots at the event this was their first experience of interacting with artificial intelligence. This move for Facebook is as much about making money as being social, if businesses use Facebook then they make more money and Facebook can make more money from them.
Gear VR, Facebook's low-end VR goggles is part of a technology that is claimed is going to change the way we all experience the world, Facebook claims customers have currently watched 2 million hours of VR video and it already has over 50 games in production.

 

Latest Apple Watch Series 3 and 4

  

Latest Apple Watch Series 3 and 4

Nothing beats the field of technology and innovation more than Apple. Apple has always been a tough competition for other companies either in the field of mobile phones or smartwatches. Apple watch series 3 is considered one of the best smartwatches one could buy.

Apple watch series 3 was launched with a built in 4G technology. Apple's latest technology science provides extraordinary health features that include fibrillation detection which has an ability to perform an ECG test on one's wrist itself. It has a 30% larger display and a fast processor in comparison to other smartwatches in the market. However, the design of the series 3 is identical to the series 2. Although the size of apple watches are constant, this model has a new dual core processor and LTE connectivity.
The visual difference of series 3 is that it has a big red dot in the Digital Crown which mostly draws attention that you are possibly wearing the most expensive smartwatch around your wrist. The series 3 focuses on keeping a track on health and fitness, offering a variety of exercising tools. The workout app is more advanced as compared to the past models by adding a couple of new exercises. This intelligent watch lets you keep a track of your laps and lengths of strokes underwater as well. This is a result of the new science and technology Apple has incorporated in its Apple Watch Series 3. It measures your heart rate before and after the average walking. It also monitors your resting rates and the recovering time after your workouts. Siri being the biggest advantage in Apple's smartwatches, saves your time and energy when your hands are not idle. Whether it is a matter of setting up the time or changing a music track in the middle of the jog, you can easily do it with Siri.
There are thousands of third-party apps one can enjoy along with the core apps of Apple, making full use of the technology of the series 3. Apple Watch Series 3 can sync music automatically with its new technology software WatchOS 4. However, it is an Apple Music only venture. Also, wireless headphones are required for this.
However, the drawback is the battery life of series 3 is not long lasting and one needs to recharge it frequently. The watch is not user friendly if you don't own an iPhone.
The question that arises is that is Apple Series 3 worth the money? The answer to this question lies in the use of your gadgets. If you own an IPhone, a set of Air pods and a subscription to Apple Music Library, then an apple watch adds as a latest technology extension to your collection. It will benefit you with cellular activities, it will monitor your fitness regime and the sleek design will add to your style statement. For majority of the people the cost of the watch is not affordable along with limited battery life. Whereas, other get fascinated by Apple's latest technology and innovation.
 
Apple Watch Series 4. Fundamentally redesigned and re-engineered to help you be even more active, healthy, and connected.
 
The largest Apple Watch display yet. Electrical heart sensor. Re-engineered Digital Crown with haptic feedback. Entirely familiar, yet completely redesigned, Apple Watch Series 4 resets the standard for what a watch can be.
 
Notifications for low and high heart rate. Fall detection and Emergency SOS. Breathe watch faces. It's designed to improve your health every day and powerful enough to help protect it.
 
Automatic workout detection. Yoga and hiking workouts. Advanced features for runners like cadence and pace alerts. See up to five metrics at a glance as you precisely track all your favorite ways to train.
 
Walkie-Talkie, phone calls, and messages. Apple Music and Apple Podcasts. They're all there, right on your wrist. Seriously if you like to wait till new products get refined till you buy, I think this it the time to jump in...

 

Has your PC been held hostage

  

Has your PC been held hostage technology

Malware activity increased 61% from December 2018 to January 2019.

Everyone today needs to understand the evolving risks associated with our modern technology, the chances are that sooner or later you will be targeted by something that is growing dramatically, it is commonly called ransomwear, basically it is a piece of malicious software that encrypts all of the data on your computer or smartphone and the people who put it there then demand a ransom to return access to your device. In late 2015 Intel security released a report stating that the incidence rate of ransomwear installations had increased by 26% during the previous 12 months. According to the FBI, the criminal gangs that use ransom ware attacks are netting up to $150 million per annum.

The FBI report did not estimate the overall value of the losses sustained by the known 6 million attempts to install this type of malware on computer systems across the world. Most ransom ware attacks today involve not only the demand for ransom but threats aimed at the owner if they fail to pay, usually these threats involve sending pornography to all your customers if you're in business or on forwarding the malware to anyone you know, the latest infections have been included in Microsoft Word documents which has made them very effective.
The practice of using ransomwear is growing mostly because the software is easy to obtain online and is also relatively cheap, on top of that the advent of systems like bitcoin, which enables the criminals to be paid but remain untraceable has aided not just ransom ware peddlers but other forms of cyber crime. Nearly all these type of attacks are directed at what are commonly called “soft targets”, these are individual computers or a small network of computers that have relatively low level protection, most of them usually don't even have a firewall.
The upside of all of this is it is relatively easy to protect your computer against this kind of attack, the simplest and easiest way is to perform a backup of your complete system every three months if it's a personal computer and every month if it's a business system. Then if you have an attack occur all you have to do is restore the computer using the backup and the ransomwear is defeated, and the threats become meaningless but there are some things you should do even if you have effective protection.
Number one thing on the list of things you should do is to report the attack to the authorities, unless they know what is going on they have no chance of either catching the criminals or issuing bulletins advising of how the malware was installed. You should always use reputable antivirus software and you must have a firewall installed as well, having these two items installed and up-to-date will most likely defeat any incoming malware, not just ransomwear.
If you are a business it is recommended that you purchase cyber insurance to protect yourself against this type and other types of cyber crime. You'll need to enlist an insurance expert to make sure you are not only covered for currently known cyber crimes but also for evolving cyber crimes. Like the rest of the community the world of crime is changing and technology is speeding up the pace of that change, educate yourself to understand the evolving risks most of which are easy and not expensive to defeat, all it takes is a little forethought and effort in the criminals will go and look for softer marks.

 

Electric rain

  

Electric rain technology informs

This is just been released, scientists in China have developed an innovative solar panel technology that they say will turn raindrops into electricity. It is a new kind of solar cell design and can be triggered by either rain or sun, the first published report was in the Angewandte Chemie Journal. An all weather solar cell would be a great advance toward solving the energy crisis. This new solar cell is made using the technology that combines an electron enriched graphene electrode with a dye sensitized solar cell, this new cell can be excited by either incident light on sunny days or raindrops if it rains.

The standard current solar cells are mostly dye sensitized varieties, they use a thin film of photovoltaic cells that harness organic dye to absorb sunlight and produce electrons, that is how they create energy. This new design could further guide the advanced all weather solar cells technology according to the scientists who made it. Several attempts by news organizations like Fox to contact the paper's lead author, Ocean University of China Professor Qunwei Tang have so far failed. The science news Journal noted that by using the thin layer of highly conductive graphene the solar cell could effectively harness power from rain, the salt contained in the rain separates into ions of ammonium, calcium and sodium, making graphene and natural water a great combination for creating energy it reported.
The Journal went on to say that the water actually cleans to the graphene, forming a dual layer with the graphing electrons, which acts as a pseudo-capacitor. The energy difference between the layers is so great that this causes the generation of electricity. A senior research scientist and adjunct professor at Columbia University who did not participate in the paper told Fox news that this technology would have huge additional costs and he also had questions about the potential solar cell optical losses exceeding the benefits of the rain harvested electricity. If the costs factors could be overcome this type of solar cell could be used in climates not typically able to use standard Sun powered solar cells.
China of course is one of the world's major solar panel manufacturers and innovators, they expect significant increases in the use of the technology within their own country over the next two years, this is all designed to reduce the country's carbon emissions and to that aim China has set a goal of tripling its solar power output to as much as 143 GW by the year 2020. There are numerous US firms also heavily involved in solar panel innovation and technology, with the leader probably being SolarCity which was cofounded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk who announced that the company will be making its most cutting-edge solar panels within the United States. The company's main production facility where they are saying they will produce its most efficient rooftop solar panels is based in Buffalo New York and by all accounts is a huge production space, this facility will reach full capacity by the end of 2017.

 

Hyundai teams up with Cisco Systems

  

Hyundai teams up with Cisco Systems

Hyundai motors has formed a partnership with Cisco with regard to car technology, they are specifically looking at how to connect cars on the road to the Internet. The South Korean carmaker said earlier this year it was looking for someone to help it develop what it is calling “hyper connected intelligent cars” as a long-term project pushing eventually towards driverless vehicle technology. The competition to control and produce the first effective driverless vehicle is becoming extremely intense with more and more vehicle manufacturers partnering up with tech giants, it seems all of them believe that controlling this emerging market is a future massive income earner.

Hyundai Motor Company and Cisco today revealed a new technology roadmap that will enable next-generation in-vehicle networking with security. In addition, the companies shared their timeline for commercial deployment of ‘hyper-connected' production vehicles, slated for 2019. Technology advancements from the collaboration will enable Hyundai and Cisco to disrupt auto industry at a faster pace.

This unique automotive and IT collaboration is focused on technology solutions for in-vehicle data demands, which will increase exponentially with autonomous driving and other connectivity needs. The focus for Hyundai and Cisco is moving away from restrictive CAN (Controller Area Network) systems, to Ethernet communications, which boast processing speeds of up to 1Gbps. Ethernet-based software also supports integrated data control, which allows for flexible expansion of connections to handle large data sets coming from various components in the vehicle simultaneously.

Hyundai and Cisco have created a new platform that provides highly secure access to all the data in the vehicle. The platform utilizes the first generation of 1Gps architectures and Automotive Ethernet with QoS, which allows for maximized bandwidth, more capabilities. It's highly configurable and secure – and offers the flexibility to design and build new services. It will also accelerate innovation, provide ‘over the air updates', and shorten the lifecycle in bringing new capabilities to market.

“Hyundai Motor Group's ongoing collaboration with top global technology companies is a testament to our ‘Open Innovation' spirit that will prepare us for continued leadership as transportation and mobility undergo an unprecedented evolution,” said Seung-ho Hwang, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor Group's Auto Intelligence Business Department. “Our partnership with Cisco is an outstanding example of such efforts, and in 2019 we will unveil the first vehicle equipped with groundbreaking connected-car technologies jointly developed by the two companies.”

Hyundai may be a Korean company, but over half the cars they sell in the U.S. are made in the U.S. Hyundai have a technologically sophisticated manufacturing facility in Montgomery, Alabama, engineering facilities in Michigan, plus design, research, and testing grounds in California. All of which provides around 5,000 jobs for American automotive workers. Add to that total more than 32,000 employees at Hyundai dealerships and 6,000 workers employed by our various vendors, and you've got quite the microeconomy. The Hyundai California design & research center $30 million design facility is fitted with the world's most advanced visualization, graphics, and clay-modeling technologies, keeping Hyundai at the forefront of car technology and design. Hyundai invested $1.7 billion building one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in Alabama manufacturing facility, North America. It has received ISO/TS 16949 certification, the most rigid quality management standard from the International Automotive Task Force. It also provides thousands of jobs for workers in the region.
 

IBM are developing a brain implant

  
brain nebula
It is true, IBM researcher Stefan Harrer is developing a new and novel way of monitoring a person's brain in order to predict epileptic seizures. Working with neurologists from the University of Melbourne and the companies Australian branch Harrer is designing a computer system that he says is like an artificial brain, this computer will be dedicated to analyzing a real human brain. They have designed a software application that will interpret human brain waves by using a neural network. A patient's brain waves are fed into the neural network and analyzed by the IBM proprietary hardware. The hardware in question is an experimental IBM chip called TrueNorth, this chip has been built with an architecture that is designed to mirror the human brain which is why it makes an efficient neural network.
The team of researchers in the genes using the computer chip with an external computer and eventually on a wearable device that will work cooperatively alongside a brain implant, the implant would send EEG information to the wearable device or computer which would then use the data to predict the onset of an epileptic seizure. The team expressed the desire for the system to be on a wearable device as quickly as possible as this would then allow them to do an analysis in real-time. They also said that having the wearable device working efficiently is the only real way for this technology to have a great impact beyond looking cool on research papers. They envisage the device on detecting an oncoming seizure would alert the patient and the patient's doctors using a connected smart phone.
Using the data attained from earlier implant studies the scientists involved expect they will be able to see deeper into the underlying structure of seizure brain activity. Harrer and his team hope to use this information to further refine the device so it can then be used not only to predict seizures but possibly be used to even stop them before they occur. Harrer said that to be unable to stop the seizure the artificial brain would have to compensate for the real brain which was malfunctioning.
The difficulty the team has faced from the start is trying to extract the really meaningful information from all the background noise generated by the patient's brain, they have to be able to detect a specific seizure pattern for each individual patient and so far this has eluded them but they all say they are getting closer everyday. This whole thing might sound like science fiction but it isn't, neurologists at the University of Melbourne have already been running a study in which less complex implants gathered EEG readings from epilepsy patients for the last three years, which is why Harrer joined forces with them with his study. The ultimate aim of both of these projects is to one day be able to attach an artificial neural network to a human body, this is many years in the future but all of the team believe it not only can be done but has to be done.

 

Intel new Optane memory technology

  

cpu

Mid 2017 Intel and micron launched a new ultrafast memory technology branded as Optane, they are saying that this technology will pave the way for even faster storage on Apple's MacBooks. Optane is going to be compatible with the NVMe storage protocols that Apple already uses in some of its MacBooks. This fact means it will be relatively easy for Apple to transition to Optane and to take advantage of the new technology before everyone else. Using 3-D X point technology, Optane is said to offer speeds up to 1000 times faster and more durable than currently used flash storage, it achieves this by being 10 times denser than DRAM.

NVMe is meant to replace the aging AHCI technology, NVMe is optimized for lower latency operations afforded by solid-state media and/or nonvolatile memory. Compared to what it is replacing NVMe reduces latency by up to 50%. This new type of memory is the first you memory category in more than 25 years, with most of the industry tech heads just calling it “crazy fast” for short.
The new technology is going to revolutionize the whole industry because a lot of devices and software that are still on the drawing boards will benefit greatly from the use of this superfast memory. To make it Intel and micron had to actually use unique material compounds and Crosspoint architecture to get the density they needed which is 10 times that of conventional memory. This new technology makes new innovations possible in applications ranging from machine learning to gameplay, the 8K gaming experience is now within reach using these memory chips.
For decades now the industry has been searching for anyway to reduce the lag time between the processing chip and the data, this new class of nonvolatile memory has achieved that goal, it brings game changing performance to memory and storage. The biggest lag in modern computing has been the time it takes the processor to retrieve data on long-term storage, this new revolutionary technology used in this chip allows quick access to enormous data sets and enables whole new sets of applications.
One of the applications the medical profession is looking forward to with this technology is that researchers or physicians can process and analyze very large data sets in real time, this will accelerate complex tasks including genetic analysis and disease tracking. The performance enhancements of the 3-D Xpoint technology will also be of great benefit to PC users, for many years the 8K gaming experience was something professional gamers can only look forward to, now it is actually on the horizon and coming closer by the minute. The use of this technology in relatively simple tasks like online video or online video chat will mean it will be a greatly enhanced experience without any lags or other problems usually encountered with the current technology.
The 3-D Xpoint technology is a completely new technology, the chip is innovative, it uses a transistor less crosspoint architecture which creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersections of the lines, as a result data can be written and read much faster and much more efficiently.
 
Intel Optane technology provides an unparalleled combination of high throughput, low latency, high quality of service, and high endurance. Check out the video to see how new computer architectures are unleashing unprecedented possibilities from data center to desktop.

 

iPhone has been unlocked without Apple

  

iphone

Where you will stand on this issue probably will depend on which side of the political spectrum you come down on. A while ago the US Justice Department got a court order which ordered Apple to unlock the iPhone that belongs to the terrorists from San Bernardino so the FBI could see what information the phone held, Apple point-blank refused and took the matter to court, at the same time the US Justice Department also went back to court seeking an enforcement order. However recently the Justice Department went into court and withdrew its legal action against Apple, during that withdrawal they stated that the iPhone has been unlocked and the FBI is now going over the data in the phone to see if there's any useful intelligence to be gained.

It was the announcement that the phone had been unlocked and the contents were now available to the authorities that has caused the biggest consternation for many a year. First thing that happened was Apple turnaround and tried to take the Justice Department Court demanding to know who unlocked the phone and how they did it. For the time being the Justice Department has classified both pieces of information so Apple cannot get them. But the very fact that the iPhone has been unlocked by a third-party, the Justice Department has disclosed, has to be gentle about it, thrown a bobcat into the hen house, with tech companies running everywhere trying to figure out who, what and how what Apple said was impossible has occurred.
On top of that the American Civil Liberties Union has joined in the fight on Apple's side trying to force the Justice Department to disclose how the phone was unlocked on the grounds that Apple should be provided that information so they can prevent it happening again, again the Justice Department is basically said the information is classified. Apple then released the following information with Justice Department permission, the phone in question was an iPhone 5C running Apples iOS 9 mobile operating system, other than this revelation potentially frightening anyone who owns this phone with this configuration about how good the phones security is, no one else seems to know why the information was released.
The original court decision and subsequent court appearances between Apple and the authorities had become more more heated as Apple refused point blank to help the authorities in any way, and inciting a debate about whether privacy or security was more important. Now the phone has been unlocked Apple is now saying they would continue to help law enforcement investigations, which of course the FBI quickly reminded everybody was zero cooperation. Apple now says openly that given the rancor between the FBI and the company they doubt the FBI will ever tell him or provide them with any information relating to how the iPhone security was breached.
What most of the general public did not know is that at least three other cases in different parts of the United States have taken place where government lawyers asked for court orders to get Apple to open other locked phones so they can gather information for prosecutions, probably the best-known of these is an iPhone that was used by drug dealer in Brooklyn New York where a federal judge refused to grant the order, Apple is now extremely worried the same method will be used to open these other iPhones and there appears to be absolutely nothing they can do to stop it.

 

  
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