Self-Driving Car Crash Comes Amid Debate About Regulations

A crash that caused an Uber self-driving SUV to flip onto its side in a Phoenix suburb serves as a stark reminder of the challenges surrounding autonomous vehicles in Arizona, a state that has gone all-in to entice the company by promising minimal government regulation.

Friday night’s crash was blamed on the driver of an oncoming SUV that turned left in front of the Uber vehicle carrying two test drivers and no passengers. There were no serious injuries and the driver of the other car was cited for a moving violation. But images of Uber’s Volvo SUV rolled onto its side reverberated heavily on social media.

Uber responded by briefly suspending its self-driving cars in its three testing locations — Arizona, San Francisco and Pittsburgh — as it investigated the accident.

Uber’s self-driving car program is rolling out amid questions about how much government regulation it should endure on issues such as accidents, insurance and reporting instances in which the person behind the wheel in test cars needs to take control of the vehicle.

The San Francisco-based startup endured a shaky December rollout in California — including running red lights — that culminated in a standoff between Uber and state regulators who wanted more transparency and reporting.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey seized the opportunity and used lax regulations to entice Uber, which decided to ship more than a dozen SUVs to metro Phoenix.

“California may not want you, but Arizona does,” said Ducey, who took the first ride as a passenger in Uber’s self-driving cars last month.

Uber spokeswoman Taylor Patterson said the company is operating more than a dozen of the 21 vehicles it has registered in Arizona. Some pick up passengers.

In Arizona, companies such as Uber only need to carry minimum liability insurance policies to operate self-driving cars. They are not required to track crashes…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

In praise of older devices

I am a mobile technology geek. Along with my Huawei P9 and my Lumia 640 phones, I carry round a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet and an iPad 3. I don’t have specific use cases for each of these devices, but just like to have a range of specifications on me.

In praise of older devices

I guess I adhere to a certain personality type. If my interest were in guns instead of phones and tablets, I’d be packing a pistol, a revolver, a shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle, and a couple of hand grenades. I’d be scary.

What you might notice about most of my devices is that, if they were in fact weapons, they would be showing signs of age, perhaps rusting and misfiring. The Lumia 640 might even be the equivalent of a musket. They certainly wouldn’t have the same bang as more up-to-date armaments.

But how much does it really matter to have the latest hardware and OS iteration? Is Android Nugget really superior to Jellybean (setting aside the arguable security issues)? Does a 4×1.9 GHz Octa-core processor really set your phone blazing along any faster than a Quad-core 1.6 GHz?

I’m going to relate my experience of using the five-year-old iPad 3 and the four-year-old Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Both are GSM models, although only the Note can function as a phone (if you don’t mind looking like your phone has elephantitis).

In praise of older devices 

The biggest disappointment I’ve had with the iPad 3, and it was a blow that completely floored me, was finding that it was unable to run the iOS version of Bioshock. Dashed were my hopes of enjoying this brilliant game all over again on a touch-screen platform. But this kind of thing is only to be expected with older devices.

Once the specs are no longer up to the job of running the latest software (Apple guard their device specifications with a cold-war level of secrecy), they can’t be updated like desktops. So you start lagging behind. It can’t be helped.

Another let-down came with the iOS 9.3 update, when I realised that the new Night Shift mode wouldn’t work on my iPad 3. A Google search indicated that the problem lay with the chip. Night Shift requires a 64-bit processor, while my dated machine has only a 32-bit one.

Now, I’m not an engineer and I don’t claim to understand processor architecture. But to my indignant mind, if the third-party application f.lux could successfully dim the screen on my iPad 3 at night, then Apple’s Night Shift jolly well aught to be able to as well.

And don’t get me started on the split-screen multitasking introduced with iOS 9, another feature that passed my iPad by like a toffee not offered to Grandpa because he can no longer chew hard enough.

I began to suspect that these feature limitations were Apple’s way of encouraging me to part with cash for a replacement tablet. I have no hard evidence of course. But it’s just the sort of suspicion that a super-rich company like Apple generates.

While I must admit that the much lighter iPad Air 3 was a tempting purchase, and would stop every ebook I read on the device feeling like it weighed the same as the original chiselled Ten Commandments (the iPad 3 weighs 1.46 pounds at first and 25 pounds after fifteen minutes of holding it), I wasn’t ready for the upgrade, and neither was my wallet.

My iPad for a long time also served very well as a laptop alternative, used in conjunction with a wireless keyboard. Admittedly, the tasks I put it to were light ones, just word-processing and photo touching-up, but performance was always good, with little sign of lag.

Alas, this has become less true with each new Apple update. There’s a noticeable slow-down these days. Text input, for example, often fails to keep up with key-presses. Overall my iPad just feels, well, kind of like an old dog that doesn’t wag its tail with quite the same alacrity any more when I call its name.

 In praise of older devices

But if my iPad can be thought of as an ailing pet sleeping out on the front porch, my Galaxy Note 8 should have been buried in the garden long ago. It has been spared this fate by two of its components having been replaced – the battery, and the charging module . Both of these components are easily available for purchase on Amazon, suggesting that the procedure is a common one, a bit like hip replacement among humans.

I have to confess that I much prefer my Note 8 to my iPad. It might be the physically smaller of the two devices, but its ‘inner’ dimensions seem greater. I find this in general with Android. The Note 8 stimulates my imagination more. Though it is my pub device of choice, so my imagination is already well-lubricated when I’m using it.

Oh, and I like to twiddle with the S-pen. I roll it around my fingers and tap it against my teeth as I once used to do with a pencil. I fancy that this makes me look thoughtful and intellectual.

Of course, the undiminished performance of the Note 8 might be due ironically to Samsung having abandoned it as far as updates go (very much unlike the slowing-down iPad). In fact, it was mid-2014 when Android version 4.4.2 landed on the device. Pressing my ear now to the rail along which that last update trundled, I hear only stillness.

Experts insist that security exploits in the Android operating system allow hackers to steal owner information, and that I should use an old device like the Note 8 with caution, better still paranoia.

While I can’t quibble with that, I don’t dwell on it either. But neither am I reckless. My online banking and other activities involving critical personal information are done on my presumably squeaky-clean iPad, leaving the Note free to download torrents.

In conclusion, if money were no option, sure, I’d go ahead and buy the latest and greatest. I’d be the sharpest shooter on the block. But I think I’m going to make do with re-installing BioShock on my desktop. I might not be able to play by touching the screen while lying on the couch, but I’ll have saved lots of money and will be able to afford that new graphics card.

The post In praise of older devices is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.


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  • You Can Buy from this Shop 24/7, But It’s Unmanned

    Amazon Go may be getting a run for their money after all. They have plans to reinvent the grocery store, however, Wheelys has already opened an unmanned retail store in Shanghai, China. Yes, that’s unmanned as in no one is at the counter manning the store. Jeff Bezos of Amazon wants to reinvent the grocery […]
    Source: Mobile Magazine

    Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to return as a refurbished device.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to return as a refurbished device.

    According to a statement released by Samsung Mobile, some of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 devices will be sold as refurbished devices. Samsung also has plans to salvage each other components such as cameras and semiconductors. In addition, they intend on extracting the metal parts from the remaining stock by partnering with eco-friendly third-party companies.

    This seems to contradict what the company initially stated last year when it said it would dispose of all Note 7 devices, and had no plans to re furbish them. Now the company has stated they will work with local authorities and carriers to sell refurbished Note 7 devices. Interestingly these Note 7 devices are rumoured to have a smaller battery to prevent it overheating and catching fire. As yet it is undetermined after what markets these refurbished devices will be sold in, as this will need the approval of local regulators.

    The objective of introducing refurbished devices is solely to reduce and minimise any environmental impact

    This announcement seems to have appeared after Greenpeace protesters interrupted the Samsung keynote speech last month at Mobile World Congress, where the protesters demanded to know what Samsung would be doing with their 4.3 million recalled devices.

    In writing a blog post, Greenpeace stated

     will make sure Samsung takes into account the voice of millions of our supporters and abide by its commitment.

    Before all the battery issues came to light, the Galaxy Note 7 was heralded by all to be one of the best smartphones developed to date. Would you be interested in buying a refurbished Note 7? I think I would.

    Let us know in the comments below.

    The post Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to return as a refurbished device. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.


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  • The Upcoming Tesla Model 3 is Going beyond its Closest Competitor Chevy Bolt

    Electric cars have been quite a trend these past few years as we promote a safer living environment for the next generation. As we commend ways to promote elimination of waste combustion, we too have to support products aimed the same way. Today, many companies are developing ways to promote help save mother earth.  Tesla, […]
    Source: Mobile Magazine

    This Smart Glove Gives Can Give Motorcycle Navigation

    This smart glove gives a decent solution for motorcyclists who have a hard time following navigation data on their smart phone while driving. Motorcyclists who enjoy riding into new cities or places have found a way to read the navigation on their GPS from their smart phone by mounting the phone on the handlebars and […]
    Source: Mobile Magazine

    Apple Rolls Out Major Update with iOS 10.3: Here's What's New

    Released yesterday, the latest update to Apple’s mobile operating system makes it easier for users to locate their misplaced AirPods and introduces a new look for the Settings app. Likely to be the last update before iOS 11 comes out later this year, iOS 10.3 also comes with a new file system designed for improved storage, and new features for app developers.

    Devices that support iOS 10.3 include iPhone 5, 6 and 7 models, the iPhone SE, the iPad Air, the iPad Air 2, and the fourth-generation iPad.

    Since iOS 10 was released in September, Apple has updated the operating system several times to address a number of issues and add new features and functions. This latest version of iOS 10.3 has seen seven beta releases since the first came out in late January.

    File System Optimized for Flash/SSD Storage

    Apple users are noting on Twitter and elsewhere that downloading and installing iOS 10.3 could take longer than some previous versions as this release comes with a number of major changes. Many report that their devices show improved memory and performance after updating.

    One of the big changes arriving with iOS 10.3 is the Apple File System (APFS) that replaces the Hierarchical File System Apple has been using for more than 30 years. Announced at last summer’s Worldwide Developers Conference, APFS is optimized for Flash and SSD storage and also delivers many other improvements, Apple said.

    “Apple File System is a new, modern file system for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS,” Apple said in its online developer guide. “It is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals.”

    New Support for Finding AirPods

    In its review of the iOS 10.3 release, Ars…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Got Camera? Facebook Adds More Snapchat-Like Features

    Facebook is adding more Snapchat-like features to its app. The company says it wants to let your camera “do the talking” as more people are posting photos and videos instead of blocks of text.

    Facebook is rolling out an app update starting Tuesday. With it, you can tap a new camera icon on the top left corner. That opens up the phone’s camera to do a photo or video post. You could have posted photos from the app before, but it took an extra tap.

    Once you open the camera, you’ll find Facebook’s other new Snapchat-like features, including filters that can be added to images.

    Other effects, such as animations and other interactive filters, are a new twist to dressed-up photos.

    Also new is a “stories” tool that lets you post photos and videos that stay live for 24 hours. This feature is already available on Messenger and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

    Snapchat pioneered camera-first sharing and is wildly popular with younger users. Years ago, Facebook tried to buy the company but was rebuffed. Since then, it has been trying, with varying degrees of success, to clone Snapchat’s most popular features.

    It might be working: Snapchat’s growth rate has slowed down since Instagram introduced its own “stories” feature.
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Google Search App for iPhone Gains a Home Screen Widget

    Google today updated its main Search application for the iPhone and added a widget for the home screen. Technically, iOS doesn’t support true home screen widgets other than those in the notification panel. In order to make it work, a 3D Touch of the Search app brings up a “Trending on Google” widget directly on the screen with breaking news, trends, and hot topics. A quick press of any of the cards takes users to the content in question. The widget doesn’t support users’ customized Google cards, which are still located in the main Google app. People interested in using the widget will need to turn it on manually in the app’s settings. Google added other 3D Touch actions, as well. A hard press on the Google app icon opens a set of quick search actions from the home screen, but it now also lets people start a new search from within the Google app itself. A hard press of the G button on the bottom of the screen opens a new search immediately, and a hard press on search results can provide a preview of the content before opening it fully. The Google Search app also now works more seamlessly with Google’s GBoard keyboard for the iPhone. Google Search is free to download from the iTunes App Store.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News