Self-driving trucks and cars are in the works from a bunch of different manufacturers and other firms like Google. In Germany, a new self-driving truck was demoed recently by Daimler. The truck is able to drive itself down the road with the driver behind the wheel doing nothing but looking at a tablet in his lap.
The truck was tested on the A14 along a stretch of the autobahn near Magdeburg in eastern Germany last week. The trucks is known as the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, that year in the name is a nod to when the maker hopes to have the truck available for commercial use.
The vehicle is designed to respond to traffic and drive autonomously down the freeway at speeds of up to 85 kph or 52 mph. Right now only one prototype of the truck exists and no pricing information has been offered for what the truck might cost when it goes into commercial production. Self-driving vehicle tech is expected to add around $10,000 to the purchase price of a vehicle.
A Chinese firm called Xiaomi has been selling smartphones for a long time in China and the company recently rolled out its very first Android tablet. The tablet runs Android and is called the Mi Pad. The tablet reportedly sold 50,000 units in less than four minutes when it launched last week.
The Mi Pad is a tablet that runs the NVIDIA Tegra K1 quad-core processor at 2.2 GHz. the screen of the tablet is 7.9-inches and the device comes in five different case colors. Native resolution for the 7.9-inch screen is 2048 x 1536 and the NVIDIA processor is paired with 2GB of RAM.
The rear camera is an 8MP unit and the front camera is a 5MP unit with power coming from an internal rechargeable battery of 6700 mAh in capacity. The 16GB storage version of the tablet costs the US equivalent of $240 in China with a 64GB version selling for $270.
Google has been trialing its Shopping Express service in a few select locations for a while now. Shopping Express is a service that works in some areas with local retail stores allowing users to buy things at a retail store and have them delivered on the same day or the next day to their home or office.
A new report has surfaced that claims that Google has set aside $500 million that is earmarked to expand the Shopping Express service nationwide. Google has offered no official comments on the amount of money set aside for the project.
Some of the money will reportedly be used to market the service in each new city that it launched in, as well as to purchase delivery vehicles. Money will also be spent to hire new workers to pack the goods and deliver them.
NASA has awarded a contract to Boeing for a heavy duty rocket to be used on future space missions. The contract is to design and build the Space Launch System rocket that will be used to put astronauts on the moon and beyond. The new SLS rocket will be more powerful than the Saturn 5 rocket used in the past.
The first SLS rocket will make its maiden flight putting an unmanned Orion capsule into space in 2017. The second flight will be a manned mission and is planned for 2021. NASA has plans to build a more powerful version of the SLS in the future to put four person crews into space and take them to asteroids and eventually to Mars.
The Boeing contract is worth $2.8 billion and will see the company developing avionics and the SLS core stage. Funding for early studies into a new upper stage needed for exploration missions in the future is included in the contract.
If you follow the Star Wars universe, you know that a new film is in the works that has many of the original cast members back for another film. Harrison Ford will be reprising his role as Han Solo in the new film and Ford was injured on the set of the film not too long ago.
Ford suffered a broken leg that required surgery putting him out of the film for a while. Original reports claimed that production on the film wouldn't be delayed because of the scope of the project. However, new reports have surfaced claiming that production will be suspended for 2 weeks.
The good news is that Disney is saying that the film is still on track or a release in December 2015. Ford's leg was injured when a piece of Solo's infamous Millennium Falcon fell on him during filming.
Most of us understand that one of the ways to keep people who aren't authorized to get into your iPhone out is by using a password. The problem for many is that unlocking the screen of your device with a password can be a nuisance. Apple is tipped to be working on a new feature for the iPhone 6 that will make password security easier to live with.
According to rumors floating around the web, the iPhone 6 will get automatic unlocking. Apple has filed a patent application that outlines ways that the next iPhone might get automatic unlocking. The app outlines a method where the iPhone will only deploy password locks when it is used on an unknown network.
That would mean if you try to use your iPhone at home, no password would be needed, but if you try to use it on a network at the local coffee shop, it would ask for a password. The patent app is titled "Location-Sensitive Security Levels and Setting Profiles Based on Detected Location." As with all patent apps, there is no guarantee that this tech will ever be used.
YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the internet for streaming video and as such, it consumes a lot of bandwidth on many IPS networks. Some ISPs are allegedly slowing the streaming of YouTube videos down and YouTube is calling the ISPs out on the practice. YouTube has begun putting little messages on videos that are having streaming issues.
The message pops up over the title of the video and reads "Experiencing Interruptions?" and on the right side of the message, a button for users to click reads, "Find out Why." When the user clicks on that button, they are taken to a Video Quality Report that is localized for the person streaming the video. That report allows the user to compare video consumption times in their area and compare their ISP with the performance of other local ISPs in the area.
The best providers in the area receive a YouTube HD Verified tag with other carriers possibly having badges putting them in Standard Definition or lower tiers. The idea is to give the viewer an idea of why a video is slow rather than just assuming YouTube is having issues and to give the viewer options to change to other carriers that aren't putting limits on video streaming.
Reports are circulating that Apple has confirmed a bug in the calendar app that runs on the iPhone and iPad. According to these reports, the bug shows the wrong list of holidays for users in some countries. The bug was first spied when Apple released the iOS 7.1.2 update for its devices.
One iPad user reports that after the update was applied, his iPad showed a list of holidays for Mexico and Hong Kong rather than the holidays for his home country of Lithuania. This same user claims that the holidays listed changes occasionally.
The holidays reportedly show wrong if the home country on the iPad or iPhone is listed as Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. If the country is set as the US, UK, or Russia the holidays are reportedly listed correctly. Apple has acknowledged the issue with the user via email and says that the problem will be fixed with a new update. However, the time frame for the update to be issued is unknown.
Where is Microsoft going with its venture into Nokia? According to the latest leaked renders on a mystery Lumia smartphone, we could see new Lumia smartphones with the "Nokia by Microsoft" branding.
The new smartphone is said to be the Lumia 830, which sports the "Nokia by Microsoft" branding on its rear. We don't know what to expect from the new Lumia 830, apart from its 13-megapixel PureView camera, and a similar design to what we've seen on the Lumia 1020.
Foxconn should be one of the first companies to deploy robots to build consumer devices, with Apple reportedly being the first company to make use of these new "Foxbots" as they're referred to.
These new Foxbots will be capable of assembling an average of 30,000 devices, costing somewhere between $20,000 to $25,000 per robot to make. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has already said that these robots are in their final testing phase, with the company ready to unleash 10,000 robots into its factories. With Foxconn being the biggest partner for Apple in assembling its iOS-based devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod, this could be big news for the Foxconn.
We already knew that Foxconn laid out plans to replace some of its human workers with some 1 million robots, but the time frame of this may shift. Apple is even chipping in, investing a hefty $10.5 billion on the advanced supply chain technology, with some of this investment sliding over to advanced machinery, something that includes assembly robots. Foxconn has hired an additional 100,000 new workers to help assemble the upcoming iPhone 6 for Apple, with production expected to ramp up next month for a launch in September.