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Google unveils its self-driving car, has no steering wheel, pedals

It has been coming for a while, but Google has just unveiled its new self-driving car that will not feature a steering wheel, or pedals. During the Recode conference, Google co-founder Sergey Brin announced the search giant's self-driving vehicle.

 

 

Google's self-driving car is an entirely new design, that is capable of taking two people where they want, without having to drive the car themselves. More details as it happens.

Continue reading 'Google unveils its self-driving car, has no steering wheel, pedals' (full post)

YouTube to acquire Twitch in a deal worth $1 billion

According to sources familiar with the deal, YouTube (which is owned by Google) is buying Twitch for over $1 billion. The acquisition is an all-cash deal, which should be officially announced any minute now.

 

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Considering Google purchased YouTube back in 2006 for $1.65 billion, this is a huge deal for both YouTube and Twitch. For those who aren't familiar with what Twitch does, it is a San Francisco-based company that streams video games online for millions of users. Twitch has a reported 45 million monthly users, with over 1 million members who upload videos each month.

 

Twitch has deals with Microsoft and Sony for streaming content to its next-gen consoles, as well as distribution partners in CBS Interactive's GameSpot, Joystiq and Destructoid.

New Zealand High Court rules that Kim Dotcom can have his assets back

It's been a long journey for Kim Dotcom after the New Zealand police and US Government raided and seized his home and assets back in 2012, but today a New Zealand high court has ruled that the former Megaupload owner is to have his assets including property and money returned to him within the next 14 days. Dotcom announced the ruling via his Twitter account earlier this morning.

 

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The property seized includes a car collection valued at more than $6 million, his massive mansion, and more than $10 million in financial assets. In addition, Dotcom's wife, Mona, will see her belongings returned that were seized as well. This ruling is not a sure thing just yet though as the Crown of New Zealand could appeal the decision, and cause Dotcom to enter into yet another court battle.

Continue reading 'New Zealand High Court rules that Kim Dotcom can have his assets back' (full post)

'Suspicious backpacks' found at Boston Marathon finish line

A year after the Boston Marathon bombings, two unattended bags have been discovered, with the Boston Police Department's bomb squad now on the scene. They are investigating the area after a man "dropped a backpack at the finish line and marched up the street screaming "Boston Strong!", reports news.com.au.

 

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That man has reportedly been detained by the Boston Fire Department. This news comes one year after 264 people were injured, and three people died after backpacks exploded near the finish line of last year's Boston Marathon.

Mozilla's CEO, Brendan Eich, resigns over anti-gay controversy

Mozilla's co-founder and CEO, Brendan Eich has come under a lot of fire as of late over a $1000 donation he made to a political group that supported California's Proposition 8, and today he has announced that he will be resigning from the company he helped build. Mozilla says that it takes pride in being held to a different standard, and it knows that it did not live up to that standard over the past week.

 

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"We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it's because we haven't stayed true to ourselves," Mozilla's chairwoman, Mitchell Baker, said on the company's blog. "We didn't act like you'd expect Mozilla to act. We didn't move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We're sorry. We must do better. Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He's made this decision for Mozilla and our community."

Continue reading 'Mozilla's CEO, Brendan Eich, resigns over anti-gay controversy' (full post)

Apple and Tesla Motors team up to release iPhone-colored Model S cars

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS!

 

This morning Tesla Motors announced it is teaming up with Apple to design and release a special edition of Tesla's Model S electric vehicle that matches perfectly, the colored anodized finish of Apple's iPhone 5S smartphone models. This news puts an end to months of speculation surrounding a secret, behind-the-scenes meeting between Elon Musk, Tim Cook and Apple & Tesla executives.

 

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"This partnership signifies both Apple and Tesla Motor's commitment to releasing products that its users demand as well as continuing the cutting edge design that both companies are known for," Tesla said in a statement. "Apple's expertise and assistance with anodizing has been paramount to getting this project off the ground. In late 2014, the first iPhone Gold, Silver, and Space Gray Model S vehicles will roll off the line, thanks to Apple's amazing commitment."

 

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Tesla says that Apple has been hands-on throughout the entire design process, and has helped the team tackle the enormous task of anodizing an entire car with a uniform, blemish-free color coating, just like that on the iPhone 5S models. The surface finish is said to be of the same hardness as an iPhone 5S, leading it to be very resistant to scratches from keys, road debris, and bumps in parking lots. Apple says that it only makes sense to merge qualities from the best iPhone ever made, with the best electric vehicle ever produced, and with both the car and iPhone carrying the model designation of "S," it was destined to be.

Continue reading 'Apple and Tesla Motors team up to release iPhone-colored Model S cars' (full post)

Oculus VR secures Valve's Michael Abrash as its new Chief Scientist

Oh, you thought Oculus VR news was done for the week? Well, it just keeps on going, as the VR start up that will soon be operating under Facebook has just announced that it has Valve's Michael Abrash as its new Chief Scientist.

 

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Abrash is one of the key components in the world of VR, as he worked his magic in the early days of gaming with id Software, on the Xbox, and much more. Recently, he has been working with Valve on its VR and AR research and technologies. The Oculus VR blog has a lengthy post talking about it, something you need to definitely read.

Turkey puts the brakes on YouTube, blocks all access to the video site

Turkey has just issued a complete and total ban on Google's video hosting service, YouTube. Earlier today a Google spokes person issued a statement that read, "We're seeing reports that some users are not able to access YouTube in Turkey. There is no technical issue on our side and we're looking into the situation." Just hours later Turkish authorities said that an "administrative decision" was made to block the site from being viewed within its boarders.

 

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This move comes just days after Turkey issued a ban on Twitter, which was later blocked by an injunction from a Turkish court. Some are speculating that the ban on YouTube is in retaliation to the the courts injunction, while others say that it is just the beginning of a movement to ban most western social sharing sites. With net neutrality a growing concern here in the US, a lot can be learned by these events, and allowing government regulations to take over the internet.

Two buildings collapse after explosion in New York City

This New York City Residents awoke to a loud explosion that reportedly shook buildings and busted windows for dozens of blocks. The explosion was centered on the corner of 116th Street and Park Avenue, and it appears that two buildings have collapsed due to the explosion and resulting fire. No cause has been determined as to what may have caused the explosion, but there were reports of a natural gas smell near the buildings just before the explosion.

 

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Around 9:15am this morning, New York City utility company ConEdision dispatched a crew to reports of a "strong gas smell" at a building on Park Avenue. Before the crews could arrive, the two buildings exploded and blew debris for blocks and shutting down the Metro subway system's North Line. At the moment, authorities are reporting just one fatality, and more than 20 injuries ranging from minor to serious.

 

NBC Channel 4 is reporting that the Metro North Line may be shutdown for the rest of the day, and the news station has confirmed that the smell of gas was reported by several people in the area just before the explosion. Residents and business owners in the area have also reported shaking around the time of the explosion, which has lead to speculation that construction inside the two buildings could have ruptured a major gas line. At the moment, the fire is under control, and first responders are now combing the rubble at the scene for anyone who may be trapped in the debris.

Continue reading 'Two buildings collapse after explosion in New York City' (full post)

Malaysian Airlines loses contact with a plane carrying 239 passengers

Update #3: Another strange update for the still missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, where five passengers checked into the flight but never boarded the plane. Their luggage was removed after officials realized they were not boarding the plane.

 

No wreckage of the missing Boeing 777-200 have been found according to the Director-General of Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation said in press briefing in Kuala Lumpur. Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that authorities still had no idea where the plane was, with a search involving 34 planes, 40 ships and more than 100 people have still not found plane. He announced: "We have not found anything that appears to be an object from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft."

 

Update #2: It is being reported that two passengers on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight boarded with stolen passports. Terrorism has not been ruled out, but is now being questioned because of the stolen passports. This means that the passports were not checked, or were incredibly elaborate fakes to be let through the Kuala Lumpur airport.

 

One of the stolen passports was from the father of an Italian man, who said his son's passport had been stolen over a year and a half ago when he was travelling in Thailand. Walter Maraldi said: "He deposited it with rental car agency, and when he returned the car it was gone."

 

Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 sent off no distress signal, indications of rough weather, or other signs of trouble.

 

Update: Malaysian Airlines has confirmed that it has lost all contact with flight MH370, with the company calling all of the next-of-kin of all passengers and crew on-board the flight. Right now, Malaysian Airlines is focused on working "with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support".

 

Original story: Malaysian Airlines has announced it has lost flight MH370 bound for Beijing, with air traffic controllers losing contact with the plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members just a few hours ago.

 

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The company has released a media statement confirming the news, saying that it had lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am. Malaysian Airlines said on its Facebook page: "Flight MH370, operated on the B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on 8 March 2014. MH370 was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. The flight was carrying a total number of 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members".

 

Malaysian Airlines has said that it is working with authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the lost aircraft. The company has also stated that it will provide updates on the situation when it can, with the public who are concerned able to contact the company for more information on +603 7884 1234.

Continue reading 'Malaysian Airlines loses contact with a plane carrying 239 passengers' (full post)

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