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Report: Trump “would never get in a self-driving car”

Ars Technica - 2 hours 55 min ago

Enlarge / President Donald Trump, as seen on January 27, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. (credit: Pool Photo/Getty Images)

Donald Trump's choice to lead the Department of Transportation, Elaine Chao, has worked hard to avoid placing regulatory barriers in the way of self-driving cars. But Chao's boss is a driverless car skeptic, Axios reports.

One Axios source had a conversation with Trump in 2017 where he mentioned owning a Tesla with Autopilot technology. According to the source, Trump "was like, 'Yeah that's cool but I would never get in a self-driving car... I don't trust some computer to drive me around.'"

On another occasion, Trump reportedly said, "Can you imagine, you're sitting in the back seat and all of a sudden this car is zig-zagging around the corner and you can't stop the f---ing thing?"

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple Watch accurately spotted heart condition 34% of the time in study

Ars Technica - 3 hours 21 min ago

(credit: Apple)

In a large Apple-sponsored study assessing whether the pulse sensor on older versions of the Apple Watch (Series 1, 2, and 3) can pick up heart rhythm irregularities, researchers found that only 34 percent of participants who received an alert of an irregular pulse on their watch went on to have a confirmed case of atrial fibrillation, a common type of irregular heart rhythm.

The study was led by researchers at Stanford, who presented the results Saturday in New Orleans at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. The results have not been published in a scientific journal and have not been peer-reviewed.

The study, dubbed the Apple Heart Study, began in November 2017, before the release of the Apple Watch Series 4, which includes an electrocardiograph (ECG) feature for monitoring heart activity. Though the study didn’t keep pace with that of wearable device development, it was rather speedy relative to clinical trials. In fact, some cardiologists were impressed simply by the short period of time in which the study was able to recruit such a large number of participants—nearly 420,000—plus follow up with them using telemedicine and get results.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Former Valve designer, writer dishes on his new “co-op” game studio

Ars Technica - 4 hours 19 min ago

Enlarge / Chet Faliszek, Dr. Kimberly Voll announce the creation of Stray Bombay, a new video game studio. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

SAN FRANCISCO—In 2017, game designer and writer Chet Faliszek left Valve Software. The departure was notable in part because Faliszek was perhaps second only to company co-founder Gabe Newell in terms of public exposure, but also because Faliszek's work represented a seemingly long-gone era at the game studio: one of irreverent, story-driven games that emphasized co-op (both Left 4 Dead games and Portal 2, among other titles).

Shortly after that departure, Faliszek emerged with news: he would start making games at Bossa Studios, home of goofy titles like Surgeon Simulator and I Am Bread. It seemed like a good fit. Turns out, it wasn't.

After roughly a year working together, Faliszek and the Bossa Studios team "reconvened and decided it wasn't working out," he told Ars Technica. On one hand, Faliszek described the end of that relationship as "the hardest breakup, because I couldn't get mad at them." On the other, when pressed, Faliszek described the game he'd worked on as "a kind of game they're not known for making, and kind of maybe not suited for making."

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

WorldPay payments firm in $43bn sale to US rival

BBC Technology News - 4 hours 20 min ago
Payment processor WorldPay, once part of RBS bank, is sold to Fidelity National Information Services.

Hong Kong subway trains collide amid new signal system trials

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 48 min ago
Two trains collide during a new signal system trial, threatening travel disruption for millions.

Apple updates $499 iPad Air, $399 iPad mini ahead of services event next week

Ars Technica - 5 hours 56 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Apple)

We're one week out from Apple's services-focused event in Cupertino, and the company just announced a pair of devices we've been expecting for quite some time. Apple debuted a new, $499 10.5-inch iPad Air and a new, $399 7.9-inch iPad mini today. Both have familiar designs but also have the company's new A12 Bionic chip.

The new iPad Air looks like previous models, with thicker bezels on the top and bottom of the advanced Retina display (now with True Tone technology) to house the camera array and the physical Home button. While both new iPads have updated cameras that can better handle low-light situations and immersive AR experiences, they appear to omit FaceID entirely.

Inside the iPad Air is the new A12 Bionic chip with Apple's neural engine, and the company claims it will make the new Air 70 percent faster than previous versions, with twice the graphics power. The updated display now supports the Apple Pencil as well, giving more users the opportunity to draw, sketch, and take notes on an iPad.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

SpaceX may begin testing its Starship spacecraft this week

Ars Technica - 6 hours 43 min ago

Enlarge / For now, Starship's first mission will be to the Moon. (credit: Elon Musk/Twitter)

For months in south Texas, SpaceX employees have been assembling a test version of the upper stage for its next-generation launch system. This prototype "Starship" is far from space-worthy, but it will allow the company to test the vehicle's ability to "hop" from the spaceport and then land propulsively back on the ground.

On Friday, the company sent a notice to nearby residents saying it planned to conduct testing of the vehicle as soon as the week of March 18, and that it would be closing the main roadway of Highway 4 to non-residents during the tests. This "safety zone perimeter" is part of an agreement with the local county, and has been set up out of an abundance of caution.

On Sunday, company founder Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that SpaceX was indeed close to beginning tests. Musk said that integration work remained to be done on test vehicle and its Raptor rocket engine, and that the first hops would lift off, but only "barely." Eventually the "Starhopper" test vehicle will have three engines, but for now it appears as though the company will start with just one.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

OWNAFC: Football fans call for refunds over club app

BBC Technology News - 6 hours 56 min ago
Fans say they feel misled by OWNAFC amid claims they could "take charge of a real life football club".

D-Wave 2000Q hands-on: Steep learning curve for quantum computing 

Ars Technica - 8 hours 3 min ago

Enlarge / Algorithms, a complicated work in progress. (credit: Getty Images)

Editor's note: I realize that I do not correctly calculate the Bragg transmission in either the classical or the quantum case; however, it is close enough to get an idea of the differences between programming a classical and a quantum computer.

Time: non-specific 2018. Location: a slightly decrepit Slack channel.

"You know Python?"

Read 36 remaining paragraphs | Comments

MySpace admits losing 12 years' worth of music uploads

BBC Technology News - 9 hours 12 min ago
The social network has apologised for losing the data during a server migration.

Christchurch shootings: Social sites struggle to contain attack video

BBC Technology News - 9 hours 28 min ago
Millions of copies of videos showing the Christchurch attacks have been removed from social media sites.

F5 Acquired NGINX For $670M

Slashdot - 9 hours 33 min ago
Categories: Geek, Opinion

MPs call for tax on social media companies

BBC Technology News - 12 hours 13 min ago
Their report says the money should be used to fund research into the health impact of social media.

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