Watch a self-driving Audi become ‘the fastest autonomous car on the planet’

See the original posting on The Verge

Audi put a big exclamation point on its self-driving technology — “piloted driving,” as the company calls it — with an adrenaline-filled demonstration in Germany over the weekend. The car in question was a 560-horsepower RS7 rounding the course at Hockenheimring during the finale of this year’s DTM season (DTM is a little bit like a German NASCAR, so the right audience was certainly on-hand for this sort of thing). The car was going full-out, guided through a combination of precision GPS and 3D cameras. The in-car footage showing the view out of the windshield at triple-digit speeds with no one in the driver’s seat is nothing short of terrifying.

Car companies are increasingly relying on extreme demonstrations of self-driving to show…

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VIDEO: Hallucinatory NARCOSE captures free diving’s beauty and danger (NSFW)

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Thalassophobes and NSFW-phobes will want to skip this beautiful short about deepwater free diver Guillaume Néry and the kinds of hypoxia-induced hallucinations he experiences when free diving to depths beyond 100 meters. Thalassophiles who love beautiful underwater cinematography and trippy dream sequences will find the underwater footage hypnotic. Read the rest

Does Yosemite have a privacy problem? Not exactly

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This morning, The Washington Post called out an unexpected privacy concern in Apple’s new Yosemite operating system. Apple’s Spotlight application, previously used to index material on a user’s hard drive, has added a new Suggestions feature that points to external sites relevant to a given search term. As the Post article points out, that means search terms have to be transmitted back to Apple with a lot of extra information, including location data that the Post found to be precise enough to pin down a specific building.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Addresses The iPad’s Continued Lack Of Sales Growth

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ipad-air-2-3 During today’s earnings call for Apple’s fiscal Q4 2014, CEO Tim Cook took time to address the iPad’s performance at length. Cook referred to a lot of the general kinds of negative feeling around iPad performance circulating around media and analysts, and brought up his own perspective on the product category. “I take a step back on iPad,” he said. “I know… Read More

Squeezed out: as the iPhone gets bigger in size and sales, the iPad keeps slumping

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Apple had a major event last week, and it unveiled new versions of its iPad. Normally the world goes crazy when Apple debuts a device, but the reaction to these iPads was decidedly muted. They were thinner and had more horsepower, sharper screens, better cameras, and Touch ID. But they didn’t generate anywhere near the excitement of the iPhone 6 last month, or of previous generations of iPad. All that points to an increasingly clear trend: tablet computers may be here to stay, but they are not going to replace the laptop or PC the way many people once thought they would — at least, not without a drastic shift in philosophy and marketing.

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Does Yosemite have a privacy problem? It’s complicated

See the original posting on The Verge

This morning, The Washington Post called out an unexpected privacy concern in Apple’s new Yosemite operating system. Apple’s Spotlight application, previously used to index material on a user’s hard drive, has added a new Suggestions feature that points to external sites relevant to a given search term. As the Post article points out, that means search terms have to be transmitted back to Apple with a lot of extra information, including location data that the Post found to be precise enough to pin down a specific building.

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App Store Downloads Top 85 Billion, Revenue Up 36 Percent Year-Over-Year

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app-store Apple CEO Tim Cook announced today during the company’s FY Q4 2014 earnings call that Apple’s cumulative App Store downloads have now topped 85 billion up from 60 billion around a year ago. The number was announced alongside news of Apple’s massive quarter, and its record-breaking sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices. For additional context, at Apple’s… Read More

In Oakland, A Sign of Some Very High Times

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oaksterdam-gift-shop How bad is the commercial real estate crunch in San Francisco and Silicon Valley?
Uh, bad?
So bad that that prices per square foot are roughly where they were around the first dot-com boom.
So bad that Uber decided to go in, buy its own piece of land and build its own headquarters from scratch.
So bad that Doug Shorenstein, part of the storied multi-generational family of San Francisco… Read More

‘Dead Rising’ film has its lead: former ‘Daily Show’ war correspondent Rob Riggle

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Comedian Rob Riggle is probably best known for his work as a Daily Show correspondent through 2008, as well as his various film and TV cameos (21 Jump Street, The Other Guys, NTSF:SD:SUV). And now he’s playing lead for the upcoming video game adaptation Dead Rising: Watchtower. Here’s the official synopsis:

Dead Rising: Watchtower takes place during a large-scale zombie outbreak. When a mandatory government vaccine fails to stop the infection from spreading, the four leads must evade infection while also pursuing the root of the epidemic, with all signs pointing to a government conspiracy. Politics, public paranoia, and media coverage play an important role in the story’s narrative.

Riggle will play photojournalist and…

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Apple Q4 2014 earnings: revenue surges on huge iPhone 6 sales

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Apple, once the darling of Wall Street with a ballooning stock price, has disappointed investors in recent quarters with slowdown on its growth. But this quarter, it surprised with a blowout, posting earnings of $8.5 billion on revenue of $42.1 billion, thanks in no small part to its latest iPhones, which broke early sales records.

The numbers came in far above Apple’s own guidance for the quarter. The company was expecting between $37 to $40 billion in revenue with a gross margin of 37 to 38 percent. Wall Street analysts, on average, were expecting Apple to report earnings on the higher end of that spectrum, at earnings of $1.31 per share on revenue of $39.85 billion, up about 11 percent and 6.3 percent from the same quarter last year,…

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Apple Sold 39.3M iPhones During The iPhone 6 Launch Quarter, 12.3M iPads And 5.5M Macs

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hero_hardware Apple’s earnings for the final quarter of its fiscal 2014 year are out, and boy did they sell a lot of iPhones. The hardware quarter saw 39.3 million iPhones sold, along with 12.3 million iPads and a very respectable 5.5 million Macs, with the fading iPod category bringing up the rear with 2.6 million sales. iPhone growth year-over-year is the most impressive stat here, and it’s… Read More

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