Domino’s Will Use E-Bikes to Deliver Pizzas Across the U.S.

It’s an eco-friendly (and sometimes faster) alternative to delivery cars. August 13, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Domino’s Pizza is once again adopting cutting edge delivery vehicles, although you’re much more likely to see these ones in action. In the wake of successful tests, the restaurant chain is launching a U.S.-wide e-bike delivery program that will give stores the choice of using custom Rad Power e-bikes to carry pizza. They’re typical electric two-wheelers at their heart with motors that assist pedaling for 25 to 40 miles on a charge with a 20 mph top speed, but they also include front and rear insulated cargo spaces that hold a combined 12 large pizzas. A delivery person could make several stops before having to cycle back to home base. It’s not hard to see the allure. They’re not only more environmentally friendly than cars, they can sometimes be faster when riders […]

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French Inventor Is First to Cross English Channel Using a Hoverboard

It wasn’t an uninterrupted flight, but it was still historic. August 5, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget It took a second try, but Franky Zapata has become the first to cross the English Channel using a hoverboard. The French inventor used his jet-powered Flyboard Air to travel the 22 miles from France to England in 22 minutes, briefly landing on a boat to replace his kerosene-filled backpack. The board wasn’t slow, either — Zapata said he reached speeds up to 106 mph during his journey. The first attempt in late July literally fell short after Zapata missed the boat platform by a “few centimeters.” Zapata relied on a larger boat and platform to ensure this latest attempt would work without a hitch. This is certainly a publicity grab for Zapata’s company, Z-Air, but it could also open doors for the technology in other areas. The French military is already backing […]

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‘Stranger Things 3’ Has Been Seen by Over 40 Million Netflix Accounts

More than 18 million have finished the whole season. July 9, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Remember when it was a big deal that Bright racked up 11 million viewers? That’s now quaint by comparison. Netflix has revealed that 40.7 million accounts have watched Stranger Things 3 in the four days since its July 4th premiere, making it the most-viewed show of any kind on the service in that time frame. And many in that audience were determined to finish the season before they returned to work — 18.2 million have already completed the entire season. The company treats a view as anyone having watched at least 70 percent of an episode or movie. It didn’t break down the audience by region. The view count isn’t completely surprising given the sheer amount of hype involved, but it’s still a major feat. Netflix broke its movie record in June, when Murder Mystery garnered nearly 30.9 […]

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Your Sleep Tracker Might Make Insomnia Worse

Inaccurate data and score obsessions could lead to unneeded anxiety. June 17, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Sleep tracking can help you determine if you’re getting a good night’s rest, but it might exacerbate your problems in some circumstances. Scientists talking to the New York Times have warned that sleep tracker apps and devices can worsen insomnia both through inaccurate data and by making your anxieties that much worse. In a study, for instance, it led to people both spending too much time in bed (to boost their sleep stats) and reporting non-existent conditions that resulted in wasted treatment. This doesn’t mean the devices tend to be unreliable, and manufacturers have unsurprisingly rushed to defend their products. Fitbit’s Dr. Conor Heneghan claimed that few users deal with serious sleep anxiety, and that the tracking data could stress the effects of consistent sleep schedules and harmful habits. They can also pinpoint heart […]

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Mazda Will Offer an EV in 2020

You can also expect plug-in hybrids by 2022. June 10, 2019 1 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Mazda is ready to jump into electric cars in earnest after years of sitting on the sidelines. CEO Akira Marumoto told Automotive News Europe in an interview that his company will introduce an EV in 2020. And no, this won’t be the result of its partnership with Toyota — this mysterious initial model will be built on “a Mazda architecture.” The automaker is catching up on hybrids, too, with plug-in models (notice the plural) coming in “2021 or 2022.” Not that Mazda has much choice. The EU is tightening its emissions targets, and Mazda’s fleet CO2 output is well above where it needs to be by 2021. If Mazda doesn’t produce more eco-friendly cars, it’ll have to either pool with another manufacturer to lower its emissions figures (like Fiat did with Tesla) or pay substantial fines for every […]

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Tesla Warns Employees Against Leaking Info

Yes, the warning was leaked. May 6, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Tesla has a rough history with leakers, and it’s apparently eager to remind employees of that fact. CNBC said it had obtained an email from Tesla’s security team (yes, the irony is thick) warning staff against leaking sensitive information. The message asserted that outsiders were “targeting” employees hoping to get vital data in a bid to “see us fail,” and pointed out that Tesla would crack down on leakers by firing them, making damage claims and filing charges. The EV maker pointed to a few examples, such as workers who posted production numbers and even an internal meeting’s phone number on social networks. Corporate missives discouraging leaks aren’t new. Apple in particular is well-known for warning staff of the consequences of leaking. For Tesla, though, there’s a certain sense of urgency to warnings like this. The company is dealing with financial […]

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Tesla Will ‘Substantially’ Raise the Price of Its Self-Driving Option

You might want to act quickly if you’re determined to get a Tesla vehicle with self-driving capability. April 15, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget You might want to act quickly if you’re determined to get a Tesla vehicle with self-driving capability. Elon Musk has warned that the price of the Full Self-Driving package will “increase substantially over time,” starting with a hike on May 1st. He didn’t give a ballpark of his own, but said it would be “something like” the $3,000 suggested by one Twitter follower. It currently costs $5,000 to add the (eventual) full autonomy when ordering a car, and $7,000 if you want it later. The increase comes on the heels of Tesla making Autopilot standard and won’t exactly thrill buyers who can’t buy before May. However, there is a reason for the move: Tesla is showing off its next-gen driverless technology, which comes in tandem with a new computer, at […]

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Amazon Employees Call for a Company-Wide Climate Change Plan

This doesn’t guarantee that Bezos and crew will listen. April 10, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Amazon is the next tech giant to face mounting calls to action from its employees. A total of 3,541 employees have published an open letter asking Jeff Bezos and other leaders to adopt a shareholder resolution and release a “company-wide” climate change plan meeting their terms. Some are clarifications of existing initiatives, while others would require a significant shake-up in its existing strategy. The workers called for a “complete” end to the use of fossil fuels, not just carbon offsets. Those still leave lasting effects, such as the diesel pollution from delivery vans. The employees also demanded a halt to all solutions designed for the fossil fuel industry, such as the AWS for Oil & Gas initiative that drew criticism earlier in the week. Further, the staffers wanted any goals to be consistent with the IPCC’s […]

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Digital Music May Not Have Saved the Environment After All

A study suggests greenhouse gas emissions may have increased. April 9, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Logic would suggest that music downloads and streaming are good for the environment. You’re not buying physical copies, right? Not so fast — there’s a chance things could be worse. Researchers have published a study suggesting that greenhouse gas emissions are higher now than they were when physical media was all the rage. While going digital has reduced the amount of plastic, the combination of extra power demands and the sheer popularity of music (you can listen to virtually anything for $10 per month, after all) may have offset other gains. Where vinyl produced 346 million pounds of greenhouse gasses at its height in 1977, downloads and streaming are estimated to pump out 441 million to 772 million pounds. The publicly available data leaves some questions. It’s not clear that the […]

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Google Forms an External Council to Foster ‘Responsible’ AI

It’ll help govern facial recognition, machine learning and beyond. March 27, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Google is joining Facebook, Stanford and other outfits setting up institutions to support ethical AI. The company has created an Advanced Technology External Advisory Council that will shape the “responsible development and use” of AI in its products. The organization will ponder facial recognition, fair machine learning algorithms and other ethical issues. The initial council is a diverse group that tackles a range of disciplines and experiences. The current advisors include academics focused both on technical aspects of AI (such as computational mathematics and drones) as well as experts in ethics, privacy and political policy. There’s also an international focus, with people ranging from as far afield as Hong Kong and South Africa. ATEAC will hold its first meeting in April, and plans three more over the course of 2019. And while they’ll […]

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James Bond’s Next Aston Martin Might be Electric

He could save the planet while saving the free world. March 19, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget James Bond movies tend to be a reflection of the cultural zeitgeist, and that might be reflected in his choice of whip next time around. The Sun sources have claimed that the director of the next Bond movie, Cary Joji Fukanaga, wants 007 to drive Aston Martin’s electric Rapide E (above) instead of one of its gas-powered coupes. It may seem like blasphemy for Bond’s flashiest vehicle to be a sedan, but Fukanaga, lead actor Daniel Craig and the producers reportedly believed “the time was right” for the secret agent to use an emissions-free ride. There’s no guarantee this will happen. If it does, though, it’ll represent a milestone for the spy thriller series as the first actual environmentally-friendly Bond car. While the agent was supposed to be driving a hydrogen fuel cell Ford Edge […]

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Tesla Will Unveil the Model Y Crossover on March 14th

It’s also deploying its next-gen Supercharger on March 6th. March 4, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Tesla is following up a very busy February with an even more hectic March. Elon Musk has announced that his brand will unveil the long-promised Model Y crossover at the LA Design Studio on March 14th. On top of that, you can expect the first “v3.0” Supercharger station to switch on March 6th at 8PM Pacific. Musk didn’t provide more clues beyond that, but you might already have an idea as to what to expect. The Model Y should be to the Model X what the Model 3 is to the Model S — that is, a more affordable version of an EV in the same category. You might see features comparable to the Model 3, just in a form factor that’s more suited to the SUV crowd. Tesla hasn’t said how many components the Model Y will share with the 3, although it might […]

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SEC Says Elon Musk Violated Settlement With Tweet

It wants to hold Musk in contempt for posting Tesla production claims. February 26, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Elon Musk might be in hot water with regulators mere months after he reached a settlement over a financially relevant Twitter post. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asked a judge to hold Elon Musk in contempt for allegedly violating the settlement by tweeting that Tesla would make “around 500k” cars in 2019. Musk was supposed to get approval from Tesla before social network posts that would include vital info, but the SEC claimed he directly shared “inaccurate and material” data with more than 24 million people. We’ve asked Tesla if it can comment, although Musk claimed in December that the SEC couldn’t stop him from posting what he wanted unless there was a “probability of causing a movement in the stock.” If the judge does hold Musk in contempt, it won’t bode […]

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Harley-Davidson’s First Electric Motorcycle Arrives in August for $30K

The LiveWire is fast and highly connected, but range might be an issue. January 8, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget After years of talk, Harley-Davidson is finally ready to put its LiveWire electric motorcycle up for sale — and not surprisingly, it’ll cost you. The green two-wheeler is now available for pre-order ahead of its August debut for a hefty $29,799. That’s a lot to shell out, but Harley is betting that performance and connectivity will seal the deal. The motor tucked between your legs can take the LiveWire to 60MPH in a brisk 3.5 seconds (complete with a “futuristic” sound), while an H-D Connect service uses LTE to help you remotely check on the status of your bike, get service reminders and find out whether someone is trying to mess with your ride. If someone manages to steal the motorcycle, you can track its whereabouts through GPS. There’s […]

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Elon Musk Asks Judge to Toss ‘Pedo Guy’ Defamation Lawsuit

December 28, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Elon Musk is hoping to end the U.S. lawsuit over his “pedo guy” statements against British cave diver Vernon Unsworth before it gets started. His attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that his insults weren’t serious and thus were protected free speech in the U.S. This was just a “schoolyard spat,” Musk’s attorneys said. They contended that Twitter was a place where you could “expect to read opinions, not facts,” and thus that no one could realistically assume Musk was telling the truth. Unsworth’s attorney rejected the claims in a statement to The Guardian. The argument would “effectively doom all lawsuits” over defamation, and that Musk’s dismissal points were “novel but inaccurate.” Related: What’s Happening on The Entrepreneur Index Right Now It’s not clear how the judge will respond to the dismissal request, although it might not work in Musk’s […]

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Elon Musk Says There’s a ’70 Percent’ Chance He’ll Move to Mars

Recent breakthroughs could make it realistic. November 26, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Elon Musk has talked about personally heading to Mars before, but how likely is he to make the trip, really? Well, he just put a number on it. In an interview for the Axios on HBO documentary series, Musk said there was a “70 percent” chance he’ll go to Mars. There have been a “recent number of breakthroughs” that have made it possible, he said. And as he hinted before, it’d likely be a one-way trip — he expects to “move there.” The executive also rejected the idea that traveling to Mars could be an “escape hatch for the rich” in its current form. He noted that an ad for going to Mars would be “like Shackleton’s ad for going to the Antarctic,” which (though likely not real) made clear how dangerous and the South Pole […]

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Alibaba’s Singles Day Shopping Event Sales Hit $1 Billion in 85 Seconds

This comes in spite of tariffs and other challenges to Chinese tech. November 12, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Chinese internet giant Alibaba is fond of crowing about its online shopping records, and that’s truer than ever this year. The company’s annual Global Shopping Festival, aka Singles Day, broke last year’s record by selling $30.8 billion in goods across 230 countries over the space of 24 hours, a hefty 27 percent increase over the $25.3 billion from 2017. However, the initial burst also stood out. It took just 85 seconds for Alibaba to sell its first $1 billion, and an hour to top $10 billion. That’s well past U.S. holiday sales — for context, Black Friday 2017 “only” generated $5 billion in online sales. The brands that most profited from the event included Apple, Dyson, Gap and Nike, among other big names. While not everyone is necessarily keen to celebrate a […]

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SpaceX’s Starman Roadster Has Ventured Past Mars

Don’t expect it to come back home for a while. November 5, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Starman and its Tesla Roadster are officially a long, long way from home. SpaceX has confirmed that Falcon Heavy’s test payload has passed Mars’ orbit, putting it at one of its greatest distances away from the Sun (it should reach its far point on Nov. 8 at 1.66AU, or 155 million miles). While it isn’t about to rendezvous with Mars, this is no mean feat for an EV-toting mannequin. And you might want to remember this moment — it’s going to be a long time before Starman is close to Earth. According to models by Ben Pearson, the spaceborne dummy won’t make a close approach to Earth until two years from now on Nov. 4, 2020, and even then it’ll be 0.35AU (32 million miles) away. It’ll be much closer to Mars, getting within 0.05AU (4.6 million […]

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Jack Dorsey Is Finally Realizing Twitter Is a Terrible Place

He’s exploring reforms that could minimize social bubbles and label bots. August 17, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Twitter’s attempts to clean up its service using policies often feel like a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, and the company’s leadership finally appears to be acknowledging that fact. CEO Jack Dorsey told The Washington Post in an interview that he was exploring reforms to key parts of Twitter’s functionality to curb the spread of hate speech and fake news. As he put it, the company’s policy-driven approach to date has only been tackling “surface-level symptoms” rather than the root causes, such as the incentives Twitter provides to its users. As for those potential changes? The company is looking at features that would counter fake news and social media bubbles by displaying alternate viewpoints … including, well, the facts. Dorsey was also willing to label bots and rework basic elements such as follower count displays and the […]

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Tesla Will Start Enabling Full Self-Driving Features in August

June 11, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Tesla has been promising true self-driving features in its cars for the better part of two years, but there has been precious little to show for it. Now, though, you might get what you paid for. Elon Musk has revealed that Autopilot version 9 should arrive in August, and Tesla will “begin to enable” the full autonomous driving features with that release. The company has “rightly focused entirely on safety” with previous versions, Musk said, but now it’s time to spread its wings. This doesn’t guarantee that your Tesla will be a self-driving car, so you may want to forego dreams of your Model 3 traveling coast-to-coast by itself. However, the “full self-driving capability” package should actually mean something once Autopilot 9 arrives and the more advanced features kick in. There may be some situations where it’s genuinely […]

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