Postmates Will Test Delivery Robots on San Francisco Sidewalks

The company says it’s the first permit ever granted for sidewalk robotics operations in the city. August 8, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget San Franciscans might soon see Postmates’ cute delivery robot rolling down their sidewalks. According to TechCrunch, the food and groceries delivery service has secured what could be the first permit allowing sidewalk robotics operations in the city. Postmates introduced the big-eyed, Wall-E-like Serve in December, revealing its plans to send the robot with your orders to your homes and offices. You’ll be able to unlock its compartment — it can carry up to 50 pounds of goods and for up to 30 miles on a single charge — using your phone or a code the service gives you. A few years ago, San Francisco served as a testing ground for delivery robots from various companies. That stopped after the city restricted their use on its sidewalks, requiring firms that […]

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Amazon’s Prime Day Will be Two Days This Year

It will last for 48 hours from July 15th to 16th. June 25, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget If you’re looking to buy a new Echo or any other Amazon product, you may want to hold on to your dollars for a few more weeks. Amazon’s annual Prime Day this year will start at midnight PT/3AM ET on July 15th and will last for 48 hours. The e-commerce giant stretched last year’s Prime Day to 36 hours, but now it’s giving Prime members a full two days to shop. Sure, the event is a massive money-making scheme for Amazon, and you may find yourself purchasing things you don’t actually need if you’re weak to the call of discounted goods. (Psst…just stay away from Amazon from July 15th to 16th if so.) But it’s also a great chance to score a bunch of Amazon products and other goods […]

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Uber Will Test Its Flying Taxis in Melbourne

Uber also considered Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paris, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Tokyo and Sydney. June 12, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Uber has chosen the third test city to join Dallas and Los Angeles for its flying taxi trials: Melbourne, Australia. The third location was supposed to be Dubai, but negotiations fell through and prompted the company to look for another site for trials outside the U.S. Uber considered Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paris, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Tokyo and Sydney. In the end, Melbourne won. Susan Anderson, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, told Reuters that it’s because the Australian government “adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology.” Melbourne, in particular, has a “unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology” that make it perfect for the trials. The ride-hailing service plans to start testing UberAir’s electric vertical-take-off-and-landing […]

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Amazon Shuts Down Its Restaurant Delivery Business in the U.S.

The food delivery service already closed in London last year. June 11, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Amazon Restaurants’ closure in London might have just been the beginning of the service’s complete shutdown. According to GeekWire, the company’s food delivery offering will only be serving customers in the U.S. until later this month. A spokesperson told the publication that Amazon Restaurants, which started in Seattle before spreading to other cities in the country, will discontinue its business in the U.S. on June 24th. “Many of the small number of employees affected by this decision have already found new roles at Amazon, and others will be provided personalized support to find a new role within, or outside of, the company,” the spokesperson continued. In addition, GeekWire says Amazon is also shutting down Daily Dish, its two-year-old workplace lunch delivery service, on June 14th. While the e-commerce giant seems to be exiting […]

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Canadian Province Will Prohibit Sale of Gas-Powered Cars by 2040

By 2025, 10 percent of cars sold in the province must be emission-free. May 31, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget British Columbia has just passed the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act (ZEVA) into law, and it could transform the Canadian province’s roads in the coming years. Under the new rules, 10 percent of all light-duty cars and trucks sold in BC by 2025 must be emission-free (electric, plug-in hybrid electric or hydrogen fuel cell) vehicles. By the time 2040 rolls around, the province will completely prohibit the sale of gas-powered vehicles — that is, if the law’s terms don’t change within the next 30 years. Clean Energy Canada policy director Dan Woynillowicz told CBC News in a statement: “This is going to go a long way toward addressing a problem we’ve had in British Columbia, which is we have more British Columbians interested in buying electric cars than we have electric […]

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Sony Just Laid Out Everything There Is to Know About the PS5

Expect the PlayStation 4 to stick around for at least three more years. May 21, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Sony’s next-generation console isn’t due to launch anytime this year, but the tech giant has been surprisingly generous with details. During a corporate strategy presentation, the company has listed all the information it has revealed so far, confirming yet again that the PS5 will have backwards compatibility. Since it has a similar architecture to the PS4, it will be able to play games designed for the current-gen console and will also be compatible with the current version of PlayStation VR. “We will leverage backwards compatibility to transition our community to next-gen faster and more seamlessly than ever before,” the company’s presentation said at the event. Sony intends to use PS4 games to encourage early adopters, which it says are critical for the PS5’s success. In fact, it promises more AAA […]

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Jeff Bezos Reveals His ‘Blue Moon’ Lunar Lander

Blue Origin is also working on a rocket engine for its moon missions. May 10, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Blue Origin is building a lunar lander aptly called the Blue Moon. Jeff Bezos has announced his space company’s shared goal with NASA to go back to our planet’s fateful companion in the next few years at an event for media and space industry executives. There, the tech exec has also revealed that Blue Origin is developing a new engine called BE-7 with a 10,000 lbf thrust, strong enough to power the rocket that’s ferrying the lander and its large payloads to space. Its first test fire could happen as soon as this summer. Blue Origin says the cargo variant it has just revealed can carry 3.6 metric tons to its destination. It’s also working on another variant that’s capable of carrying a “6.5-metric-ton, human-rated ascent stage.” While Bezos didn’t mention […]

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SpaceX Loses Falcon Heavy’s Center Booster to the Sea

It wasn’t able to make its way back to the port. April 16, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget SpaceX successfully landed all three of Falcon Heavy’s boosters after its most recent launch, but it won’t be able to reuse one of them. The company lost the core booster that landed on its drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” to rough seas as it was making its way back to Port Canaveral. It was the heavy-lift rocket’s second launch and the first time SpaceX was able to stick all three boosters’ landing — the one that was supposed to land on the barge after the first flight dropped straight into the ocean. SpaceX told The Verge in a statement: “Over the weekend, due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX’s recovery team was unable to secure the center core booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral. As conditions worsened with eight to […]

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Google’s Emma Haruka Iwao Breaks the World Record for Calculating Pi

She used the power of cloud computing. March 14, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Google has something big to celebrate for Pi Day this year: one of its teams has broken the Guinness World Record for the most accurate value of pi. Emma Haruka Iwao and her colleagues used the power of cloud computing to calculate for 31,415,926,535,897 digits of pi. That’s 9 trillion digits more than the previous record and a whole novel longer than the 3.14 value most of us know. To accomplish that task, Iwao had to run a pi-benchmark application called y-cruncher on 25 Google Cloud virtual machines for 121 days. According to Google, the problem with computing for such a large number is that the time and resources needed for the task increase more rapidly than the number itself. Iwao said the biggest challenge was that the project required “a lot of storage and memory […]

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SpaceX Launches the First Private Moon Lander on Israel’s Behalf

The robotic spacecraft was a Google’s Lunar XPrize finalist. February 22, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has ferried Israel’s first lunar lander outside our atmosphere, setting it free to make its way to its ultimate destination: the moon. If it reaches its target successfully, Israel would be joining the U.S., China and the former Soviet Union in the list of nations to have sent a lander to our planet’s trusty companion. Unlike the three other countries in that list, Israel’s robotic spacecraft named “Beresheet” was created by a non-profit group called SpaceIL. It’s the first private moon lander and was previously a finalist for Google’s Lunar XPrize. The organization had the most developed project among the finalists, but it still wasn’t able to make deadline. While the competition ended with no winners, SpaceIL clearly still found a way to give its […]

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SpaceX Launches the First Private Moon Lander on Israel’s Behalf

The robotic spacecraft was a Google’s Lunar XPrize finalist. February 22, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has ferried Israel’s first lunar lander outside our atmosphere, setting it free to make its way to its ultimate destination: the moon. If it reaches its target successfully, Israel would be joining the U.S., China and the former Soviet Union in the list of nations to have sent a lander to our planet’s trusty companion. Unlike the three other countries in that list, Israel’s robotic spacecraft named “Beresheet” was created by a non-profit group called SpaceIL. It’s the first private moon lander and was previously a finalist for Google’s Lunar XPrize. The organization had the most developed project among the finalists, but it still wasn’t able to make deadline. While the competition ended with no winners, SpaceIL clearly still found a way to give its […]

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Tesla Model 3 Price Now Starts at $35k — After Incentives

Tesla slashes Model 3’s prices. February 6, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget If you visit Model 3’s “Design Your Car” page, you’ll notice that it looks a bit more affordable than before. Tesla has lowered its price across versions by $1,100, so you can now get the mid-range battery option for $42,900 before incentives. Meanwhile, the car’s long-range version now costs $49,900, while the performance option will set you back $60,900 before savings. Elon Musk said that means Model 3 now has a starting price of $35,000, though that’s after you apply tax credits and fuel savings — you’ll have to wait a bit more for a Tesla car with a $35,000 base price. “We’re doing everything we can to get there,” Musk tweeted. “It’s a super hard grind.” A spokesperson told Electrek that the price decrease was enabled by the cancellation of the “referral program, which cost far more than [the company] realized.” […]

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SpaceX Will Lay Off 10 Percent of Its Staff to Fund Projects

It said it wants to become a leaner company to prepare for the ‘difficult challenges ahead.’ January 14, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget SpaceX is letting around 10 percent of its 6,000-plus employees go, according to Reuters and Ars Technica. The private space corporation has previously said it’s been profitable for years, thanks to lucrative contracts from clients that include NASA and the US Air Force. But it looks like the company is tightening its belt to ensure it has the money for its biggest projects, namely the development of interplanetary rockets and a space-based internet meant to cover the entire planet. In a statement SpaceX provided to the media, it announce that it’s taking steps to become a leaner company, since costly endeavors similar to those two had bankrupted other organizations in the past: “To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX […]

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Google Sued for Allegedly Covering Up Sexual Misconduct Allegations

A shareholder said Alphabet’s board of directions were directly involved. January 11, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget A shareholder for Google’s parent company Alphabet has sued the tech giant, accusing it of covering up sexual harassment claims against some of its top executives. The lawsuit filed by shareholder James Martin said Alphabet’s board of directors, including Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt, were directly involved in the coverup. Martin supported his lawsuit with minutes from Alphabet board meetings in 2014 and 2016 concerning Andy Rubin and Amit Singhal, respectively. Both former Google executives left the company after sexual harassment complaints — Rubin, in particular, received a $90 million exit package even though an internal investigation found the claims against him credible. According to Reuters, Martin’s lawyers plan to put a focus on how the board’s coverup cost the company hundreds of millions in damages. In addition to the massive exit packages […]

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Elon Musk Shows Off the First SpaceX Starship Test Vehicle

It’s a suborbital version of the company’s upcoming massive rocket. January 11, 2019 1 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget SpaceX is done preparing the Starship for its very first test flight ever, and Elon Musk has shared an actual photo of assembly on Twitter. Formerly known as the “BFR,” the Starship is the private space company’s upcoming super heavy-lift launch vehicle meant for journeys to the moon and Mars and for hour-long trips anywhere on Earth. As you can see, the actual spacecraft has a lot more texture than the smooth computer render the SpaceX chief teased a few days ago. That’s because this is the suborbital version designed for vertical take-off and landing tests — Musk said the orbital version will be taller and have thicker skins that won’t wrinkle. It’ll likely take some time before we see that bigger, smoother Starship, though. For now, we’ll keep an eye out for the suborbital version’s first […]

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Tesla’s Supercharger Network Will Cover All of Europe in 2019

Elon Musk has revealed the expansion on Twitter. December 27, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Elon Musk has revealed on Twitter that Tesla is planning a Supercharger expansion that will cover “100 percent of Europe” next year. “From Ireland to Kiev (Ukraine), from Norway to Turkey,” he added, in response to a tweet that some parts of Ireland are badly in need of Superchargers. The automaker started preparing the Model 3 for European markets back in November, displaying it in showrooms in various countries across the continent. That time, the company also said that the vehicle’s European version will come equipped with Combined Charging System (CCS) fast charging-compatible ports. In addition, Tesla said it will upgrade its existing Superchargers in the continent with CCS plugs before Model 3 arrives. Yes. Supercharger coverage will extend to 100% of Europe next year. From Ireland to Kiev, from Norway to Turkey. https://t.co/7FQZgLCTVJ — Elon […]

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai Confirms Censored China Search Engine

He said its development is going very well. October 16, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget When Google’s chief privacy officer admitted to the Senate that the company is working on a secret project called ‘Dragonfly,’ he refused to say what it is. According to previous reports, Dragonfly is the code name for the censored search engine Google has been developing for China since 2017 — a search engine that can automatically identify websites banned by the country’s infamous firewall and can remove them from the results page. Now, Google chief Sundar Pichai has openly confirmed the search engine’s existence at the Wired 25 Summit and even told the audience that its development is going very well. “It turns out we’ll be able to serve well over 99 percent of the queries,” he said onstage. The executive defended the project, telling people that Google is “compelled by [its] mission [to] provide […]

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Stephen Hawking’s Final Paper on Black Holes Is Now Online

It presents a solution for the black hole information paradox. October 15, 2018 3 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Stephen Hawking never stopped trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding black holes — in fact, he was still working to solve one of them shortly before his death. Now, his last research paper on the subject is finally available online through pre-publication website ArXiV, thanks to his co-authors from Cambridge and Harvard. It’s titled Black Hole Entropy and Soft Hair, and it tackles the black hole paradox. According to Hawking’s co-author Malcolm Perry, the paradox “is perhaps the most puzzling problem in fundamental theoretical physics today” and was the center of the late physicist’s life for decades. The information paradox arose from Hawking’s theoretical argument back in the 1970s that black holes have a temperature. As such, they’re bound to evaporate over time until there’s nothing left, releasing energy now called the “Hawking […]

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Most YouTube Influencers Still Don’t Disclose Sponsored Deals, Study Says

Same goes for Pinterest influencers, according to this Princeton study. March 28, 2018 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget It’s been almost a year since the FTC warned social media influencers that they should “clearly and conspicuously [disclose]” if they’re being paid for a post or video. But according to a new Princeton University research, most YouTube and Pinterest influencers still don’t add proper disclaimers to the content they produce. The researchers analyzed over 500,000 YouTube videos and over 2.1 million unique Pinterest pins from August to September 2017 for the study. They found that 3,472 videos and 18,237 pins in the bunch had affiliate links, but only 10 and seven percent, respectively, contained written disclosures. Those that did have disclosures didn’t even follow the FTC’s guidelines, which recommend lengthier explanations than “hey, these are affiliate links.” The FTC wants influencers to be very clear in their wording: for instance, as Wired said, they […]

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