Ford tests autonomic cars in the snow

Ford is one of several automotive concerns that work on autonomous vehicle technology. However, before these vehicles hit the showrooms, they must do the same in all driving conditions. So the American company started testing its snow-covered prototype based on the Fusion model.

Autonomous vehicles are likely to be the future of motoring, but before they start caring for us, it will take a few years of research and technological development to address the safety of passengers. Computer control systems for the operation of these vehicles have to deal with all road conditions. Meanwhile, companies working on self-driving cars, including Google, have not yet been tested to test them in winter when roads are covered with thick snow.

The first step in this direction was made by Ford, who has just started testing his own prototype in the snow. Jim McBride, the company’s chief technology officer, told the media that about 70% of US residents live in areas where winter roads are covered with snow. The tests will show how autonomous vehicles can cope in such unusual conditions.

Driving in snow is much more difficult as vehicles are not able to track horizontal lines, and traffic signs are often obscured by white fluff. The test model, therefore, uses LiDAR and accurate three-dimensional maps created in collaboration with Michigan University engineers to keep the computer geared to the ground and remain on the road even when it is overwhelmed. LiDAR is basically the only system on which the car is subject to such conditions, since the suitability of other systems, ie sensors and cameras, is severely limited by falling snow.

Cheap rival Xiaomi Redmi 3

Chinese smartphone makers are practically launching new models, offering powerful components at very attractive prices. Another product from the Asian manufacturers, which will meet our needs and not ruin the home budget, is Lenovo Lemon 3.

Lenovo Lemon 3 measures measures 142 x 71 x 7.9 mm, is a direct rival for Xiaomi Redmi 3. The device has a 5-inch touch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Its heart is 64-bit, eight-core Snapdragon 616, supported by 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of space for files that we can naturally expand with a microSD card. This should be enough to handle even more demanding applications.

Two cameras are used for shooting. The rear is equipped with a 13 megapixel camera and a flash that is suitable for taking pictures in low light conditions. In contrast, selfie is used for the second camera with a 5 megapixel camera, which also has an LED lamp.

Google will pay 3 billion euros fine?

The end of the European Commission investigation into antitrust violations initiated by Google has been launched a few years ago. The leaks show that the decision on this issue will be announced before the holiday, and the US giant will have to pay about 3 billion euros of fines.

Google has for years been accused of abusing its market position in the online industry and breaking antitrust laws. The company was accused of manipulating search results in its search engine and favoring its products at the expense of competition and many other activities that did not comply with current regulations.

A few years ago the European Commission took up the matter. As a result of the leaks, the committee’s decision, which will be announced before the summer holidays, will impose a € 3 billion fine on the company. This is a much higher amount than imposed on Intel for some time, which had to pay 1.1 billion euros for antitrust infringement. It is, however, significantly lower than the maximum legal fine of € 6.6 billion, or 10 percent of the company’s annual revenue.

However, this may not stop. Margarethe Vestager, Competition contends that the list of charges against Google may be extended to mapping services and information search for travel agencies, as allegedly also in those areas the company was to commit fraudulent practices.

The commission’s decision will be announced early next month.

IPhone 6 bends into your pocket

Apple’s pursuit of slimming smartphones from the iPhone family has its consequences. The first iPhone 6 buyer claims that the device is so thin that inserting it into the pocket of tight jeans ends with a bent casing.

If you are already making money to buy the latest Apple smartphone, think again. There are complaints from users that the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, after being worn short in a pocket of tight jeans, simply bent.

Complaints are photosynthesis confirming that the problem actually takes place and is really serious. The aluminum used to build this smartphone is very soft metal. On the scale of Mohs hardness is only 2.5 points, so like gold and copper. The more manufacturers slim the housing, the more it affects the integrity of the metal, which results in just such an effect.

The worst part is that you really do not need a lot of power to bend the iPhone 6 cover and as shown below, you can do this with your bare hands. Moreover, there is no way to fix this situation, as it simply follows from the design of the device.

Interactive wall instead of TV

Walls covered with TVs will change the way we watch our favorite programs. The first prototype devices were presented by NDS. You have to admit: it makes an impression!

If you think the 65-inch TV is huge, you’re wrong. In the future our salons are to be dominated by “interactive walls” that will consist of interconnected displays. As a result, we will sit in front of a giant screen that will be divided into several parts. On each of them, we will show other content – for example, the movie will take two screens, the third one we will use Facebook, and the fourth one will receive e-mail. Just how to control all this?

News Digital Systems, the interactive wall

NDS is a company that has taken on the challenge of creating something that will provide a huge picture, but at the same time it will not be a low-resolution image provided by mid-range projectors, nor will it consume enormous amounts of electricity like the giant plasma or LCD televisions. This was the origin of the NDS idea as “Surfaces”. Inspirations have pushed the movies. “It’s amazing how science fiction films have predicted the future of television technology,” says Simon Parnall, vice president of technology solutions at NDS.

NDS wants to create an “interactive wall” based on OLED technology. Experts from the company know that the next generation of flat-panel TVs will use OLEDs, which will result in the price of these screens in the next 5 to 10 years. OLED displays, on the other hand, have a huge advantage over traditional LCDs: unlike LCDs, they do not need lateral illumination, so the display area can extend to the edges of the TV. Thanks to this, OLED screens can be placed side by side to create one huge screen. – We will be able to customize the OLED technology so that it is like hanging tiles on the wall. These will be any shape, they will not be just rectangular arrays, “Parnall explains.

The first large 55-inch OLED TVs will launch LG and Samsung later this year. Each of them cost tens of thousands of dollars. Industry experts say, however, that prices for OLEDs will soon drop. They expect that in the next 5 to 10 years the screens of this class will cost around 5000-6000 zł for a 50-inch model.

So far, NDS, using six LCD screens, has already built a panoramic “wall” of a total size of 140 by 55 inches. As these are LCD screens, there are frames between them that are slightly damaged in viewing comfort. This version of the valuation is currently around $ 30,000. Due to the price, this solution will not be sold for the time being.

Interestingly, untypical TV has been resolved. You can use a regular HTML5-based browser from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. We also have a choice: we decide on which screens to display what content. The prototype version of “Surfaces” displayed X Factor in the center, on the right we saw web content about each of the contestants, and under them was a voting widget. The left side was devoted to Twitter to follow the reactions of the audience.

If we care about big impressions, we can run the movie on all 4K screen quality, which is much higher than Full HD. If you have a powerful computer, you can now see several videos in 4K quality – go to this YouTube subpage and in the picture quality choose “Original”.

In turn, when each user wants to use the TV for something else, messages can be displayed in the middle, Skype calls on one page, and on the other – social networking sites or YouTube videos. Separate audio channels are also available to wirelessly transmit sound to the headphones on each person’s head.

Interactive wall of the future of television?

For years we have heard that the internet kills television. In the network we can count on many attractions, while television still associates with the passive seat in the chair and stared at the screen. Manufacturers are trying to change this by introducing gesture support, application and games platforms, and solutions that enable TVs to work with computers, tablets, and smartphones.NDS says it’s not enough. That’s why Surfaces is not based on just one screen, but on several, delivering amazing results – according to NDS experts, this solution will keep the user long on the TV.

For now, Surfaces remains a dream and you have to wait a minimum of a few years for such solutions to be offered at an acceptable price. There is also the issue of content available for such big screens. For such a large display, 4K quality material is really welcome, where a resolution of more than 4000 pixels can be expected horizontally. At present, however, there are no movies or other video content that offer higher quality than Full HD. None of the major television networks or movie studios have also announced full support and 4K development, although there is already a step towards better quality than Full HD. Speech coding format H.265 video to be standardized in the coming months. The 4K videos will be offered in the future.

When it seemed that Full HD was a great picture quality and peak of possibilities, we now know that this resolution will be inadequate in the future. We are looking forward to the giant screens and content in 4K quality. The question is, will we stop going to the movies then?

Eugene Polley died. Inventor of the remote control for the TV

At the age of 96, Eugene J. Polley left, best known as the creator of the first wireless TV remote.

In 1955 Polley presented the first wireless controller to a TV called “Flash-Matic”, which allowed the TV channels to be changed with the light sensors on the TV. The pilot was actually something like a flashlight.

Although the device required a lot of precision from the user, it was a tremendous innovation in comparison with the then-wired controllers.

TV viewers have been able to easily change channels and have “channel surfing”. This, in turn, after studies showing that the ad has caused a change in the channel, has led to considerable evolution in the design of television frames and advertising policies, placing advertising blocks within broadcast programs.

Born in 1915, Eugene Polley, throughout his 47-year career at Zenith, has participated in projects developing the latest electronic technologies: from work on radar enhancements during the Second World War to video.

Polley was honored along with Robert Adler in the 1997 Emmy Award for pioneering television development.

The later model 600, already a bit reminiscent of those we know today, was based on ultrasound technology.

Apple sued by a patent troll

Patents, which were originally intended to protect the economic rights of the inventor, have increasingly become a way of earning a living. It is enough to purchase several patented technology patents and claim compensation from the companies that use them.

This is how the so-called. Patent trolls, and one of them is the Texas company Corydoras Technologies, LLC, which has just launched the Apple process. The company accuses the US giant of illegally using its technology, which concerns iPhone and iPad. There are solutions for making phone calls and video calls, doing selfie, and blocking incoming calls.

The list of devices using Corydoras Technologies patents includes models available since 2010, all smartphones starting with iPhone 4, and all tablets from iPad 2 including iPad Pro.

The Texas lawsuit claims six charges against key technology for the functioning of each smartphone and is standard equipment for each model. They also include front camera, geographic display of data based on GPS, as well as sending and receiving emails.

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