Author Archives: Admin

Apple warns of iPhone ‘supply shortages’ due to coronavirus outbreak

The consequences of the coronavirus outbreak will be worse than expected for Apple. The tech firm has warned that global iPhone supply will be "temporarily constrained" while it resumes production. Although its factory partners have reopened, those…

Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to stop climate change

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc.

Enlarge / Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, will spend $10 billion to combat climate change. He announced the news in an Instagram post on Monday.

“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” Bezos writes. “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.”

Bezos says that his new Bezos Earth Fund will fund “scientists, activists, NGOs—any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.” He says he’ll begin issuing grants in the summer.

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Data shows Tesla owner experienced same glitch days before deadly 2018 crash

A crashed sedan has been torn in half.

Enlarge / Walter Huang’s Model X in a tow yard days after his fatal crash. (credit: NTSB)

On March 23, 2018, a glitch in Tesla’s Autopilot technology contributed to the death of Walter Huang in Mountain View, California. As Huang’s Model X approached a left exit on US Highway 101, the software apparently got the lane lines mixed up. The car steered to the left, putting itself in the space between the diverging lanes. Seconds later, it crashed into a concrete lane divider at 70 miles per hour. Huang was taken to the hospital but died soon afterwards.

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board released dozens of new documents that provide a detailed understanding of the circumstances of Huang’s death. The documents confirm a claim by Walter Huang’s family that he had experienced this particular glitch, in this particular spot, multiple times prior to his fatal crash. He complained to family and friends about the issue. However, the NTSB was not able to confirm another key claim: that Huang reported the issue to Tesla.

Forensic data also suggests one reason Huang might not have been paying attention to the road in the final seconds before his death: he was in the habit of playing a game called Three Kingdoms in his car while driving to work. Logs from his Apple-provided iPhone showed that he used the app during his morning commute every day the week of his fatal Friday crash. However, those logs don’t provide enough information to say if he was interacting with the game in the final seconds before his death.

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Watch the first trailer for Spielberg’s Apple TV+ series ‘Amazing Stories’

Apple has shared the first trailer for Steven Spielberg's upcoming Amazing Stories revival. The series will hit the tech giant's TV+ streaming service on March 6th, with five different stories to watch.

Got small kids? Now’s a good time to buy a Fire Kids Edition tablet

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Enlarge / The 8″ version of the Fire HD Kids Edition is the sweet spot—small enough for young kids, but noticeably bigger and nicer than the 7″, with lots more storage. (credit: Amazon)

If you have little kids and need an inexpensive, safe source of games, media, and books for them, we’ve got good news for you—Amazon’s Fire Kids Edition line of tablets are all on Black Friday-level sale right now. The Fire 7 Kids Edition is down from $100 to $60, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is down from $130 to $80, and the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is down from $200 to $150. (The non-Kids Edition slates are on sale as well, with the Fire 7 available for $40, the Fire HD 8 available for $60, and the Fire HD 10 available for $110).

If you’re already a Fire Kids Edition user, that might be all you need to know. But for new(er) parents who haven’t figured out what electronics to get for their little ones yet, let’s go over some features—and advice—from a father of three who’s been there and done that.

Fire HD—sort of an Android device, but not really

There are only two major tablet operating systems right now: Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. In the technical sense, Amazon’s Fire HD tablets—including the Kids Edition line—are without a doubt Android.

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EU won’t let Facebook tell it how to regulate tech giants

The European Union won't let Facebook tell it how to regulate Big Tech. Today, EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton said Facebook will have to adapt to the EU's standards, not the other way around, Reuters reports.

Watching horror movies in an MRI can shed light on how we cope with fear

There's a demon behind you! Patrick Wilson starred in director James Wan's 2010 film <em>Insidious</em>, one of two films used in a recent MRI study on fear.

Enlarge / There’s a demon behind you! Patrick Wilson starred in director James Wan’s 2010 film Insidious, one of two films used in a recent MRI study on fear. (credit: Blumhouse Productions)

When we watch horror movies, our brains are hard at work, with lots of interconnected cross-talk between different regions to anticipate perceived threats and prepare to respond accordingly. This enhances our excitement while watching, according to scientists at the University of Turku in Finland. They mapped the neural activity of subjects in an MRI as they watched horror movies, and described their findings in a recent paper published in the journal NeuroImage,

According to co-author Matthew Hudson, now at the National College of Ireland in Dublin, the objective was to take a closer look at dynamic interactions in the brain during an intense emotional experience. Most prior studies on neural mechanisms have adopted a binary approach, in that the focus is on comparing two conditions. But this ignores the temporal dynamics between the two conditions—the continuous fear response.

Hudson told Ars, “We wanted to use a naturalistic stimuli and new ways to analyze neural data to try and understand exactly how the fear response changes over time” rather than simply comparing brain activity before and after a perceived threat. Horror movies provided the perfect fear-inducing stimulus.

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Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to combat climate change

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced today he plans to contribute $10 billion toward fighting climate change through the creation of a new philanthropic project called the Bezos Earth Fund. "Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," Bezos wrote…

Apple Music’s Replay 2020 playlist tracks your favorites week-by-week

You don't have to sit tight until December to start your 2020 retrospective. As promised, Apple Music has made its automatic Replay 2020 playlist available to subscribers through its beta web player. You'll have to visit the site through a mobile bro…

Samsung’s “Ultra Thin Glass” doesn’t seem much stronger than plastic

The Galaxy Z Flip's "glass" isn't any more scratch-resistant than plastic.

Enlarge / The Galaxy Z Flip’s “glass” isn’t any more scratch-resistant than plastic. (credit: JerryRigEverything)

There comes a point in the life of every foldable smartphone when, after a wave of hype and highly controlled early looks, the phone actually hits the hands of the general public—and durability issues immediately pop up. We’ve seen it with the Galaxy Fold, which died in the hands of reviewers and was delayed for six months; the Huawei Mate X, which had its launch limited to China and broke after a single drop; and the Moto Razr, which has a creaky hinge that jams easily and a display that delaminates. This weekend it was the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip’s turn to disappoint us. The initial shipments are going out, and we’re already seeing that Samsung’s much-hyped flexible glass cover isn’t much more durable than plastic.

YouTuber JerryRigEverything regularly does destructive durability tests on phones, partly by attacking a device with a set of Mohs picks. These pointy metal tools that are calibrated to the Mohs scale of mineral hardness allow a user to determine the hardness of a surface by doing a scratch test. You start with the softest pick and work your way up the set until you find something that can scratch the surface you’re testing. A modern smartphone with Corning’s Gorilla Glass scratches at level 6 on the Mohs hardness scale.

The Galaxy Z Flip features a first-of-its-kind flexible glass cover that Samsung calls “Ultra-Thin Glass.” Until now, foldables have had to suffer through life with plastic display covers, which scratch easily, don’t provide much protection, and just like a resistive touchscreen, feel bad to swipe around on, thanks to the squishy pliability of the display. With this new invention of flexible glass, the Z Flip promised a return to a hard, smooth, scratch-resistant display surface.

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