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Uber pauses its self-driving efforts following Arizona crash

Mar 26

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Uber suspended its self-driving car testing in Arizona and its Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania operations while it investigates a crash that took place in Tempe.

Continue reading Uber pauses its self-driving efforts following Arizona crash

Uber pauses its self-driving efforts following Arizona crash originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:50:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla starts taking solar roof orders next month

Mar 26

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We still don’t know how much these solar shingles will cost.

Continue reading Tesla starts taking solar roof orders next month

Tesla starts taking solar roof orders next month originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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These three automotive Lego kits deserve your suppoort

Mar 26

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We all need more Lego cars in our lives.

Continue reading These three automotive Lego kits deserve your suppoort

These three automotive Lego kits deserve your suppoort originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Still More Advertisers Pull Google Ads Over YouTube Hate Videos

Mar 26

“A week after Google apologized for running customers’ advertisements alongside objectionable videos, triggering a change in policy, its YouTube site is still rife with examples that are angering more big advertisers and causing some to cut spending with the tech giant,” reports the Dow Jones Newswire. Reporters from the Wall Street Journal spotted ads from Microsoft, Amazon, and Procter & Gamble appearing on hate videos — and thus indirectly funding them. An anonymous reader quotes their report:
Asked about the Journal’s finding that their ads were still appearing with such content on YouTube as of Thursday night, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Dish Network Corp. said Friday they were suspending spending on all Google advertising except targeted search ads. Starbucks Corp. and General Motors Co. said they were pulling their ads from YouTube. FX Networks, part of 21st Century Fox Inc., said it was suspending all advertising spending on Google, including search ads and YouTube. Wal-Mart said: “The content with which we are being associated is appalling and completely against our company values.”
An executive at one of the affected companies complained that Google “had assured us over the past few days that our brands were safe from this type of content. Despite their assurances, it’s clear they couldn’t give assurance.”


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SAS Mocked For Recommending 60% Proprietary Software, 40% Open Source

Mar 26

This week SAS wrote that open source technology “has its own, often unexpected costs,” recommending organizations maintain a balance of 60% proprietary software to 40% open software. An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld:
How they arrived at this bizarre conclusion is hard to fathom, except that SAS sells more than $1 billion worth of proprietary software every year and presumably would like to continue, despite a clear trend toward open-source-powered analytics… In a Burtch Works survey of over 1,100 quant pros, 61.3% prefer open source R or Python to SAS, and only 38.6% opting for SAS, with that percentage growing for open source options every year.
Worse for SAS, a variety of open source data infrastructure and analytics tools threaten to encroach on its bastions in data management, business intelligence, and analytics… Nearly all innovation in data infrastructure is happening in open source, not proprietary software. That’s a tide SAS can try to fight with white papers, but it would do better to join by embracing open source in its product suite.

“In the paper, SAS correctly argues that open source versus proprietary software is not an either/or decision…” writes InfoWorld, but they note that the report also “put the percentage of open source adopters at a mere 25%, which is pathetically wrong.” The article suggests a hope that the report “is the product of a rogue field marketing team, and not the company’s official position.” Adobe’s vice president of mobile commented on Twitter, “I just wonder who in their marketing dept thought this was a good idea.”


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Comcast Launches New 24/7 Workplace Surveillance Service

Mar 26

America’s largest ISP just rolled out a new service that allows small and medium-sized business owners “to oversee their organization” with continuous video surveillance footage that’s stored in the cloud — allowing them to “improve efficiency.” An anonymous reader quotes the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Inventory is disappearing. Workplace productivity is off. He said/she said office politics are driving people crazy. Who you gonna call…? Comcast Business hopes it will be the one, with the “SmartOffice” surveillance offering formally launched this week in Philadelphia and across “70 percent of our national [internet] service footprint,” said Christian Nascimento, executive director of premise services for the Comcast division. Putting a “Smart Cities” (rather than “Big Brother is watching you”) spin on “the growing trend for…connected devices across the private and public sectors,” the SmartOffice solution “can provide video surveillance to organizations that want to monitor their locations more closely,” Nascimento said…

The surveillance cameras are equipped with zoom lenses, night-vision, motion detection, and wide-angle lenses, while an app allows remote access to the footage from smartphones and tablets (though the footage can also be downloaded, or stored online for up to a month). Last year Comcast was heavily involved in an effort to provide Detroit’s police department with real-time video feeds from over 120 local businesses, which the mayor said wouldn’t have been successful “Without the complete video technology system Comcast provides.”


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Ubuntu Linux 17.04 ‘Zesty Zapus’ Final Beta Now Available For Download

Mar 26

BrianFagioli writes: The final beta of Ubuntu 17.04 ‘Zesty Zapus’ became available for download Thursday. While it is never a good idea to run pre-release software on production machines, Canonical is claiming that it should be largely bug free at this point. In other words, if you understand the risks, it should be a fairly safe. Home users aside, this is a good opportunity for administrators to conduct testing prior to the official release next month. “The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the final beta release of the Ubuntu 17.04 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products. Codenamed ‘Zesty Zapus’, 17.04 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution,” says Adam Conrad, Canonical. “The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.”


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Apache Hadoop Has Failed Us, Tech Experts Say

Mar 26

It was the first widely-adopted open source distributed computing platform. But some geeks running it are telling Datanami that Hadoop “is great if you’re a data scientist who knows how to code in MapReduce or Pig…but as you go higher up the stack, the abstraction layers have mostly failed to deliver on the promise of enabling business analysts to get at the data.” Slashdot reader atcclears shares their report:
“I can’t find a happy Hadoop customer. It’s sort of as simple as that,” says Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake Computing, which develops and runs a cloud-based relational data warehouse offering. “It’s very clear to me, technologically, that it’s not the technology base the world will be built on going forward”… [T]hanks to better mousetraps like S3 (for storage) and Spark (for processing), Hadoop will be relegated to niche and legacy statuses going forward, Muglia says. “The number of customers who have actually successfully tamed Hadoop is probably less than 20 and it might be less than 10…”
One of the companies that supposedly tamed Hadoop is Facebook…but according to Bobby Johnson, who helped run Facebook’s Hadoop cluster before co-founding behavioral analytics company Interana, the fact that Hadoop is still around is a “historical glitch. That may be a little strong,” Johnson says. “But there’s a bunch of things that people have been trying to do with it for a long time that it’s just not well suited for.” Hadoop’s strengths lie in serving as a cheap storage repository and for processing ETL batch workloads, Johnson says. But it’s ill-suited for running interactive, user-facing applications… “After years of banging our heads against it at Facebook, it was never great at it,” he says. “It’s really hard to dig into and actually get real answers from… You really have to understand how this thing works to get what you want.”
Johnson recommends Apache Kafka instead for big data applications, arguing “there’s a pipe of data and anything that wants to do something useful with it can tap into that thing. That feels like a better unifying principal…” And the creator of Kafka — who ran Hadoop clusters at LinkedIn — calls Hadoop “just a very complicated stack to build on.”


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‘Why The US Senate’s Vote To Throw Out ISP Privacy Laws Isn’t All Bad’

Mar 26

“Nobody wants their data spread far and wide,” write two associate editors at MIT Technology Review, “but the FCC’s rules were an inconsistent solution to a much larger problem.” An anonymous reader writes:

They point out the rules passed in October “weren’t even yet in effect,” but more importantly — they only would’ve applied to ISPs. “[T]he reality is that the U.S. doesn’t have a baseline law that governs online privacy,” and the truth is, it never did. “The FCC’s new privacy rules would have been dramatic, to be sure — but they would only have addressed one piece of the problem, leaving companies like Facebook and Google free to continue doing much the same thing.
While the repeal still needs approval in the U.S. House of Representatives and the president’s signature, their article argues that what’s really needed is “a more consistent approach to privacy.”


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Uber Halts Self-Driving Car Tests in Arizona After Friday Night Collision

Mar 26

“Given that the Uber vehicle has flipped onto its side it looks to be a high speed crash,” writes TechCrunch, though Business Insider reports that no one was seriously injured. An anonymous reader quotes their report:
A self-driving Uber car was involved in an accident on Friday night in Tempe, Arizona, in one of the most serious incidents to date involving the growing fleet of autonomous vehicles being tested on U.S. roads… Uber has halted its self-driving-car pilot in Arizona and is investigating what caused the incident… A Tempe police spokesperson told Bloomberg that the Uber was not at fault in the accident and was hit by another car which failed to yield. Still, the collision will likely to turn up the temperature on the heated debate about the safety of self-driving cars.


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