Author Archives: JC Torres


Jaguar: customers aren’t cargo, won’t make self-driving cars

Jaguar: customers aren’t cargo, won’t make self-driving cars

While some car makers are scrambling to make cars smarter, perhaps even to the point of being able to drive themselves, at least one is putting hard limits to what technology will be able to do. At least according to its R&D head. Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover's research and development chief, might come off as anti-robot, but his reasoning pretty much appeals to human emotion. The company doesn't consider its customers as cargo so they aren't interested in developing a robot that just delivers them from one point to another.

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Cyanogen-powered Alacatel TOUCH Hero 2+ is no more

Cyanogen-powered Alacatel TOUCH Hero 2+ is no more

It hasn't even seen the light of day and it no longer will. Alcatel and Cyanogen, Inc. have jointly announced that they are canceling their previously announced plans for a ONETOUCH Hero 2+ remix. Based on last year's Hero 2, this particular smartphone would have been Cyanogen's first device from a well known international brand. Of course, the two will still collaborate on a new Alcatel device bearing Cyanogen OS, but this incident perhaps demonstrate Cyanogen's overeagerness to spread its software, counting their eggs before they even hatched.

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2016 Mirai sets a 312 mile record for zero-emission cars

2016 Mirai sets a 312 mile record for zero-emission cars

The Toyota Mirai is really setting records, at least according to the car maker. Toyota just proudly announced that the 2016 Mirai has achieved the equivalent of 67 miles per gallon on city/highway/combined roads and a range of 312 miles, both based on EPA estimates. That might not sound so noteworthy at first, until you take into account the fact that the Mirai is a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle. Thus, Toyota is claiming that it is the first of any zero emission vehicle to hit, and even exceed, that 300 mile mark.

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Huawei Honor 7 brings multi-functional fingerprint scanner

Huawei Honor 7 brings multi-functional fingerprint scanner

Meizu isn't the only Chinese manufacturer with a smartphone to flaunt today. Huawei has also come out with its own flagship. As you would expect based on the trends, the Huawei Honor 7 touts a full metal design but there are things that the OEM is also doing differently. For one, it isn't going with ready-made Qualcomm or MediaTek chips, preferring its own Kirin processor instead. It is also making its fingerprint sensor go beyond simple authentication, adding a bit more functionality to the rear-side feature.

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Meizu MX5 boasts full metal body, 20MP laser-aided shooter

Meizu MX5 boasts full metal body, 20MP laser-aided shooter

Apple and Samsung push the limits of smartphones in every flagship and Chinese manufacturers push back by going with the trend and slapping on a cheaper price tag. Meizu's latest MX5 is probably the epitome of that cycle. Eschewing the mostly plastic build of its predecessors, the Meizu MX5 now flaunts a metal-clad body with a design that is unabashedly reminiscent of other high-end flagships. Bundle that up with not so insignificant hardware and a price to die for and you've got the makings of classic Chinese smartphone star.

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LEGO invests $150M in search for sustainable materials

LEGO invests $150M in search for sustainable materials

LEGO may be fun and educational, but more environment-conscious consumers might take issue with what is being sacrificed to get to that point. LEGO has no delusions that the very materials that make up its iconic blocks and pieces, not to mention their packaging, do their own share of harming the environment. That is why the LEGO Group is stepping up its efforts to change that image by not only investing a huge some of money for R&D but also establishing its new Sustainable Materials Centre.

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Windows 10 Build 10158: Edge udpates, Cortana for Office 365

Windows 10 Build 10158: Edge udpates, Cortana for Office 365

We are now on the verge of counting down the days to Microsoft's most anticipated, whether with excitement or with dread, Windows 10 release. But before that ball starts rolling, the company has a few more builds for its Insiders to try out. By this time, major changes to functionality should already be minimal in order to prepare for the final release. And that indeed shows in this latest 10158 build, which focuses more on polishing the user interface and getting things to work just right.

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Shazam now lets you know what artists have Shazamed

Shazam now lets you know what artists have Shazamed

It seems that everyone and anyone in the music streaming biz is scampering now that Apple is launching its own Apple Music service. Google has unexpectedly added free ad-supported streaming radio to their service. Tidal abruptly fires its CEO almost in panic over an impending competition. And now Shazam has announced a new feature that goes slightly beyond its regular music discovery feature and into the realm of social networking for artists. Coincidentally, that's the very same feature that Apple has been advertising from the get go in Apple Music Connect.

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HP goes back to school with convertibles, Chromebook

HP goes back to school with convertibles, Chromebook

School may just be ending but it's never too early to prepare for the next academic year, especially when it comes to purchasing a new laptop. To make things easier, or perhaps even more difficult, HP is announcing its own batch of PCs designed with students and teachers in mind. Or maybe "re-labeled" might be a better term, as the HP Spectre Pro x360 G1, the HP Pro x360 310 G2, and the HP Chromebook 11 G4 are practically minor updates or even rehashes of existing HP products.

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Android app secretly mines for Dogecoin, FTC not amused

Android app secretly mines for Dogecoin, FTC not amused

When you say your app is free of malware but does exactly the opposite, you aren't just lying, you could also be committing a crime. That is exactly what Prized app developers Equiliv Investments and Ryan Ramminger learned the hard way when they were slapped with an FTC complaint because their app actually used infected smartphones to help the developers mine for cryptocurrency like Dogecoin. The defendants wisely decided to settle out of court, which included a monetary judgment of $50,000, which is no small amount for someone desperately hunting for digital currency.

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