Must Read Bits & Bytes

How Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car is shaping smart cities

How Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car is shaping smart cities

If there's one thing you won't mistake the F 015 Luxury in Motion for, it's any Mercedes-Benz currently on the road. Previous autonomous development had started with a production car and then added self-driving abilities, Mercedes designer Till Varailhon explained to me; this time around, the team started from scratch: not only in how the car looks and drives, but how it shares space responsibly in the cities of 2030. After the cut, no-go zones, flocks of scurrying research robots, and why Tesla only proves the smart city is inevitable.

Continue Reading

Amazon drones get FAA test approval (but don’t get excited)

Amazon drones get FAA test approval (but don’t get excited)

Amazon has been granted special permission to test its drone delivery service, but while the FAA may have given PrimeAir trials the green-light, don't expect it at your front door any time soon. PrimeAir was announced in late 2013, Amazon's grand scheme to deliver smaller packages by remotely-controlled drone within thirty minutes of an order being placed, but in addition to doubts around whether the project was practical, the Federal Aviation Administration took a dim view of commercial UAV use. Now, the leash has been loosened a little, allowing Amazon to at least begin conducting feasibility trials.

Continue Reading

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s DLC ‘Ascendance’ hits Xbox on March 31

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s DLC ‘Ascendance’ hits Xbox on March 31

The second Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC -- titled "Ascendance" -- will be arriving on March 31 for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360, it has been announced. PlayStation gamers will be forced to wait an extra month before it drops, but it looks to be worth the wait. Activision and Sledgehammer Games have detailed what the latest expansion will bring with it, and that includes the second chapter for the Exo Zombies mode and new weapons, among other things.

Continue Reading

Tesla Model S Autopilot update due in 3-4 months

Tesla Model S Autopilot update due in 3-4 months

Tesla will deliver a bevy of new safety tech for the Model S in an upcoming update, with full auto-driving promised for certain roads in an update that follows. The first update, already in beta with select owners, will add not only the Range Assurance and Trip Planner apps that Elon Musk expects to remove range anxiety, but enable features like automatic braking, blind spot warnings, and side collision warnings as previewed at the P85D AWD launch last year. However, it's software update version 7.0 that's likely to be even more hotly anticipated by Model S owners, which will add Autopilot functionality.

Continue Reading

Tag Heuer smartwatch official, Google & Intel will help

Tag Heuer smartwatch official, Google & Intel will help

That rumored Tag Heuer smartwatch is now a reality. After a rumor surfaced late yesterday that both Intel and Google would be part of the deal, all parties involved today announced there would a be a luxury smartwatch from Tag Heuer. Google, Intel and Tag Heuer will work in unison to bring a luxury smartwatch to the world — and that’s all we know. Intel’s end in this is pretty evident (they’ll bring a SoC), and Google will come forward with software expertise on Android Wear.

Continue Reading

I hitched a ride in Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car

I hitched a ride in Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car

When you take away the driving from the driver, what do the meat-popsicles inside an autonomous car do while the AI is at the wheel? That's the question Mercedes-Benz has tackled with the F 015 Luxury in Motion, a dramatically different approach to the future of transportation. Starting with the assumption that space will eventually be the biggest luxury, the self-driving concept treats driving much in the same way that a smartphone does the voice call: just one of many features and, as I discovered when I hitched a ride in the space-age pod, no longer the most important.

Continue Reading

Up close with F 015, Mercedes’ incredible self-driving car

Up close with F 015, Mercedes’ incredible self-driving car

Mercedes-Benz dropped jaws back at CES 2015 in January when its autonomous F 015 Luxury in Motion concept drove onto the opening keynote stage. Then, the UFO-like prototype turned heads when the German firm drove it through the streets of San Francisco last week. The size of an S Class but markedly different from every angle, not only can the F 015 drive itself and four people, but do so surrounded with ridiculous levels of both technology and luxury. So, when Mercedes-Benz asked us if we'd like to check out the F 015 in person, an opportunity to get closer to the autonomous car than ever before, we didn't turn them down.

Continue Reading

“We don’t have to worry about autonomous cars,” so says Elon Musk

“We don’t have to worry about autonomous cars,” so says Elon Musk

This morning at GTC 2015, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk spoke onstage with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang about car autonomy. Huang began with the "juicy stuff," as he called it. "You were quoted as saying artificial intelligence is more dangerous than nuclear weapons," suggested Huang to Musk, "...like a demon. How do you consolidate and rationalize that with deep learning’s potential?" Musk replied that autonomous cars weren't really in the scope of what he was speaking about - not with his warning about artificial intelligence, anyway.

Continue Reading

Google I/O registration is open; here’s what you need to do

Google I/O registration is open; here’s what you need to do

Google’s annual Developers conference, Google I/O, is happening in in late May. Though you’ve got plenty of time before you need to be in San Francisco, registration for the event opens today (actually about an hour ago!). In the past, you’d be scrambling to get yourself a ticket, but those days are gone. Rather than the stampede it once was, the event invitations are now lottery-based, which at least eases server strain. If you want to attend, here’s what you need to do.

Continue Reading

Here’s what Facebook will (and won’t) allow in your posts

Here’s what Facebook will (and won’t) allow in your posts

You might have heard news that Facebook is changing up their rules a bit, releasing an update to their ‘Community Standards’ guidelines. Those rules are in place to safeguard the Facebook community at-large against content that is widely regarded as offensive or distasteful. But you’re not one of those people, right? We hope not, but some algorithm might not be able to pick up on your humor or purpose. Rather than leave things to chance, let’s clarify what can and can’t be posted to Facebook.

Continue Reading