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I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I told my grandmother about Mercedes-Benz’s self-driving F 015 concept the other week, and she was horrified. “However could you trust it to drive you safely?” she wanted to know, perhaps thinking of how her DVR regularly and unpredictably dumps her favorite recordings and extrapolating that to a crazed silvery space-pod crashing and taking her grandson with it. In fact, I told her, I trust autonomous vehicles far more than I do my fellow human drivers, and recent news of self-driving car crashes in California has done nothing to change that.

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Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

If you’re on iOS, you likely use Facetime for video chats and iMessage for more casual text-based back-and-forth talks. If you use Android, Hangouts likely handles the same workload, but maybe not in the same way. While Apple’s chat services use end-to-end encryption, it’s now been discovered Google doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought. In a recent Reddit AMA, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) employee prompted a Googler to disclose just how secure Hangouts is. Spoiler: it isn’t very secure.

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Nexus 9 Android 5.1.1 OTA update out now – factory image too!

Nexus 9 Android 5.1.1 OTA update out now – factory image too!

Four days after mentioning the update to the public, Google is now pushing Android 5.1.1 to the Nexus 9 tablet. This HTC-made device suffered apparent issues in-between Android 5.0 and this newest update, and this newest update is ready to roll to bring the fixes. In addition to the OTA (over the air) update, the Factory Image for this software has also been posted for your self-loaded satisfaction. OTA will only work for you if you've got a completely pure, un-edited bit of operating system under the hood.

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Self-driving cars have accidents, too — but humans are to blame

Self-driving cars have accidents, too — but humans are to blame

Autonomous cars have many excited, and enough worried about their safety. In a new blog post, Google’s self-driving car lead, Chris Urmson, says while the autonomous vehicles do suffer the occasional fender-bender, it’s not their fault. Those accidents also aren’t much more than paint-swapping incidents; 11 accidents with no injuries to passengers in the car and light damage to the vehicle. Urmson also says none of the accidents autonomous cars were involved in can be attributed to the tech inside.

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Google suspends ‘Map Maker’ feature because of pranks

Google suspends ‘Map Maker’ feature because of pranks

Remember the news of a Google Map edit that showed an Android mascot relieving itself on an Apple logo? Well, that — among other low-brow or similarly bad taste edits — have caused Google to suspend edits via Map Maker. The feature, which allows us to make our own edits to maps based on local knowledge, has been sidelined for a limited time, at least to some respect. It seems Google now wants to manually review submissions. This is why we can’t have nice things.

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Driverless cars in California rack up four accidents since September

Driverless cars in California rack up four accidents since September

One goal of driverless cars is make the roads safer by eliminating human error as a cause for accidents. Unfortunately, for the supporters of driverless cars cruising the streets of California, four of the 50 driverless cars licensed to operate on the streets of the state have been in accidents since September. California started issuing permits for testing self-driving cars in September of 2014.

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Google Play Store now supports pre-registration for upcoming apps

Google Play Store now supports pre-registration for upcoming apps

If you've ever been in that situation where you failed to keep track of when an interesting app or game finally landed on Google Play Store, then you'll know how important this new feature is, both for users and developers. Now developers will be able to mark soon to be launched apps as "Coming Soon" and interested users can opt to be informed when that day arrives by pre-registering for the app. This enables both to squeeze out maximum engagement, and maybe even money, for the app.

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SEGA will be taking down some of its mobile games

SEGA will be taking down some of its mobile games

SEGA announced today that it will be taking down some games from its back catalog that it says no longer meets its standards. The decision is said to have been made after evaluating its game titles, and is necessary for the general upkeep of the gamers experience. The entire announcement was shrouded in an air of secrecy, in that none of the games that are going to be removed have actually been named…meaning we don’t yet know what is on the chopping block. What we do know is that they’re mobile games, and they’ll be stripped from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

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Rumor: Huawei-made Nexus phone will have 5.7-inch screen

Rumor: Huawei-made Nexus phone will have 5.7-inch screen

Here we go again; Huawei making the next Nexus rumors. First surfacing about six weeks ago, Huawei is widely rumored to be making Google’s next flagship phone. So far, we’ve heard it would be based on the Huawei Honor 6 Plus, which seems as polarizing as Google’s choice for a 6-inch screen on the Nexus 6. This new batch of rumors positions a Huawei-made Nexus device as a wholly new smartphone; comparatively, there’s no Huawei phone like it. Yet.

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Google OCR tech now understands over 200 languages

Google OCR tech now understands over 200 languages

Google has been pushing an ambitions scanning project for years in an attempt to get printed books and magazines in digital form where they can be searched. Google has also fought lawsuits alleging that it is violating copyrights by scanning books into digital form. Suits such as those haven't stopped Google from working to scan even more material into digital form and the search giant has announced a significant landmark for its OCR technology.

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