Semi-autonomous tech could lead to more in-car sex, expert worries

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Forget texting. Sex could be the next greatest safety hazard facing our roadways.

As semi-autonomous systems like Tesla’s Autopilot or Honda Sensing become more prevalent and lull drivers into a false sense of security, a new form of distracted driving might endanger people on the roads: in-car sex.

“I am predicting that, once computers are doing the driving, there will be a lot more sex in cars,” Barrie Kirk of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence told the CBC.

You might imagine, this is perhaps the most distracting thing you can do in a car. Accordingly, it could be devastatingly dangerous. Google estimates it takes 17 seconds to respond to an semi-autonomous car’s prompts to retake control of the vehicle. I can only imagine, if in the midst of coitus, it’s a bit longer than that. Read more…

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Chinese court rules Apple has to share the trademark 'iPhone' with a leather goods maker

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Apple now has to share the trademark for the word “iPhone” with a handbag and leather goods maker – at least in China.

As reported by Quartz (via the Chinese-based Legal Daily), the Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court of Final Appeal ruled against Apple in a recent lawsuit.

Apple was battling Beijing-based Xintong Tiandi, which sells leather goods like smartphone cases and handbags under the name “IPHONE.” The lawsuit – which was settled in Xintong Tiandi Technology’s favor – actually dates all the way back to 2012. Read more…

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Apple's best hope in India is to sell refurbished iPhones, and it's not looking good

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Apple’s iPhone sales might be slowing down in the rest of the world, but they grew by a phenomenal 56% in India last quarter, one of the few bright spots in Apple’s otherwise “dismal” earnings. No wonder then Apple has big plans for the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market, that includes setting up its stores and selling refurbished iPhones (or is that iPhone devices?) in the country. But it is likely going to be a steep uphill climb.

While Apple might have received the nod from the Indian government to open its retail stores in India, its plans to sell refurbished iPhones are encountering serious resistance from the Mobile and Communications Council, a newly formed industry body comprising smartphone rivals Samsung, Micromax and Intex, among others. Apple has applied to the government of India to let it import what it calls “certified pre-owned” iPhones Read more…

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Ford welded 2 Mustangs together to celebrate automotive innovation

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Ford is showcasing 50 years of automotive innovation with one strange and distinct exhibit.

Ford and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum in Alexandria, Virginia will unveil Wednesday morning a permanent new display to celebrate 50 years of automotive innovation: a 1965 and a 2015 Mustang fused together lengthwise.

The odd creation is part of an exhibit at the museum’s Property Power Exhibit that underscores the story and importance of intellectual property.

Honestly, though, that message is a bit lost on me. Seems somebody just wanted to cut some ‘Stangs in half and find reason to get away with it. Read more…

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WhatsApp is back online in Brazil after 24-hour ban

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Facebook’s WhatsApp is back online in Brazil after the service was temporarily banned Monday, following a judge’s ruling. 

Service was restored Tuesday afternoon after another judge in an appeals court reversed the ban, The Wall Street Journal reported. WhatsApp was offline for about 24 hours.

WhatsApp is extremely popular in the country and has more than 100 million users in Brazil, according to Facebook.

Monday’s ruling, which resulted in the app’s brief ban, stemmed from a court case that demanded WhatsApp turn over user data the company says it doesn’t have. WhatsApp recently rolled out support for end-to-end encryption on all its apps and has repeatedly said it can’t access chat logs or other personal information.  Read more…

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Google adds 100 Chrysler hybrid minivans to self-driving fleet

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Google just figured out how to make minivans relevant: Make them autonomous.

Google announced Tuesday afternoon that it is teaming with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and adding 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to its self-driving car fleet, thereby doubling the number of autonomous cars in Google’s stable.

This statement confirms a report last week that the two companies were in late-stage talks over a technical partnership.

Perhaps the most significant point of all, this announcement marks the first time Google has partnered directly with a carmaker to produce the tech giant’s self-driving cars. Before, Google just bought cars like the Lexus RX crossover or the Toyota Prius and fitted them with its self-driving tech. Read more…

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