Consumer Reports: Latest Autopilot “far less competent than a human”


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A Tesla Model 3.

In recent weeks, Tesla has been pushing out a new version of Autopilot with automatic lane-change capabilities to Model 3s—including one owned by Consumer Reports. So the group dispatched several drivers to highways around the group’s car-testing center in Connecticut to test the feature. The results weren’t good.

The “latest version of Tesla’s automatic lane-changing feature is far less competent than a human driver,” Consumer Reports declares.

Tesla introduced its Navigate on Autopilot feature a few months ago, but at first, it would ask the driver to confirm lane changes. More recently Tesla has given drivers the option to have Autopilot initiate lane changes without confirmation. But CR’s reviewers argue that feature isn’t ready for prime time.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Thanks Autopilot: Cops stop Tesla whose driver appears asleep and drunk


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Thanks Autopilot: Cops stop Tesla whose driver appears asleep and drunk

Police in the Netherlands on Thursday arrested a Tesla driver who had apparently fallen asleep at the wheel while driving down the highway. A Dutch police agency reported the arrest on Instagram.

A 50-year-old man was spotted driving close to the car ahead of him on the A27 road. “When we came alongside, the driver appeared to have fallen asleep,” the police said.

Police signaled for the driver to pull over, but he didn’t seem to notice. Eventually, the officers managed to wake the driver up using a siren, the Instagram post says. Police administered a blood alcohol test and found the driver to be under the influence of alcohol. (The Instagram post cites a BAC level of 340ug /l, which—if my math is right—is a BAC of 0.34 percent in American units.)

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Autopilot was active when a Tesla crashed into a truck, killing driver


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Autopilot was active when a Tesla crashed into a truck, killing driver

A Tesla Model 3 had Autopilot active in the seconds before it crashed into a semi truck in March, killing the driver, the National Transportation Safety Board reported on Thursday.

Jeremy Banner was driving his Model 3 on a divided four-lane highway in Palm Beach County, Florida. As the car approached a driveway, a semi truck pulled out in front of the car, making a left-hand turn from the driveway to the opposite travel lanes.

The Tesla was moving at 68mph (110km/h) and slid under the truck’s trailer. The trailer sheared off the top of the car, killing Banner. The vehicle continued down the road for another 1,600 feet (500m) before coming to a rest in the median.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

White House unveils new tool to report censorship by social media giants


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The landing page for the White House censorship reporting tool.

Enlarge / The landing page for the White House censorship reporting tool. (credit: whitehouse.gov)

Donald Trump has long accused social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube of political bias. On Wednesday, his White House launched a new online form that allows members of the public to report political bias in their content moderation decisions.

“SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH,” the form says (capitalization in the original, of course). “Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear ‘violations’ of user policies. No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump.”

The form asks users to provide their name and basic demographic and contact information. Users then provide details about the content that was censored and can provide screenshots of messages from social media

Continue reading “White House unveils new tool to report censorship by social media giants”

White House refuses to sign international statement on online extremism


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




White House refuses to sign international statement on online extremism

(credit: Matt Wade)

The Trump administration will not sign an international pledge by governments and online services to combat extremist content online. The Christchurch Call is named after the New Zealand city where a terrorist livestreamed the shooting deaths of 50 Muslims in March.

The statement is being formally released today as part of an international summit in Paris. It will bear the signatures of more than a dozen nations, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Leading technology companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, have also signed on. But not the US government.

“The United States stands with the international community in condemning terrorist and violent extremist content online in the strongest terms,” the White House said in an emailed statement Wednesday. The US government says it will “continue to support the overall goals reflected in the Call,” however, it is

Continue reading “White House refuses to sign international statement on online extremism”

Bitcoin hits $8,000 five days after cracking $6,000


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Bitcoin hits $8,000 five days after cracking $6,000

Last Wednesday we reported that bitcoin had risen to $6,000 for the first time this year. On Monday, just five days later, bitcoin reached a new 2019 high of $8,000. As I write this one bitcoin is worth about $7,900.

Of course, bitcoin reached much higher levels in late 2017 and early 2018. Bitcoin’s current price just under $8,000 is less than half the all-time high of $19,500 set in December 2017. Bitcoin was last worth at least $8,000 in July 2018.

As often happens, bitcoin’s rise is part of a broader cryptocurrency boom. On Saturday, the price of ether—the currency of the Ethereum network—rose above $200 for the first time in 2019. Other cryptocurrencies, including Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, and Dash are at or near 2019 highs.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Uber’s stock plunges for a second straight day


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A serious man speaks at a conference.

Uber’s stock fell 7.6 percent on Friday, its first day as a publicly traded firm. The bloodbath continued on Monday, with Uber’s stock price falling by an additional 10.7 percent.

It’s a sobering moment for the ride-hailing company. As recently as last October, some Wall Street banks were estimating that the company could be valued as high as $120 billion. At Monday’s closing price of $37.10, Uber is worth barely half that, at $62 billion. (The company is worth around $68 billion on a “fully diluted” basis, which counts stock options and other assets that could eventually be converted into shares.)

Monday wasn’t a good day for the broader stock market either, but the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell a comparatively modest 2.4 percent.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Supreme Court ruling could threaten Apple’s 30 percent app commission


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Supreme Court ruling could threaten Apple’s 30 percent app commission

Enlarge (credit: Chesnot/Getty Images)

A narrowly divided Supreme Court is allowing a group of consumers to move forward with a lawsuit charging that Apple overcharges customers for app store purchases. Apple had asked courts to throw out the lawsuit, arguing that the law only allowed app developers, not customers, to bring such a case.

The lawsuit has been underway since 2011 and is nowhere close to resolution. The stakes are high. Apple iOS platform is notable for completely shutting out alternative means of app distribution. Other major software platforms—including Android, Mac OS, and Windows—offer customers the option to download and install software they acquire from third parties without paying a commission to the platform owner. But ordinary iPhone users—those who are unwilling or unable to jailbreak or use developer tools—have no way to install apps other than through the official App Store.

Plaintiffs in this case argue that Apple’s 30

Continue reading “Supreme Court ruling could threaten Apple’s 30 percent app commission”

Swedish authorities want to extradite Julian Assange for rape


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Assange arrives at court in London on May 1, 2019 to be sentenced for bail violation.

Prosecutors in Sweden have reopened their investigation into a 2010 rape allegation against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, a first step toward seeking his extradition to Sweden. The Swedish case was closed in 2017 due to Assange’s ongoing asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

That asylum—which began in 2012—ended last month when Assange was finally evicted from the embassy and was promptly arrested by the British authorities. A judge sentenced him to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail.

“There is still probable cause to suspect that Mr. Assange committed rape,” Swedish prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said at a Monday press conference.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Judge rejects Musk’s arguments to dismiss “pedo guy” defamation suit


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Elon Musk

A federal judge in California has rejected Elon Musk’s request to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Vern Unsworth, a British caver who aided with the rescue of a dozen boys in Thailand last year.

Musk’s lawyers had argued that his remarks describing Unsworth as a “pedo guy” were mere statements of opinion that cannot be defamatory under US law. Judge Stephen Wilson rejected these arguments and scheduled a jury trial to start on October 22.

“Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it”

Musk’s feud with Unsworth began last summer, when Musk had a team of SpaceX engineers build a miniature submarine to help extract the Thai boys. The device turned out to be unnecessary, as divers had already rescued the boys before it arrived.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Uber suffers disappointing stock market debut


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Enlarge / Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. (credit: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Uber’s long-anticipated debut on public stock markets failed to live up to expectations on Friday, with the company’s stock falling 7.6 percent during its first day of trading. As the closing bell rang, Uber’s stock was worth $41.57, valuing the entire firm at $76 billion.

Uber has suffered from steadily diminishing expectations in recent months. When Uber solicited proposals from banks to handle the massive stock offering, some banks reportedly estimated that the company could be worth as much as $120 billion. By the time Uber’s shares actually went on sale, the company’was seeking a more modest $82 billion. Now the company isn’t worth even that much.

Still, Uber raised $8.1 billion in the initial public offering, replenishing the company’s warchest. That’s important because Uber has yet to turn a profit. In fact, Uber reportedly

Continue reading “Uber suffers disappointing stock market debut”

Google’s machine learning strategy: hardware, software, and lots of data


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O Developers Conference on May 7, 2019.

One of the most interesting demos at this week’s Google I/O keynote featured a new version of Google’s voice assistant that’s due out later this year. A Google employee asked the Google Assistant to bring up her photos then show her photos with animals. She tapped one and said “send it to Justin.” The photo was dropped into the messaging app.

From here, things got more impressive.

“Hey Google, send an email to Jessica,” she said. “Hi Jessica, I just got back from Yellowstone and completely fell in love with it.” The phone transcribed her words, putting “Hi Jessica” on its own line.

Read 37 remaining paragraphs | Comments