Information Technology


Apple announces new AirPods with longer talk time, hands-free Siri, and wireless charging case

Mashable

New AirPods are here at last. On Wednesday, Apple announced its second-generation AirPods. The new wireless earbuds look identical to the old model, but come with a new H1 chip to achieve up to 50 percent longer talk time on a given charge, and enable hands-free "Hey Siri" voice controls. With the H1 chip, the new AirPods get up to 5 hours of listening time and up to 3 hours of talk time (up from 2 hours on the first-gen AirPods). The new chip also enables 2x faster audio connection when switching between Apple devices (i.e.


New York City will have a self-driving shuttle — but there's a catch

Mashable

The Brooklyn Navy Yard is getting an autonomous boost. On private roads, a loop shuttle service for ferry passengers will bring riders to the industrial center where 400 businesses operate. Workers can ride in MIT-based company Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttle cars starting later this year. The driverless trips will be part of the first commercial self-driving program in the state. New York and New York City in particular have been hesitant in embracing autonomous technology.


This AI predicts online trolling before it happens

Mashable

How do you keep online trolls in check? Dr. Srijan Kumar, a post-doctoral research fellow in computer science at Stanford University, is developing an AI that predicts online conflict. His research uses data science and machine learning to promote healthy online interactions and curb deception, misbehavior, and disinformation. His work is currently deployed inside Indian e-commerce platform Flipkart, which uses it to spot fake reviewers. We spoke to Dr. Kumar ahead of a lecture on healthy online interactions at USC.


'We apologise for the inconvenience': How MySpace deleted everything uploaded to site between 2003 and 2015

The Independent

Once the most popular website on the planet, MySpace saw its dawdling decline come crashing to a conclusion on Monday, after it admitted that 50 million songs from 14 million artists over 12 years had been wiped from its platform. MySpace may have lost its battle with Facebook to be the world's most popular social network years ago – with Mark Zuckerberg's creation now holding a near-monopoly over its rivals – but MySpace had since pivoted to be a place for musicians to share and promote their work. It helped launch a generation of performers, including Lily Allen and the Arctic Monkeys, but MySpace has now told its users that any music saved to its site between 2003 and 2015 would be impossible to recover. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.


Germany Risks U.S. Backlash If It Hires Chinese Company Huawei For 5G Tech

NPR

Tomorrow, Germany begins auctioning frequencies to build 5G mobile networks. It is both a highly technical event and the center of a geopolitical storm. Like much of Europe, Germany is squeezed between its economic ties to China and its longtime alliance with the U.S. NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports from Berlin. COMPUTER-GENERATED VOICE: To keep your estimated arrival time... JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: 5G will not just allow you to download movies in seconds on your smartphone. Since it's supposed to be up to 1,000 times faster than current mobile speeds, it can handle communication for self-driving cars, for example.


1 Year After Uber's Fatal Crash, Robocars Carry On Quietly

WIRED

In America, 2018 was supposed to be a very big year for self-driving cars. Uber quietly prepped to launch a robo-taxi service. Waymo said riders would be able to catch a driverless ride by year's end. General Motors' Cruise said it would start testing in New York City, the country's traffic chaos capital. Congress was poised to pass legislation that would set broad outlines for federal regulation of the tech.


Coders' Primal Urge to Kill Inefficiency--Everywhere

WIRED

Shelley Chang was working as a business analyst for a computer company in 2010 when she met Jason Ho through some mutual friends. Ho was tall and slender with a sly smile, and they hit it off right away. A computer programmer, Ho ran his own company from San Francisco. He also loved to travel. Less than a month after they met, Ho surprised Chang by buying a plane ticket to meet her in Taiwan, where she'd temporarily relocated.


Sikorsky's Self-Flying Helicopter Hints at the Flying Future

WIRED

As helicopter flights go, this one was especially boring. We took off, hovered for a bit, and maneuvered around the airport. We flew to a spot about 10 miles away, did some turns and gentle banks, then came back and landed. I've been on more exciting ferris wheels, with views more inspiring than those of rural Connecticut. Still, the flight was impressive for at least one reason: The pilot controlling the 12,000-pound Sikorsky S-76 had never before operated a helicopter.


Warren Spector previews 'System Shock 3'

Engadget

Tonight at the Game Developers Conference, Warren Spector showed off a "pre-alpha" glimpse of System Shock 3 that's being developed using the Unity engine. Naturally, the SHODAN AI is back and up to no good, but there's very little else to go on in terms of detail. Spector spoke during the Unity press conference and discussed how its technology helped the team create a world full of "robots, mutants and the dead" that impresses feelings of fear, horror and dread upon the player. It's carefully using "intense, focused light" to help achieve the right look, press play and see if they've got it right so far. Richard's been tech-obsessed since first laying hands on an Atari joystick.


Zama school gives helping hand to foreign students struggling with Japanese life

Japan Times >> News

Sagami Koyokan High School, in the city of Zama about 40 km southwest of Tokyo, has a unique entrance exam system, provides Japanese classes of various levels, uses a system of team teaching and employs a coordinator to help students from overseas or of foreign descent enroll and better understand classes in Japanese. Foreign students or students with foreign backgrounds make up some 20 percent of a student body that totals more than 1,000. The origins and backgrounds of students at Sagami Koyokan can be traced to more than a dozen countries, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Peru and Brazil, and the number of those with roots in South Asian nations such as Nepal and Sri Lanka has been on the rise recently, according to deputy head Kumiko Sakakibara. "I find it easier to ask questions in this (special Japanese) class with fewer students because I feel nervous in a large classroom," said a 19-year-old Sri Lankan student named Adhil. One of his classmates, Manalo Dominic Piedad, 18, from the Philippines, said: "I came to understand more (in Japanese) compared to before. At this school, I made a lot of friends from various countries."