File photo - A man takes a selfie in front of the CES logo during the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Jan. 10, 2018. While great laptops and 2-in-1s come out every year, we don't see significant innovation taking place in computing on an annual basis. But this year at CES, we saw some upending of the standard quo on a number of levels. The trends we saw from the show floor have us both curious and excited about the future of computing. Some will undoubtedly end up in dead ends -- and others will probably become the new status quo in just a few years.
No matter how many Amazon Echo commercials you see, it takes a little time to adjust to Alexa. Putting a virtual assistant in your home signals a change in lifestyle, sort of like adopting a puppy. There will be a lot of trial-and-error, but once you find your rhythm, you'll forget what life was like without her. The Amazon Echo listens for the wake word, "Alexa." But, frankly, I was shocked by how many conversations were recorded by my Echo that did not include the wake word.
The aim is for a SMET robot to be able to carry 1,000 pounds across more than 60 miles in 72 hours. Whether you're interested in trucks, tanks, motorcycles, armored vehicles or ATVs, 2017 was a great year, with lots of incredible machines. And it was a year in which lots of out-of-the-box advances – some might even say shocking – were revealed. Where do we find these insider machines? I also meet with military and private sector innovators to closely evaluate the vehicles and put them through their paces.
Driving in winter conditions can be slow and hazardous, even for skilled drivers. The self-driving cars in development today are generally designed and tested on city streets, with curbs and lane markings and GPS maps to rely on. But what happens when you live in a country like Finland, where roads covered with several inches of snow are a fact of life every year? Researchers at the VTT Technical Research Centre are tackling that problem head-on with Martti, an autonomous vehicle specifically programmed to safely navigate public roads blanketed in snow. Built on a Volkswagen Touareg, it's equipped with a variety of antennas, sensors, cameras, and laser scanners.
File photo - An airplane flies over a drone during the Polar Bear Plunge on Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York Jan. 1, 2015. While it seems unlikely that everyday drone hobbyists would want to make a beeline for their nearest nuclear facility to grab some aerial shots, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has nevertheless announced a ban on drone flights over such locations in the U.S., namely: As you can see, they're mainly labs, while the Hanford Site, for example, is a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex. Another of those listed, the Pantex Site, is an active nuclear weapons assembly and dismantlement plant. The restrictions, which come into force on December 29, have been put in place "to address concerns about unauthorized drone operations over seven Department of Energy (DOE) facilities," the FAA confirmed on its website. It added that "operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges."
Google on Thursday announced new flight, hotel, and trip planning features that could save travelers money, from offering tips on whether an airfare will go up or down to showing dates when hotels will be cheaper. On Google Flights, users can now get advice -- provided through machine learning and historical airfare data -- on when to buy, like "prices are less than normal" (so maybe you should buy) and "prices won't drop further" (again, so maybe you should buy). Similar advice will be available in hotel searches: Google will now show if room rates on certain dates are unusually high -- and even help travelers understand why, whether it's a holiday, festival, or conference. While that advice won't help much if you absolutely must visit at a certain time (or if you're going for that holiday, festival, or conference), it could save flexible travelers lots of money. Both flight price tips and hotel tips are available globally on desktop and on mobile.
WASHINGTON – Federal investigators say a recreational drone operator was at fault in the first confirmed midair collision in the U.S. between a drone and a manned aircraft. That's according to a National Transportation Safety Board report. The report says the operator was unaware the Federal Aviation Administration had temporarily banned drone flights in New York when his drone collided with an Army Blackhawk helicopter on Sept. 21. The U.N. General Assembly was meeting at the time. The helicopter suffered minor damage while the drone was destroyed.
A real estate investment firm owned by Bill Gates recently bought land in Arizona for $80 million to be developed into a "smart city." A real estate investment firm owned by Bill Gates recently bought a giant plot of land in Arizona for $80 million to be developed into a "smart city." Arizona-based Belmont Partners, one of Gates' investment firms, purchased close to 25,000 acres of land in Tonopah, around 50 miles west of Phoenix, to create a "smart city" called Belmont, KPNX reported. "Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs," Belmont Partners said in a press release, according to KPNX. The community "will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model," according to Belmont Properties.
An automated driverless shuttle bus debuts in Las Vegas and on the same day a semi-truck backs up into it. An automated driverless shuttle was involved in an accident hours after it debuted in the streets of downtown Las Vegas on Wednesday. Those involved in the conception of the project have said the shuttle was not at fault. "The exciting thing is that the vehicle did exactly what it was programmed to do. This is a really good real-world case of how the technology actually works, said John Moreno, a spokesperson for The American Automobile Association (AAA,) who is a sponsor on the project.
YANGON, Myanmar – Two foreign journalists accused of illegally flying a drone over parliament buildings in Myanmar have appeared in court for the first time since their arrest last month. The two Malaysians appeared during a hearing in the capital, Naypyitaw, along with their local interpreter and driver. The four men working for Turkish Radio and Television were charged under the Export and Import Law and face up to three years in prison if found guilty. The four were detained on Oct. 27.