How Artificial Intelligence Can Save Our Planet


Never thought that artificial intelligence (AI) can save our planet? Disaster response, smart farming, and pollution control are only a few ways environmental scientists are saving the earth with AI. When we think of the innovative technology AI, the first and the foremost thing that pops up in our mind might be robots. Though robots are one of the applications of AI, there are many other applications that increasingly have the potential to help humankind. One such AI application area where the technology shines through is in the field of environmental services.

4 Promising IoT Use Cases in Agriculture


Agriculture is undergoing a renaissance. IoT and artificial intelligence are enabling farmers to manage crops and livestock more reliably and efficiently. Autonomous farming equipment, livestock monitoring systems, and precision farming solutions are empowering farmers to feed our increasingly hungry and environmentally unstable world. As we begin 2019, it's exciting to reflect on all the Internet of Things--IoT--industry changes that occurred in 2018 and the trends that lay ahead in 2019. Many industries have been and will continue to be affected by the growth and maturation of IoT--school campuses will be safer, cars will be smarter, and homes will be sleeker and more intuitive, and businesses will deliver more value more efficiently.

Yandex's Self-Driving CES Demo Comes Without a Human Backup


I buckle my seatbelt, and then double check it, after I climb into the back of a white, black, and orange Toyota Prius V wagon. I'm tense, but the two engineers, one in back with me, the other riding shotgun, seem reassuringly relaxed. We roll forward, turning right out of the parking lot at the Hard Rock Hotel, and head into the streets of Las Vegas--with nobody in the driver's seat. Soon, the car is merging into traffic at 40 mph, the steering wheel spinning and the turn signals flicking on and off on their own. I've witnessed plenty of self-driving demonstrations, some of them here in Vegas, but never one without a human holding their hands over the controls, poised to brake, or swerve, if the computer struggles.

Making Autonomous Vehicles Safer


While self-driving vehicles are beta-tested on some public roads in real traffic situations, the semiconductor and automotive industries are still getting a grip on how to test and verify that vehicle electronics systems work as expected. Testing can be high stakes, especially when done in public. Some of the predictions about how humans will interact with autonomous vehicles (AVs) on public roads are already coming true, but human creativity is endless. There have been attacks on Waymo test vehicles in Arizona, a DUI arrest of a Tesla driver sleeping at 70mph on a freeway, and other Tesla hacks using oranges and aftermarket gadgets to trick Tesla's Autopilot into thinking the driver's hands are on the wheel. But are those unsafe human behaviors any more dangerous than the drum beat of technology hype, unrealistic marketing, and a lack of teeth in regulating testing of AVs on public roads, the factory and the design lab?

Stop & Shop is testing self-driving mini grocery stores


Grocery store chain Stop & Shop announced today that it will begin testing driverless grocery vehicles in Boston starting this spring, combining the hype of autonomous delivery cars, cashier-less stores, and meal kits into one experimental pilot. The launch is part of a partnership with San Francisco-based startup Robomart, whose vehicles will cart around Stop & Shop items like produce, convenience items, and meal kits to customers' doorsteps. The electric vehicles will be temperature-controlled to keep produce fresh, and controlled remotely from a Robomart facility. Customers can hail the mini grocery stores via an app, on an interface which feels a lot like calling an Uber. Once the vehicle arrives, customers can unlock the doors, and the items they grab are tracked with RFID and computer vision technology.

Stop & Shop is bringing autonomous food stands to Boston


Forget self-driving grocery delivery cars -- Stop & Shop wants robotic vehicles to bring a chunk of the store to your door. It's launching autonomous grocery vehicles in the greater Boston area that will let you shop for produce, meal kits and "convenience items" (think bread and eggs) just outside your home. You just have to hail one of the Robomart-made cars through a mobile app, unlock the vehicle when it arrives, and pick your food -- a combination of computer vision and RFID tagging automatically flags your purchases. Boston-based service will be ready sometime in the spring as part of an "engagement" with Robomart. Stop & Shop didn't say how much the service would cost.

Iridium's 'truly global' satellite internet connects aircraft and ships


Wondering what Iridium would be doing with those Next satellites that SpaceX just finished launching? You now have an idea. Iridium has formally debuted Certus, a "truly global" satellite broadband service that promises to keep aircraft, ships and other vehicles (including self-driving vehicles) connected even in the remotest places. It's far from fast at 352Kbps for both downloads and uploads, but that's enough to keep crews online and provide reasonably high-quality voice services. The initial focus is on land and sea services, with aviation coming later in 2019 after Iridium receives the certification it needs to go ahead.

Fortnite creators Epic Games sued over dance by mother of 'orange shirt kid'

The Independent

The mother of a Fortnite fan known online as Orange Shirt Kid is suing the game's creators for including a dance he created. It is the latest lawsuit to be brought against Epic Games relating to emote dance moves, following similar cases brought forward by Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro and'Backpack Kid' Russell Horning. The latest lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for Epic Games including the'Orange Justice' emote within Fortnite. It states: "Through its unauthorised misappropriation of Orange Shirt Kid's highly popular signature dance, the'Random,' along with his well-known catchphrase'It's also a great exercise move!" in its smash-hit, violent video game, Fortnite Battle Royale, defendants have unfairly profited from exploiting Orange Shirt Kid's protected creative expression, likeness, and trademark without consent or authorisation." The lawsuit goes on to describe Orange Shirt Kid as a "child performer", adding that the dance move and catchphrase is "now inextricably linked to Orange Shirt Kid and continue to be a part of his celebrity persona."

Tesla's Navigate on Autopilot was my CES road trip companion


I love a good road trip. I've spent hundreds of thousands of miles in cars during my life, and the best times were when I knew it would be hours or even days before I reached my destination. Typically a friend (or friends) or family members would accompany me, but on a few occasions, it was just me, my music collection -- and scenery screaming past me at 70 miles per hour. In the past few years, more and more automakers have created semiautonomous systems so that you're no longer "alone" on these drives. One of the more robust (and most famous) is Tesla's Autopilot.

Fortnite login flaw left millions of players exposed to hackers

The Independent

A major security flaw with the hugely popular game Fortnite left millions of players exposed to hackers, according to new research. Cyber security firm Check Point discovered the vulnerability, which allowed people to steal the login credentials of Fortnite players without them even knowing about it. For the attack to be successful, all the victim would have to do is click on a link shared via a chatbox on Fortnite or through social media. Once clicked, the hacker could gain access to a player's username, password, V-bucks currency and any data stored on their account – without the victim even having to enter their login credentials. The head of the Check Point research team believes it is entirely possible that these flaws could have already been exploited by hackers, despite no reported instances of attackers making use of the exploit.