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Self-Driving Golf Carts May Pave the Way For Autonomous Cars

Slashdot -

itwbennett writes: Researchers from MIT and Singaporean universities are experimenting with self-driving golf carts that use less (and relatively cheap) gear than self-driving vehicles while relying on computation-efficient algorithms. In addition to a webcam, each cart is equipped with four single-beam LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors from German maker Sick that have a field of view of about 270 degrees. Two of the sensors were mounted in the cart's front and used for determining its position and obstacle detection. The other two were cheaper, shorter-range sensors and were mounted on the back corners of the cart to scan for obstacles behind and on either side of it. The cost of the sensors was still high (on the order of $30,000) but that's less than solutions used in more sophisticated robotic vehicles. (Google has used $80,000 Velodyne LIDARs on its earlier self-driving cars.) A YouTube video shows the carts traveling the winding paths of a public garden in Singapore at a leisurely 24 kilometers per hour — slow enough for the computers to process all the obstacles (mainly pedestrians and animals). The researchers envision the self-driving vehicles being used in a shared transportation system, as rental bicycles are used in many cities.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Machine Learning Could Solve Economists' Math Problem

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: Noah Smith argues that the field of economics frequently uses math in an unhealthy way. He says many economists don't use math as a tool to describe reality, but rather as an abstract foundation for whatever theory they've come up with. A possible solution to this, he says, is machine learning: "In other words, econ is now a rogue branch of applied math. Developed without access to good data, it evolved different scientific values and conventions. But this is changing fast, as information technology and the computer revolution have furnished economists with mountains of data. As a result, empirical analysis is coming to dominate econ. ... [Two economists pushing this change] stated that machine learning techniques emphasized causality less than traditional economic statistical techniques, or what's usually known as econometrics. In other words, machine learning is more about forecasting than about understanding the effects of policy. That would make the techniques less interesting to many economists, who are usually more concerned about giving policy recommendations than in making forecasts."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sony introduces Xperia Z5 line of smartphones, including a model with a 4K screen

Liliputing -

Sony’s next flagship smartphone will be the first to feature the company’s new 23 megapixel Sony Exmor RS image sensor. The phone also features a waterproof design with metal sides and glass on the front and back, up to 2 days of battery life, and a fingerprint sensor. Oh yeah… it’ll also come in three sizes. […]

Sony introduces Xperia Z5 line of smartphones, including a model with a 4K screen is a post from: Liliputing

Wikipedia Blocks Hundreds of Accounts Doing Paid Editing

Slashdot -

jan_jes writes: After weeks of investigation, Wikipedia has blocked 381 user accounts for "black hat" editing. The reason for the ban is that the accounts were engaged in undisclosed paid advocacy — the practice of accepting or charging money to promote external interests on Wikipedia without revealing their affiliation, in violation of Wikimedia's Terms of Use. In addition to blocking the 381 "sockpuppet" account, the editors deleted 210 articles created by these accounts.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Huawei Mate S is the first smartphone with a Force Touch screen

Liliputing -

Huawei’s new flagship smartphone sports an octa-core processor, a 5.5 inch full HD display, 3GB of RAM, a 13MP rear amera, and a 2700 mAh battery. But those features would hardly be enough to make a phone stand out in 2015. Here’s what’s really special about the Huawei Mate S: It’s the first phone to […]

Huawei Mate S is the first smartphone with a Force Touch screen is a post from: Liliputing

Huawei Watch launches for $349 and up, ships September 17th

Liliputing -

Huawei’s first smartwatch will be available starting September 17th, but pre-orders start today. The Huawei Watch runs Google’s Android Wear software and features a round watch face and comes with a choice of several different premium materials: for $349 you can get an entry-level Huawei Watch with a stainless steel body and black leather band. Want something a little fancier? […]

Huawei Watch launches for $349 and up, ships September 17th is a post from: Liliputing

Soyuz Heads To Space Station With New Crew

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An anonymous reader writes: Last night, a Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to deliver three astronauts to the International Space Station. Russia's Sergey Volkov, Denmark's Andreas Mogensen, and Kazakhstan's Aidyn Aimbetov reached orbit without incident, and they'll dock with the ISS in the wee hours of Friday morning. Mogensen and Aimbetov will only stay until 11 September, at which point they and Expedition 44 commander Gennady Padalka will undock and return to Earth. (Here's a neat time-lapse of changing a Soyuz craft's parking space at the ISS.) Padalka was in charge for the current expedition, but he'll be passing command of Expedition 45 to NASA's Scott Kelly. Kelly and Oleg Kornienko will soon reach the halfway point of their one-year mission at the space station. It's worth noting that this was the 500th rocket launch from the Gagarin launchpad at Baikonur.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Lenovo IdeaPad 300S 11.6 inch notebook coming soon for $249

Liliputing -

Like the idea of Lenovo’s new Ideapad 100S notebook, but wish it packed a bit more power? Then you might want to take a look at the IdeaPad 300S series. While the 100S notebooks are powered by Intel Bay Trail chips, the 300S series will be available with up to a Core i7 Skylake processor. […]

Lenovo IdeaPad 300S 11.6 inch notebook coming soon for $249 is a post from: Liliputing

Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 is a compact convertible with a 4K display

Liliputing -

Toshiba was one of the first companies to launch a Windows laptop with a WQHD display. Now Toshiba’s going a step further with the first 12.5 inch convertible notebook featuring a 4K display. The Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 will be available with up to an Intel Core i7 Skylake processor, up to 8GB of RAM, […]

Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 is a compact convertible with a 4K display is a post from: Liliputing

Shifu Banking Trojan Has an Antivirus Feature To Keep Other Malware At Bay

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: Shifu is a banking trojan that's currently attacking 14 Japanese banks. Once it has infected a victim's machine, it will install a special module that keeps other banking-related trojans at bay. If this module sees suspicious, malware-looking content (unsigned executables) from unsecure HTTP connections, it tries to stop them. If it fails, it renames them to "infected.exx" and sends them to its C&C server. If the file is designed to autorun, Shifu will spoof an operating system "Out of memory" message.

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Lenovo introduces ThinkPad Yoga 260, 460 convertibles with Intel Skylake

Liliputing -

Intel is updating its business-class convertible notebook lineup with two new ThinkPad Yoga models. The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260 is a 2.9 pound convertible with a 12.5 inch display, while the ThinkPad Yoga 460 is a 14 inch model that weighs 3.9 pounds. Both models have displays that can bend over backward to let you […]

Lenovo introduces ThinkPad Yoga 260, 460 convertibles with Intel Skylake is a post from: Liliputing

How Autonomous Cars' Safety Features Clash With Normal Driving

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: Google's autonomous cars have a very good safety record so far — the accidents they've been involved in weren't the software's fault. But that doesn't mean the cars are blending seamlessly into traffic. A NY Times article explains how doing the safest thing sometimes means doing something entirely unexpected to real, human drivers — which itself can lead to dangerous situations. "One Google car, in a test in 2009, couldn't get through a four-way stop because its sensors kept waiting for other (human) drivers to stop completely and let it go. The human drivers kept inching forward, looking for the advantage — paralyzing Google's robot." There are also situations in which the software's behavior may be so incomprehensible to human passengers that they end up turning it off. "In one maneuver, it swerved sharply in a residential neighborhood to avoid a car that was poorly parked, so much so that the Google sensors couldn't tell if it might pull into traffic."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Asus VivoStick is a $129 Cherry Trail PC stick

Liliputing -

Over the past year we’ve seen a number of PC-on-a-stick computers, including models from Chinese companies like MeegoPad and Mele and bigger names like Intel and Lenovo. Now Asus is launching its first Windows PC-on-a-stick, and it’s one of the most interesting models I’ve seen so far. The Asus VivoStick PC features an Intel Atom […]

Asus VivoStick is a $129 Cherry Trail PC stick is a post from: Liliputing

Asus ZenWatch 2 offers longer battery life, faster charging

Liliputing -

Asus unveiled the ZenWatch 2 in June, and now the company’s revealing more details about its second-generation smartwatch. According to Asus, the ZenWatch 2 offers longer battery life, faster charging, and features a magnetic pogo pin charger. The new watches will come in large and small sizes, and feature IP67 water-resistant designs. There’s also a […]

Asus ZenWatch 2 offers longer battery life, faster charging is a post from: Liliputing

Acer Predator 6 is a gaming phone with 4 speakers, 10 CPU cores

Liliputing -

If Acer’s 8 inch gaming tablet caught your eye, the company’s got another device that might be of interest: a 6 inch gaming phone.  It’s called the Acer Predator 6, and it features a 10-core processor, 4GB of RAM, a 21MP camera, haptic feedback, and four front-facing features. Acer hasn’t revealed many details about the phone […]

Acer Predator 6 is a gaming phone with 4 speakers, 10 CPU cores is a post from: Liliputing

MATLAB & Simulink Student Suite – Raspberry Pi Bundle

Raspberry Pi -

Today, a look at a speedy way for students to prototype, test, analyse and deploy sophisticated applications on Raspberry Pi, using industry tools: MathWorks’ MATLAB, a high-level programming environment for visualising and analysing data, computation, mathematical modelling, and algorithm development; and Simulink, which provides a block diagramming environment for modelling and simulating dynamic systems.

element14 recently launched a Learn to Program Pack consisting of MATLAB and Simulink Student Suite bundled with their Raspberry Pi 2 starter kit, which gives you a Pi 2, microSD card, power supply and case. The bundle provides students with everything they need to kick off their projects quickly using the same tools that professional engineers and scientists use day-to-day: you can use Simulink on your Raspberry Pi to describe, simulate and test your system, analyse it with MATLAB, then generate code from Simulink to deploy to a Raspberry Pi or another platform.

Here, Eben uses Simulink to program and test a robot with simple image processing and autonomous navigation:

There are endlessly rich possibilities here: how about getting your Pi robot to detect faces and behave accordingly? You’ll find lots more resources to help with using these powerful tools on the MATLAB & Simulink element14 community.

The post MATLAB & Simulink Student Suite – Raspberry Pi Bundle appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Acer Jade Primo: Smartphone becomes a PC with Windows 10 Continuum

Liliputing -

Acer has just unveiled one of the first smartphones that can serve double duty as a desktop PC. Just attach the phone to a desktop docking station and you can run apps on a big screen using a mouse and keyboard. Pick up the phone and you’ve got a mobile, touch-friendly user interface. The Acer […]

Acer Jade Primo: Smartphone becomes a PC with Windows 10 Continuum is a post from: Liliputing

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