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Tesla Delivered Over 76,000 Vehicles In 2016, Falling Slightly Short of Goal
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 06:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's not-good-enough department:
Tesla delivered 76,230 electric vehicles in 2016, falling just shy of its goal of delivering 80,000 cars for the year. The electric carmaker claimed that "short-term production challenges" starting at the end of October were to blame for the shipment of fewer vehicles than anticipated. The Verge reports: Tesla said the transition to new Autopilot hardware resulted in the company's vehicle production being "weighted more heavily towards the end of the quarter than we had originally planned." In total, about 2,750 Tesla vehicles missed being counted as deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2016, which the company ascribes to "last-minute delays in transport or because the customer was unable to physically take delivery." Tesla said that even though those sales were counted toward 2016, the deliveries were not because the customers did not physically take possession of their cars. Tesla says about 6,450 vehicles are still in transit, and that their deliveries will be counted toward the first quarter of 2017. While it fell short on delivery, Tesla was able to beat its production rate for 2015. Tesla said it produced 24,882 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2016, resulting in a total of 83,922 vehicles produced in 2016. This was an increase of 64 percent from 2015. Vehicle demand in Q4 was particularly strong, Tesla says. Net orders for Model S and X, which were an all-time record, were 52 percent higher than Q4 2015 and 24 percent higher than the company's previous record quarter in Q3 2016. "We were ultimately able to recover and hit our production goal, but the delay in production resulted in challenges that impacted quarterly deliveries, including, among other things, cars missing shipping cutoffs for Europe and Asia," the company says. "Although we tried to recover these deliveries and expedite others by the end of the quarter, time ran out before we could deliver all customer cars."

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Qualcomm Details Snapdragon 835 Processor
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 05:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's finer-details department:
Qualcomm has detailed the Snapdragon 835 processor, which will power most of the leading Android smartphones this year. It's designed to grab information from the air at gigabit speeds and turn it into rich virtual and augmented reality experiences, according to several executives at a pre-CES briefing. Qualcomm SVP Keith Kressin said, "The 835 is going to be one of the key devices that propels the VR use case." PC Magazine reports: The hardest thing to understand about the Snapdragon 835, especially if you're thinking from a desktop CPU space, is how much Qualcomm has been prioritizing elements of the system-on-chip other than the CPU. This has been coming for years, and it can be tricky because it relies on firmware and the Android OS to properly distribute work to non-CPU components of the chip. During the briefing, it was striking how little Qualcomm talked about its Kryo 280 CPU, as compared to other components. Qualcomm tries to counter that by pointing out that this is the first 10nm mobile processor, which will improve efficiency, and also by saying the CPU is "tightly integrated" with other components using the new Symphony system manager, which operates automatically yet can be customized by application developers. This distributes work across the CPU, GPU, DSP, and more exotic components, letting the Snapdragon 835 work better than it would with CPU alone. How that will combine with Qualcomm's recent announcement that it will support Windows 10 on mobile PCs, including legacy Win32 apps, is yet to be seen. The Snapdragon 835 consumes 25 percent less power than the 820, according to Qualcomm. That means seven hours of 4K streaming video and two hours of VR gaming on a typical device, the company said. These new uses are really power hungry. Since Qualcomm can only do so much on power efficiency, it's also introducing Quick Charge 4, which supposedly charges a phone to five hours of use in five minutes and is USB-C power delivery compliant. The new Adreno 540 graphics chip improves 3D performance by 25 percent over the previous generation, Qualcomm said. But it also enables features like HDR10, which improves colors; foveated rendering, which most clearly renders what you're looking at rather than elements in the periphery of a scene; and low latency, which allows you to move your head smoothly around VR scenes. With one 32MP or two 16MP cameras running at the same time, the Snapdragon 835 supports various dual-camera functions. The Snapdragon 835 will feature the X16 modem, which Qualcomm announced earlier this year and will be able to boost LTE to gigabit speeds. The keys to gigabit LTE are triple 20MHz carrier aggregation with 256-QAM encoding and 4x4 MIMO antennas, said Qualcomm's senior director of marketing, Peter Carson. That's going to be first introduced with a Netgear hotspot in Australia this January, but Sprint and T-Mobile have said they're trying to assemble this set of technologies.

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Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate GT 2TB Is World's Largest Capacity Flash Drive
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 05:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's world-record department:
BrianFagioli writes: Today, Kingston announced a product that may get people excited about flash drives again. The company has created a 2TB pocket flash drive (also available in 1TB), called DataTraveler Ultimate GT (Generation Terabyte). This is now the world's largest capacity USB flash drive. "Power users will have the ability to store massive amounts of data in a small form factor, including up to 70 hours of 4K video on a single 2TB drive. DataTraveler Ultimate GT offers superior quality in a high-end design as it is made of a zinc-alloy metal casing for shock resistance. Its compact size gives the tech enthusiast or professional user an easily portable solution to store and transfer their high capacity files," says Kingston.

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Sensitive Data Stored On Box.com Accounts Accessible Via Search Queries
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 04:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's out-in-the-open department:
msm1267 writes: Last week Box.com moved quickly and quietly to block search engines from indexing links to confidential data owned by its users. That is after security researcher Markus Neis surfaced private data belonging to a number of Fortune 500 companies via Google, Bing and other search engines. Box.com said it's a classic case of users accidentally oversharing. Neis isn't convinced and says Box.com's so-called Collaboration links shouldn't have been indexed in the first place. Box.com has since blocked access to what security researchers say was a treasure trove of confidential data and fodder for phishing scams.

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Koolova Ransomware Decrypts For Free If You Read Two Articles About Ransomware
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 04:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's contrary-to-what-is-usual department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: We have a new in-development variant of the Koolova Ransomware that will decrypt your files for free if you educate yourself about ransomware by reading two articles. Discovered by security researcher Michael Gillespie, this in-development ransomware is not ready for prime time. In fact, I had to mess with it a bit and setup a local http server to even get it to display the ransom screen. In its functional state, Koolova will encrypt a victim's files and then display a screen similar to the Jigsaw Ransomware where the text is slowly shown on the screen. This text will tell the victim that they must read two articles before they can get a decryption key. It then tells you that if you are too lazy to read two articles before the countdown gets to zero, like Jigsaw, it will delete the encrypted files. This is not an idle threat as it actually does delete the files. The articles that Koolova wants you to read are an article from Google Security Blog called Stay safe while browsing and BleepingComputer's very own Jigsaw Ransomware Decrypted: Will delete your files until you pay the Ransom article. Once you read both articles, the Decripta i Miei File, or Decrypt My Files, button becomes available. Once you click on this button, Koolova will connect to the Command and Control server and retrieve the victim's decryption key. It will then display it in a message box labeled "Nice Jigsaw," in reference to the Jigsaw Ransomware, that displays your decryption key. A victim will then be able to take that key and enter it into the key field in order to decrypt files.

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Norton Announces Core, a Smart Router To Protect Domestic IoT Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 02:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's importance-of-safety department:
fiannaFailMan writes: Norton has announced the launch of a smart router designed to protect connected home devices from intrusions. The Symantec-owned company says the device aims to keep safe up to 20 devices connected to it, including Windows computers, Macs, phones, tablets or any internet-of-things devices, in real time. Norton Core, shaped a little like a geodesic dome, can isolate an infected device from the rest of your network to prevent the spread of any malware. Some of the technical specifications include a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 1MB of system memory and 4GB of flash memory, and the latest 4x4 AC2600 Wi-Fi standard, with a top speed on the 5GHz band of 1.73 megabits per second and up to 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It also features four Gigabit LAN ports and can cover between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet.

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Intel Acquires 15 Percent Stake In Mapping Firm HERE
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 02:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's are-we-there-yet department:
As the company looks to build its presence in automated driving technology, Intel announced on Tuesday it will acquire a 15 percent stake in German digital mapping firm HERE. Reuters reports: A filing to the German cartel office on Tuesday showed Intel has sought approval to buy a stake in the company, which is controlled by German carmakers Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen. Intel and HERE said in a statement that they had also signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of real-time updates of high definition (HD) maps for highly- and fully-automated driving. Intel did not disclose how much it would pay for the stake but said the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter. The deal highlights a shift in the dynamics of research and development in the car industry, which until recently saw automakers largely dictating terms for suppliers to manufacture their proprietary technologies at specified volumes and prices. Now carmakers are increasingly striking partnerships with technology firms using open technology standards, seeking to harness their expertise in areas including machine learning and mapping as they race against Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Tesla and Apple to develop driverless vehicles.

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Ford: We're Canceling $1.6 Billion Mexico Facility, Investing In Electric and US Plant
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 01:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's up-and-coming department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Today at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields unveiled a large-scale electric vehicle initiative that will run through the company's next five years. Ford plans to invest $4.5 billion in electric vehicle production by 2020, and the company said it will produce 13 new electric vehicles, including a Mustang, an F-150, police cars, and a Transit Custom van. Additionally, Fields revealed that Ford would be canceling a previously announced $1.6 billion-production facility in Mexico. Instead, the company wants to invest $700 million in the existing Flat Rock facility, generating 700 new jobs focused on EV and autonomous initiatives at that location, according to Ford. Ford described seven of the 13 upcoming EVs during its press conference today. The F-150 Hybrid will be available by 2020 in North America and the Middle East, and Fields noted it'll be powerful enough to stand-in for on-site generators in a pinch. The Mustang Hybrid will deliver "V8 power and even more low-end torque" according to Ford; it too is intended for a 2020 release. Generally, electric motors are well suited to applications where you want a lot of immediate torque, so their presence should work well in a light duty truck like the F-150. Among the other notable vehicles highlighted, Ford is planning a fully electric small SUV that can "deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles" by 2020. The company also wants to produce an autonomous vehicle "designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing" in North America by 2021.

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Linksys Latest Company To Unveil a Wi-Fi Mesh System
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 01:32 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's mesh-networking department:
From an Engadget report: Mesh networking has become trendy for folks looking to fill every nook and cranny of their homes with Wi-Fi. So it should be no surprise that the makers of the most iconic router ever is unveiling its own system. The Linksys tri-band Velop setup is a modular system that the company says is made to expand as your needs do. Each Velop Tri-Band 2x2 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO node pulls quadruple duty as a router, range extender, access point and bridge. According to Linksys, each Velop is capable of a combined speed of 2,200 Mbps. It's like having a bunch of little routers in your home all working together to make sure you can stream The OA regardless of which room you're in.Linksys' Velop will set you back by at least $200 for an individual modular, with the pack of two and three priced at $350 and $500, respectively. This makes it costlier than Google's Wi-Fi router, which starts at $129.

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CloudFlare Was Hit By Leap Second, Causing Its RRDNS Software To 'Panic'
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 12:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's time-management department:
Reader Mickeycaskill writes: The extra leap second added on to the end of 2016 may not have had an effect on most people, but it did catch out a few web companies who failed to factor it in. Web services and security firm CloudFlare was one such example. A small number of its servers went down at midnight UTC on New Year's Day due to an error in its RRDNS software, a domain name service (DNS) proxy that was written to help scale CloudFlare's DNS infrastructure, which limited web access for some of its customers. As CloudFlare explained, a number went negative in the software when it should have been zero, causing RRDNS to "panic" and affect the DNS resolutions to some websites. The issue was confirmed by the company's engineers at 00:34 UTC on New Year's Day and the fix -- which involved patching the clock source to ensure it normalises if time ever skips backwards -- was rolled out to the majority of the affected data centres by 02:50 UTC. Cloudflare said the outage only hit customers who use CNAME DNS records with its service. Google works around leap seconds with a so-called "smearing" technique -- running clocks slightly slower than usual on its Network Time Protocol servers.

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Intel Core I7-7700K Kaby Lake Review By Ars Technica: Is the Desktop CPU Dead?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 12:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's perspective department:
Reader joshtops writes: Ars Technica has reviewed the much-anticipated Intel Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake, the recently launched desktop processor from the giant chipmaker. And it's anything but a good sign for enthusiasts who were hoping to see significant improvements in performance. From the review, "The Intel Core i7-7700K is what happens when a chip company stops trying. The i7-7700K is the first desktop Intel chip in brave new post-"tick-tock" world -- which means that instead of major improvements to architecture, process, and instructions per clock (IPC), we get slightly higher clock speeds and a way to decode DRM-laden 4K streaming video. [...] If you're still rocking an older Ivy Bridge or Haswell processor and weren't convinced to upgrade to Skylake, there's little reason to upgrade to Kaby Lake. Even Sandy Bridge users may want to consider other upgrades first, such as a new SSD or graphics card. The first Sandy Bridge parts were released six years ago, in January 2011. [...] As it stands, what we have with Kaby Lake desktop is effectively Sandy Bridge polished to within an inch of its life, a once-groundbreaking CPU architecture hacked, and tweaked, and mangled into ever smaller manufacturing processes and power envelopes. Where the next major leap in desktop computing power comes from is still up for debate -- but if Kaby Lake is any indication, it won't be coming from Intel. While Ars Technica has complained about the minimal upgrades, AnandTech looks at the positive side: The Core i7-7700K sits at the top of the stack, and performs like it. A number of enthusiasts complained when they launched the Skylake Core i7-6700K with a 4.0/4.2 GHz rating, as this was below the 4.0/4.4 GHz rating of the older Core i7-4790K. At this level, 200-400 MHz has been roughly the difference of a generational IPC upgrade, so users ended up with similar performing chips and the difference was more in the overclocking. However, given the Core i7-7700K comes out of the box with a 4.2/4.5 GHz arrangement, and support for Speed Shift v2, it handily mops the floor with the Devil's Canyon part, resigning it to history.

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Dish's New AirTV Set-Top Box Does Over-the-Air and 4K Streaming
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 10:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's for-cord-cutters department:
On Tuesday, Dish unveiled a new streaming device, the AirTV, which uses Android TV as its base operating system, and provides access to the wealth of Android media apps available. TechCrunch reports: But it's also able to grab over-the-air signals with an antenna for streaming live TV, and it works with Sling TV for a cable-free streaming subscription cord cutting experience. The AirTV also handles 4K, which is good news if you picked one of these up over the holiday shopping season. The 4K support will primarily grab content from Netflix and YouTube apps, but because the underlying platform is Android TV, there are other sources available, which is not necessarily true for other smart TV devices looking to bring more 4K into the living room. It's also not necessary for AirTV users to even use Sling TV, the subscription over-the-top streaming service Dish owns. Which is yet another sign of the changing world that TV and cable providers now find themselves in. The AirTV is also available in both OTA and streaming only hardware configurations, and retails for $129 for the antenna-compatible version, and $99 without.

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Facebook Is Sorry for Taking Down a Photo of a Nude Neptune Statue
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 10:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's handling-1.5-billion-people department:
Facebook has apologized for mistakenly blocking a photo of a famous statue for being "sexually explicit." From a report on Fortune: The social media giant flagged a photograph of a 16th-century statue of the sea god Neptune in the Italian city of Bologna. The picture of the sculpture -- which was created in the 1560s -- was featured on the Facebook page of local writer and art historian Elisa Barbari called "Stories, curiosities and view of Bologna." Facebook told Barbari that the picture violated the company's privacy policies. "It shows an image with content that is explicitly sexual and which excessively shows the body or unnecessarily concentrates on body parts," the company said in a statement. The company added: "The usage of images or video of nude bodies or plunging necklines is not allowed, even if the use is for artistic or educational reasons." Facebook later said that blocking the photo was a mistake.

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Linus Torvalds Announces Ridiculously Small Second Linux 4.10 Release Candidate
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 09:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's things-Torvalds-does department:
The first day of 2017 starts off for Linux users with the release of the second RC (Release Candidate) development version of the upcoming Linux 4.10 kernel, as announced by Linus Torvalds himself. From a report on Softpedia: As expected, Linux kernel 4.10 entered development two weeks after the release of Linux kernel 4.9, on Christmas Day (December 25, 2016), but don't expect to see any major improvements or any other exciting things in RC2, which comes one week after the release of the first RC, because most of the developers were busy partying. With a total of 26 changes, Linux kernel 4.10 Release Candidate 2 is extremely small for an RC build, but Linus Torvalds decided not to skip it and interrupt the development cycle of Linux 4.10 just because of the Christmas and New Year's holidays. "It's been a really slow week between Christmas Day and New Years Day, and I am not complaining at all. It does mean that RC2 is ridiculously and unrealistically small," said Linus Torvalds in the mailing list announcement. "I almost decided to skip RC2 entirely, but a small little meaningless release every once in a while never hurt anybody."

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Samsung's Upcoming Galaxy S8 Smartphone Could Run a PC - Report
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 09:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
Samsung's upcoming flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone could give users the ability to plug it into a screen and turn it into a desktop personal computer, according to a media report. From the article: The All About Windows Phone blog posted a leaked slide from a presentation showing a Samsung smartphone being connected to a screen with a keyboard and mouse. The slide is titled "Samsung Desktop Experience" and shows a phone powering a screen to create a multi-tasking interface, presumably running on Google's Android mobile operating system. There is not much more information on the slide than a visual representation, but if this is true, it'd be an interesting feature that Samsung will tout as it launches its next flagship phone, one that is crucial to make up the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 which was subsequently recalled.

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Programmer Finds Way To Liberate Ransomware Affected Smart TV, Thanks To LG
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 09:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's power-of-social-media department:
Television production factory LG has saved Darren Cauthon's new year by providing hidden reset instructions to liberate his Google TV from ransomware. From a report on The Register: The company initially demanded more money than the idiot box was worth to repair the TV and relented offering instructions for resetting the telly after Cauthon took to Twitter to express his displeasure. The infection came after the programmer's wife downloaded an app to the TV promising free movies. Instead, it installed the ransomware, with a demand of US$500 to have the menace removed. Cauthon said LG offered factory reset steps which are not publicly revealed nor known to its customer support technicians. He says a family member showed him the TV over Christmas laden with ransomware purporting to be a FBI message bearing a notice that suspicious files were found and the user has been fined.

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AMD Debuts Radeon FreeSync 2 For Gaming Displays With Stunning Image Quality
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 08:02 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's better-displays department:
AMD announced Tuesday it is introducing Radeon FreeSync 2, a new display technology that will enable monitors to show the exact intended image pixels that a game or other application wants to. The result will be better image quality for gamers, according to AMD. From a report on VentureBeat: With the FreeSync 2 specification, monitor makers will be able to create higher-quality monitors that build on the two-year-old FreeSync technology. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD is on a quest for "pixel perfection," said David Glen, senior fellow at AMD, in a press briefing. With FreeSync 2, you won't have to mess with your monitor's settings to get the perfect setting for your game, Glen said. It will be plug-and-play, deliver brilliant pixels that have twice as much color gamut and brightness over other monitors, and have low-latency performance for high-speed games. AMD's FreeSync technology and Nvidia's rival G-Sync allow a graphics card to adjust the monitor's refresh rate on the fly, matching it to the computer's frame rate. This synchronization prevents the screen-tearing effect -- with visibly mismatched graphics on different parts of the screen -- which happens when the refresh rate of the display is out of sync with the computer.

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Solar Could Beat Coal to Become the Cheapest Power on Earth In Less Than a Decade
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 08:02 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's bright-days-ahead department:
Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, it's likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere, reports Bloomberg. From the article: In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power. Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Taking advantage: Companies such as Italy's Enel SpA and Dublin's Mainstream Renewable Power, who gained experienced in Europe and now seek new markets abroad as subsidies dry up at home. Since 2009, solar prices are down 62 percent, with every part of the supply chain trimming costs. That's help cut risk premiums on bank loans, and pushed manufacturing capacity to record levels. By 2025, solar may be cheaper than using coal on average globally, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The solar supply chain is experiencing "a Wal-Mart effect" from higher volumes and lower margins, according to Sami Khoreibi, founder and chief executive officer of Enviromena Power Systems. The speed at which the price of solar will drop below coal varies in each country. Places that import coal or tax polluters with a carbon price, such as Europe and Brazil, will see a crossover in the 2020s, if not before. Countries with large domestic coal reserves such as India and China will probably take longer.

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3,000 Ride-Sharing Cars Could Replace Every Cab in New York City, MIT Study Says
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 06:40 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department:
All 13,000 taxis in New York City could be replaced by a fleet of 3,000 ride-sharing cars if used exclusively for carpooling, according to research published today by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). From a report: Instead of hailing taxis, passengers that use ride-sharing services for carpooling may lead to reduced traffic congestion, pollution, and fuel use. The CSAIL researchers used public data from NYC taxi rides published by the University of Illinois to develop the algorithm. They calculated that 3,000 four-person vehicles travelling to similar destinations could meet 98 percent of taxi demand in the city with an average wait time of 2.7 minutes. Perhaps the most important part of the system is a dynamic repositioning of vehicles based on real-time demand, which makes the system 20 percent faster.

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Specs of Qualcomm's First ARM Processor Capable of Running Windows 10 Leaks
Posted by News Fetcher on January 03 '17 at 12:50 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's all-the-deets department:
Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 835's specs have leaked ahead of its CES reveal. An anonymous reader writes: According to the leaked press release, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 sports the Qualcomm Kryo 280 CPU (quad-core), Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU, and Qualcomm Hexagon DSP to manage the different workloads. All of this combined together will result in a 27% increase in performance when compared to the previous generation. Qualcomm is also making significant improvements with the Snapdragon 835 when it comes to power consumption. To be precise, the Snapdragon 835 consumes 40% less power than the older generation which is supposed to offer the following: "1+ day of talk time, 5+ days of music playback, and 7+ hours of 4K video streaming. Should your phone need more power, Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 provides five hours of battery life for five minutes of charging." Qualcomm stated in the press release that the Snapdragon also comes with substantial improvements to the graphics rendering and virtual reality. According to the company, the Snapdragon 835 includes "game-changing" enhancements to improve audio, intuitive interactions, and vibrant visuals. The processor also offers 25 percent faster 3D graphic rendering and produces 60X display colors than the Snapdragon 820.

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