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Showing posts from July, 2016

Where a Suitcase Full of Cash Won’t Buy You Lunch

Where a Suitcase Full of Cash Won’t Buy You Lunch
By GLORIA DAWSON JULY 30, 2016
Patrons of Sweetgreen are very particular about their salads. When the company recently removed bacon and sriracha from the menu, customers took to social media to complain. But after a handful of Sweetgreen restaurants stopped accepting cash in January, barely anyone noticed, according to the company’s owners.
Even Sweetgreen executives thought going cashless was “a harebrained idea” at first, said Jonathan Neman, a co-founder and co-chief executive of the company. “But we looked around and saw that airlines haven’t been taking cash for a while.” At Sweetgreen’s locations throughout the United States, cash purchases have declined to less than 10 percent today from 40 percent of all transactions when they opened their first location nine years ago, he said. Sweetgreen now has 48 locations.
Although America is far from becoming a cashless society, cash transactions are less frequent than even a few years …

Windows 10 upgrade: Don't use Express settings if you value your privacy

Windows 10 upgrade: Don't use Express settings if you value your privacyTake the time to customize typing, browsing, and other settings from the get-go.

At the end of the Windows 10 installation, you could hit Express Settings to finish up fast, but taking the time to customize could save you some privacy. · Jared Newman|@onejarednewman PCWorld

·Jul 29, 2016 8:19 AM When you’re setting up a new or existing PC with Windows 10, Microsoft will offer to install the operating system with "Express settings." Although Windows 10 Express settings will get you up and running quickly, that convenience comes at a cost: By skipping over custom settings, you’re agreeing to all kinds of data collection and behavior tracking, much of which didn’t apply in earlier versions of Windows. Here’s our advice: Instead of blindly enabling Express settings in Windows 10, take some time to understand what you’re agreeing to. Click theCustomize settingslink (in tiny text at the bottom of the setup screen…

Inside the Gigafactory: Tesla's most important project - needs this factory’s batteries to succeed

Inside the Gigafactory: Tesla's most important project The automaker needs this factory’s batteries to succeed.
Roberto Baldwin 1h ago in Transportation
A group of journalists sit in cars and a shuttle as a guard checks to make sure every passenger is on his list. They're the security guards for Tesla's biggest and most important endeavor, the Gigafactory. When completed, it will occupy the equivalent of 107 football fields. The automaker has invited us for a tour of the largest battery-manufacturing factory on the planet.
To construct the enormous three-floor factory and meet the goal of producing 400,000 pre-ordered Model 3s by the end of 2018, Tesla is building the Gigafactory in phases. As a section is completed and equipment is moved in while the next portion is being erected. It's not so much a single building but a series of connected structures.
Section A is already cranking out battery packs for Powerwalls. Sections B and C have battery cell manufacturing equ…

Friendly 'delivery robots' being tested in Austin, TX

Friendly 'delivery robots' may be coming to Austin to live and work
Austin may be getting a fleet of robots in the near future. FOX 7's Casey Claiborne has more on what the robots will be doing.
By: Casey Claiborne POSTED:JUL 27 2016 06:59PM EDT UPDATED:JUL 28 2016 08:14AM EDT
The robots look like coolers on wheels and they don't quite have names yet but the company is called Starship.
"Starship Technologies have created the world's first commercially available autonomous delivery robot," said Starship's Henry Harris-Burland.
Harris-Burland flew in from London to show Austin what the robots can do.
"We came to Austin because it's common sense, it's obvious. Austin is a very forward-thinking, tech-embracing, innovative city," Harris-Burland said.
The company is hoping to come back and test them out here. They're looking at three different markets: package delivery, grocery delivery and restaurant delivery. So these guys might sho…

Robots as good as human surgeons, study finds

Robots as good as human surgeons, study finds
By Laura Donnelly, health editor  27 JULY 2016 • 6:01AM
Surgery performed by robots is just as successful as operations carried out by surgeons, a major trial has found.
The study of prostate cancer patients found those whose gland was removed by a machine were doing as well after three months as those who went under the knife in the traditional way.
They experienced less pain doing day to day activities a week later, and reported better overall physical quality of life after six weeks, but this levelled out over time.
Those undergoing robot surgery also lost far less blood and spent less time in hospital.
There was no difference in urinary and sexual function, or the number of complications, the research published in the Lancet found.
Robotic surgery has become increasingly common in the UK over the last decade.
Most common is the da Vinci robot, a set of robotic arms controlled by a human surgeon sitting a few feet away.
A high magnifi…

Facebook Fails to Show Up for Seventh Tax Summons From IRS

Facebook Fails to Show Up for Seventh Tax Summons From IRS
By Aoife White July 27, 2016 — 3:50 AM PDT
Facebook Inc. officials failed to show up after getting seven summonses from the Internal Revenue Service demanding internal corporate records on one of its offshore tax strategies, according to an IRS court filing.
U.S. authorities are examining Facebook’s federal income tax liability for the period ending Dec. 31, 2010 and are looking at whether the company understated the value of global rights for many of its intangible assets outside the U.S. and Canada that it transferred to a subsidiary in low-tax Ireland.
While Facebook has supplied some documents to the tax authority, it hasn’t provided books, records, papers and other data demanded in seven summonses, the IRS said in an amended petition filed Monday at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. These include a request to show up at an IRS office in San Jose on June 29.
The documents sought "may be…

A one-armed Australian robot can build a house four times quicker than a brickie

VIDEO: A one-armed Australian robot can build a house four times quicker than a brickie
CHRIS PASH JUL 27, 2016, 1:25 PM  
Fastbrick Robotics, an ASX-listed company based in Perth, has created a robot brick layer, a form of 3D printing which can create the shell of a house without being touched by human hands.
The Hadrian 105 robot, named after the Roman emperor who built a wall in ancient Britain, has hit a bricklaying speed of 225 standard brick equivalents per hour, or about half a day’s work for a top human bricklayer.
To prove it, the company released a time lapse video, showing the robot at work. Here’s the robot, doing everything with one arm, laying over-sized bricks, following a laser guided system:
The demonstration was designed to ensure that all of the complex characteristics of a brick house can be handled by the Hadrian 105 robot.
The vision at Fastbrick Robotics is to create a machine which can complete the brickwork of a home in three days at lower cost with higher q…

Superhuman Tech? Most Americans Fear the Worst

Superhuman Tech? Most Americans Fear the Worst
By Sara G. Miller, Staff Writer | July 26, 2016 10:00am ET
A majority of Americans are worried about scientific advances aimed at enhancing humans' natural abilities, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.
In the survey, released today (July 26), researchers got people's opinions on three emerging medical technologies: gene editing to reduce a baby's risk of disease, brain chip implantations to make people smarter, and synthetic blood to improve athletic performance. These technologies are not available right now, but some researchers are moving toward making these advancements a reality one day, according to the survey.
The survey included a nationally representative sample of about 4,700 American adults. In addition, Pew held six small focus groups with a total of 47 people to discuss the technologies and their potential implications, and to learn more about people's opinions than could be gleaned with …

Verizon Ends Yahoo Independence With $4.83 Billion Deal

Verizon Ends Yahoo Independence With $4.83 Billion Deal By Brian Womack July 25, 2016 — 4:36 AM PDT Updated on July 25, 2016 — 12:00 PM PDT
Verizon Communications Inc. agreed to buy Yahoo! Inc.’s web assets for $4.83 billion, ending the company’s two-decade run as an independent business that took it from Stanford University startup at the dawn of the internet age to also-ran behind nimbler online rivals such as Google and Facebook Inc.
Verizon will pay cash in a deal that includes Yahoo real estate, but excludes some intellectual property, which will be sold separately. Yahoo will be left with its stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan Corp., with a combined market value of about $40 billion.
The telecommunications company will add Yahoo web services that still draw 1 billion monthly users, including mail, news and sports content and financial tools, gaining share in the $187 billion digital-advertising market -- though it will nevertheless be a distant third behind Go…

Google Sprints Ahead in AI Building Blocks, Leaving Rivals Wary

Google Sprints Ahead in AI Building Blocks, Leaving Rivals Wary By Jack Clark July 21, 2016 — 3:00 AM PDT
There’s a high-stakes race under way in Silicon Valley to develop software that makes it easy to weave artificial intelligence technology into almost everything, and Google has sprinted into the lead.
Google computer scientists including Jeff Dean and Greg Corrado built software called TensorFlow, which simplifies the programming of key systems that underpin artificial intelligence. That helps Google make its products smarter and more responsive. It’s important for other companies too because the software makes it dramatically easier to create computer programs that learn and improve automatically. What’s more, Google gives it away.
But for some competitors, there’s a big downside to adopting Google’s standard. Using TensorFlow will help Google recruit more AI experts by training them on the same tool it uses internally, spotting their code, and hiring the best contributors. It c…

Pepper robot gets new job selling insurance

Pepper robot gets new job selling insurance
8:48 pm, July 21, 2016
The Yomiuri Shimbun
A major life insurance company will deploy humanoid robots nationwide this autumn, using them to wait on customers at its offices and sending them out on sales calls.
Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. has announced plans to deploy 100 Pepper robots, made by SoftBank Group Corp., at its 80 branches in October. Pepper will explain insurance products and services, and accompany sales people on their rounds.
This will give Meiji Yasuda the highest number of humanoid robots deployed in the financial industry.
Pepper will explain comparatively simple, reasonably priced insurance products in customer service areas at branch offices. The robots also will attend to visitors at insurance seminars held by the company, and accompany Meiji Yasuda salespeople on visits to other companies to promote insurance products.
Heightened security arrangements have made it more difficult to sell insurance to companies, and …