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Automotive

In addition to ignition, power and monitoring gauges and lights, today's motor vehicles feature computerized engines, transmissions and braking systems, electronic mapping systems, Bluetooth and Internet connectivity, sensors that detect other vehicles, motorized seats, and digital audio and video systems; several manufacturers are producing electric and hybrid automobiles and self-driving cars.

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Subject of the week | What software update developed in the past year were you the most excited about?

Not a software update but a technology I'm most excited about...

The Boring Company. Love the name, love the website, love the mission. Elon (we're totally on a first name basis) stated flying cars aren't viable because people would be afraid of large things right above their heads, so he did what we all wish we could do when faced with adversity: he dug a hole. A huge tunnel, to be exact, with tracks and paths for traffic flow. Everyone thinks of going up, but what about going down? I think this is a great solution to alleviate (and eventually get rid of) traffic. Plus, the less manual driving people have to do, the better. Though progress is slow, the fact that this even happening makes me hopeful for what's to come.
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"Subject of the week | What are your favorite smartphone apps?"
Having recently switched from a Blackberry to an Android phone, I am discovering a whole new world of apps. However the main apps I have used so far other than social media are Gasbuddy for finding the best fuel prices, and Fuelly for tracking my fuel consumption.
I have also been looking into an application called Torque for live tracking of vehicle performance data, but have recently changed cars and want to see if it will still do what I want. In fact may even write an an article about that once I get it set up properly.
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by:Daniella Barion
I am learning about a new interesting app every time someone is posting.  For sure I will try some of them.  I also remember when I moved to Sao Paulo (population 12 million) / Brasil I had to buy a huge, heavy book with the city directory, with the street maps. Sometimes to find a place it was a complete nightmare.  Nowadays, with google maps, it would be a dream.
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by:Brian B
@Juana, plus Gasbuddy gives you points for participating and virtual ranks as you go. Sounds familiar doesn't it? :-)

Funny enough, I liked the Blackberry version of both these apps better than their Android counterparts.
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Trending Tech Everyone Should Know About - My Thoughts
I've been thinking about this subject for a few days now, trying to come up with something unusual. But the thing that keeps coming to mind—even though I feel it's an obvious answer that everyone already does know about—is Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning.

Why? Well first, it's technology that impacts everyone, regardless of how involved you are in the tech industry. I've got little doubt that we're right on the cusp of major social change as a result of machine learning—change as significant as the Industrial Revolution. We've got self-driving cars inevitably hitting the mainstream in the near future. There's cancer detection systems that are faster and more accurate than human analysts. AI systems being trained to defend against cyberattacks. Movie dialog being written by algorithms. The list goes on and on...

And second, while these advancements will absolutely push us forward in exciting new ways, they'll also destroy many jobs. And while that job loss can be terrifying, AI opens us up for entirely new sorts of jobs, major changes to the way work is done, and more that we can't even fully conceive of yet.

Will most knowledge workers of the future become "bot wranglers"? Will some sort of universal basic income
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Lyft has been making some exciting strategic partnerships lately - yesterday they announced a partnership with Disney, launching the "Minnie Van", and today they announced a partnership with Amtrak.

Do you have a preference between Uber and Lyft, and why? If you are an Uber fan, would either of these entice you to give Lyft a try?
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by:Brian Matis
Haven't used either one yet, but I'm way more inclined to try out Lyft for the same reasons as Alicia noted. Uber seems like they've really not treated drivers and employees well.

Plus, that Minnie Van is pretty awesome and looks like a lot of fun. I'm sure kids will get a real kick out of it! :-)
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by:Doug Walton
I used to use Uber because Lyft wasn't available here.  Now that Lyft is available where I live I use them over Uber every time (mainly because of the way they treat their employees, but pickup times are usually faster, too).

It's interesting that every Lyft driver I've had also drives for Uber.
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This is one example of why driving cars is so complicated. There are huge amounts of variables to account for.
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by:Lucas Bishop
From what I've seen, Drop Bears confuse driverless cars as well.
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by:Brian Matis
@Lucas - I had never heard of Drop Bears before... Had to go look it up. I can certainly see why driverless cars get confused!
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"Experts say that widespread hacks of cars may soon become a reality." In the very near future, I expect an extra upsell for a top of the line security package, in addition to the usual upsells, like leather or heated seats.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/06/01/how-hacked-computer-code-allegedly-helped-biker-gang-steal-150-jeeps/?utm_term=.a1cc284aae86
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by:Brian Matis
Intriguing... When it comes to handling security issues like the one described in the article, it sounds like the automaker either had a breach of their key code database and/or a bad process for authenticating duplicate key requests. I'd say the automaker should deal with fixing those sorts of issues just like they would a safety recall. A certain baseline of security is to be expected. Like, if there was a mistake in an old-style non-electronic key that meant the same key would work in all cars of that model... You'd better believe we'd expect the automaker to cover that cost of fixing it.

But just like a car alarm can be a security upsell, I could easily envision new high-tech security add-ons to help against potential theft. Like maybe a car that would text you if it was taken for a drive at a time you don't usually drive it?
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by:Brian Matis
That's really cool! It's awesome when techniques from one field (pun not intended) can be applied to another.
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Anyone looking for a fun do-it-yourself project? This college student converted his Honda Civic into a self-driving car using a smartphone, freely available software, a 3D printed case, and circuit board he soldered himself. Fascinating stuff, but I'll be honest, it seems a bit dangerous and I wonder what sort of laws will be cropping up soon as a result of projects like this...

Then again, it's not like human drivers are particularly safe and perhaps even a hobbyist level self-driving modification would still be safer than your average person...

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603637/how-a-college-kid-made-his-honda-civic-self-driving-for-700/
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Automotive

In addition to ignition, power and monitoring gauges and lights, today's motor vehicles feature computerized engines, transmissions and braking systems, electronic mapping systems, Bluetooth and Internet connectivity, sensors that detect other vehicles, motorized seats, and digital audio and video systems; several manufacturers are producing electric and hybrid automobiles and self-driving cars.

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Automotive