#44 Everything You Need To Know About Fortnite Season 6

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How Facebook could screw up Instagram

Instagram is, in many parts of the world, the most culturally relevant technology since texting. And that has everything to do with its founders — Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger — and their teams, who have meticulously shaped it since creation, executing near-flawlessly with tight control. Walking through the things that make Instagram so special — its network, product, experience and institutional taste — it’s easy to see vulnerability in the wrong hands. Facebook can’t afford to screw this up — especially now, as it increasingly relies on Instagram for growth and for engagement from younger users.

Teen Apple Hacker Avoids Jail in Australia After Serious Attacks

An Australian teenager who hacked Apple Inc. systems over several months and downloaded sensitive data avoided a jail term Thursday, as a court heard he was fascinated by the tech giant and found accessing its networks addictive.

Japan’s New Solar-Powered “Second Skin” Device Revolutionizes Wearable Tech

Advances in wearable tech have been pretty impressive lately, but the device described in a new Nature study blows the competition out of the water. While the Apple Watch is now equipped with an FDA-approved EKG sensor and companies like Samsung are going out of their way to make smartwatches look like fashion statements, the device described in the paper, published Wednesday, puts both to shame. This heart-sensing device has no wires, requires no charging, and is so small that it can wrap around a rat’s heart.

Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 smartphone could be an impressive overhaul in design and features — here are 9 rumors about what it’ll look like

Samsung’s next-generation Galaxy S10 could deliver significant updates in design and features to the South Korean smartphone manufacturer’s flagship line of premium smartphones. At least, that’s what the rumors are suggesting. Even Samsung’s mobile-business leader, DJ Koh, has chimed in to hype up the next Galaxy S smartphone.

Fallout 76 Beta Release Date For PS4, Xbox One, And PC Announced

Bethesda has released a new trailer and confirmed the release date of the upcoming Fallout 76 beta. As we previously heard, it’ll come to Xbox One before other platforms, but now we know exactly when–the beta begins for Xbox One on October 23 and on October 30 for PlayStation 4 and PC.

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ will be a massive 105GB download

Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally dropping next month, and PlayStation has revealed some of what’s in store with the pre-order launch of its PS4 Pro Bundle. The box refers to a “timed exclusive for 30 days” and mentions online content. We knew PlayStation users were getting some unique content, but this confirms they’ll get it ahead of everyone else, too.

Everything new, added or changed in Fortnite’s season 6

A slew of new cosmetics and game mechanics just hit Fortnite‘s incredibly popular battle royale game mode. In the spirit of Halloween, both character skins and the game map has taken a creepy turn. But to balance out the darkness, Epic Games threw in some cuteness in the form of pets that players can now carry around on their backs. Here’s everything that’s been added or changed for season 6.

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#26 Space Station Got Hole?

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Skype rolls back its redesign by ditching stories, squiggles and over-the-top color

Just over a year after Skype introduced a colorful, Snapchat-inspired makeover which included its own version of “stories,” the company says it’s now going to refocus on simplicity – and it’s ditching stories along the way. The redesign had been met with a lot of backlash. Skype had clearly wanted to appeal to a more youthful demographic with its update, but in doing so, it cluttered the user experience with features no one had asked for or needed.

Japan to conduct first test as part of space elevator project

A team of researchers from Japan’s Shizuoka University and other institutions will conduct the first test in space this month as part of a project to build a space elevator, Japan’s The Mainichi reported last week. The space elevator essentially ferries people and cargo shipments in an elevator car travelling on a cable connecting Earth to a space station.

Astronauts find hole in the International Space Station, plug it with thumb

You think you woke up on the wrong side of the bed today? Spare a thought for the crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). On Thursday morning, they woke up to the news that the station was slowly leaking air. Flight controllers had been monitoring the small drop in pressure overnight, deciding to let the crew sleep as the hole presented no danger.

Will 2018 be the year small phones die?

Sony is perhaps the last bastion of smaller smartphones. Or at least, it used to be. For years now, Sony has been making “Compact” versions of its top-tier handsets that are more or less flagships in their own right. Each generation of Sony’s latest XZ series of phones hasn’t deviated from this tradition until IFA 2018, where Sony announced the new Xperia XZ3, but no XZ3 Compact. Has the appetite for smaller phones finally vanished? Or are manufacturers content to let the hungry starve either way?

Doom II’s final secret unlocked after 24 years

It took nearly 24 years for someone to discover how to unlock Doom II’s last remaining secret without using cheats. The feat, recently shared on YouTube by user Zero Master, has since been confirmed by John Romero, one of the game’s original programmers.

Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Glitch Discovers Unseen Area Where Water Turns To Lava

By executing a glitch during the game’s The Master Trials DLC, YouTube user Mety333 has found a way to explore new, unseen areas within the game. Of course, these areas were never intended to be seen by players or even function correctly as any part of natural gameplay, and this results in some very strange, creepy, but fascinating finds.

Playing as Magneto in Grand Theft Auto V is as awesome as it sounds

This new mod enables virtually every superpower Magneto possesses. You can fly, create a bullet shield and pull off various melee attacks but the real fun, of course, involves manipulating the environment around you. Taking command of cars and creating a metal storm is easy. Pull lampposts and wind turbines from the ground and hurl them at innocent bystanders. Heck, you can even snatch a plane out of the sky and thrust it at a helicopter or derail a train.

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Toyota To Acquire $1 Billion Stake in Ride-Hailing Service Grab

This is by far the largest deal a by a carmaker in a ride-hailing provider.

This move by Toyota definitely marks the transition of traditional carmakers from manufacturing to services.

The Japanese company just agreed to acquire a $1 Billion stake in Grab, Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing company. The announcement was made in a statement by Toyota earlier this week. The company did not disclose what percentage of Grab it will own.

According to a person familiar with the deal, the value of six-year-old Grab will be just over $10 billion after the investment.

“We will work with partners like Toyota to continue to transform transportation in Southeast Asia,” Grab said in an email to Reuters. “We want to be the one-stop mobility platform for users.”

“Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia,” Toyota executive Shigeki Tomoyama said in a statement.

This is not the first time that the Japan-based company has invested in Grab. Last year, it also pumped in an undisclosed amount to the latter. Toyota also invested in San Francisco-based Uber as well as in Japan Taxi Co. Ltd, an Uber rival.

The car industry is really racing with tech companies to gain a level footing on mobility services. With the rise of ride-hailing and vehicle sharing companies, there is a lesser need for car ownership. Honda and General Motors are the two other big names who have also invested in ride-hailing applications.

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Japan Plans To Have Driverless Cars Ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Japan plans to begin testing driverless cars on public roads sometime this fiscal year.

In a government strategic review announcement, Japan stressed on driving economic growth. And one way to do this? Put driverless cars on the road as soon as possible.

The strategy was presented at the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japan plans to begin the testing of self-driving cars on public roads before April 2019. The government targets to launch them as self-driving car services for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The general public might be able to get their hands on them as early as 2022.

SoftBank Group, a Japanese conglomerate, has partnered with General Motors to develop the driverless cars. The latter received a $2.25 billion investment from Softbank.

“Teaming up with SoftBank adds an additional strong partner as we pursue our vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement previously.

Other strategies discussed in the government strategic review include changing university regulations. The country wants to make it easier or students to earn multi-disciplinary degrees needed to work in artificial intelligence. The government also plans to change some regulations to make it easier for companies to do business.

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Nintendo VR? It Won’t Happen Yet, A Company Exec Says

Virtual Reality headsets have really changed the gaming landscape. In fact, some of the companies have already disclosed details on their VR plans. Among these companies, back in 2016, was Nintendo which publicly announced that it would be looking into VR in the coming years.

 

Is Nintendo serious of its VR plans?

 

As early as 2016, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima announced at an investors’ briefing that Nintendo was considering VR as part of the company’s strategy to lure more gamers in using their consoles. On the same year, a VR headset patent surfaced that time, amplifying speculations that the Japan-based company was serious of plan into the virtual space.

 

Fast forward today, Nintendo seems to abandon their original plan of looking into VR. This comes after Nintendo France General Manager Philippe Lavoué, in an interview with Les Numeriques, a French publication, expressed doubt that VR would really appeal to the mainstream.

 

“If you look at VR headsets, I doubt they can appeal to the mainstream,” Lavoué said as quoted saying in Ars Technica. “Consumers are not patient with entertainment if you’re not able to deliver an all-inclusive package.”

 

One problem cited by Lavoué was the TV display technology which he claimed to have not been adopted by the majority. He also downplayed the proposal, saying it is still premature for Nintendo to invest a hardware such as VR that has the capacity to have full 4K images.

 

“And what novelty would we bring compared to our competitors?” he said. “If we do the exact same thing as everyone else, we’re bound to die because we are smaller than them. With the Switch, we offer different uses, adapted to players’ pace of life. Its advantage is being able to fit into your daily life.”

The Robot Revolution: Transforming Labor and Elevating Customer Experience

You’ve seen humanoid robots in Star Wars, Terminator, Robocop, AI, and a host of genre movies that define our relationship with the bot. Now, they’re everywhere and come in all sizes and shapes, impacting our lives in many ways. In a classic case of art imitating life, smart bots are securely in our future because business and industry have them in place to do tasks faster, better, more efficiently, and cheaper. They go without sleep, don’t complain, have no social security, don’t go on medical leave or vacays, are totally fine with doing dirty jobs, and never ask for a raise. But more importantly, working-class bots can provide the necessary “manpower” in aging economies where dwindling numbers and a protectionist policy against immigrant workers can threaten business operations.

Japan’s population is predicted to be 1/3 of current numbers by 2065 with 40% over the age of 65 – a trend that is pretty much in the future of the U.S., China, and Europe. Because of that crucial need to sustain future operations profitably in the face of a shrinking labor force, robots are now in every facet of modern life, in its different forms, shapes, functions, and integrations.

For over two years now, robots have been assisting travelers at Haneda Airport, a progressive domestic airport in Japan with baggage loading and check-ins. It also has a multi-lingual roving robot that helps guests find their way and other bots that carry your bags, clean-up and even sell you a sim! In Japan, the customer is king so it even has a customer service robot providing concierge services. Go ahead and ask this shiny bot where you are, the best places to go, and the best buys – it has all the answers, and it speaks perfect English too! In San Jose (USA) airport, they have rolled-out pioneering “lady bots” called Amelia that have touchscreen menus. As a bonus, it can even take selfies and mail these to you. The combination of utilitarian and the frivolous is a charming combination in this bot that was developed in Silicon Valley.

These past two years, prototype models were developed and tested in anticipation of language and service needs for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.  Other airports like Narita and another in South Korea have robots customized for their needs.

Japan’s biggest names in business and manufacturing are into robots – in a big way! As early as 2008, Japanese robotics Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro developed the ‘Geminoid’ – an android that was practically his clone. In 2014, Honda, a leading name in car manufacturing introduced the humanoid Asimo, a bar-tending robot that can even communicate using sign language. In development for over 30 years, it would be right at home in a Star Wars movie. Not to be outdone, NASA also produced Valkyrie, also known as a Superhero Robot and Tempest produced Edi, a robot designed to work closely with humans with its sensing technology and smooth movements. China in a battle for human-looking bots came out with Jia Jia, a remarkably realistic-looking robot cable of microexpressions. Since then we’ve had Sophia and Erica, lifelike robots that have fascinated the world because of their intelligent speech and interactiveness. According to their manufacturers, these bots have myriad uses such in customer service and can even be on network television as newscasters. Even Amazon, the world’s biggest shopping mall has robot assistants fielded in warehouses – no wonder you get products in a snap!

Since then, IoT and AI have spewed robots for the home and the workplace. They make life easy by automating chores and are so good at it that they can even “run” hotels and can communicate and store information in the cloud. We are also looking at a future were taxibots and other Avatar-like bots will be mainstreamed. In the last decade, robots performed intricate tasks in manufacturing plants on the operating table. Today they can also be made to faultlessly forage for information even in the most dangerous environments. In fact, Toshiba is now using submersible robots to probe the damaged nuclear reactor in Fukushima. Truly they can go where humans fear to tread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple’s “Lucky Bags” attract hundreds

Japanese customers have been lining up at Apple Stores all over Japan hoping to get their hands on a “Lucky Bag” to kick of their new year.

The Japanese have a handful of shopping traditions for the new year, but this “Fukubukuro” or “Lucky Bags” seems to be one of the most popular if not the most.

Let’s take a look at what’s inside a ‘Fukubukuro’. Once person breaks the seal of the bag he finds an assortment of goodies. Usually this goodies are discounts for the collection. But you have to keep your fingers crossed because you don’t have any idea on what you get. Just like basketball trading cards. You are not sure if you’ll be getting that most valued insert in the package you bought.

The lucky few will find rare or expensive products that is worth three times the amount you paid for.

Apple began to sell these bags in Japan in 2004 and it hasn’t taken a bad year as of yet

Some bags are priced at 33,000 yen or $430. Customers wish to get an iPad, Iphone or iPod. It’s a gamble and a very big one.

In a post from ax3battery.com, one lucky customer shared the contents of his bag:

  • Red iPod nano Red (5th Generation)
  • Nike + iPod Sport Kit
  • iHome iP38 portable iPod dock
  • Incase Sports Armband Pro
  • Apple USB adapter
  • Crystal Jacket Set for iPod Nano 5th Generation (special Lucky Bag version)
  • Atomic Floyd TwistJax headphones
  • 2x iTunes Gift Cards
  • Apple Store Limited Edition Red T-Shirt
  • Incase Nylon Compact Backpack

‘Fukubukora’ began as a way for establishments to let go of their old stocks. Japanese believe that it is bad for the business if the New Year starts with unwanted items from the previous year.

Image Source: ax3battery.com

Lufthansa and Panasonic to provide in-flight Internet

Long-haul business passengers of the German flag carrier won’t have to worry about missing text messages and emails.

Lufthansa and Panasonic has teamed up to provide passengers in-flight wireless Internet starting next year. Lufhansa boss Wolfgang Mayrhuber claimed that the Internet experience will be comparable “with those available at powerful hotspots or upmarket hotels”.

According to Michael Lamberty, a spokesman from the carrier, prototypes will be tested by the end of the year and by mid-2010, 50 long-haul planes will be offering the service. Aside from being able to use the Internet, Lamberty said passengers will also now be able to send text messages via mobile phones.

Lufthansa offered a similar service before but it wasn’t very well accepted so the company withdrew it by the end of 2006. Now, it seems like they are willing to test the waters again and with the popularity (not to mention necessity) of being connected all the time, who knows? They might just succeed this time.  🙂

Source: http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20091012/tc_afp/germanyjapanairlinecompanyinternetlufthansapanasonic

Japan launches new cargo craft to ISS

A computer-generated graphic depicting the HTV cargo ship ready for grapple by the space station's robot arm. (Credit: JAXA)

Japan’s H-2B rocket blasted off to space Thursday from launch pad 2 at the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 1:01:46 p.m. EDT.

The rocket is carrying HTV cargo craft, an unmanned space station cargo, that contains around 7,400 pounds of equipment and supplies to the International Space Station. The cargo craft was released into its planned preliminary orbit 15 minutes after liftoff.

“The launch was beautiful,” Stephen Clark, a U.S. journalist representing Spaceflight Now, said in an instant message from Tanegashima. “The boosters lit with the typical orange glow and away she went. The rocket went into a thick cloud layer around 25 seconds after liftoff, but the rumble shook us for a couple minutes more.”

The craft will not be docking to the station on its own like previous supply ships like Russian Progress supply ships of the European Space Agency’s automated transfer vehicle, or ATV. Instead, the HTV will autonomously maneuver to a position at the capture point, around 29 feet from the laboratory complex.  Station flight engineer Nicole Stott will then use the lab’s robot arm to lock onto a grapple fixture.

The HTV will however, do a full week of orbital tests and checkouts first before it will approach the space station on its 8th day into orbit.

Source:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-19514_3-10350052-239.html

Japan creates teddy bear robot nurse

Video screenshot of Riba from a Reuters video on YouTube by Tim Hornyak/CNET

I think all of us went through a phase in our childhood life when we wanted to carry our teddy everywhere and glued to our little bodies, day in and day out.

But don’t you think it’s a bit weird for an oversized, robotic teddy to be the one carrying you?

Apparently, the Japanese doesn’t think so.

State-run Riken research center have a created Riba, a robot nurse that can lift elderly patients from wheelchairs and beds. Promoters are calling it the world’s first robot to lift people in its arms.

Short for Robot for Interactive Body Assistance, Riba is a 400-pound robot can carry patients weighing up to 134 pounds in its foam-padded paws. He can recognize faces and voices, and can even respond to voice commands.

Ri-Man, a robot (that I assume looked like a man 😉 ) which Ri-ken developed in 2006, could only lift about 40 pounds and moved slower than Riba.

According to Riken, the cute face is designed to make Riba less imposing. Well, it makes sense actually. Why would some elderly person be afraid of a huge, 400-pound, shiny, white robot that looks like a smiling teddy bear? Really! 😀

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10320851-1.html