Airbus is designing a self-piloting flying taxi
Airbus’ A3 subdivision, an innovation-focused unit located in Silicon Valley, is working on building a self-flying vehicle platform codenamed Vahana which is designed to carry both individual passengers and cargo. Airbus said it expects to begin testing its first prototype vehicle by the end of 2017. A key goal of the project is alleviating traffic congestion expected to accompany the growing populations of the world’s cities. But like the self-driving cars currently undergoing testing, one of the major obstacles to the launch of the self-flying taxi is the lack of a reliable sense-and-avoid technology that allows airborne vehicles to avoid crashing into buildings.
More details about this subject here.
Nvidia claims Intel cheated in their Xeon Phi benchmarks
According to Nvidia, Intel has used old benchmarking software and hardware to paint Xeon Phi in a more competitive light against Nvidia’s compute hardware. Intel has apparently manipulated these benchmarks by using an out-of-date version of the benchmarking software Caffe AlexNet, the latest versions of which give Nvidia a 30 percent training performance advantage over Intel. Nvidia also says that Intel compared Xeon Phi to older Maxwell-based products; had they compared to modern Pascal parts, Nvidia would have a 90 percent advantage.
You can read more here.
Kobo has unveiled a large waterproof e-reader, the Aura One
The device features a large 7.8-inch 300 ppi e-ink display that’s bigger than most other e-readers and is designed to reduce exposure to blue light, so it’s easier for users to fall asleep after reading for a while at night. It’s housed in a waterproof case, which means it’s safe to use by the pool or in the bathtub. The Aura One can store up to 6,000 books in its 8GB onboard memory and last for a month on a single charge. If you’re keen on the Aura One, you can pre-order it on August 30 or find it in stores starting September 6.
More specs and info are available here.
LG adds brighter, more portable projectors to Minibeam lineup
LG has just announced two new portable, battery-powered projectors that can be set up blissfully free of any audio, video or power cables. The two models in LG’s Minibeam lineup will debut next month at IFA 2016 in Berlin. First up is the PH450U (and the PH450UG version with built-in TV tuner), which LG claims is among the brightest battery-powered, short-throw projectors at 450 lumens. The second addition to the Minibeam lineup, the PH150G comes in at a diminutive 1.1 pounds for a cool $349.99.
You can read more about this two projectors here.
You might want to know about this
Google releases extension to restore Chrome’s old backspace functionality
Google recently released an extension for Chrome called Go Back With Backspace that restores the backspace key as a back navigation button… that is, unless you’re typing text. The description notes that it doesn’t restore the functionality on special pages like in the settings or extensions sections but should otherwise do the trick. Google’s decision to remove the functionality in the first place stemmed from users that accidentally pressed the backspace key while working on a project or typing data into a form, thus losing their progress. Essentially, by removing it, Google was trying to protect users from themselves.
More info here.
Lack of a high-quality GPU may hold Intel back in its AI and VR chase
GPUs aren’t a big presence at the ongoing Intel Developer Forum, which is centered around the chip maker’s AI and VR strategy. Intel is highlighting its CPUs and FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) for those categories, and the lack of a GPU to chase the hot markets could be a hole in the company’s product line. Intel has never been a leader in graphics, and it hasn’t aggressively competed in the area, like Nvidia and AMD have. This week, it showed some progress in its graphics technology, saying its upcoming Kaby Lake PC chips will have integrated graphics processors with 4K support. With its current chip lineup, Intel doesn’t believe it needs a pure-play GPU to pursue its AI strategy.
You can read about this subject here.
French mayor bans ‘Pokémon Go’ in his town
In what is either great technological misunderstanding or extreme territorialism, mayor Fabrice Beauvois wants every digital pocket monster out of his village. He mailed a decree to Niantic, creators of the mobile game Pokémon Go, demanding they pull their game from the 800-person settlement of Bressolles northeast of Lyon. The reason: the company didn’t ask for permission before setting up shop.
More details are available here.