A Japanese startup has ambitious plans for on-demand meteor showers

A Tokyo-based startup is hard at work developing a system that would deliver “shooting stars on demand.” According to a report by Japan Times, the world’s first artificial meteor shower could take place over Hiroshima as early as 2020. ALE Co., is reportedly in the final stages of developing two satellites. The first is set to be launched into space in March of next year, while the second would follow sometime mid-year. Each would have a payload of roughly 400 tiny balls whose tightly-guarded [Read Entire Story]

Amazon wants to revolutionize healthcare with its new venture

Amazon is teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to form a new healthcare company (PDF) that will aim to service the US and be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett described the company-in-the-making’s mission as follows: The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy. Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable. Rather, we [Read Entire Story]

Apple’s ARKit update in iOS 11.3 is next level good

After dropping the first iOS 11.3 beta last week, Apple developers wasted little time in getting to work on a preview of what we’ll see this spring during the public release. For an iOS update that features four new Animoji, it almost feels strange talking about anything other than karaoke with Apple’s new lion, bear, skull, or dragon lenses. But even with four new creatures to love, it’s the release of AIKit 1.5 that’s stealing the show. The highlight of the release is vertical surface [Read Entire Story]

Programmers use TensorFlow AI to turn any webcam into Microsoft Kinect

A pair of AI developers turned a $10 webcam into a motion-tracking system. It’s like a DIY Kinect with a Google brain. And best of all they named it Skeletron. The project, a collaboration between Or Fleisher and Dror Ayalon, was developed using TensorFlow, an open source AI platform created by Google, and Unity, a popular video game engine. Motion-tracking usually requires expensive cameras, high-end computers, and someone to wear a skin-tight bodysuit with those silly plastic balls Velcroed [Read Entire Story]

Elon Musk denies zombie apocalypse rumors, sells 10,000 flamethrowers just in case

Do I need a flamethrower? No. Do I want one? Yes. That seems to be the general attitude behind the thousands of people buying Elon Musk’s new fire-breathing toy. If you haven’t been following, Musk promised to begin selling a flamethrower for his Boring Company – the one digging giant tunnels under LA – a few months ago. Now that they are up for pre-order, they’ve been selling like hotcakes. The Tesla CEO tweeted that there have been more than 10,000 flamethrower pre-orders, meaning sales of [Read Entire Story]

Indian ride-hailing giant Ola takes the fight to Uber in Australia

After tussling with Uber in its home market of India, Ola is ready to go up against the ride-hailing giant in new territory as it expands beyond the country’s borders for the first time: the company has announced it’s launching operations in Australia this year. Ola claims to have garnered 125 million passengers on its platform since its launch in 2011, and counts Asian heavyweights Didi and SoftBank among its investors. With its new foray down under, it’s adding Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth to [Read Entire Story]

Linux creator slams Intel for crappy Meltdown/Spectre patches

Intel’s had a (mostly) crappy start to the year, thanks to the revelation of Meltdown and Spectre, two major security flaws affecting a wide range of its processors that are present in hundreds of thousands of devices around the world. It’s working to release fixes for them, but Linux creator Linus Torvalds is not impressed by the company’s efforts. In a public email conversation between him and UK-based Amazon engineer David Woodhouse, Torvalds (pictured above giving the bird to Nvidia) calls [Read Entire Story]

Your car knows you’re cheating on your diet (or your spouse)

General Motors (GM) first started tracking customers in 1996. Using its popular OnStar service, those in select GM vehicles could ask for directions, diagnose vehicle-related problems, or even disable a stolen vehicle by contacting a voice on the other end of the line. For around $35 a month, GM provided customers with an on-demand concierge available at the touch of a button. But unbeknownst to many, OnStar required more than just a monthly subscription fee. “Data is the currency of the digital [Read Entire Story]

Hands-on: Sennheiser’s HD 820 are almost my dream headphones

Few headphones are as venerable in the audiophile world as Sennheiser’s HD 800 and its younger, more refined sibling, the HD 800S. But despite their spectacularly transparent sound, there’s one particular quality that has dissuaded me from spending the money after all thesIt’s an admirable fix to a very backwards flaw in Adobe’s system. Even one cent less than equally qualified men is too large a gap, and it’s good to see Adobe take the step.e years: The open-back design leaks sound in and out. [Read Entire Story]

Bottom-feeding asshole removes women in Star Wars recut

In what may be the stupidest cry for ‘equality,’ and the worst conflation of unrelated issues we’ve seen, a female-free recut of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is making the rounds. It’s dumb, the person who made it is misguided, and the men’s rights movement should be ashamed it exists. The new cut weighs in at a lofty 46 minutes (down from 2.5 hours) and features sweeping cuts anywhere that a creature with boobs appears (save, a few scenes, including an action sequence with General Leia Organa). [Read Entire Story]

Kaspersky: Malware disguised as Android apps from carriers can steal your WhatsApp messages

Security firm Kaspersky has discovered a new piece of malware doing the rounds that’s capable of spying on your Android phone like nothing else before it. The company says that the malware is called Skygofree (named after one of the domains on which it was first spotted), and is usually disguised as a downloadable app on fake sites designed to resemble those of mobile carriers, and promises to increase your internet speeds. Once it’s installed, it can do plenty of damage, including: Tracking the [Read Entire Story]

‘Six strikes’ anti-piracy initiative comes to an end after being deemed a failure

The MPAA and RIAA are throwing in the towel for their so-called ‘six strikes’ initiative. The program — formally known as the Copyright Alert System — started in 2013 as a partnership between ISPs and copyright holders designed to scare off internet pirates. It didn’t work. As pirates were caught doing what they do best — downloading music, movies, and software — the MPAA and RIAA worked in conjunction with ISPs to send notices, known as ‘strikes.’ Each strike came with a penalty, of sorts, up [Read Entire Story]

When you subscribe to a VPN service, you get what you pay for

Today is Data Privacy Day. It’s a day when you’re encouraged to contemplate your relationships with the websites and services you use, and how you can ensure that going forward in 2017, you’re as secure as you possibly can be. It’s also a day when pundits and bloggers all fill your Twitter feed with what they think you should do. One morsel of advice that’s guaranteed to crop up is that you need a VPN, especially when you’re using an Internet connection you can’t personally vouch for. It’s valid [Read Entire Story]

Google just passed 3M businesses paying for G Suite

During its earnings call today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced its paid platform of productivity tools, G Suite, had just passed three million users. For those keeping score at home, that means Google attracted a million new users since announcing in November 2015 that it broke the two million paid users barrier. Pichai attributed Google’s success to its ability to provide a secure platform accessible from any device. He also promised the continued expansion of the partner ecosystem and [Read Entire Story]

Inmoji lets anyone create clickable emoji ads that actually work

Emoji are weird. They’re more than just a set of cutsey images you stick at the end of a Slack message with your workmates. They’re something substantially more than the emoticons and glyphs of yesteryear. I suppose you could say they are essentially a kind of universal language we all can understand. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that someone would try to capitalize on this global phenomenon. Already, Emoji have been front-and-center in a number of advertising campaigns. Condom [Read Entire Story]

FlyHomes wants to give you $9,000 in Lyft credit for buying a house

Credit cards that give you bonuses – like cashback or air miles – whenever you spend money are nothing new. But they’re only ideal for day-to-day spending. They don’t work for big-ticket items like cars and houses. The median house price in Seattle is $609,100 (according to Zillow, at least). Can you imagine how many air miles or reward points you’d get if you bought that on a reward credit card? That’s basically what Seattle startup FlyHomes is doing. This company acts a bit like a traditional [Read Entire Story]

Tumblr ups it millenial cred with stickers and filters

It was only a matter of time: Tumblr has just added Stickers and filters to its photo uploader and GIF Maker. The company introduced a robust GIF creation tool back in 2015, and then added text overlays last year. Now you can spice your GIFs up even further with stickers too, bringing the network up to par with Snapchat, Whatsapp, Messenger and so many other social platforms. Frankly, it’s surprising it took this long, but I’m complaining; stickers are great. Tumblr is also differentiating [Read Entire Story]

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ confirmed as name for Episode VIII

Star Wars fans are getting an unexpected treat today. While no, there isn’t a trailer for the upcoming Episode VIII yet, we at least finally have a name. Get ready for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi.’ And that’s about all the announcement really says, other than hinting once more that it’s the “next film in the Skywalker Saga.” As we knew before, the movie is slated to be released on December 15, 2017. Of course, you can expect fans across the interwebs to analyze the title, logo, and couple of [Read Entire Story]

Snapchat is rolling out a UI revamp for its iOS app (and Android beta)

Snapchat is today rolling a substantial UI refresh on iOS in order to make it a bit easier to navigate and discover new content, as we first reported on a few days ago. The refresh is also available on Android if you’re part of the app’s beta community. One of the key changes is that there’s now a search bar atop every screen. It’s a small but important change that helps the app feel a little more cohesive. Wherever you are in the app, you can find new content or message your friends. It also [Read Entire Story]

This stream of YouTube videos with zero views will put a smile on your face

Having a rough day? Watching an endless stream on YouTube videos might just be the pick-me up you needed. Astronaut.io is a website that provides a virtually endless stream of random YouTube videos from around the world. But rather than a simple sequential mashup, the stream looks specifically for videos that exist on the border between mundane and interesting. As Wired points out, and algorithm searches for videos that have been uploaded within the past week, have zero views, and use generic [Read Entire Story]

4 must-have courses that will launch your white hat hacking career

Setting yourself up as an IT security expert is a fast track to star status on the tech landscape — with a nice paycheck, to boot. Becoming an ethical hacker may still be misunderstood by many, but for those in the know, you’ll be a good guy fighting on the side of the righteous… which is why we want to offer a few options for you to pick up this much-needed training from TNW Deals. Complete White Hat Hacking and Penetration Testing Bundle If you want the complete overview of all things hacking, [Read Entire Story]

Apple sues Qualcomm for 1 billion, citing shady business practices

Apple is onto its next big legal feud: Qualcomm. The company today filed a $1 billion lawsuit against giant the chipmaker, according to CNBC. The lawsuit claims that Qualcomm withheld payments from Apple for licensing some of its patented technology in exchange for using its wireless modems. The Apple suit comes right after a similar one by the Federal Trade Commission claiming Qualcomm was using monopoly tactics. Though Qualcomm is best known for its Snapdragon chips that dominate the Android [Read Entire Story]

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