Let’s face it, traveling in coach is never much fun. Being wedged into your seat as the one in front reclines into your lap is bad enough, but then you have to somehow find a comfy position so you can enjoy a little shut-eye. And of course, just as you start nodding off, the passenger behind usually discovers a fun game on their seat-back display that requires them to hit the screen a lot, sending the vibrations through the seat, through your skull, and into the center of your brain. The part that controls sleep, usually.Of course, the answer is to have enough spare cash knocking around that you can afford a better seat, one with enough space around it that you can stretch out your arms without accidentally punching your neighbor in the head.Emirates is going above and beyond what you might expect when it comes to accommodating passengers flying first class on its aircraft, this weekend unveiling what it describes as a “game-changing” private suite with design … [Read more...] about Emirates’ new luxury first-class offering is a suite in the sky
Not a cloud in the sky
The auto industry is in a state of flux. If the predictions from scores of pundits and analysts come true, autonomous electric cars will soon become the norm, whisking people silently from place to place in a soulless but efficient fashion. That may sound like heaven for the average Los Angeles commuter, but for the average car enthusiast, it sounds like hell.But these new technologies can bring positive change for car fans as well. Thanks to electric powertrains, a crowd of 20,000 people recently got to watch a race in New York City, within sight of the Statue of Liberty. Drivers went wheel to wheel in Formula E electric cars, which are quiet enough to operate in urban areas and don’t pollute the air with exhaust emissions.Formula E is unlike any other form of racing, and not just because of the electric cars. In Formula E, efficiency, fan engagement, and relevance are just as important as speed, horsepower, and lap times. But the ultimate goal remains the same: to win.The … [Read more...] about Is Formula E the future of racing, or just a flash in the pan?
California officials recently announced a new list of revisions for rules regarding the testing of self-driving vehicles following a series of concerns raised by technology experts and automakers. This seems to be a follow-up to earlier announcements in March, after the state of California opened up its legislation to public input.According to the announcement, the new rule revisions will now permit automakers and tech firms to test autonomous vehicles without needing a human in the driver seat. Additionally, public use of vehicles equipped with self-driving capabilities is now allowed as long as passengers are not paying any extra fees required for their use.The new revisions are scheduled to go into effect by June 2018 and were first proposed to the public this past March. The companies behind the new rules include Waymo and Google’s parent company’s self-driving car unit, Alphabet Inc. Tesla, Ford, General Motors, Apple, and many others shared their input at … [Read more...] about New CA laws permit self-driving tests without a human in the driver seat
There may be no one in the world happier than Neill Blomkamp that the Halo film he planned with Peter Jackson died in the development process due to budgetary concerns. From the wake of that shutdown came the surprisingly effective District 9, which he wrote and directed, propelling him into the forefront of science fiction directors able to breathe new life into the genre. Thanks to Blomkamp’s background, visual effects have become a precision tool in his hands, allowing him to marry the storytelling process to visual effects by knowing exactly what he can expect from them. It’s also why his films aren’t entirely laden with VFX, and he puts the impetus of the story on the actors and not the green screen.Blomkamp’s newest film Elysium opens this weekend, putting Matt Damon in a near-future that emphasizes the gap between the 99 percent and the 1 percent, and underscores what happens when the elite begin to lose their own humanity by separating … [Read more...] about Interview: How Neill Blomkamp reimagined L.A. as a wheel in the sky in ‘Elysium’
It was about two months ago that John Legere promised to send a clear message to one lucky rival carrier regarding overage charges. You know, those charges you get when you go over your caps for data, calls, or minutes.Legere asked fans to help him decide how to send this message by voting via Twitter. He gave them a choice of either a skyline takeover, skywriting, or a monster overage counter. The votes have been tabulated, and skywriting was the clear winner. This method involves a plane flying over the headquarters of either AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint to skywrite a message.Now it was just a matter of deciding which carrier’s HQ to fly over. Naturally Legere picked the largest, which is Verizon Wireless. Of course, it can’t be a shock to anyone that Legere went along for the ride to Tweet and take a few pictures. The mission took place earlier today.The message is a little hard to make out, but it basically tells Verizon to abolish overages.This all started about a year … [Read more...] about Is that a bird or a plane in the sky? It’s John Legere sending a message to Verizon Wireless
Researchers may have finally solved the science behind déjà vu and, no, it’s not a glitch in The Matrix.Déjà vu, for those who haven’t experienced it before (or have you?), refers to the strange sensation that a certain event or experience you have is one you’ve experienced before. Exactly how it works has long been a source of mystery — with one of the main reasons it’s hard to study being just how unpredictable it is.“The frustrating thing about déjà vu is that, while it’s something most people have experienced, it’s something which happens relatively infrequently,” Akira O’Connor, a lecturer in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St. Andrews in the UK, told Digital Trends. “That means that getting the opportunity to measure it is a very difficult thing. We’ve had to rely on people’s retrospective evaluations of the experience.”That is changing, … [Read more...] about Neuroscientists just figured out what causes déjà vu (and it’s not a glitch in The Matrix)
You’re unlikely to run into another player in No Man’s Sky, but that doesn’t stop the endless space exploration simulator from featuring a robust resource-gathering and trading system. In fact, it might just mean you get to keep more goodies for yourself.In the latest No Man’s Sky video from Hello Games and PlayStation, “Trade,” we see an explorer touch down on a grassy planet. But instead of simply wandering the surface looking for something he can use, a scanner ability appears to mark natural resources in the vicinity. Gathering the items once they’re found is as simple as holding in a button, not unlike the recent Far Cry games. Others, however, have to be extracted from rock. Naturally (or unnaturally) this means blasting them to smithereens with a laser, at which point the usable materials zip over to you like iron to a magnet.Trading posts located on planets and larger space stations let you then sell the materials you’ve gathered … [Read more...] about Be a trader, not a traitor, in the latest ‘No Man’s Sky’ trailer
With the explosive amounts of electronic information being generated daily, it's no wonder many companies are considering alternative storage options.None of these options has generated more interest than cloud-based systems. Companies are looking to cloud computing to ease the burden of information management and enhance business agility by provisioning technology infrastructure resources on the fly. The early buzz on cloud solutions is that it promises the flexibility that is essential to a growing business, facilitating disaster recovery and data availability, lower costs, and so on.With so many potential benefits to gain, why haven't more businesses rushed to embrace cloud-based solutions? Part of the answer lies in risk.Any new deployment model involves risks, such as disrupting existing workflows or data corruption during the migration process. Furthermore, some cloud-based systems are characterized by fairly rigid application silos. These silos require a deep understanding of … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE A Checklist for Transporting Legacy Data to That Big Cloud in the Sky
Salesforce.com and VMware jointly announced Tuesday a new platform for enterprise application development in the cloud.They will offer application development as a service in their VMforce venture."[Information technology] needs to be transformed into and accessed as a service whether it's into the corporate firewall or outside it," said Paul Maritz, CEO and president of VMware. "We have to get people focused on what their real business is and, to do that, we have to transform the underlying architectures."We're moving from Cloud One, made famous by Amazon.com, Google and eBay in simple applications that were point-and-click and managed and upgraded centrally to Cloud Two, a new type of interaction between users known as 'social,'" said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com. "This is a catalyst for change within the enterprise itself."VMforce leverages VMware's virtualization technologies, the Java development framework of its SpringSource subsidiary, and Salesforce.com's Force.com … [Read more...] about VMforce: App Devs Get a Workshop in the Sky
Developers of the major browsers -- Microsoft, Google and the Mozilla Foundation -- plan to implement so-called do-not-track features into their browsers so consumers can indicate when they don't want their movements online to be observed and recorded by site hosts, which generally use the information to strengthen their advertising systems.The inclusion of such a feature is the result of considerable consumer resentment over tracking, leading to calls by the Federal Trade Commission for action and to hearings in Congress.Here's why: Someone who tracks you wherever you go and gleans information about everything you do, wherever you visit, is called a stalker, and in the physical world, it's against the law to stalk someone. In any event, it also makes you feel really, really creepy.Online advertisers are doing just that -- stalking people online -- so they can serve up ads to them.How much do consumers dislike what's going on? A poll conducted jointly by Gallup and USA Today in … [Read more...] about Is True Do-Not-Track a Pie in the Sky?