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Tesla on Autopilot and bus collide in Germany

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 23:36:17 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Police in northern Germany say a Tesla being driven with its Autopilot system engaged collided with a bus on a highway. A Tesla spokeswoman in Palo Alto, California, said Thursday the Autopilot system was on and functioned properly in the incident, based on conversations the company had with the driver and authorities.

FCC beefs up emergency cellphone alerts

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:38:44 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government is beefing up emergency cellphone alerts like the one used in New York to advertise a search for a bombing suspect earlier in September. The New York alert had an awkward phrasing, "See media for pic," rather than a link to Ahmad Khan Rahami's photo.

FCC delays vote on much-disputed rules on cable boxes

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:09:45 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal regulators delayed a decision Thursday on requiring cable and satellite TV companies to make free apps to eliminate the need for cable boxes. The Federal Communications Commission also wanted to promote gadgets that would let people search easily for video from online services such as Netflix and YouTube, not just TV channels. Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the Democratic commissioners whose vote Wheeler needs to pass the measure, has raised concerns about one aspect of it — that the FCC oversee agreements between gadget makers and the TV industry.

Cellphones spill into Yellowstone's wilds despite park plan

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:31:24 UT

In the popularity contest between Yellowstone's natural wonders and on-demand phone service, park administrators appear to have lost ground on a 2009 pledge to minimize cellphone access in backcountry areas. Signal coverage maps for two of Yellowstone's five cellphone towers show calls can now be received in large swaths of Yellowstone's interior, such as the picturesque Lamar Valley and other areas until just recently out of reach. The maps were obtained by a Washington, DC-based advocacy group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which has for years fought against new telecommunications infrastructure in the first national park in the U.S. Ken Sinay, who operates the Yellowstone Safari tour company and has been running nature tours in the park's backcountry for two decades, said phone signals became far more prevalent in many parts of the park over the past several years. Yellowstone technology chief Bret De Young acknowledged the occurrence of "spillover" cellphone signals into backcountry areas, but suggested the coverage maps — released by the park to Ruch's group under a public records request — exaggerated the quality of coverage in parts of the park.

AP EXPLAINS: What's at stake as US cedes internet control

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:25:58 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — On Saturday, the U.S. government plans to cede control of some of the internet's core systems — namely, the directories that help web browsers and apps know where to find the latest weather, maps and Facebook musings. No single government, business, organization or individual controls all the computers and pipelines making up the internet. [...] the network relies on an addressing system called the domain name system, or DNS, which includes directories that help route data like email and web requests where it needs to go. [...] DOES THE U.S. RUN THAT SYSTEM? Since 1998, an organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has overseen the directories, mostly by setting rules and creating mechanisms for settling disputes. Late Wednesday, the attorneys general from Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Nevada — all Republicans — filed a federal lawsuit to block the transfer because of worries it might affect government websites ending in ".gov." [...] critics objected to letting authoritarian regimes like Iran and China get equal votes on matters affecting speech. The directories themselves aren't changing, and people don't interact directly with domain names as often in the era of Google searches, phone apps and Facebook links. [...] few people would even know about the transition were it not for the noise from Capitol Hill. Republican critics claim that the transition would give countries like Russian and China the ability to control online speech — something supporters of the transition plan deny given the multi-party approach.

Q&A: The data your car collects and who can use it

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:15:24 UT

Newer cars that connect to the internet can collect vast amounts of data about drivers, such as where you went to dinner, if you broke the speed limit or if your seat belt was buckled. Automakers, insurers, high-tech firms, city planners and advertisers are among those who could use data to refine services. Drivers could share data in exchange for navigation systems, or they could pay extra for perks like a parking spot finder. Under federal law, drivers own data stored in event data recorders, or "black boxes," which monitor vehicles in a crash. Police and insurers need a driver's consent — or a court order — to get that data. Tesla Motors has used data to reveal — sometimes within hours of a crash — how fast the driver was going and whether or not the company's semi-autonomous Autopilot system was engaged. [...] under voluntary principles established by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in 2014, most agreed to get permission before sharing anything about a driver's location, health or behavior with third parties. The policy doesn't require consent for automakers to share data with emergency workers or to share it internally for research. Most automakers let owners opt out, but that's usually buried in fine print, says Khaliah Barnes, former associate director of the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center, who now works on privacy issues for the federal government. [...] some GM owners' manuals tell people about data storage, but they must track down separate policies to learn more, Barnes says. Upon a driver's request, GM will send driving data to insurance companies like Progressive and State Farm to see if the driver qualifies for lower rates.

Redstone push is on to reunite CBS and Viacom

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:08:59 UT

National Amusements, which owns most of the voting shares of the two companies, sent a letter to CBS and Viacom board members Thursday saying that a tie-up would help the two companies to better compete as technology and the entertainment industry rapidly evolve. The success CBS has had streaming its shows, as well as its stand-alone, streaming Showtime channel, could be invaluable at Viacom, said Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente. Viacom said it expects its board will form a special committee of independent directors to consider the letter from parent company National Amusements. The letter from National Amusements follows a long running legal battle over the fate of Redstone's media empire between longtime Viacom CEO Phillippe Dauman and Sumner Redstone's daughter, Shari.

China, Britain, France sign pact for new UK nuclear plant

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:59:18 UT

LONDON (AP) — Officials from China, Britain and France have attended a signing ceremony to mark the final approval for the construction of the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station in southwest England. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Chinese Energy Minister Nur Bekri attended Thursday's ceremony.

Study: Police using body cameras see huge drop in complaints

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:06:54 UT

LONDON (AP) — A Cambridge University study of British and U.S. police shows a 93 percent decrease in the number of complaints made against officers when they are using body cameras — pivotal findings that suggest the simple devices could reduce conflicts between police and the public. [...] conflicts were underscored in Britain in August, when a black former soccer star, Dalian Atkinson, died after being shot with a police Taser. Michael Naughton, an associate professor at the University of Bristol Law School, embraced the main finding of the study, arguing that the technology has long existed to record all interactions between the police and the public. In Britain, some 45 territorial police forces are still rolling out such equipment among staff, a survey by Press Association said.

World's first 4-seater fuel-cell plane takes off in Germany

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:32:48 UT

Boeing and Airbus have also tested smaller fuel cell planes in recent years as the aircraft industry searches for ways to reduce emissions.

'Game of Thrones' books getting a digital enhancement

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:00:23 UT

Random House says special editions of the five novels George R.R. Martin has completed for the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy epic will be released over the next few months. All volumes made in collaboration with Apple will include interactive character maps, glossaries, annotations and other features.

Clinton vows to retaliate against foreign hackers

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 07:42:51 UT

On Wednesday, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said during a congressional hearing that it was "now the clear consensus of the intelligence community that the Russian government was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee and not, as some suggested, somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds." Clinton has raised eyebrows among some cybersecurity experts with her hawkish language on the campaign trail about retaliating with political, economic or even military means. For the first time, cybersecurity led the national security portion of the presidential debate, demonstrating its political stakes and the fact that the next president will shape 21st century cyberwarfare policies, setting rules about how the U.S. responds to foreign hackers. The high-profile discussion came amid a presidential race that has been punctuated by hacks that cybersecurity firms, Democrats and the Clinton campaign have pinned on Russia, as well as multiple security breaches and data leaks. Olsen said responding is a challenge: "How do you know who's responsible for the attack (and) to what extent are the cyber actors even susceptible to the normal responses like economic or diplomatic pressure?" The FBI said there was no evidence her private email server in her home's basement was hacked, but agents concluded that it was possible that hackers broke into her personal email account. At the end of her term as secretary, Clinton left behind an agency with one of the lowest scores in government for its compliance with a federal information security law. In 2014, the U.S. publicly accused North Korea of hacking Sony Pictures and placed sanctions on the already isolated nation.

HP promises fix for printer software that barred outside ink

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:31:36 UT

(AP) — HP Inc. has apologized to customers for a software update that made some of its printers stop working with ink cartridges from competing suppliers, even if the printers had accepted the same cartridges in the past. HP places security chips on its own cartridges so they can be recognized by its printers, which display a notification when a cartridge isn't approved by HP. Earlier this year, the company delivered an online software update for some inkjet printers that included a new security feature that stopped printers from working with unauthorized cartridges that HP says contain "cloned" security chips — even if the printers had accepted those cartridges before.

Apple partners with Deloitte in pitch to business

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:13:29 UT

(AP) — Apple is extending its push into selling business technology by forging a partnership with the Deloitte consulting firm to advise companies on using iPhones, iPads and Apple software in the workplace. While Apple primarily sells to the consumer market, it's confronting a global slowdown in consumer demand for smartphones and tablets. Deloitte has created a team of 5,000 consultants to advise corporate clients on how to deploy Apple devices for specialized business tasks, such as insurance claims adjusting or retail sales, and building software apps for their business.

VW chief: Working on settlement with US for emissions fraud

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:22:33 UT

PARIS (AP) — Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller says the company is cooperating with U.S. authorities and hopes to reach a settlement on a fine with the Justice Department for equipping diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. Volkswagen has admitted wrongdoing in equipping cars with software to evade emissions testing and has agreed on a $15 billion civil settlement with environmental authorities, state governments and vehicle owners in a federal court in San Francisco. Volkswagen showed off a new electric drive small car at the Paris auto show, part of the company's effort to emphasize low-emissions vehicles and its embracing of new technology and ways of doing business, including autonomous driving, car-sharing and ride-sharing.