Self-driving shuttle bus in crash on first day

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A self-driving shuttle bus in Las Vegas was involved in a crash on its first day of service. The vehicle – carrying “several” passengers – was hit by a lorry driving at slow speed. Nobody was injured in the incident which city officials say was the fault of the human driver of the lorry. The man was subsequently given a ticket by police. The shuttle is the first of its kind to be used on public roads in the US. The collision comes a day after Waymo – owned by…

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Facebook’s fake news experiment backfires

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A Facebook test that promoted comments containing the word fake to the top of news feeds has been criticized by users. The trial, which Facebook says has now concluded, aimed to prioritize “comments that indicate disbelief”. It meant feeds from the BBC, the Economist, the New York Times and the Guardian all began with a comment mentioning the word fake. The test, which was visible only to some users, left many frustrated. The comments appeared on a wide range of stories, from ones that could be fake to ones that…

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Aluminium foil increases your wireless speed

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Researchers at Dartmouth University have found that a 3D printed shape covered in aluminum foil can improve wireless range and increase Wi-Fi security. The project, which appeared on Eurekalert, involves placing a reflector on and around a Wi-Fi router’s antennae to shape the beam, increasing range and preventing it from passing through to unwanted spaces. “With a simple investment of about $35 and specifying coverage requirements, a wireless reflector can be custom-built to outperform antennae that cost thousands of dollars,” said Xia Zhou, a Dartmouth assistant professor. In their paper,…

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New startup that helps you scan, send and print yourself

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Kat Kinkead and Peter Weijmarshausen met at their old company, Shapeways. Weijmarshausen recently stepped down as CEO and was looking for something cool to do when he and Kinkead realized that the most popular application of 3D scanning and printing was in 3D figurines. These tiny action-figure-like representations were wildly popular print subjects back at Shapeways but they were notoriously difficult to capture and print. Now, thanks to improvements in scanning, color printing, and software, they’re surprisingly easy. Thus Beheld was born. Kinkead, the CEO, has an MFA in industrial…

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Flying cars: Future of transportation or an inflated expectation?

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It seems like flying-car startups are finally taking over the “140-character” kinds of tech companies we are used to. With EU-based startup Lilium working on an all-electric autonomous flying taxi, garnering a $90 million Series B led by Tencent and supported by a number of well-known VCs (including Atomico), it’s clear that flying cars are transitioning from a fascinating concept to a quite-mature technology and promising investment thesis. But will we see flying cars out in the world? And how will the market environment evolve? The ecosystem is maturing. There are…

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