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Volvo will use NVIDIA’s supercomputer to power its self-driving cars in 2021 (NVDA)

NVIDIA CEO Jensen HuangNVIDIA/Youtube

Nvidia announced its third automotive partnership this year as it looks to beat competitors like Intel in the race to power self-driving cars.

Nvidia will install its Drive PX supercomputer system in Volvo cars by 2021, Nvidia CEO and founder Jensen Huang said during Automobil Elektronik Kongress, a conference in Germany, Monday night pacific time. The company also boasts partnerships with Audi, Baidu, Tesla, and Toyota.

The move further positions Nvidia to take on Intel, which is co-developing the autonomous drive platform for BMW. Intel bought autonomous-drive company Mobileye for $15.3 billion in March.

Nvidia came to prominence two decades ago as a supplier of 3D graphics processing chips for the video game industry.

But the company has slowly worked its way into the auto industry, first by powering the graphics for in-vehicle display systems, like Tesla’s massive 17-inch touchscreen. Nvidia is now considered a key player developing the “brains” of self-driving cars.

The Drive PX uses artificial intelligence to process massive amounts of data so self-driving cars can react to difficult driving scenarios in a fraction of a second.

“The ability for our systems to now be able to sense what’s going on around car, to interpret it, to understand it, and take action in a 30th of a second is what is enabling autonomous vehicles on the road today,” Danny Shapiro, Nvidia’s senior director of automotive, previously told Business Insider.

Volvo XC90Bryan Logan/Business Insider

Volvo has used Nvidia’s supercomputer for its Drive Me program — a 2017 trial that allows 100 people in Sweden to test self-driving, Volvo XC90 SUVs. Now Volvo will use the Drive PX in commercial vehicles in 2021.

Volvo is also working with Autoliv, a Swedish manufacturer of auto safety systems, to develop its autonomous driving platform.

Nvidia also announced partnerships with Audi and Toyota this year.

Tesla currently uses the Drive PX 2, Nvidia’s next-generation computing system, in its Model S and Model X vehicles.

The Drive PX 2, which will also power Tesla’s Model 3 when it launches in July, is the brain running Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system. It will also power the self-driving capabilities in Tesla vehicles in the future.

German auto supplier ZF said at CES that it will run its ProAI self-driving system on Nvidia’s PX 2 platform in commercial vehicles in 2020.

“I think what’s significant about this announcement is we see a full range of self-driving systems driven from the Nvidia drive architecture,” Shapiro said on a Monday call with journalists. “The full power of Drive PX is being brought to bear across all segments of the autonomous vehicle market.”

NOW WATCH: The best car of the year — the Volvo XC90

Business

3 big-name journalists leave CNN over retracted story

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Three CNN journalists have resigned after the network retracted a thinly sourced scoop. 

The story’s author, Thomas Frank; an editor in CNN’s new investigative unit, Eric Lichtblau; and head editor of the unit Lex Haris are no longer with the company as of Monday, a spokesperson confirmed.

The piece, which cited a single anonymous source, claimed a congressional committee was investigating a Russian investment fund’s ties to a former member of Donald Trump’s administration. 

A day after its publication, CNN scrubbed the story from its site and replaced it with an editor’s note. The network never reported the news on air. Read more…

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Entertainment

What is Tony Stark even wearing in those new ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ set photos?

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If you’ve ever seen Robert Downey Jr. in person, you know the man does not suffer a fool’s fashion gladly.

Always dashing, futuristic, cosmopolitan — chunky sunglasses you can sorta see through, structured collars and footwear that’s probably worth your salary — the real-life Tony Stark likes to dress like the on-screen Tony Stark. Which is to say, expensively.

So when photos from the Atlanta set of Avengers: Infinity War went online Monday, we had questions. Something wasn’t quite right about this: Read more…

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Business

Hey glassholes: Apple just bought an eye-tracking company

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Apple’s attempts to hide the development of secret new products by using shell companies usually works, but some clever sleuthing by one site has revealed what may be a key component of Apple’s future with augmented reality

Documents have been uncovered by MacRumors that indicate Apple has quietly acquired eye-tracking company SensoMotoric Instruments. In addition to tracking down acquisition documents linked to Apple attorney Gene Levoff, the site also spoke to an anonymous tipster in contact with an Apple employee who confirmed the acquisition.  Read more…

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Business

How to download the iOS 11 public beta right now

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You can now take the next version of iOS for a test drive.

Apple just delivered the first public beta for iOS 11, which adds a suite of new multitasking features for iPad, a redesigned Control Center, a new Files app, and a ton of other improvements that make you a lot more productive. 

Developers have been testing the update since it was released during WWDC earlier this month but the public beta marks the first time Apple is making it available to the public.

Of course, as with any beta, there are bound to be bugs so it’s best to install the update on a secondary device unless you’re feeling especially brave (and even then, make sure you have everything backed up, at the very least). Read more…

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Entertainment

Someone found an incredibly creative way of sorting Lego bricks using AI

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For parents, children, and Lego aficionados everywhere, it’s a good day to be alive.

Everyone loves to build with Lego bricks, but no one likes the cleanup — so using AI technology, Jacques Mattheij, a tech-savvy Lego-lover since childhood, found a way to make sorting Lego pieces fun and simple.

In a blog post, Mattheij told the tale of how he came to own two metric tons (more than 4,000 pounds) of the colorful bricks, which ultimately inspired him to build an automated Lego sorter. So with some “python code and a bunch of hardware to handle the parts,” Mattheij set forth on his journey to sort and ensure the beloved mini-figs get a home of their own. Read more…

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Business

Trump is meeting with Indian President Modi — and it could be the start of a ‘surprising friendship’ or a ‘slugging match’

donald trumpREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold their first face-to-face meeting in Washington on Monday, seeking to boost U.S.-Indian relations despite differences over trade, the Paris climate accord and immigration.

Their White House session promises less pomp than Modi’s previous visits to Washington, which included former President Barack Obama taking him to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in 2014.

But Trump administration officials have pointed to both leaders’ impact on social media – each has more than 30 million Twitter followers – as proof that they are cut from the same cloth, and predicted the two would get along well.

Trump built a Trump Tower property in Mumbai and spoke warmly of India during his presidential campaign last year.

“The White House is very interested in making this a special visit,” said one senior official. “We’re really seeking to roll out the red carpet,”

Modi will try to strengthen ties that have appeared to loosen. Indian officials, noting both men’s tendency to speak their mind, were anxious to see how they get along.

They will have one-on-one talks followed by statements to the news media without taking questions. They will then have a working dinner, the first time Trump has played host to a foreign dignitary at a White House dinner.

“If the chemistry is good, everything else gets sorted,” said an Indian official. “The only way is up. How much up we go depends on the leaders. If they click, we go up higher.”

While progress is expected in defense trade and cooperation, there are frictions elsewhere.

Narendra ModiREUTERS/Mikhail Metzel/TASS/Host Photo Agency/Pool

Trump, who campaigned on an “America First” platform, has been troubled by the growing U.S. trade deficit with India. He has called for reform of the H-1B visa system that has benefited Indian tech firms.

He set the United States on a path to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and accused India of negotiating unscrupulously for the accord in order to walk away with billions of dollars in aid.

Meanwhile, Indian officials reject suggestions that Modi’s “Make in India” platform is protectionist and complain about the U.S. regulatory process for generic pharmaceuticals and rules on fruit exports to the United States.

They stress the importance of the huge Indian market to U.S. firms and major growth in areas such as aviation, which offer significant opportunities for U.S. manufacturers.

Rick Rossow, an India expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the frictions in U.S.-Indian relations since Trump took office on Jan. 20 add gravity to the meeting.

“The meeting will provide more clarity on whether the past six months have been Act 1 in a surprising friendship or Round 1 of a protracted slugging match,” he said.

(Editing by Caren Bohan and Bill Rigby)

Entertainment

‘Preacher’ Season 2 premiere proves the Saint of Killers ain’t messing around

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This post contains spoilers for the Preacher Season 2 premiere, titled “On the Road.”

No series blends style, action, and humor quite like Preacher, which is perhaps the purest embodiment of a comic book we’ve ever had on the small screen.

Executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, along with showrunner Sam Catlin, have distilled everything that made Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s graphic novels so iconic into a shot of live-action adrenaline, and while Season 1 had its speed bumps, taking the show on the road in Season 2 has kicked Preacher into high gear right out of the gate. 

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Business

Kayak’s emoji search function brings the speed and fun of texting to travel

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Travel should be fun, not a hellish slog through dystopian security checkpoints and zombie-service employees with penal institution levels of charm. 

That’s why Kayak’s decision to add a bit of whimsy into the travel process by adding an emoji search function is more than welcome. 

If you’re not emoji fluent, this is the perfect excuse to step up your emoji game and learn about some of the more obscure symbols hiding in your texting arsenal. 

The function doesn’t work for all cities yet, but the first cities included are New York (🗽), Tokyo (🍣  sushi!), Chicago (🐇  O’Hare Airport), Dublin, Ireland (☘️ ), Las Vegas (slots! 🎰 ), Easter Island (🗿 ), Amsterdam (🚨 red light, get it?), Los Angeles, San Francisco (📱 yep, that’s a smartphone), and Toronto (🍁 ).  Read more…

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Business

Here’s why airlines have trouble with your hyphenated name

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If your name is too long, too short, hyphenated, or contains an apostrophe — you probably have trouble while flying.

Apostrophes, hyphens, and other special characters in names have been an issue for flyers for many years. A blog post from 2007 describes a flyer having trouble with booking a ticket because of a hyphenated last name. A decade later, another flyer, John Scott-Railton wrote a blog post about the same issue. Both airlines and technology have evolved plenty in that span and yet flying with a hyphenated name is as bad as ever. 

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Business

This week in apps: L’Oréal’s new UV patch, a cool raw photo editor, and the rest of the best

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It’s possible that you couldn’t keep up with the wild world of app updates this week considering all the changes happening with Uber, including Travis Kalanick stepping down as CEO. If that’s the case, there’s no need to worry. We’ve got you covered.

Each week we round up the most important app news along with some of the coolest new and updated apps to help you stay in the loop with everything you need on your phone.

Here’s what caught our eye this week. If you’re looking for more, make sure to check out last week’s roundup of top apps. Read more…

L’Oréal’s UV Patch

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Business

How the US and Russia can avoid getting sucked into a war

f35a amandaSamuel King Jr./US Air Force

In the last month, for the first time since the civil war in Syria began in 2011, the United States has directly attacked Syrian government forces or proxies — not just once, but at least four times. The urgent question now is less about Syria than Russia. In response to the latest of these incidents, in which a US fighter plane shot down a Syrian jet, Moscow has threatened to target any US-led coalition aircraft flying over Syria. That would mark a massive escalation, and potentially the first direct great-power conflict in recent memory.

Can a war in the Middle East between Russia and the United States be averted? The answer is yes — but only if Washington clears up the massive confusion its own lack of strategy has caused.

The present political dynamics in the Middle East are unsettled and kaleidoscopic. But in the interests of brevity, leaving aside smaller players, and before we think about the role of the United States and Russia, the basic configurations of power in the region since the 2011 Arab Spring can be simplified in terms of five loose groupings.

First, a grouping of Sunni monarchies (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Bahrain); Arab secular nationalists (Egypt since President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi took over in 2013, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia); and Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s faction in eastern Libya.

Second, a grouping of Turkey; Qatar; and Muslim Brotherhood affiliates such as Hamas in Gaza, Egypt under President Morsi before 2013, and the internationally-recognized Libyan government based in the western part of that country.

Third, a grouping of Iran and its Shiite allies, including Iraq (at least among key factions of the Baghdad government), the Assad regime in Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Fourth, the collection of various Sunni jihadi networks, including the Islamic State, various al Qaeda affiliates, and any number of smaller factions.

Fifth, there is Israel, which does not fit into any of the above, but is most closely aligned with members of the first grouping.

Three key stories since the 2011 Arab Spring broadly explain how the United States and Russia fit into these dynamics, and why these two great powers are being dragged into confrontation in the Middle East.

The first story is the tension between human rights and stability. Initially motivated by humanitarian impulse, the United States and its Western allies achieved regime change in Libya and attempted it in Syria, by backing rebels in each case. These rebellions rapidly became infected by radical Islamists, giving Russia the opportunity, not unreasonably, to claim that, in the interest of preventing Islamist chaos, it was backing strongmen on the opposite side (Haftar in Libya and Assad in Syria).

Muslim BrotherhoodEgypt is a similar case. Russia took advantage of the Obama administration’s aversion to the Sisi regime’s human rights abuses following the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood rule to increase Russian influence in Cairo, as exemplified by Egypt’s current diplomatic support for the Russian intervention in Syria.

The second story is the 2015 Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration, and reluctantly accepted by the Trump administration, whose advocates claimed that it was the best way to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon without the resort to force. Russia joined sanctions against Iran, but since they were lifted, Moscow has developed warmer relations with Tehran, as exemplified by the way it acted as a key broker between Saudi Arabia and Iran to set up the November 2016 OPEC agreement.

By contrast with Moscow, the Trump administration has taken a hard-line stance toward Tehran. It has various motives for that shift: Iranian missile testing since the deal was signed; Iranian support for Shiite militia groups in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon; and a belief that traditional US allies such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel are in need of greater support (notwithstanding that many Israelis supported the nuclear deal).

The third story is the role that radical Sunni Islamist networks now play in the region, enabled by social media and other online tools that facilitate networking. One simply cannot explain the speed and scale at which the Islamic State formed, for example, without that network effect. These fluid jihadi networks have proved effective in exploiting tears in the fabric of order in fragile states, and then governing captured ground, predominantly in areas with Sunni majority populations, above all in western Iraq, northern Syria, and southern Yemen.

When one puts these three stories together, we see the nexus of the current US- Russia standoff in Syria.

At the center of the nexus is the fact that while the US-led coalition has done a good job of beating back the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the policy goal under both the Obama and Trump administrations has only been negatively defined as the defeat of the Islamic State. Neither administration has set out a positive vision for who will govern territory cleared of the Islamic State. In other words, the US has a military strategy without a political counterpart — and the more the Islamic State’s territorial control has been squeezed, the more evident the absence of US political strategy has become.

Donald Trump James MattisREUTERS/Mike SegarEnter the Trump administration, which in keeping with its broader hard-line stance toward Iran, has been consistently clear about who it does not want to govern r-captured ground, namely, Iran-backed Shiite militias, who form a large part both of Assad’s ground forces and indeed Baghdad’s.

Hence the Trump administration has taken the view that both Sunni jihadi groups and Shiite militias should be grouped under the same category of radical Islamic terrorism. Consistent with this, it has stepped up action against Shiite paramilitary groups in Syria. Furthermore, the administration’s hard-line attitude, conveyed by Trump in his visit to Riyadh in May, encouraged the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt, on the basis of alleged Qatari support for Iranian proxies.

But the glaring absence of a US positive political vision in the Middle East has left its negatively defined anti-Islamic State and anti-Iranian goals untethered, which has generated regional confusion. Imagine a sheepdog who is good at barking, but has little sense of direction: The Middle East is now in the position of its harried flock.

Even the administration itself seemed confused about how to respond to the implications of its own strategy, as was clear from its plainly contradictory signals on the Qatar crisis: While President Trump initially enthusiastically endorsed the blockade of Qatar in public, his national security team sought to de-escalate it behind the scenes, and this calmer line seems to be prevailing. So, what does Washington positively want? Who knows.

Although the most likely outcome of the Qatar crisis at this point is a US brokered de-escalation, it is likely that a jilted Doha will subsequently look to become less dependent on the United States by building up existing relations with Turkey, which already has a base in Doha; Russia, which already has strong commercial links with the emirate (Qatar owns a large stake in Rosneft, for example); and Iran, with whom it needs good relations given the need to cooperate over the shared exploitation of natural gas fields in the Persian Gulf.

The limits of having no positive political strategy are also evident in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, the United States military has effectively helped clear ground for Iranian Shiite militias to backfill, which contradicts the administration’s anti-Iranian position. The only real alternative is to support a greater governance role for Kurdish groups, potentially as part of an enlarged independent Kurdish state. But so far, the US position has been to support the unity of Iraq.

kurds syria ypgREUTERS/Rodi SaidIn Syria, the situation is more complex, because unlike the Iraqi Kurds, who have reasonably good relations with Ankara, the Turkish government is vehemently opposed to any kind of independent Kurdish state in northern Syria. But the US-led coalition overwhelmingly relies on Kurdish ground forces in Syria, and they hold most of the ground cleared from the Islamic State. Does the United States support a Kurdish state in northern Syria? We don’t know. Has it provided any alternative to a Kurdish state in northern Syria? No. Is the territory still legally part of Syria? Yes. Unsurprisingly, there is serious confusion on the ground, which has produced the US-Russian escalation we see today.

So back to the original question: Are we are headed toward a great-power conflict in the middle east?

In my view, until the US presents a positive political strategy, we will continue to have direct clashes between Russian-supported Shiite militias and US forces, which may well produce an accident in which either Russia shoots down a US plane or vice versa. Even then, I think that neither Washington nor Moscow would rationally want a conventional fight. But conflict dynamics are never wholly rational; far from it. Violence can generate new emotional pressures in conflict and spin out of control in a direction nobody anticipated.

Besides the risk of escalation with Russia, the more the United States starts directly attacking Shiite militias, the more likely the Iranian nuclear deal will completely break down. This would reopen the possibility of a US war with Iran. Even before that point, Iran would likely react to counter the United States in the region by exerting much more aggressive influence over Baghdad. The nightmare scenario would be an Iranian puppet like ex-Prime Minister Nouri alMaliki getting back into power, and issuing a demand for US forces to leave Iraq, which would put Washington in a vexed position of either accepting or returning to direct rule.

To avoid escalations of this sort, the Trump administration should now lay out a positively defined political vision for the Middle East, which would accompany and tether its negatively defined anti-Islamic State and anti-Iranian goals. At this time, the fundamental part of this vision must be a clear US position on the future of Kurdish-held areas in Iraq and Syria.

NOW WATCH: A Navy SEAL explains what to do if you’re attacked by a dog

Entertainment

Ice Cube kicks off celebrity 3-on-3 basketball league in new ad

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Now that the Olympics has added three-on-three basketball as a medal-worthy competition, the usually street ball/playground-based game is big time, and Ice Cube is about to cash in on it. 

Actually, the rapper/actor announced his Big 3 league long before the Olympics added the sport to the 2020 games (in January), but his timing for the official launch is perfect.  

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Business

Everything you’d possibly wanna know about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 just got leaked

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