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Ford just used Wi-Fi for the first time to update its cars’ software

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Some of Ford’s SYNC 3-enabled cars are finally getting an update to match the rest of the connected car ecosystem.

The automaker’s 2016 model-year line will be eligible for an infotainment center software upgrade that will add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, giving drivers a better connection with their phones while they’re on the road. Ford announced the update in a release touting the new compatibilities, which will be available to an estimated 800,000 vehicles.  

While the new integrations will undoubtedly be welcomed by 2016 Ford owners, they’re not the real news here. 

The more notable detail is in the way the rollout of SYNC 3 version 2.2 will be handled. For the first time ever, Ford will offer a SYNC upgrade via Wi-Fi in the form of an over-the-air (OTA) software update.  Read more…

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Business

What Snapchat vs Facebook means for the media

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In Snapchat Vs. Facebook, the gloves are off and the competition is heating up

As the fight for advertising revenue intensifies between the two social media giants, the tactics will get dirtier, and the prizes will become bigger. Yet, in the midst of all this, one question remains: what will the fighting mean for journalistic publications that use these platforms to boost their profile across social networking sites?

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As things currently stand, Facebook dominates the dispersal of news, but that’s not to say Snapchat isn’t innovating. In fact, one of the major developments in dissemination of media articles on social media was spearheaded by Snapchat’s story feature that allows publications to provide readers with a form of digital magazine. This was adopted by Facebook-owned Instagram, and the effect on journalism has been revolutionary.  Read more…

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Business

7 electric cars coming to market by 2020 that you can actually afford

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A slew of long-range, electric cars are expected to hit the market by 2020.

Several of these electric vehicles will be made by luxury automakers and will likely cost upwards of $50,000.

But there are also several automakers working on EVs with a range of 200-plus miles that will likely have a friendlier price tag.

Here’s a breakdown of the long-range electric cars coming to market in the next few years that people would be able to afford.

Tesla’s Model 3 is expected to go into production before the end of 2017.

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The vehicle is expected to start at $35,000, but consumers will have to pay a couple thousand extra if they want Autopilot features activated.

CEO Elon Musk has said the Model 3 will have a range of at least 215 miles per charge and will be spacious enough for five people.

Tesla began taking preorders for the vehicle in April 2016 and says it has about 400,000.

While the company plans to deliver some of the preorders by the end of 2017, the bulk will likely be delivered in 2018. So if you want your Model 3 before 2020, you should place your order now.

Tesla also plans to launch its Model Y, a compact SUV, by 2020.

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Musk said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call earlier this month that the Model Y would arrive by late 2019 or 2020.

Musk has kept mum on most other details about the upcoming vehicle, but he has said it would be a compact SUV and be built on a platform separate from the Model 3.

Tesla has not shared a price range, but given that it already sells a luxury SUV, the Model X, and that the company wants to target the mass market, the upcoming SUV likely will have a more competitive price tag.

And considering that General Motors sells its all-electric SUV crossover, the Chevy Bolt, for $37,500 before tax incentives, it would make sense for Tesla to price the Model Y in the same ballpark.

However, there’s always the possibility that Tesla could make the Model Y a cheaper version of the Model X, similar to the BMW X3, which starts at about $40,000.

Volvo says its first electric car is coming by 2019.

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In April, Volvo said it would build its first all-electric car in China and export it around the world.

The vehicle is expected to have a 100-kilowatt-hour battery and a range of 250 miles per charge. But perhaps the best thing about the upcoming vehicle would be its price tag. 

Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, in March said he was pushing for its first electric car to fall near $40,000.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Business

This startup gives online shopping brands an IRL home

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What do you get when you cross a glossy fashion mag with a department store?

That’s essentially the nonintuitive question Bulletin co-founders Ali Kriegsman and Alana Branston inadvertently answered as they formulated their Y-Combinator-backed startup.  

The pair originally set out to create a “shoppable magazine” — an online publication that would showcase up-and-coming brands to potential customers. 

As that spark of an idea eventually evolved into the small chain of trendy brick-and-mortar stores Bulletin now runs, the business plan obviously drifted a bit. But the editorial roots are still evident in the company’s DNA. Read more…

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Business

Facebook just brought all your notifications under one roof

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Facebook’s latest tweak goes beyond just the social network itself — instead, the Facebook team is looking to bring its whole family of apps closer together. 

The new feature, which was first spotted by Tech Crunch, appears to be popping in the Facebook app for select iOS users as a means to streamline their use of the entire FB app family, bundling notifications for Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram all in one place. 

It’s a welcome move for some more social media synergy, allowing users to quickly cycle back and forth through their various profiles on the platforms. You won’t have to open and close the separate apps every time you get pinged with a notification — you can just quickly flip back and forth from your News Feed. Read more…

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Business

Tesla is the latest Silicon Valley company to run smack into human limits

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Silicon Valley companies are often built around making the world more efficient, but engineering efficiency has a human cost many of them either didn’t see coming or would like to forget. 

Tesla, it seems, is no different.

Reports of incidents at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory include “fainting spells, dizziness, seizures, abnormal breathing and chest pains,” according to information published by The Guardian Thursday.

Someone’s had to call an ambulance 100-plus times since 2014. At least one person passed out, “hit the floor like a pancake” and split their face open, according to a production technician The Guardian spoke with. Employees were told to “work around him.” Another employee now has two herniated neck discs after he spent years on the assembly line with his arms raised above his head to reach cars hanging in the air. Read more…

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Entertainment

CBS’ ‘Mom’ will donate its Emmys campaign budget to Planned Parenthood

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Hollywood likes to talk a big game about giving to charity, but one TV show just put its money where its mouth is — literally. 

Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an Emmy “For Your Consideration” campaign, CBS comedy Mom has instead donated $250,000 to Planned Parenthood and its Los Angeles affiliate. 

“In Los Angeles County alone, we answer approximately 2,000 calls each day from people asking us for help,” says Sue Dunlap, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. “Across the country, millions of women and men are relying on Planned Parenthood health centers for their basic care — like birth control, life-saving cancer-screenings, and STD testing and treatment. We are committed to being here for them, no matter what. Generous support from our community fuels this work, and we are honored that the team behind Mom is launching this campaign at this critical time.” Read more…

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Business

8 ridiculous startups you never asked for, but exist nonetheless

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Yes, there’s an app for that. And even that.

While HBO’s Silicon Valley pokes fun at start-up culture, tech entrepreneurs, and off-the-wall ideas, the show’s riffs and jokes aren’t only contained to fictional cable TV storylines. The real world is filled with actual examples of unnecessary companies, apps, and products trying so hard to “disrupt” something, anything.

These companies mean well enough, but they are trying to solve problems that don’t necessarily need fixing. Here’s a recent batch of startup ridiculousness.

proud to announce my new tech startup, Groodlur, which takes unnecessary tech startups and converts them into uh, I guess, shoes

— uɐɯssnS ʇʇɐW (@suss2hyphens) April 19, 2017 Read more…

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Business

Sorry, Apple Photos, but I’m leaving you for Google Photos

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When Google Photos launched two years ago, I installed it for one very simple reason: to backup all of my photos and videos to the cloud. It was a second home screen app on my iPhone, not yet worthy of being on my main home screen with Apple Photos.

Sometime in the last few months it snuck its way onto my main home screen. I’m not sure when it happened, but it did. And lately as I’ve fallen more in love with its growing features and intelligence, I’ve been wondering why I even need two photos apps on my home screen.

I don’t.

One is enough and I’m finally ready to make it my default photos app. And here’s why you should too. Read more…

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Business

This new app wants to be the Uber of camping

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According to a report by the Outdoor Foundation, Americans log 598 million nights a year under the stars. At an average of $40 in expenses and fees per night, that’s $24 billion spent on campsites alone. Add in all the related costs—gear, transportation, food—and the Outdoor Industry Association figures the industry generates closer to $167 billion annually.

But former investment banker Michael D’Agostino, who grew up camping on a farm in Litchfield, Conn., still calls the industry a broken business.

The tipping point came a few summers ago, when D’Agostino found himself on vacation “directly across from a campsite of 40 people at a Wiccan convention: robes and UFO spotters and streaking and all.” It wasn’t what he’d imagined as a quiet weekend with his wife—counting stars, listening to crickets, bellies full from prime steaks grilled over a man-made fire. “We definitely took them up on some mead,” he said of the Wiccans, “but we had to keep the dog in the tent—she was going bonkers—and it was kind of like camping in Times Square.” Read more…

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Business

There are now more people on this Chinese platform than on Twitter

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You’ve probably never heard of this platform, but it’s already surpassed Twitter in terms of users. 

According to Weibo’s first quarter results, it has a whopping 340 million active monthly users, a 30% increase from its previous year. 

Twitter has around 328 million active monthly users in comparison.

Of course, it doesn’t help that Twitter is blocked in China, along with other social media giants like Facebook. 

Some 154 million people each day use Weibo, which has been deemed China’s equivalent to Twitter — 91% of which access the website from their phones. Read more…

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Business

‘Where is the actual crime’: Jason Chaffetz questions the Justice Department’s motives with special counsel appointment

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House Oversight Committee chair Jason Chaffetz questioned the motives behind the Justice Department’s appointment of a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.

“I think they’re feeling the political heat,” Chaffetz told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday evening. “Maybe they’re watching a little too much television and read too many newspapers and whatnot.”

“I have not seen any evidence of actual collusion,” Chaffetz said. “Where is the actual crime that they think they need a special prosecutor to prosecute? I just haven’t seen it.”

Chaffetz also took note of the Justice Department’s quick action Wednesday.

“I’m very surprised by it. No heads-up,” said Chaffetz. “I at least read online that the White House only got about 30-minutes heads up.”

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The DOJ appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to oversee the FBI’s investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 US presidential election.

The appointment, made by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, comes amid a bipartisan outcry for a special counsel after a string of scandals rocked the White House in recent weeks.

“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” Rosenstein’s statement read. “I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

“[The investigation] could go on for years,” said Chaffetz. “And there could be long periods of just silence. And what I worry is that the Democrats are going to politically exploit this on a daily drumbeat, making up theories, making up stories … when you don’t have the definitive word from somebody who’s going to be essentially silent.”

“Does that seep out? At what point does that let off,” Chaffetz continued. “I physically don’t know exactly where those lanes are.”

Chaffetz also questioned the validity of memos Comey recorded when he was FBI director, and which were reported to have noted that Trump asked Comey to drop the bureau’s inquiry of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn. “I’m not even sure that these memos even exist,” Chaffetz said. “I don’t even know that they’re real.”

“You can’t run an investigation on anonymous sources in The New York Times. That’s just not conclusive evidence.”

Watch the interview here »

NOW WATCH: WATCH: Putin reacts to Trump firing FBI Director James Comey

Business

Google video shows how its new VR feature could be a game changer

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Google’s virtual reality announcement Wednesday at Google I/O was a big deal. 

But that might not be readily apparent to those still getting their feet wet in VR, so Google made a video to help you get a better idea of what WorldSense does. 

Current mobile VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR and Daydream View have 3DoF (three degrees of freedom), only allowing you to look around in VR from a fixed point (as if your head is on a tripod in the middle of a panoramic bubble). In that dynamic, you can’t get a truly immersive sense that you’re in another environment.  Read more…

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