Elon Musk denies zombie apocalypse rumors, sells 10,000 flamethrowers just in case


Do I need a flamethrower? No. Do I want one? Yes. That seems to be the general attitude behind the thousands of people buying Elon Musk’s new fire-breathing toy. If you haven’t been following, Musk promised to begin selling a flamethrower for his Boring Company – the one digging giant tunnels under LA – a few months ago. Now that they are up for pre-order, they’ve been selling like hotcakes. The Tesla CEO tweeted that there have been more than 10,000 flamethrower pre-orders, meaning sales of over $5 million so far (pre-orders originally cost $600, but now are $500). Who…

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Programmers use TensorFlow AI to turn any webcam into Microsoft Kinect


A pair of AI developers turned a $10 webcam into a motion-tracking system. It’s like a DIY Kinect with a Google brain. And best of all they named it Skeletron. The project, a collaboration between Or Fleischer and Dror Ayalon, was developed using TensorFlow, an open source AI platform created by Google, and Unity, a popular video game engine. Motion-tracking usually requires expensive cameras, high-end computers, and someone to wear a skin-tight bodysuit with those silly plastic balls Velcroed all over. With this project though, all you need is that webcam you’ve had buried in your junk drawer for half…

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California politician will seek sale ban on Elon Musk’s Boring Company flamethrower

Elon Musk’s plan to sell 20,000 people a $500 flamethrower branded with the name of his Los Angeles-based tunnel-digging venture, The Boring Company, has hit a roadblock. In a statement issued today and published on Twitter by Los Angeles Times report Liam Dillon, California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) said he intends to introduce legislation that would prevent Musk’s company from selling the flamethrower to the public, at least in the state of California.

The legality of the weapon in the other 49 states of the US remains an open question. Yet Musk has confirmed on Twitter that the gun does not meet the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ definition of an illegal flamethrower, which means The Boring…

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Report: World’s internet users pass the 4 billion mark


The new 2018 Global Digital suite of reports from We Are Social and Hootsuite reveals that there are now more than four billion people around the world using the internet. Well over half of the world’s population is now online, with the latest data showing that nearly a quarter of a billion new users came online for the first time in 2017. Africa has seen the fastest growth rates, with the number of internet users across the continent increasing by more than 20 percent year-on-year. Much of this year’s growth in internet users has been driven by more affordable smartphones…

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‘Jackpotting’ attacks are now hitting US ATMs, report says

The Secret Service has been warning US financial institutions that domestic ATMs are being targeted in jackpotting attacks, according to a new report from well-known security journalist Brian Krebs.

Jackpotting, in which thieves use a variety of tools to hack into ATMs and cause them to dispense large amounts of cash on demand, has been a legitimate threat for several years now. The late computer hacker Barnaby Jack famously showed off an ATM exploit at the Black Hat conference back in 2010. But until now, jackpotting was mostly a threat in Europe, Asia, and Mexico.

According to the Krebs report, the US Secret Service recently sent out a confidential alert to multiple financial institutions warning that the “targeted stand-alone ATMs…

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Faraday Future claims former CFO stole trade secrets and employees in explosive new lawsuit

Faraday Future claims that former CFO Stefan Krause solicited employees to follow him to a new project in his final days with the company, and that his new startup may have been involved in the theft of trade secrets, according to a new lawsuit filed today in Central California District Court.

A company spokesperson for Faraday Future merely confirmed that the lawsuit has been filed, but offered no additional comment at this time. Representatives for Evelozcity could not be reached in time for publication.

Krause left Faraday Future in October, according to multiple sources and previous reports. But the company maintains he was fired in November, a case that it first revealed in a fiery statement that claimed Krause was guilty of…

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TomTom stops updating maps on some older devices

Those who’ve relied on their TomTom navigation devices for years could be at risk of not having the latest maps on their mobile unit unless they upgrade to the latest hardware, the company warned.

TomTom announced Monday it would stop supporting several navigation devices because a variety of their older systems, “do not have sufficient resources to run the newest maps and software available,” the company said in a post. The Verge has reached out to several automakers — some in Europe — that have partnered with TomTom, but has not yet heard back.

Users who have unsupported devices will not receive software updates, according to TomTom, and will lose subscription access once the current plan runs out.

TomTom’s advice was terse: “This may…

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Apple reportedly planning three more Macs with its own chips inside them

Apple plans to put custom processors inside at least three more Macs by the end of the year, according to Bloomberg. There are no details on what the chips will be used for, but the report says they’ll appear in updated laptops and a new desktop.

Though Apple has been making custom chips for its phones, tablets, and wearables for years now, the company is only just starting to bring its house-made chips to the Mac. That started in a small way in 2016 with the high-end MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which included a chip that was used to run the Touch Bar and Touch ID. Then last month, Apple included a custom chip inside the iMac Pro that handled, among other things, audio, camera processing, and encryption.

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There may not be an iPhone SE 2 after all

There have been rumors swirling about the iPhone SE getting an update sometime in 2018, but KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has thrown some cold water on those fires. A new research note claims that Apple might not have an updated SE in the cards at all — or if there is one, customers can expect a minor update that amounts to a run-of-the-mill spec boost and no new features like wireless charging or Face ID, via MacRumors.

According to Kuo, between the three phones Apple released last year (iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X) and the three phones rumored to be released this fall, the company may not have enough development resources for an SE follow up as a fourth phone for 2018. That said, Kuo also does acknowledge that a basic processor…

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