iTunes Allowance to Shutdown Next Month

iTunes allowance is a service that allowed parents to place money into their child’s iTunes account on a monthly basis. No need to allow them to borrow your card or even for you to type into or access their account, preventing you from hundreds of pounds of charges to your card you never expected. Come next month though and the service will be shut down.

In an announcement, Apple has stated that after April 13th users aren’t able to create new iTunes allowance setups, with all current allowance setups being shut down as of May 25th. If you are one of the many who already has a system in place, don’t worry any unused allowance will remain in the account until it has been used, while Apple is keen to stress that similar effects can be achieved using different schemes they provide.

If you are looking to provide for your family, you can share your purchases through the family sharing feature while if you are looking to take sole control of the system then using the  iTunes gift system would be ideal. With no reasoning behind the removal of the feature, people are left wondering if the new systems will teach the same values about money and the consequences of spending an allowance.

Autobraking Set To Be A Standard By 2022

Cars these days are as much technology as they are mechanical, with everything from your indicator and dashboard to the radio and pedals attached to a computer which helps you organise and drive as much as your driving teacher did when you first started learning. A new agreement could see autobraking set as a standard as soon as 2022.

Back in 2012, the EU made some legislation which saw automatic electronic brakes (AEB) a required standard on new cars. A group of automakers look to speed up this process within the US by avoiding the legislation part of the issue and instead agree to do the project on their own.

Some of the 20 companies involved, including the likes of Honda, Ford, Volvo and Toyota, have made a pact with the US department of transportation’s national highway traffic safety administration alongside the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that looks to bring AEB’s to cars in America as soon as 2022.

The reason for avoiding the government rule aspect of the pact is that it is expected to be “three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process”. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that could help prevent as many as 28,000 crashes and over 12,000 injuries.

The full list of companies involved in the pact can be found below, and features some of the biggest names in car manufacturing:

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • FCA US LLC
  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Kia
  • Maserati
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Mitsubishi Motors
  • Nissan
  • Porsche
  • Subaru
  • Tesla Motors Inc.
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo Car USA

If you drive something bigger than your average car (anything between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds) companies have until 2025 to adapt AEB’s for your vehicle.

New Form Of “SmartShoe” Shown Off At CES

The tech industry is focused on pushing forward with the notion of “Smart Tech” from washing machines, self-driving cars and also intelligent fridges, gadgets are quickly moving forward, but a SmartShoe? It is not too unusual when you take into consideration Nike’s inspiration for a Back to the Future-style smart self-lacing trainer which was shown off by Marty Mcfly himself, Michael J Fox in 2015.

Now, a new SmartShoe has been conveyed to audiences at CES and includes functions to warm your feet, which is handy, tighten automatically and are controlled by an app. The company in question goes by the name Digitsole and below is an image to convey this SmartShoe.

As you can see, they look futuristic but I feel the design looks rather clumsy and dated, perhaps they will be refined before launch. The company stated that the warmest these shoes can be heated to is 38 degrees, now, when I read this I thought Fahrenheit, erm, no, it has been reported that it is Celsius or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Hopefully, the companies inbuilt thermostat will be able to control the heat within the shoes, otherwise, one can see you will also need an inbuilt fire extinguisher.

The price for these shoes will be around $450 dollars or (£307) and are likely to contain Digisoles heated insoles which are already on sale for $198 dollars or (£130)

The company also plans to launch both a slightly more stylish pair of trainers and also a smart high-heeled shoe, both these styles will also come with the hot heated sole function as well as motion tracking and also other options, below are images to convey both these styles of SmartShoe.

Smart shoes will have a market as tech involves into this sector, it will be noteworthy to see how fast consumers are willing to adopt such tech within their daily lives.

Images courtesy of Mashable and digitsole

Michael J. Fox Demonstrate Nike Self Lacing Shoes From Back To The Future

Yesterday was the day for Back To The Future fans, the day that Doctor Brown and Marty McFly travelled to the future and we were promised dreams of hoverboards, flying cars and self-tying shoelaces; two out of three isn’t too bad is it?

First we had the hoverboard, made by Lexus, the hoverboard floats but does require you to have a metal floor beneath it. And now we even have Nike revealing the self-tying shoes that we dreamed of. Not only did Nike make these, but who did they send a pair to? None other than Michael J. Fox.

More than happy to show them off when he appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show Live, showing off how a button on the side of the ankle can be used to tighten and loosen the laces, meaning you no longer need to tie all those knots.

As if this wasn’t good enough, all proceeds from the shoes will go to the Michael J. Fox foundation, a charity dedicated to helping conduct research into Parkinson’s Disease. While Fox owns one of the only pairs at this moment in time, more are set to go on auction next year with the hopes to help raise funds to eliminate Parkinsons within our lifetime.

A great gadget and a great cause, what more can you ask for?

Windows 10 Install Will Work via Update Function

Microsoft unveiled in a media event that their latest build of Windows 10 will make updating from older versions of the Operating System as easy as installing an update. It is actually just that.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 users will be able to update to the new version directly through Windows Update, effectively removing the need for a DVD to be burned of flash drive to be created – including possible changing BIOS boot order and more.

At launch, this upgrade should be delivered straight through Microsoft Update, but for now you’ll need to go to the Windows 10 Technical Preview Page and select Upgrade now. This will download a file to your PC which after you will run it you will reboot and then be able to “upgrade to Windows 10 technical preview” as an option on Window update.

It’s nice to see Microsoft making it easier to update the OS, now they just need to learn that one doesn’t need to reboot the entire system when upgrading single software components; they can be restarted.

Thanks to Overclock3d for providing us with this information

Kingston Adds Automatic Cloud Backup to the DataTraveler Locker+ G3

Kingston has made the already impressive DataTraveler Locker+ G3 even safer with the new automatic cloud backup feature. The DTLPG3 already features hardware encryption, password protection and fast USB 3.0 speeds, and now also cloud backup.

The new automatic cloud backup feature works through the ClevX USBtoCLOUD software that works with cloud providers such as Google Drive, OneDrive, S3, Dropbox, and Box. The DTLPG3 drive locks down after 10 failed login attempts and automatic formats the content, so a cloud backup might not be the worst idea.

The drive can perform up to 135MB/s at reading and 40MB/s at writing operations, is available from 8GB to 64GB capacities, and is backed by a five-year warranty.

Features and Specifications

  • Hardware encryption: the best in personal security to keep your data safe
  • Superior password protection: user sets a password to prevent unauthorized access
  • Easy to use: no application installation required
  • Versatile: Works interchangeably between Mac OS X and Windows systems
  • Secure: drive locks down and reformats after 10 invalid login attempts
  • Stylish: Durable metal casing with built-in key loop
  • Optional Cloud Backup: access data stored on DataTraveler Locker+ G3 from your personal cloud storage (see below for Cloud Services Supported)
  • Co-Logo Program available: Customize DataTraveler Locker+ G3 by adding your logo and/or digital files and instantly increase your organization’s brand recognition. The Customization Program offers unique packaging, custom profiles, color adjustments, content loading and more, all with easy and convenient ordering.
  • Supports: Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP & Mac OS X
  • Guaranteed: five-year warranty with free technical support
  • Capacities2: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
  • Speed3: USB 3.0 speed: 8GB: 80MB/s read, 10MB/s write
    16GB: 135MB/s read, 20MB/s write
    32GB–64GB: 135MB/s read, 40MB/s write
    USB 2.0 speed: 8GB: 30MB/s read, 10MB/s write
    16GB–64GB: 30MB/s read, 20MB/s write
  • Cloud Services Supported: Google Drive, OneDrive (Microsoft), Amazon S3, Dropbox, Box
  • Dimensions: 60.56mm x 18.6 mm x 9.75 mm
  • Minimum System Requirements:
    – USB 3.0 compliant and 2.0 compatible
    – Two (2) free consecutive drive letters required for use4
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C)

Thanks to Kingston for providing us with this information

Bitcoin ATM’s Pop Up Around Melbourne, Australia

A few months ago, there was one currency on everyone’s lips – Bitcoin. People were scrambling to make their own Bitcoin mining machines, Reddit users developed their own currency called Dogecoin and our parents and grandparents become more technology-confused than  ever before.

Since the hype has died down, I’ve just received reports from a friend of mine that Bitcoin ATM’s have just started popping up in the Central CBD of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The image you’re looking at above is taken from the famous “Melbourne Central” shopping center and train station, allowing users to exchange, buy and sell Bitcoin all from a handy kiosk located in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle. Unfortunately a higher resolution image became impossible when Facebook Messenger was utilized as the method of communication.

We’ve seen more Bitcoin payment options pop up around the globe, with SpendBitcoins.com being developed solely to support new-age business’ supporting this advancement in technology. Some of the companies notable from this list include that of NewEgg and Expedia.

Will we see this type of currency make it into the ‘mainstream’ market? It’s really hard to say. But it’s certainly nice to see a ‘global currency’ give it a red hot go. Exchange rates are the bane of any well-traveled business person or backpacker.

Have you seen a Bitcoin ATM around your area? Let us know, we’d love to start tracking them!

Source: TweakTown.

Android Users Face Loss of Gmail Sync, Google Looking Into It

Google is apparently not out of the woods just yet when it comes to issues, having the company confirming some synch problems that users are facing with the Gmail feature for Android. It is said that people affected by the latter are reporting a complete loss of the ability to sync their accounts.

The issue is reported to be present whenever users attempt to sync their accounts both manually and automatically. having the cause of this problem still unknown. Looking at when users first started experiencing the issue and their information, all indications point to the 4.8 update. However, rolling back the update to a previous version seems to have the same result, leading to the conclusion that the issue is caused by other sources.

Google is said to be looking into the matter at hand, having a recent response from the company telling that they have move past reproducing the error and onto finding solutions process. The response noted that they have been undergoing ‘several stages of investigation including reproducing the error, isolating it, diagnosing’, having the process now currently in the ‘testing solutions phase’.

Users who are affected by the issue in question are asked to stay tuned for Google to post more updates over at Google’s Group page. Hopefully a fix will come along soon for Android users.

Thank you Android Police for providing us with this information

Volvo Self-Driving Cars Start Public Road Testing

It may seem to be very science-fiction, but Volvo’s autonomous self-driving car is far more science-fact as the first vehicle sets out on to the open roads along with the general public. In the run up to a test drive where one hundred self driving vehicles will be let loose around the city of Gothenburg in Sweden, test drives are being performed with individual cars to test their capability to merge into lanes of traffic along with braking and accelerating where necessary.

A well orchestrated advert (as we have come to expect of Volvo since their Jean-Claude Van Damme advert with the two separating trucks went viral last year) demonstrates how the car requires no input from the passenger as it drives through the city and motorways before it returns to manual driving mode and the passenger then becomes the driver.

Eric Coelingh, a technical specialist at Volvo spoke out reporting, “The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaption and merging traffic all by themselves. This is an important step towards our aim that the final Drive Me cars will be able to drive the whole test route in highly autonomous mode.”

When driving in autonomous mode, a series of cameras and sensors around the exterior of the car constantly monitor and track the position of nearby vehicles, calculating whether they are speeding up, slowing down, changing lanes or simply overtaking. Should all of the public road tests prove to be a success, the proposal to release the one hundred vehicles on to a 50km route of the city should be ready for around 2017. Whilst this is another step forward to the safer driving environment that both Google and Nissan have also ventured out to achieve, we are still a long way off having these vehicles publicly available to purchase, amid fears that they are not safe enough for the entire population and predicting the actions of other road users like a real person would be able to do.

Either way though this road test shows that the technology is there and it does work (on a small-scale) so it is not a case of if, but when will it finally be deemed safe and ready to go on sale.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/bJwKuWz_lkE[/youtube]

Source: Tweaktown

Google Smart Car, The Future Is Almost Here

Google Self-Driving vehicles, will it be the future of driving? It is to soon to tell, and Google has not given us a timeline as of yet. They have said that they are not interested in getting into the automotive manufacturing market, but rather want to provide us with the technology of tomorrow, working on the extensive algorithms that are needed to produce a Smart Car.

Nearly 34,000 people were killed in automobile accidents in the United States alone. With the help of a Google driven vehicle, these numbers could drop significantly. There are only three states that allow the testing of  experimental vehicles in the U.S. currently California, Nevada and Florida, which have legislation allowing automakers to test these self-driving vehicles on the roads. In order to prevent an accident caused by the programing of the vehicle a licensed driver needs to be at the controls, even when the vehicle is in control.

In the U.S. Driving is a privilege, not a right as I am sure it is for most places. What if you didn’t need to drive though. Some people don’t like to drive, they travel by bus, plane, and even train. If all vehicles on the road were self-driving and communicated with each other, it could possibly prevent any and all accidents on the roads. Sensing when someone is crossing a street, or even when another car might have ran a stop sign. SAFETY FIRST! These self-driving vehicles are programed by humans, and “To err is human”, will these Smart Cars make deadly errors? Are The Three Laws programed into these cars?

For those of you that don’t know The Three Laws, I am referring to Isaac Asimov’s, Three Laws of Robotics which are:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Now these vehicles have been being tested for quite awhile now, and I wasn’t able to find any statistics on a single accident that involved one of these new smart cars, though after reading quite a bit about them, it doesn’t sound like one of these cars has been the cause of an accident though they have probably avoided several that a human driver might not have been able to.

Do you feel that there should be any laws in place for these new smart cars?

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