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Correction: Driverless Cars-California story

Published: Monday, February 26, 2018 @ 7:25 PM
Updated: Monday, February 26, 2018 @ 7:25 PM

In a story Feb. 26 about driverless car testing in California, The Associated Press reported erroneously on manufacturers' requirements for permits and the date for permitting applications. Manufacturers can apply for permits starting March 2, not April 2. And manufacturers must provide a plan for working with local law enforcement, not permission from law enforcement for routes and testing.

A corrected version of the story is below:

California OKs autonomous car testing without backup drivers

Driverless cars will be tested on California roads for the first time without a human being behind a steering wheel, under new rules that put the pedal to the metal for the fast-developing technology


Associated Press

Driverless cars will be tested in California for the first time without a person behind a steering wheel under new rules that state regulators approved Monday for the fast-developing technology.

The regulations are a major step toward getting autonomous vehicles to dealerships and onto the streets of California, where companies such as Tesla and Waymo are leading the way on the technology. Until now, driverless cars could only be tested on public roads in the state if a person could take the wheel in an emergency.

"I think this is a move that had to happen for California to stay competitive in this field," said Nidhi Kalra, a Rand Corp. senior scientist who has been studying the issue for a decade.

Although the technology is being developed in California, companies such as Waymo have already been testing in other states such as neighboring Arizona because requiring a human driver limits the kind of car that can be tested, she said.

"You can't test what true, full autonomy looks like" unless there's no driver at all, Kalra said. "To be able to test it right in your backyard is a really big deal."

But the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog slammed the new rules, claiming autonomous cars have not yet been proven safe enough to be deployed without a human backup driver.

"It will be just like playing a video game, except lives will be at stake," said John Simpson, the group's privacy and technology project director.

Fifty companies already have permits to test on public roads and highways in California, a prime proving ground given its size as the most populous state, its clout as the nation's biggest car market and its longtime role as a cultural trendsetter.

The vehicles will no longer need to have drivers inside during tests, but people will still be in charge. Under the regulations, driverless cars being tested on public roads must have a remote operator monitoring at all times, ready to take over as needed. The remote operator must also be able to communicate with police as well as any passengers in the event of an accident.

Manufacturers must provide the DMV a law enforcement interaction plan as one of the requirements to get approved for a permit.

Car makers can submit applications starting March 2 and the first permits will be issued when the regulations go into effect April 2.

The rules, written by California's Department of Motor Vehicles and approved by the state's Office of Administrative Law, also create the framework under which consumers can eventually buy driverless cars.

Department of Motor Vehicles Director Jean Shiomoto said it's a big boost for regulations in the works for years and that "safety is our top concern."

Major automakers like Mercedes, BMW, Ford, Nissan and Volvo have all said it will likely be at least 2020 before their driverless vehicles are available, and even then, they could be confined to ride-hailing fleets and other shared applications.

Tesla Inc. said last year that the cars it's making have the hardware they need for full self-driving. The company is still testing the software and won't make it available to owners without regulatory approval.

Industry leader Waymo, Google's self-driving car spinoff, is not commenting on its rollout schedule.

The California regulations do not include testing and deployment of autonomous trucks and other commercial vehicles.


Associated Press writers Justin Pritchard and Robert Jablon contributed.

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Newest cellphone is only that -- a phone

Published: Friday, March 09, 2018 @ 9:54 AM

FILE PHOTO (DTL/ license
FILE PHOTO (DTL/ license

Your kids are begging for the latest and greatest cellphones to hit the market.

They may not like a new one that’s being introduced, but you sure will like them to have it.

It is called  Light Phone 2 and it has only a few functions. First and foremost is a phone, ABC News reported.

It can call and it can text. But it cannot use Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or any other social media.

>> Read more trending news 

Light Phone 2 can also message, use maps and call for an Uber, the Telegraph reported.

Basically, it’s an old-fashioned flip phone without the flip phone look.

It also uses E-Ink for the display and operates on a modified version of the Android operating system, the Telegraph reported.

“Unlike a flip phone, however, to children the Light Phone is seen as ‘cool’ amongst their peers,” Joe Hollier, co--founder of Light told “Good Morning America.” “We have been working with parents on the idea of a parental app to support their child’s Light Phone 2 as well.”

Light launched it’s first phone in 2016. It could only make calls and store nine numbers, the Telegraph reported. The company sold 10,000 devices, but they were too simple for many and were not practical for some, the Telegraph reported.

Light Phone 2 are expected to ship next year and will cost about $250, the Telegraph reported.

If you want to get in on the new technology, the company launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $250,000. So far it has exceeded that amount by 335 percent and has more than $836,000 pledged from supporters.

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This man bit into an iPhone battery and it exploded in his face

Published: Thursday, January 25, 2018 @ 5:13 AM

Apple Admits To Slowing Phones Down As Their Batteries Age

If you needed a reason not to bite your iPhone battery, here it is.

>> On How to tell if Apple is slowing down your iPhone — and how to fix it

According to Taiwan News, a man entered an electronics store in China hoping to purchase a replacement battery for his iPhone.

>> Read more trending news 

In an attempt to test its authenticity, the customer reportedly bit into the battery and as he removed it from his mouth, the product ruptured, exploding in his face.

Luckily, no one was injured.

>> Apple admits to throttling iPhone CPU speed as battery ages

CCTV posted footage of the bizarre incident to, and the video eventually made its way to YouTube.

The episode came soon after outrage over Apple’s admittance to slowing down older iPhone models with aging batteries led to big discounts on replacement batteries around the globe, including in China.

>> Apple faces multiple lawsuits over iPhone battery speed

“However,” Taiwan News reported, “Chinese electronics stores are notoriously replete with fake goods, thus the man was in his own – but obviously wrong – way trying to test its authenticity.”

Lesson of the story: Don’t bite into your iPhone battery

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Apple faces multiple lawsuits over iPhone battery speed

Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

Apple Admits To Slowing Phones Down As Their Batteries Age

Soon after news emerged that Apple admitted to slowing down iPhone performance as the devices’ batteries age, multiple lawsuits have been filed against the company.

CNBC reported that Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Apple, claiming the company never asked for consent from them to alter the performance of their phones.

>> Read more trending news 

The lawsuit says Apple breached the implied contracts with Bogdanovich and Speas “by purposefully slowing down older iPhone models when new models come out and by failing to properly disclose that at the time that the parties entered into an agreement,” according to WCBS.

The complaint also says that the two are entitled to compensation because the slowdown of their devices cause them to suffer “economic damages and other harm.”

Related: Apple admits to throttling iPhone CPU speed as battery ages

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” Apple said in a statement to The Verge about performance of the devices.

“Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future,” Apple said in the statement.

Apple is being sued after it said it slowed down the performances of older iPhones as the batteries in the devices age.(Sean Gallup/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Bogdanovich and Speas are trying to get the case certified to cover all U.S. owners of iPhones older than the iPhone 8, according to CNBC. Their suit is not the only one against Apple since the company released its statement about iPhone battery speed. WCBS reported that a second class-action lawsuit was filed in Illinois on Thursday night.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the suit was filed in Chicago by two people in Illinois as well as by Ohio, North Carolina and Indiana residents with iPhone models 5 through 7.

The suit says Apple “needlessly subjects consumers to purchasing newer and more expensive iPhones when a replacement battery could have allowed consumers to continue to use their older iPhones.”

Unspecified damages are being sought in the suit.

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Obama had the most-liked tweet of 2017; here's what it said

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 1:44 AM

Obama’s Tweet about Charlottesville Most-Liked Tweet of All Time

Twitter has released its end-of-year stats and revealed that former President Barack Obama had the most-liked tweet of 2017.

>> Read more trending news

His tweet, sent in August after white nationalists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, has been liked 4.6 million times. The tweet reads, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” accompanied by a picture of him looking up at a group of children.

The tweet, a portion of a quote from late South African President Nelson Mandela, was followed up by two more tweets from Obama, which finished the quote.

>> See the tweet here

 “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” the quote, in whole, reads.

>> Obama's Charlottesville response becomes most-liked tweet of all time

Obama’s tweet following the Charlottesville march wasn’t his only top tweet. He also took the third spot for most-liked, and the second, fifth, and eighth spots for most-retweeted tweets.

His other top tweets included his tweet to Sen. John McCain after the Arizona Republican was diagnosed with cancer; the final line of his presidential farewell address in Chicago; and his farewell after leaving the Oval Office for the last time.

Other top tweets included Ariana Grande’s tweet after the bombing at her Manchester, England, concert; LeBron James’s tweet when he called President Donald Trump a “bum"; a tweet promising to donate 6 pounds of dog food to Houston dogs affected by Hurricane Harvey for every retweet it received; another tweet asking for retweets to raise donations for Houston;, a photo from Linkin Park of its former frontman, Chester Bennington, after he committed suicide earlier this year; the number to the suicide hotline tweeted by social media star Seth Joseph; and finally, the most-retweeted tweet of the year came from 16-year-old Carter Wilkerson begging for retweets so he could win free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s for a year.

While Trump didn’t win a top spot for any of his own tweets, he was the most-tweeted-about world leader.

President Trump And Twitter

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