Learn about self-driving car engineering online via Udacity

Udacity, famous for having nano degrees online for students around the world to pick up new skills has one that seems quite interesting for those of you who are interested to learn about self-driving car technology. The future is definitely electric as well as driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Self-driving car’s impact will go beyond technology, transportation, and urban planning.
Best of all, Lyft has offered 400 scholarships to students based in the US to take the course on Udacity. Lyft is known to be dabbling in self-driving car technology together with players such as Waymo and other tech firms and having a source of skilled engineers is key to sustaining the growth. It totally makes sense for Lyft to offer these scholarships in order to keep the pool of people interested and skilled as well big enough for potential recruitment.

“Diversity is crucial for creating solutions that serve everyone, and ridesharing is for everyone. That’s why these scholarships will specifically target communities that are underrepresented in technology in the US,” stated Lyft in a blog post.
Prerequisites for students participating in the program is that they require some programming experience and algebra. Udacity has stated that over 43,000 has already applied through their online portal and 10,000 students from 50 countries are currently enrolled.
There are two courses available, “Intro to Self-Driving Cars” which is targeted for intermediate learners which upon completion provides an automatic pathway to the next nano degree course which is the “Self-driving car engineer” course.
[Source: The Verge, Lyft, Udacity]

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Hyperloop One raises $85 million in funding and announces winners of the Hyperloop One Global Challenge

Hyperloop One, another player in the race to a functioning and public Hyperloop has just raised $85 million in a Series B funding which brings to the total amount of cash raised to around $285 million. The company boasts that they have built the only functional Hyperloop in the world and says that the amount raised is reflective of that.
The company also held a global competition requesting proposals for routes around the world and the following 10 routes were the winners of the competition. Their idea was to cast the widest net possible to break bottlenecks in markets where incumbents have failed to solve hard problems. Hyperloop One’s take on it was to challenge teams young or old, expert or amateur, to submit their best proposals for Hyperloop networks connecting cities and regions.

U.S.

Cheyenne – Denver – Puelbo (579 km)
Chicago – Columbus – Pittsburgh (785 km)
Miami – Orlando (414 km)
Dallas – Houston (1030 km)

Canada

Toronto – Montreal (644 km)

Mexico

Mexico City – Guadalajara (531 km)

U.K.

Edinburgh – London (666 km)
Glasgow – Liverpool (546 km)

India

Bengaluru – Chennai (335 km)
Mumbai – Chennai (1102 km)

Hyperloop One
Hyperloop One assessed each competition entrant (2600 teams globally participated) from the angle of infrastructure, technology, regulatory environment and also the transportation concerns in those areas. It would be fantastic if the routes can be set up and run operationally as this would affect up to 150 million people in the routes above. The competition started last year with Hyperloop One narrowing it all down to 35 entries earlier this year.
Hyperloop One will assist the 10 winning teams through support and resources to get the project up and running and bring it to commercial viability. This also includes getting through the various regulatory and government hurdles and getting capital to start the projects.
In terms of testing, Hyperloop One’s phase 2 managed to get the pod to hit speeds of slightly over 300 km/h. Still a far cry from trying to hit speeds of more than 1000 km/h but it is still a great start for the company. In a race to being the first to have one commercially ready, it seems that Hyperloop One is one step ahead.
[Source: Hyperloop One & TechCrunch]
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Uber to lose license in London

London’s transport authority, Transport for London (TfL) announced that they will not renew Uber London’s license to operate in London once it expires on the 30th of September. They cited issues with Uber’s security policies and said that private hire operators must meet rigorous regulations, and demonstrate to TfL that they do so, in order to operate.
TfL also went on to state that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications which includes the following below.

Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences.
Its approach to how medical certificates are obtained.
Its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.
Its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London – software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.

TfL states that Uber has a right to appeal the decision within 21 days and Uber still can operate as per usual until the appeal has been completed.
In a response, newly minted CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, tweeted the following.

Dear London: we r far from perfect but we have 40k licensed drivers and 3.5mm Londoners depending on us. Pls work w/us to make things right
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) 22 September 2017
He further went to send an email to employees at Uber which gives a stark contrast to what Uber has been known for, hustling their way through issues such as this.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber (Image Source: Crunchbase)
From: Dara KhosrowshahiDate: Fri, Sep 22, 2017 at 12:53 PMSubject: Re: Update on London’s License
Thanks, Pierre, and thanks to everyone working on this issue.
Like all of you, I’m hugely disappointed in the decision by London’s Mayor and Transport for London. It could have profound negative consequences for the 40,000 drivers who depend on Uber for work and the 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get around.
It’s particularly discouraging that this is happening in the UK, where the team has led the way on partnerships with local groups to increase the number of wheelchair-accessible and electric vehicles on the road.
While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I’ve learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it’s worth examining how we got here. The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation. Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us in London today (and to be clear, I don’t think we did), it really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours, where actions in one part of the world can have serious consequences in another.
Going forward, it’s critical that we act with integrity in everything we do and learn how to be a better partner to every city we operate in. That doesn’t mean abandoning our principles—we will vigorously appeal TfL’s decision—but rather building trust through our actions and our behaviour. In doing so, we will show that Uber is not just a really great product, but a really great company that is meaningfully contributing to society, beyond its business and its bottom line.
Thanks for everything you’re going to make Uber the best company it can be, and particularly to our teammates in London and across the UK.
-Dara

The key is that Uber’s new style of leadership is all about integrity and learning about the consequences they have to face based on past decisions. Seems like there is a steady head at the helm that the company needs. Khosrowshahi took over the helm of Uber after Travis Kalanick was forced down. Khosrowshahi was formerly the CEO of Expedia, the online travel company and was the 3rd choice of Uber’s board to helm the struggling tech giant.
[Source: Transport for London & CNBC]
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New Firmware For DIR-850L Router Now Available From D-Link Malaysia: Made For Retail Unit

As promised, D-Link Malaysia today has rolled out the update for its DIR-850L router. Available directly from its official website, the firmware update apparently able to rectify many of the security issues highlighted by security researcher Pierre Kim.
That being said though, this particular update is made specifically for the retail unit. For units that were distributed by TM and TIME Internet, customers have to wait for further instructions from their respective ISPs.
Shall users encounter any difficulties when updating their DIR-850L router, they are more than welcome to call D-Link Malaysia’s technical hotline at 1-800-88-2880 for assistance. The hotline is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Developing…
(Source: D-Link Malaysia)
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TM: D-Link Router Issues Only Affects 200 UniFi Customers, Check Your Settings Nevertheless

Ever since the news regarding security issues within D-Link DIR-850L router broke out earlier this week, it has sparked interesting discussion among users given how it was distributed to TM and TIME Internet customers as part of their Internet package. Despite that, TM claimed that the number of users that were affected by the issues are quite small.
Specifically, only 200 UniFi users were actually affected according to a post on the company’s official Facebook page. Since there are more than one million UniFi subscribers at the moment, in theory that means only around 2% of UniFi users are truly at risk.

Nevertheless, the company has recommended customers to change the administrator password and turn off the remote management feature (even though this feature already been deactivated by default on TM’s unit) on their D-Link DIR-850L router – in line with steps that have been recommended by the router company itself.
Not to forget, TM has also previously mentioned that they will be looking into the new firmware update for D-Link DIR-850L although it could take up to two weeks for the analysis to be done. We’ll keep you updated once we receive further clarifications from the company.
(Source: Everyone Connects)
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GEMFIVE Seems To Be No Longer In Operation: Website and Apps Cease To Function

While we don’t know how long this have been going on, it has come to our attention that the local e-commerce outfit GEMFIVE might have quietly ceased its operation. This is mainly based on the disappearances of its online assets including the main e-commerce website itself.
At this moment, the website is showing nothing but a blank void. Prior to that though, a maintenance notice (shown below) has been placed on the site for quite some time:

According to GRexer Lee who have shared these screenshots in his Facebook page on 14 September, he already saw the notice for few days before putting it up online. At the same time, he also noticed all GEMFIVE social media page on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have been deleted.

Surprisingly, GEMFIVE’s customer service line is still working although our call was greeted with despite still being within the line’s operating hour. Its Android and iOS mobile apps are still listed on Google Play and Apple App Store respectively but they no longer working as they should.

Furthermore, it has been rumored that GEMFIVE has went through downsizing process earlier this year. To us, all these signs showed that GEMFIVE which was launched in 2015 after receiving major investment from Hong Leong Group (HLG) during its inception might have been abandoned by its operator, Guoline eMarketing.
With that, we have reached out to HLG in order to find out whether we able to obtain the official operational status of GEMFIVE.
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Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Facing Connectivity Problems – Unsecured WiFi Blamed

The Apple Watch Series 3 LTE is still on its way to stores for the 22 September availability, but there are already reports of bugs with the smartwatch. According to early reviewers, the new Apple Watch will prevent LTE cellular connectivity if the watch connects to an unsecured WiFi network.
Instead of the promised iPhone-free connectivity using LTE radio, the Apple Watch Series 3 instead attempts to connect to unknown WiFi networks. Needless to say, this results in users unable to use LTE connectivity on their new Apple Watch.
The Verge reported that its review unit persistently refused to be on any LTE band, even on a new unit sent to them by Apple. The Wall Street Journal also reported the same problem with its review unit.

Apple acknowledged the problem and promised a fix will be heading to the Apple Watch Series 3 in a ‘future software update’ without sharing any concrete release dates for the update. The allure of having an iPhone-free connected state was the main selling point of the new Apple Watch, and this bug is certainly a setback. A true untethered lifestyle with the latest smartwatch from Cupertino seems to still be a dream – at least for now.
(Source: AppleInsider)
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Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Facing Connectivity Problems – Unsecured Wi-Fi Blamed

The Apple Watch Series 3 LTE is still on its way to stores for the 22 September availability, but there are already reports of bugs with the smartwatch. According to early reviewers, the new Apple Watch will prevent LTE cellular connectivity if the watch connects to an unsecured WiFi network.
Instead of the promised iPhone-free connectivity using LTE radio, the Apple Watch Series 3 instead attempts to connect to unknown WiFi networks. Needless to say, this results in users unable to use LTE connectivity on their new Apple Watch.
The Verge reported that its review unit persistently refused to be on any LTE band, even on a new unit sent to them by Apple. The Wall Street Journal also reported the same problem with its review unit.

Apple acknowledged the problem and promised a fix will be heading to the Apple Watch Series 3 in a ‘future software update’ without sharing any concrete release dates for the update. The allure of having an iPhone-free connected state was the main selling point of the new Apple Watch, and this bug is certainly a setback. A true untethered lifestyle with the latest smartwatch from Cupertino seems to still be a dream – at least for now.
(Source: AppleInsider)
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SN30 From 8Bitdo Promises To Be Your Ultimate Mobile Gaming Controller

Mobile game controllers can be a hit or miss: it’s either too simple or it has too many features on board. The SN30 from 8Bitdo tries to balance this by promising to deliver the basics correctly while being compatible with just about any gaming system out there.
The SN30 uses Bluetooth to connect to devices, and it is compatible with Windows, Android, iOS and even the Nintendo Switch. Plus, all of the buttons on the SN30 provide tactile feedback, so there is satisfaction with every press.

Even though the controller looks old school (it is patterned based on the US version of the Nintendo Entertainment System), it has all the hallmarks of a modern controller. The SN30 features rumble vibration, motion control, and even analogue sticks/D-pad combo as options.
The SN30 has a built-in rechargable battery, and it uses a USB Type-C connector for charging. There is also an included smartphone holder, so the device can be mounted on the SN30 directly.

If this the perfect year-end stocking filler for you, head to Amazon and pre-order it – one for yourself, and perhaps a second for Player Two. It is only $50 (about RM210).
(Source: Android Community)
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Google Home Mini and Daydream View VR Headset Joining Pixel 2 at Launch

Not only are we getting two new Pixel smartphones on 4 October, we are also getting matching accessories. The new Google Home Mini and the Daydream View VR Headset – it’s said to come in new colours and material too – are expected to be unveiled at the Pixel phones’ launch event.
As a competitor to Amazon’s tiny home assistant, the Google Home Mini will link to Google Assistant and accept voice commands similar to the previously launched Google Home. It will be available in three colours – Charcoal, Chalk, and Coral. Unlike the larger Google Home, it doesn’t seem like the Mini can be customised as extensively.
Meanwhile, the Daydream View VR Headset – which is supposedly what it is going to be called – will offer new colours: Charcoal, Fog (odd name, we know), and Coral. The material, on the other hand, is said to be nylon rather than the cloth-like material of its predecessor. Otherwise, it should be the same as the previous generation of Daydream headset in terms of features and compatible smartphones.
The Google Home Mini is expected to retail at $49 (about RM205) while the Daydream View VR Headset will supposedly be priced at $100 (about RM419).
(Source: PhoneArena (1), (2))
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