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London police consider using drones to pursue motorbike thieves

In its bid to curb the rise of drive-by snatches on the streets of London, the Metropolitan Police may turn to drones to track motorbike-riding suspects. At a recent meeting of the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey said that UAVs could be a safer alternative to officers pursuing so-called moped gangs across the capital.

The Evening Standard reports that police are struggling to come to terms with an increase in motorbike raids, specifically in Camden and Islington. In the past 12 months, more than 3,000 phone thefts were recorded, many of them linked to drive-by crooks on two wheels.

The Met has launched a review of its pursuit tactics after an inquest found that 18-year-old Henry Hicks died in a crash during a high-speed chase. The teen, who wasn’t suspected of a crime, was trying to evade two unmarked police cars and a helicopter in Islington in 2014. In order to reduce the chances of a similar incident happening again, Mackey said the force is now considering its options and available tactics, which may involve the use of drones.

“The possibilities of unmanned aerial vehicles to tackle suspects using two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles to commit crime are currently being discussed at a national level by the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s steering group and the Centre for Applied Science and Technology,” the Metropolitan Police said.

Drones have already proven effective in day-to-day police operations, helping operators control protests and investigate intrusions. However, their use in pursuits could also save money by reducing the need for helicopter support. UAVs will be able to track and monitor the movements of potential suspects, directing ground forces to wherever they are hiding.

Source: Evening Standard


Apple Sued in China Over Showing of Propaganda War Film From 1990s

Apple is being sued by a subsidiary of China’s broadcasting regulator over the showing of a propaganda film more than 20 years old, according to the Associated Press.

A Beijing court told AP on Saturday that the case had been brought by a state-run production center which alleges Apple has infringed on its exclusive online rights to broadcast Xuebo dixiao. The title loosely translates as “Bloody Fight with the Fierce Enemy”, with the film depicting the Chinese army battling Japanese soldiers in northern China in the early 1930s.

The plaintiff is also suing Heyi Information and Technology, the company behind the Youku HD app that reportedly enabled users to watch the film, causing it “huge economic losses”, according to the Beijing Haidian District People’s Court.

The case was brought by Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Center, which comes under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

The plaintiff wants the two companies to immediately stop broadcasting the film and is seeking compensation of 50,000 yuan ($7,500), plus 20,158 ($3,000) to cover the litigation costs.

This isn’t the first time Apple has been targeted by China’s media administrative wing. In April, the iTunes Movies and iBooks stores were reportedly forced down by SARFT. The store closures were linked to the release of controversial independent movie Ten Years, which imagines Hong Kong in 2025 with language police, radical protest, and social alienation rife.

The latest case also joins a line of legal spats for Apple in China in recent months. In June, the Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruled that Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus infringed on the patent rights of another smartphone sold within China, although the company that filed the patent infringement claim was said to “barely exist” following its victory.

In March, Apple lost its exclusive rights to the “iPhone” trademark in China when a Beijing court ruled that a leather goods manufacturer could continue to sell bags and cases under the same name without fear of legal repercussions.

Apple and other tech companies are also reportedly subject to security reviews in the country, to determine whether products “pose potential security threats” to China and Chinese consumers.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: China
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Solar road technology comes to Route 66

Solar Roadways’ dreams of sunlight-gathering paths are one step closer to taking shape. Missouri’s Department of Transportation is aiming to install a test version of the startup’s solar road tiles in a sidewalk at the Historic Route 66 Welcome Center in Conway. Okay, it won’t be on Route 66 just yet, but that’s not the point — the goal is to see whether or not the technology is viable enough that it could safely be used on regular streets. You should see it in action toward the end of the year.

The tiles will be familiar if you’ve followed Solar Roadways before. Each one combines a solar cell with LED lighting, a heating element and tempered glass that’s strong enough to support the weight of a semi-trailer truck. If successful, the panels will feed the electrical grid (ideally paying for themselves) and make the roads safer by both lighting the way as well as keeping the roads free of rain and snow. They should be easier to repair than asphalt, too, since you don’t need to take out whole patches of road to fix small cracks.

Of course, “if successful” is the operative term here. The real litmus test comes if and when Solar Roadways subjects the tiles to the legions of cars traveling on Route 66 and beyond. Missouri has a strong incentive to make that happen, though. As the Transportation Department’s Tom Blair observes, it would be odd to push self-driving cars in the state’s Road to Tomorrow initiative when the streets aren’t as smart as the vehicles using them.

Via: Inhabitat, CleanTechnica, The Verge

Source: Kansas City Star, News Tribune


Xiaomi’s teaser hints at successor to the Mi Note

Xiaomi has started rolling out teasers for the successor to the 2015 Mi Note, with the company suggesting that its upcoming phone will be more powerful than the Mi 5. The teaser features a football pitch with 2 > 5 in the foreground, and early rumors regarding the phone hint at a possible QHD display, which will be a first for the manufacturer.


At the Mi Max launch event last week in India, Xiaomi global VP Hugo Barra hinted at the possibility of the manufacturer unveiling another handset before the end of the year. Given the timeline and the fact that Xiaomi unveiled the Mi 5 at Mobile World Congress, it is not unfeasible for the brand to launch the Mi Note 2 at IFA in Germany.

We’ll have more to share regarding the Mi Note 2 in the coming weeks and months. What do you guys make of the teaser?


Panasonic unveils the Eluga Note in India for ₹13,290

Panasonic’s latest phone in the Indian market is the Eluga Note. The phone will retail for ₹13,290, and will be available via offline retailers. Aimed at a younger audience, the phone sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display, octa-core CPU clocked at 1.3GHz, 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage along with a microSD card slot.


Other specs include a 16MP camera with f/1.9 lens, 5MP front shooter, IR blaster, LTE (Bands 3/5/40) with VoLTE support, and a 3000mAh battery. On the software side of things, the phone runs Panasonic’s FitHome UI atop Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The Eluga Note sounds like a decent option for the price, but with the budget segment featuring a lot of great alternatives, it remains to be seen if Panasonic can attract enough attention from buyers.


Full Samsung Galaxy Note 7 picture leak shows all colours, both sides

Remarkably, there’s only a month to go before Samsung is set to unveil its latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 7.

Many reports have a launch event pegged for 2 August – a departure from the pre-IFA Unpacked press conference Samsung usually hosts. And that means you can expect the rumour mill to be even more fervent in the next four to five weeks.

For starters, we now have a very good idea of what the phone looks like, front and back.

Not only was an alleged front panel of the Note 7 snapped in the wild last week, but serial rumour meister @evleaks has posted claimed press images of the front and rear of the device – in three separate colours to boot.

Samsung Galaxy Note7 in (from l to r) Black Onyx, Silver Titanium, and Blue Coral

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 1, 2016

If genuine, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will come in at least silver, black and blue initially – or Silver Titanium, Black Onyx and Blue Coral, in Samsung-style naming convention. It has the dual-edge screen many other leaks have similarly suggested. And it looks similar to the Galaxy S7 Edge, as widely believed.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Release date, rumours and everything you need to know
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Note 5 vs Note 4: What’s the rumoured difference?
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 6 / Note 7 edge launch event date leaks
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 name appears alongside specs: Iris scanner and branding virtually confirmed

Strangely, the images do not match the leaked front panel from before, with fewer top-ranged holes. There is one additional sensor hole, which could be the much discussed iris scanner, but these pictures do not match other leaks in that regard.

Considering @evleaks’ track history in these matters, it does throw into doubt former leaks, but then that is the nature of these things. We won’t find out for sure until 2 August… er… probably.


Pro Football Hall of Fame brings in holographic coaches

Think visiting a sports hall of fame involves little more than looking at athletes’ relics? The Pro Football Hall of Fame wants to liven things up a bit. It’s introducing the A Game for Life exhibit, where holographic versions (sadly, not likely true holograms) of famous figures like Joe Namath and Vince Lombardi will deliver pep talks and convey just how hard it is to make the Hall of Fame. This isn’t just a glorified slideshow, either. The exhibition theater uses 15 projectors and 360-degree audio to give the NFL veterans more of a presence, and Rudy screenwriter Angelo Pizzo helped produce the script.

You’ll have to book a trip to Canton, Ohio to see the exhibit when it launches in mid-July. Thankfully, however, it’s included with the usual admission fee ($24 for adults). You probably wouldn’t want to go just to see these holographic coaches and players, but they may tip the balance if you were already toying with the idea of paying tribute to football history. And look at it this way: in some ways, they’ll be more engaging than virtual singers on a distant stage.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame (YouTube)


Google Play Music may finally be coming to India

It looks like Google is finally about to bring Play Music to India. Several users on Reddit are able to access selected songs from the Play Music catalog, with prices listed in INR (₹).


Pricing suggests that individual songs will be available for as low as ₹15 (22 cents), with entire albums for ₹95 ($1.5). YouTube Red may also make its way to India shortly, based on notifications going out to users. There’s no confirmation from Google regarding Play Music in India, but with Apple Music debuting last year in the country and local services like Saavn and Hungama going strong, the timing is right for Google to enter the fray.

Who’s excited about Play Music coming to India?

Thanks Samarth!


‘Minecraft’ creation plays ‘Pokemon’ on a virtual Game Boy

It’s no longer strange to see elaborate devices built in Minecraft, but this one is particularly eyebrow-raising. Reqaug has built a Minecraft machine that plays Pokemon Fire Red for the Game Boy Advance. It’s very rudimentary at the moment (it’s missing combat and dialog, among other things), but it’s still surprisingly thorough. There’s even a level editor and the option to replace textures. As the creator explains, the whole concept revolves around layers of structure blocks (a recent addition) that represent tiles in the game and move when you move.

While there isn’t enough here to keep you entertained, Reqaug is quick to stress that his work will “always be in progress.” It’s more a matter of investing enough time than whether or not a blocky Pokemon recreation is possible. And importantly, this doesn’t require modding — as long as you’re using at least Minecraft 1.10, you can try it for yourself. Just don’t expect an action game like one of the Super Mario Bros. titles, since Minecraft likely can’t draw the virtual screen quickly enough to keep up.

Via: Reddit

Source: Planet Minecraft, Reqaug (YouTube)


​10 tips to prevent clothes from fading – CNET


Adding vinegar to a standard wash cycle will prevent color fading.

Taylor Martin/CNET

If you’re the type of person that tends to ignore clothing labels or just throws all your laundry in the washer with a cup of detergent and calls it good, then your clothes are suffering. Those red biker shorts that your girlfriend told you to toss is going to become pink. That slinky black dress that makes you feel like Beyoncé is going to turn gray.

All is not lost, though. You can save your favorite garments by following these simple laundry tips.

For the love of all that is washable, look at the tag. Those washing instructions on your shirt’s tag isn’t just to make you itchy. They’re there to let you know how to wash the garment so that it will have a long and colorful life. Read the instructions and follow them.
If you absolutely need to wash all of your garments together because you only have enough quarters for one load, then wash in cold water. Warm water breaks down fibers, which can cause fading and cold water prevents colors from bleeding. For the best results, choose a laundry soap that is made to work well with cold water washes.
Separate lights from darks. Dark items, no matter what you do, tend to bleed color a little when you wash them. This bleed can turn a bright orange pair of leggings into a rusty, faded color, for instance. So, always wash darks with darks, lights with lights and wash whites separately.
Use the right soil settings on your washer. If your clothes aren’t very dirty, don’t click on the heavy wash option just to make sure they get extra clean. All you’re doing is putting extra wear and tear on your garment, which will make it fade much faster.
Skip the dryer as much as possible. The tumbling of the dryer makes the surface of garment fibers rough, which in turn makes the colors appear faded, even if they aren’t.
Skip washing all-together. The more you wash an item, the more faded it becomes. If you’ve only worn a garment for a few hours, don’t toss it in the washer. Hang it up and let it air out. Or never wash them. Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh says to never machine wash jeans and just spot clean them with a sponge.
Turn your garments inside out. This protects the outer fibers from wearing down when you wash. Worn fibers equally fade, and since no one sees the inside of your garments, it’s no big deal if they wear a little more.
Add a fabric conditioner to your wash. Think of fabric conditioner like a magical force field. It lubricates the fibers of the fabric during the wash, so they don’t wear down as easily. Once again, wear equals fading, so anything you can use to prevent friction is a good thing.
Add half a cup of vinegar (118.3 milliliters) to each wash load to prevent fading. As a bonus, vinegar acts as a natural fabric softener and the smell washes away with the rinse cycle.
While you’re adding cooking ingredients to your load, add a half a cup of salt (118.3 milliliters) to a new garment’s very first wash to lock in the color and prevent bleeding.

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