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Self-driving cars are safer when they talk to each other

Most current self-driving technology relies on cameras, radar and lidar. These sensory devices serve as eyes for the car, mimicking what a human driver can see. But a University of Michigan public-private partnership called Mcity is testing V2V, or vehicle to vehicle communication, and has found that it makes their autonomous prototypes even safer.

V2V works by wirelessly sharing data such as location, speed and direction. Using DSRC, or Dedicated Short Range Communication, V2V can send up to 10 messages per second. This communication allows cars to see beyond what is immediately in front of them — sensing a red light around a blind curve, or automatically braking for a car that runs a stop sign.

Mcity is also using a new augmented reality system to test their cars equipped with V2V. They’ve created virtual vehicles equipped with the technology that can communicate with their actual prototypes. This allows them to test scenarios that are cost-prohibitive or too dangerous for real-world trials.

The catch of V2V? It has to be installed in the majority of cars and infrastructure (such as traffic lights) to function adequately. Regardless, anything that gets us closer to safe, reliable autonomous cars is a win, so it will be interesting to see how this tech develops.

Source: University of Michigan


5 songs you need to stream this week: Radiohead, Chris Cornell, and more

Every week, there are thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves — and it’s just too much for your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks that deserve a thumbs-down click — you want the best new songs to stream now.

But don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most-hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you which are worthy of your precious listening time.

Here are our top five songs to stream this week. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify page for a playlist of our weekly picks, which can also be found at the bottom of this post.

Radiohead — Man of War

Radiohead celebrates the 20th anniversary of their landmark album OK Computer by releasing various B-sides and rarities, giving fans a glimpse into more material from one of their most famous songwriting eras. Man of War is the second B-side that the band has made public, and it comes with a music video directed by Colin Read that focuses on a man who gets followed while he walks through a city. It’s a well-produced and fairly pop-influenced single for the band, a polished song that we’re happy to finally hear.

Chris Cornell — The Promise

The final music video ever shot by recently deceased songwriter Chris Cornell hit the internet this week — a searing ballad called The Promise that was written for the soundtrack of a historical film of the same name. As always, the late singer’s voice grabs your ears and doesn’t let go, its gravelly tone joined by an epic backdrop of percussion and guitar-laden orchestral sounds.

Parcels — Overnight

If you’re looking to get down this week, you’ve got to hear Overnight, the latest single from Australian electronic outfit Parcels, which is a collaboration with legendary helmeted French duo Daft Punk. A four-on-the-floor drum groove is met with palm-muted guitar and stereo percussion and synth sounds. This one virtually forcing you to find the nearest dance partner.

Jason Isbell — Hope the High Road

Nashville songwriter Jason Isbell has captivated the alt-country universe for the past several years. He recently released his latest album, The Nashville Sound, with his band, The 400 Unit. He and his band appeared in excellent form on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show this week, playing an enthusiastic version of Hope the High Road, a lyric-driven song with a shredding slide-guitar solo from the frontman himself, as well as beautiful harmonies on the chorus.

Soccer Mommy — Allison

Songwriter Sophie Allison’s Soccer Mommy project has been quietly churning out gorgeously melodic and deeply personal music for a few years now. She recently grabbed herself a spot on the acclaimed Fat Possum label. On her latest single, Allison, layers of vocals combine with electric guitar, as lyrics about love and loss strike a deep chord.

That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more songs to stream, and check out the playlist loaded with our recent selections below:


Hackers target UK parliament email accounts

After a report from The London TImes that the email addresses and passwords of British cabinet members and other government officials were being traded by Russian hackers, it looks like the inevitable next step has occurred: a cyberattack on the UK parliament.

According to Bloomberg, the Parliament along with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre are investigating an attack that started on Friday evening. To reduce the chances of being breached, remote access to email accounts has been disabled. In a statement, a parliament spokesperson said it was investigating “unauthorised attempts to access accounts of parliamentary networks users.”

Parliament members took to Twitter to report on the removal of remote access and asked fellow members to text any urgent messages.

Cyber security attack on Westminster Parliamentary e.mails may not work remotely Text urgent messages @LibDemLords @LabourLordsUK @Torypeers

— Chris Rennard (@LordRennard) June 24, 2017

So far it looks like the attack has been largely unsuccessful at penetrating the government’s servers. Still, the UK has had a rough couple of months. In May, UK hospitals were crippled by the WannaCry ransom attack.

Sorry no parliamentary email access today – we’re under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, Putin or a kid in his mom’s basement or something…

— Henry Smith MP (@HenrySmithUK) June 24, 2017

As hackers become more sophisticated, are backed by nations and continue to get access to leaked government-held exploits, attacks like this will unfortunately become more common.

Source: Bloomberg


Windows 10 source code leak is an embarrassment for Microsoft

Earlier this week, Beta Archive posted Windows 10 source code related to USB, storage and WiFi drivers on its free FTP site. Now, a spokesperson for Microsoft has confirmed to The Verge that this code, from the Shared Source Kit, is genuine.

The breach was initially thought to be massive; The Register reported that the leak consisted of around 32TB of files. They claimed it included builds of Windows that haven’t yet been released. However, it later became clear that the leak was smaller than originally reported, and what’s more, much of this data had been made available. The Shared Source Kit has already been distributed to Microsoft’s partners and licensees through the Shared Source initiative.

That doesn’t mean this data leak isn’t serious, though. It’s an embarrassing black mark for Microsoft at a time that more and more people are paying attention to and concerned about computer security. While the source code has been removed voluntarily by Beta Archive, it’s unclear how many people had already downloaded it. It’s possible that it still could be distributed via other methods and used to create exploits for Windows 10.

Source: The Verge, The Register


10 tips and tricks to experience BlackBerry KeyOne’s keyboard to the fullest

BlackBerry and TCL took a step in a different direction when they introduced the BlackBerry KeyOne — an Android-powered smartphone with a physical keyboard. It seems as though other manufacturers often match physical keyboards with old-school specs, like LG  and Verizon’s first LTE-only flip phone. By contrast, the KeyOne packs 1,620 x 1,080-pixels in a 4.5-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, and runs on the latest Android 7.1.1 operating system.

You might find the design bulky and perhaps a little outdated, but it’s a productivity powerhouse as we found in our BlackBerry KeyOne review. If you’re going to drop over $500 for a phone where the keyboard is the main attraction, you’ll want to be fully aware of all its functions. Here are 10 different features the QWERTY keyboard has to offer to make the experience worth your while.

Set short-press and long-press shortcuts

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Each key on the keyboard can be assigned a function — whether it’s to a specific contact, an app, or sending an email. There are 52 unique keyboard shortcuts to choose from. You can also turn on short-press keyboard shortcuts by going to the BlackBerry Launcher settings and tapping Typing action > Use a short-press keyboard. To set long-press shortcuts, tap on Apps > Keyboard shortcuts to bring up a list of options to assign a long-press shortcut. The only difference between the two is that, for long-press, you press and hold the specific key to assign the shortcut. For example, you can assign the Google app to a short press of the “G” key, but a long-press can open Gmail.

Physical and touchscreen keyboards

Regardless of how much you love the physical keyboard, there could be days where you miss having a touch screen. The KeyOne has an option to include a keyboard on your touch screen. Add this feature by going to Language and Input > Physical Keyboard >  Show Virtual Keyboard. The virtual keyboard will stay on the screen, even if you decide to switch to the physical keyboard. Keep in mind this will limit your screen real estate.

Statistics pertaining to your text-messaging activity

If you’re interested in learning about your activity on the keyboard, the KeyOne compiles real-time data based on your use. To access these statistics go to Keyboard Settings > BlackBerry Keyboard > Statistics. This shows you everything from how many words, emojis, and symbols you’ve typed, to how many times you used the touchscreen keyboard in comparison to the physical one.

Keyboard swiping and swipe gestures

While using the touchscreen keyboard, the “type by swiping” feature can be enabled through Keyboard Settings > BlackBerry Keyboard > Type by swiping. Type out words quickly by swiping from key to key without lifting your finger. For the physical keyboard, you can use the prediction bar above to help you type faster. Make sure it’s turned on by heading to Settings > Languages and input > Keyboard Settings > BlackBerry Keyboard > Prediction and Correction > Show predictions. When typing, you can flick your finger up on the left, center, and right side of the physical keyboard to quickly use one of the three options on the prediction bar.

Set up the fingerprint scanner

There are many different ways to make sure your Android device is secure, with a fingerprint scanner being one of them. While many Android phones have a fingerprint scanner positioned on the back of the phone, the KeyOne incorporates it into the space bar of the keyboard. You’ll have the option to set it up when you first turn on the phone, but if you choose to do it later, you’ll find it under Settings > Security > Fingerprint. That way, you can always unlock your phone by placing your finger on the space bar.

Accessing emojis

When you’re in the standard messaging window, accessing emojis isn’t as obvious as you’d think. By holding down the zero key, the library of emojis will instantly appear with tabs of different categories to choose from on the bottom. To turn on predictive emojis — emoji suggestions based on the text you type — tap on Keyboard Settings > BlackBerry Keyboard > Prediction and Correction > Predict Emojis. You then swipe up on the keyboard to insert the emoji into your text.

Swipe the keyboard to scroll in multiple directions

You may have assumed the physical keyboard was strictly for pressing buttons, but you’re also able to scroll with it. If you’re scrolling through an app like BlackBerry Hub — which consolidates all your emails, calendar events, tasks, and important notifications into one inbox — simply swipe up or down on the keyboard to keep viewing content. Swipe right or left to switch between the pages on your home screen, and delete words by swiping left if you’re typing out sentences.

Enable cursor control

Double tapping the keyboard enables cursor control. By swiping back and forth on the keyboard, you’ll move the cursor to the desired location when typing. If you don’t want to use the keyboard, there are arrow options on the touch screen you can tap on to move the cursor instead.

Set multiple language keyboards

To set up multiple keyboards in different language, go to Keyboard Settings > BlackBerry Keyboard > Multi Language Keyboards and then choose which language you wish to include by scrolling through the list. To switch between languages while typing, you can press and hold down on the space bar.

Keyboard sounds

Enabling sounds while typing is an option you can enable through Keyboard Settings > BlackBerry Keyboard > Key Press Feedback. You’ll have the option to turn the sound on — and choose the volume — as well as turn on “key pop-up” for the virtual keyboard to have the characters pop up while you’re typing.


Adobe and Stanford just taught AI to edit videos — with impressive results

Why it matters to you

Future Adobe video editors could make the process even faster, thanks to AI that still allows for creative input.

Just one minute of video typically takes several hours of editing — but Stanford and Adobe researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) program that partially automates the editing process, while still giving the user creative control over the final result.

The program starts by organizing all of the footage, which is often from multiple takes and camera angles. Those clips are matched to the script, so it’s easy to find several video options for each line of dialogue.

The program then works to recognize exactly what is inside those clips. Using facial recognition alongside emotion recognition and other computational imaging effects, the program determines what is in each frame. For example, the program flags whether the shot is a wide-angle or a close-up and which characters the shot includes.

With everything organized, the video editor then instructs the program in just how the videos should be edited using different styles and techniques the researchers call idioms. For example, a common style is to show the face of the character during their lines. If the editor wants that to happen, he or she just drags that idiom over. The idioms can also be negative. For example, the idiom “avoid jump cuts,” can be added to actually avoid them, or negatively to intentionally add jump cuts whenever possible.

The editor can drag over multiple idioms to instruct the program on an editing style. In a video demonstrating the technology, the researchers created a cinematic edit by using idioms that tell the software to keep the speaker visible while talking, to start with a wide-angle shot, to mix with close-ups and to avoid jump cuts. To edit the video in a completely different, fast-paced style, the researchers instead dragged over idioms for including jump cuts, using fast performance, and keeping the zoom consistent.

Editing styles can be saved to recall later, and with the idioms in place, a stylized video edit is generated with a click. Alternative clips are arranged next to the computer’s edit so editors can quickly adjust if something’s not quite right.

The program speeds up video editing using artificial intelligence, but also allows actual humans to set the creative parameters in order to achieve a certain style. The researchers did acknowledge a few shortcomings of the program. The system is designed for dialogue-based videos, and further work would need to be done for the program to work with other types of shots, such as action shots. The program also couldn’t prevent continuity errors, where the actor’s hands or a prop is in a different location in the next clip.

The study, conducted by Stanford University and Adobe Research, is included in the July issue of the ACM Transactions on Graphics Journal.


8 Adobe Premiere Pro Tips for beginners, from professional video editors

From rising YouTube stars to big Hollywood blockbusters, Adobe Premiere Pro has long been an industry standard when it comes to video editing. But like any piece of professional software, the list of advanced features comes with big potential and a steep learning curve. Because navigating the program can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for the unfamiliar, we asked the pros to share a few Premiere Pro tips.

Matt Eastin is the director and editor behind the music video for Imagine Dragons’ Believer. He has also created videos for several other bands — including Dr. Dog and Neon Trees — and launched a music documentary series. Eastin also recently shared the raw video files for Believer as part of a contest celebrating the 25th anniversary of Premiere Pro, which resulted in a number of impressive remakes, including Adam Henderson’s prize-winning edit. Henderson, one of the many editors who submitted videos for the contest, started using Adobe Premiere Pro while in high school, and quickly knew he wanted video editing to be part of his future. He now works at Post Op, a post-production boutique in Dallas, Texas, as a professional video editor.

Here’s what the director for the original music video, and the editor behind the remake, wanted to share with aspiring video editors regarding Premiere Pro.

Watch every second

Both Eastin and Henderson start a project in exactly the same way: they watch all the footage. While many editors will skip directly to the director’s call for action, both editors said they usually find a few gems by watching even the unintentional footage.

“The first thing I wanted to do once I decided I wanted to take on the project is that I had to watch every second of the footage,” Henderson said. “That’s essential for every project – you never know when there will be useful clips before the director even says action.”

Develop your own workflow

Although Eastin and Henderson may start the same way, that doesn’t mean there’s a one-size-fits-all workflow. Finding what works for you and sticking to it can help speed up the process in the long run.

Eastin watches all the footage by dragging everything into a new Premiere Pro Project. When he finds a shot he likes, he raises them up one level — or even two – for the best shots, which makes it easy to go back and find them later. Henderson, after watching the footage, then brainstorms a storyline on paper.

“Everyone has their own workflow,” Eastin said. “When I’m in Premiere Pro, I’m not thinking, I’m just doing.”

Get organized

Large projects often involve hours of footage, as well as audio files, titles, and special effects. The key to not getting lost in all that footage, and all of Premiere Pro’s features, is proper organization.

“Half of video editing is organization,” Henderson said. While different editors may have different organizational structures, the key is to get everything placed in a way that would allow any editor to easily jump in and help. Henderson creates a color-coded structure inside Premiere Pro, for instance, and makes sure that the original files match the same folder hierarchy on his hard drive.

Learn the hotkeys

Organization may eliminate time spent hunting for the right clip, but learning Premiere Pro’s keyboard shortcuts can also be a big time-saver. Eastin says the time invested in learning the hotkeys is well spent, namely because it will save you a ton of time down the line. He also suggests that users migrating from another video editor relearn the shortcuts, instead of uploading other shortcuts or customizing them to match another program. Why? Eastin said that relearning the shortcuts after switching from Final Cut helped him in the long run because the shortcuts are similar across multiple Creative Cloud applications.

Take advantage of the Creative Cloud

Premiere Pro is a standalone program, but it’s also part of a larger family of editing tools. Henderson suggests that learning the basics for other Creative Cloud programs will help you to create a better video in less time. Try After Effects for motion graphics and titles, Audition for removing noise or fine-tuning audio, and Speedgrade for improving video color. Dynamic links also allow you to shuffle projects between multiple programs easily, thus expanding the number of tools available to you with just a few clicks.

Create your own overlays

To save time, Eastin created his own custom overlays, which provide quick access to a range of unique effects. Eastin’s special effects folder contains a number of different shots, from grain, foreground haze, and lighting effects, to those that were made by shooting without a lens. The overlays took time to develop, but Eastin says having the effects on hand to play with in multiple projects, is worth the initial time investment.

Keep the Lumetri Color Panel open as you edit

Editing raw color is one of Eastin’s least favorite parts of the entire process, which is why he suggests keeping the Lumetri Color Panel open while editing. With this panel open, Eastin can adjust the color edits in real time, allowing him to see the color adjustments as he works.

Always be willing to experiment and try new things

Working for a boutique editing agency, Henderson says he will occasionally have a video that he thinks cannot possibly get any better — and then the client comes back with a suggestion. He recommends always trying others’ suggestion, because that means experimenting with something different.

“Never have a big enough head where you can’t take constructive criticism,” Henderson said. “Always be willing to experiment and try new things — you never know if it’s going to work.”

Adobe Premiere Pro is a program more than 25 years in the making, which means it comes with a laundry list of features that cannot be learned in a single day. With the right Premiere Pro tips and a little bit of time, however, new users can begin to uncover many of the program’s features.

“If you are interested in editing, open up Premiere and try to create something,” Henderson said. “If you’re bored, edit. If you’re busy, edit. Do anything you can to be a better editor.”


Best Cases for Moto Z


What’s the best case for the Moto Z?

The Moto Z, on its own, is very thin at just under 6 mm. If you’re not planning on opting for any Mods, then you’ll want a case with great protection against drops, since a spider-webbed screen is abstract art that’s pretty hard to appreciate.

  • Spigen Rugged Armor
  • Speck CandyShell Grip
  • Supcase Unicorn Beetle PRO
  • Poetic Affinity
  • Spigen Ultra Hybrid
  • Incipio Moto Z case

Spigen Rugged Armor


One of my favorite cases for any phone is Spigen’s Rugged Armor. It’s a one-piece TPU shell that’s sturdy and strong, but flexible, with excellent shock absorption, helping to prevent cracks should you drop your Moto Z.

The TPU’s texture provides excellent grip, and the cutouts for the camera and ports are precise, giving you a really well-fitting case. The volume and power buttons are covered but very responsive.

Comes in black.

See at Amazon

Speck CandyShell Grip


Speck’s CandyShell cases feel very solid in the hand, and the Grip series adds ribs in all the right places, so you can firmly hold onto your Moto Z at all times. The outer shell is a hard yet flexible polycarbonate, while the inside is soft and flexible “Impactium” (Speck speak).

The two combine for excellent drop protection (aided by the reinforced corners), and aid in preventing scratches and chips, especially thanks to the raised front bezel, which protects your phone when laid face-down. It’s available in clear or a range of colorful options, so you can fit one that matches your personal style.

See at Amazon

Supcase Unicorn Beetle PRO


If you don’t buy it for the name alone, grab the Unicorn Beetle PRO because it’s one of the best rugged cases around. If your job requires you to be physical or you’re just rough on your phones in general, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better case that’s this protective without being overly bulky (expect some bulk, but not a ton).

This case comes with a belt clip that’s attached to a front cover, so when your Moto Z is on your hip, its screen isn’t getting mangled from rubbing up against you and your clothes. The Beetle has reinforced corners to provide extra shock absorption, and the built-in screen protector will help to keep your Moto Z scratch-free.

Comes in blue or black.

See at Amazon

Poetic Affinity


Poetic’s Affinity cases are fairly simple polycarbonate shells with a neat lined design consisting of a bit of rubber, though it does nothing for protection.

These cases are reinforced all around to provide shock absorption in the event of a drop, and the fit is snug, so it feels like the Affinity becomes part of your Moto Z.

The Poetic Affinity is available with clear accents or black.

See at Amazon

Spigen Ultra Hybrid


Another Spigen favorite is the Ultra Hybrid, which is a perfect, seamless blend of flexible TPU and hard polycarbonate, designed to sleekly protect your Moto Z from drops, bumps, and scratches.

These cases fit wonderfully without adding much extra bulk, and being clear, you can appreciate the innate beauty of your Moto Z while keeping it protected.

See at Amazon

Incipio Moto Z case


The Incipio case for the Moto Z is made of two layers to protect your ultra-thin phone from ultra-hard surfaces. It’s not the sleekest case in the world, made up of a two-layer system comprised of a silicone liner and “rigid plextonium shell,” which helps against impact.

One of the best things about the case is that it’s the perfect thickness to keep the protruding camera ring protected without adding considerable thickness to the 6.1mm phone.

It’s available in five colors: red, black, gold, silver, and pink.

See at Amazon

Your favorites?

Are you using an awesome case with your Moto Z not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below!

Update June 2017: Removed the Moto Style Shells, which are no longer available from Motorola, and updated the other entries.

Moto Z, Moto Z Force and Moto Z Play

  • Moto Z + Z Force review!
  • Moto Z Play review
  • The Hasselblad True Zoom is a Mod to remember
  • Moto Z specs
  • Moto Mods custom backs
  • The latest Moto Z news
  • Discuss in our Moto Z forums



Get this powerful, military-grade flashlight for only $20!

What’s your plan for when the lights go out? Sure, you could use the flashlight built into your phone, but wasting valuable battery life on a flashlight is risky when you can’t charge your phone and need to conserve power. Perhaps you’re an avid camper or hiker. When night falls, you don’t want to use your fragile smartphone to navigate through the darkness, do you?

Get this military-grade flashlight for only $20! Learn more

In a camping or emergency situation, you don’t want to rely on something cheap or unreliable. Don’t bother with some dollar store flashlight that you’ll end up tossing because it’s plastic and garbage. Get yourself a flashlight with a metal casing that can stand up to the rough life so that you can take it with you wherever you go: camping, hunting, in the car, whatever.


What you need is an Army Gear Z9 Tactical Military Flashlight that packs a powerful 500 lumen LED that is bright enough to be seen from miles away. Made of ultra-hardened aircraft grade aluminum, this is the same flashlight used by the Army Rangers and Marine Corp and comes dressed in modern infantry camo for a rugged and reliable design.

Your flashlight comes with a rechargeable battery, battery charger, and rugged storage case — typically this package would sell for $149.99, but thanks to this deal from CrackBerry Digital Offers you’ll save 86%! The LED is rated for 100,000 hours of use, so you’re definitely getting your money’s worth for $20!

Get this military-grade flashlight for only $20! Learn more


Best Horror Games For Gear VR


It’s time to scare the crap out of your friends.

Gear VR delivers plenty of awesome and awe-inspiring experiences that you can enjoy, but they’ve also got games made to scare the pants right off of you. If you’re hoping for something spine-tingling or creepy to make you jump out of your skin, keep scrolling.

We’ve collected the best frightening games and experiences on Gear VR for you here!


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