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2022-06-28 06:00:57| Engadget

People with arm paralysis might easily feed themselves in the future. Johns Hopkins University-led researchers have developed a new technique that let a partially paralyzed man feed himself using robotic arms connected through a brain-machine interface. He only had to make small movements with his fists at certain prompts (such as "select cut location") to have the fork- and knife-equipped arms cut food and bring it to his mouth. He could have dessert within 90 seconds, according to the researchers.The new method centers on a shared control system that minimizes the amount of mental input required to complete a task. He could map his four-degree freedom of movement (two for each hand) to as many as 12 degrees of freedom for controlling the robot arms. The limbs' prompt-based intelligent responses also reduced the workload.The technology is still young. Scientists want to add touch-like sensory feedback instead of relying exclusively on visuals. They also hope to improve the accuracy and efficiency while reducing the need for visual confirmation. In the long term, though, the team sees robotic arms like these restoring complex movements and providing more independence to people with disabilities.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2022-06-28 05:33:57| Engadget

In a letter posted on her official website, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has revealed that House Democrats have been working on legislation to protect personal data collected by reproductive health trackers. It's one of the three avenues the lawmakers are exploring following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. "Many fear that this information could be used against women by a sinister prosecutor in a state that criminalizes abortion," she explained, though she didn't expound on how the lawmakers plan to protect people's personal data. Users have been swapping their period trackers for others they believe can offer them more privacy ever since the Supreme Court decision dropped. It's not unusual for companies to sell user information or to cooperate with law enforcement, and people are concerned about the possibility of investigators using that data to identify them if they ever seek an abortion. As TechCrunch reported, a number of reproductive health apps enjoyed a surge of new signups over the weekend. One of those apps is Flo, which announced that it plans to launch an anonymous mode shortly after the Supreme Court decision came out. The mode is supposed to remove one's personal information from their account so that they can't be identified, but Flo has yet to reveal when it will become available. It's worth noting that Flo's average daily installs has been on the decline, based on Apptopia numbers cited by TechCrunch, likely because it has a history of sharing private data with third parties.Back in 2019, The Wall Street Journal listed Flo as one of the apps that had been giving Facebook access to people's sensitive data. Two years later, Flo settled with the FTC over allegations that it was sharing information with the social network, Google and other third-party companies. As part of that settlement, Flo now has to explicitly ask for user consent before it can give external services access to their personal health information.Despite the House Speaker's announcement that House Democrats are working "to protect the health and freedom of American women," there's no guarantee that the legislation they're cooking up would be signed into law. It's always smart to take a closer look at how apps are protecting user data by reading their "nutritional label" on iOS or their "safety section" in the Play Store on Android. But for those who want to be truly safe, perhaps the best solution is to not use a period tracking app at all.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2022-06-27 23:30:33| Engadget

When Rivian drivers do eventually get on the road, they'll have their pick of charging networks including a brand new one from the EV truckmaker itself. Rivian announced on Monday that the first three sites of its burgeoning "Adventure Network" of Level 3 fast DC chargers are coming online and will be accessible to nearly every other EV on the road, regardless of who makes it. The first station opened in Salida, Colorado with four chargers capable of delivering 200 kW of power that's about 140 miles of range for an R1T in 20 minutes in addition to the existing set of Level 2 chargers. Rivian will officially open the other stations in Inyokern and Bishop, California, later in the week. You've probably never heard of any of these towns unless you frequent Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Forest, Mammoth Lakes or Death Valley National Park. Similar to Jeep's efforts to install charging stations at trailheads, Rivian's Adventure Network seeks to add fast charging capabilities along both popular cross-country routes and also near national parks and other out-of-the way locations.  RivianWe designed Rivian charging to support electrified adventure, and these first sites demonstrate how were enabling drivers to responsibly reach some of the nations most breathtaking natural spaces, Trent Warnke, Rivians Senior Director of Energy and Charging Solutions, said in a statement. In addition to scenic or off-the-beaten-path destinations, our fast charging rollout is designed to ensure travelers have places to charge along major transportation corridors coast to coast. To that end, the company hopes to install some 3,500 chargers at 600 sites nationwide.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2022-06-27 22:32:28| Engadget

GMC Hummer EV owners will soon be able to raise their 9,000-pound vehicle nearly six additional inches in the air, all due to a simple software update. Over the new few weeks, GMC will be adding a new Extract Mode which lets drivers elevate their vehicle to avert off-road obstacles to all First Edition models of the all-electric pickup truck. Essentially, Extract Mode lets drivers elevate their vehicle so they can avert off-road obstacles. As fun as the feature sounds, drivers should take heed that the suspension mode can only be used at low speeds. Also, frequent use of the feature will result in your vehicle needing to cool off before being suspended again. In total, Extract Mode will allow for 15.9 inches of ground clearance for the vehicle, which will give it an edge over other off-road capable vehicles like the Rivian R1T, Ram TRX, F150 Raptor and Bronco Raptor. For a preview of Extract Mode in action, check out the video below.Unfortunately, only a handful of GMC Hummer EV owners will be able to actually try out the feature. As Electreknotes, demand for the Hummer has far exceeded GMCs expectations and the automaker is struggling to ramp up production. Only one Hummer EV was delivered last year, and the automaker has received over 65,000 reservations for its Hummer EV pickups and SUVs. If youre in the market for a first edition pickup, youre out of luck: reservations for the roughly $110,000 vehicle are full. And if you spring for a slightly cheaper model, you could be due for a two-year wait.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2022-06-27 21:40:09| Engadget

Apple and Qualcomm may have ended most of their feuding in 2019, but the fight might not be over just yet. The Vergereports that the Supreme Court has denied Apple's request for a hearing to potentially invalidate two Qualcomm patents that played key roles in 2017 attempts to ban Apple Watch, iPad and iPhone sales over allegedly infringing modem technology. The court didn't explain why it rejected the request, but a Justice Department amicusbrief from May argued that there was no evidence to indicate the patents were harming Apple's business.While the companies struck a six-year licensing deal to settle their main dispute, the agreement let a US Patent and Trademark Office case continue involving the two patents. Apple lost an attempt to invalidate the patents with the USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and again failed when a Federal Circuit court tossed out Apple's appeal request based on the settlement. When Apple went to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department filed its supporting brief opposing the request.Apple claimed in its request that Qualcomm might use the patents to sue again once the licensing deal expires in 2025 or (if extended) 2027. It's not certain what either company will do next. We've asked both Apple and Qualcomm for comment. The landscape may change significantly within the next few years, however. Apple is rumored to be ditching Qualcomm in favor of using its own 5G modems as soon as 2023, and it's not yet clear how that might affect the current truce.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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