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Cadillac to add hands-free Super Cruise system to all cars starting in 2020

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GM’s stinginess with its excellent hands-free Super Cruise advanced driver assist system is nearing an end. Today, the premium brand announced plans to roll out the semi-autonomous feature to all its cars starting in 2020, after which point, it will start appearing in other GM-owned vehicles as well.

When it first debuted in the Cadillac CT6 last year, Super Cruise drew immediate comparisons to Tesla’s Autopilot system. It uses LIDAR, cameras, sensors, and mapping data to allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel while driving on divided highways, but it has an infrared camera on the steering column to make sure eyes stay on the road.

A more comprehensive driver assistance system than those offered by the likes of Nissan and Volvo, Super Cruise was Cadillac’s way of breaking out of old stereotypes and introducing the brand to new customers.
But a year after its launch, Cadillac had little information about the future of Super Cruise beyond the CT6. When it debuted its 2019 XT4 luxury SUV at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, Super Cruise was noticeably absent. Meanwhile, other automakers were installing advanced driver assist systems in mass-market vehicles, like the Nissan Altima with ProPilot Assist.

Of course, Super Cruise doesn’t come cheap. CT6 buyers shell out $2,500 for the standalone option on luxury (sticker price: $66,290) and platinum models ($85,290). Also, on luxury models, Super Cruise requires buyers to purchase the $3,100 driver assist package. No word yet on how it will be priced in future models.

Cadillac also plans to offer vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication capabilities in an unnamed high-volume crossover vehicle by 2023, with the goal of expanding the technology across Cadillac’s portfolio.

When cars talk with each other, they do it by exchanging data wirelessly over an unlicensed spectrum called the Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) band, using technology similar to Wi-Fi. The FCC has set aside spectrum in the 5.9GHz band specifically for this purpose, and it is only meant to be used for V2X applications. That includes vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) — so cars talking to other cars, to traffic signals, or to the phone in your pocket.

Last year, GM said that its 2017 Cadillac CTS sedans would come equipped with DSRC-enabled V2V technology that will allow them to detect potential hazards, like slippery roads or disabled vehicles in its path.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/6/17433810/cadillac-super-cruise-expands-2020-gm

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Intel shares down after CEO Brian Krzanich resigns over relationship with employee

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The surprise move comes after a board investigation found he violated the company’s nonfraternization policy for managers.

Brian Krzanich is out as CEO of Intel.

The chip giant on Thursday said that Brian Krzanich had resigned and that the board had named Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan as interim CEO. The board has begun a search for a permanent CEO, looking at both internal and external candidates.

The resignation comes after the board learned of a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee and an investigation confirmed that it violated Intel’s nonfraternization policy, which applied to all managers, the company said.

“We appreciate Brian’s many contributions to Intel,” Intel Chairman Andy Bryant said in the release. “The board believes strongly in Intel’s strategy and we’re confident in Bob Swan’s ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO.”

Shares fell nearly 2 percent to $52.40 after the news.

The resignation marks an ignoble end for an executive whose chief legacy is the push to diversify one of Silicon Valley’s biggest and most powerful players. Krzanich, who took the reins five years ago after serving as the operating chief, was considered a safe pick. He steered Intel through questions about whether the company could remain dominant as the world went more mobile, investing in everything from drones to virtual reality.

Intel built the x86 chips that traditionally powered PCs, but the world was increasingly turning to smartphones that used so-called Arm chips from the likes of Qualcomm. Under Krzanich, Intel positioned itself for a fresh start with the advent of next-generation 5G wireless technology, and it has edged into the mobile world as a supplier for Apple’s iPhones.

Not all of his bets have paid off, including Intel’s hasty retreat from VR once the buzz over the technology died down.

The most recent headaches for Krzanich have come from having to deal with massive vulnerabilities (called Spectre and Meltdown) that potentially left chips from Intel, Arm and AMD open to hacking attacks. He’s long been a fixture as a CES keynote speaker, but security concerns dominated this year’s presentation.

But Krzanich will likely most be remembered for championing workplace diversity. He made it a central issue at his CES keynote address in 2015, pledging $300 million to support better representation in technology. His action was one of the boldest at a time when the noise over diversity was just starting to spike.

“This isn’t just good business,” Krzanich said in his speech. “This is the right thing to do.”

But Intel doesn’t have an obvious successor. The company has seen a slew of key executive departures over the last few years, including former CFO Stacy Smith, Diane Bryant, once the head of the data center group but now with Google, and former president, Renee James.

“Krzanich’s resignation comes at a difficult time for Intel,” Cowen analyst Matthew Ramsey said. “We fail to see a clear internal long-term successor given recent changes to senior management.”

Intel, which declined to comment further, is hoping for a smooth transition during the search for a new CEO. To reassure investors, the company said it expects to have a record second quarter with revenue of roughly $16.9 billion and earnings, excluding one-time items, of 99 cents a share, above its previous forecast. Intel will report full results on July 26.

from CNET website
BY MARRIAN ZHOU, ROGER CHENG

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Uber booking has been removed from Google Maps for Android

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Google Maps can no longer be used to book an Uber on Android. It brings the app in line with the iOS version, which lost the feature last summer, as noted by Android Police.

Google has had the ability to show price estimates and pickup wait times for ride-sharing apps for a while. Back in January 2017, Uber alone gained the ability to actually book rides in the Google Maps app by pulling up your account window and hailing your ride without ever leaving the app.

But for whatever reason, Google has officially removed the feature from the Android app, demoting Uber back to the same level as the other ride-sharing apps it supports, like Lyft and Gett. You’ll still be able to see the estimated cost of different Uber rides in Maps, but you’ll now have to go to the actual Uber app to finish the booking process.

It’s not entirely clear why Google is removing the feature. For what it’s worth, Alphabet’s venture capital business has made a large investment in Lyft. But the Google Maps help page regarding the function has been updated to explicitly note that “you can no longer book Uber rides directly in Google Maps. But you can still look up the route in the Maps app and then request the ride from the Uber app.” That applies to both the iOS and Android versions of the app, so it appears that this feature is gone for good.

 

By Chaim Gartenberg

from theverge website

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Cryptocurrencies Fall as Korean Exchange Says $32 Million of Coins Stolen

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Cryptocurrencies dropped after the second South Korean exchange in as many weeks said it was hacked, renewing concerns about the safety of digital-asset trading venues.

Bithumb, ranked by Coinmarketcap.com as the world’s seventh-largest crypto exchange by traded value, said on Wednesday that hackers stole about 35 billion won ($32 million) and that Ripple was among the coins taken. The exchange halted cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals, said it will compensate victims and moved investor assets to a so-called cold wallet, which is disconnected from the Internet and less vulnerable to theft.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, dropped as much as 2 percent and was trading at $6,624 as of 7:24 a.m. in New York, bringing this year’s decline to 54 percent, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. Ripple, Ethereum, and Litecoin also retreated, along with some Asia-listed stocks with exposure to digital currencies

Enthusiasm for virtual currencies has waned this year partly due to a string of cyberheists, including the nearly $500 million theft from Japanese exchange Coincheck Inc. in late January. Last week, a South Korean venue called Coinrail said that some of the exchange’s digital coins appeared to have been stolen by hackers, though it didn’t disclose how much.

While the latest theft has weighed on sentiment, investor reactions have been relatively subdued, said Ryan Rabaglia, head trader at cryptocurrency dealing firm Octagon Strategy Ltd. in Hong Kong. “The market has sort of become a bit more battle-hardened. It can weather the storm on these negative reports.”

The crypto-mania that spread worldwide last year was particularly intense in South Korea, with Bitcoin prices in the country at one point climbing to a 50 percent premium over those in America.

The fervor has since cooled amid a government crackdown, but South Korean exchanges are still among the world’s most active. The country’s policymakers are debating comprehensive regulations for cryptocurrencies, with proposals ranging from shutting down local exchanges to allowing them to operate under increased supervision.

The South Korean government said it started an investigation into the Bithumb hack and that it will review the security systems at 21 of the nation’s crypto exchanges.

The hacks in South Korea show “how ill-prepared a lot of the exchanges still are across large markets,” said Vijay Ayyar, the Singapore-based head of business development at Luno, a cryptocurrency exchange. “The overall market is seeing a lot of regulatory action and incidents like these will only hasten the process.”

from Bloomberg website

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