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Facebook promises more privacy

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As we wrote earlier, the scandal surrounding Facebook is gaining momentum. In order to at least somehow reduce the wave of complaints regarding Facebook, the founder of the company urgently provided an update of the system.

On March 28th, 2018 popular social network has issued a statement with the information that the users of Facebook will receive more control over their personal data. They can easily modify privacy settings and manage data that use additional applications. Zuckerberg stated that it is only the first step that will help to ensure maximum data protection.

It is now easier to set up privacy through Facebook mobile app, see what data and when were given to the third-party applications and change access to data from other applications. Outdated options were also removed. In all the versions of the social network, there will be notifications that will encourage users to do a confidentiality check in three simple steps. The network also promises to create some boundaries regarding how other users will be able to access your information. It is also strongly recommended to check Facebook app access to calls and SMS. Moreover, Zuckerberg promises that it will be possible to delete your data from Facebook in a few simple steps.

But in order to understand why such important functions should have been introduced before, we will have a look at the past. It all started in 2011 when activist Max Shomes asked Facebook “what do you know about me” and received a CD with over 1200 files in response. Thus, he found out that Facebook collects the data of all IP-addresses from which the social network was logged in, a full archive of his actions, a history of his moves, as well as the information that was deleted earlier: a few private messages, statuses and publications. Facebook also knows your birth date, your phone number, all your personal preferences, where you are and, according to the latest data, the social network saves data about calls and SMS messages.

We can say with confidence that if you do not want Facebook to know something about you, then stop using social networks. They have already become the most important business elements and at the same time an integral part of people’s lives. And the limits and restrictions in accessing your data are just smoke and mirrors. Because social networks were created so you could share your personal information with other close (and not so close) people.

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4 futuristic transport methods that will change how we travel around the worldaa

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Since the invention of air travel, the world has felt like a smaller place – it’s now possible for pretty much anyone to fly around the globe, learning about different countries and cultures. It’s pretty amazing.

But some companies aren’t satisfied with this – they want to make the world seem even smaller, with faster, more efficient and more comfortable methods of transport.

Ever dreamed of exploring the Australian Outback but been put off by the long flight? A Virgin Galactic flight from London to Sydney might take two hours within the next decade.
Here are four methods of futuristic transportation that are going to change how we travel around the world.

1. SUPERSONIC JETS

Sure, supersonic jets don’t seem new or futuristic. In fact, Concord retired from service 15 years ago, and since then supersonic air travel has been reserved for the military. But now, there are a number of startups working on the next generation of supersonic air travel – promising faster, quieter and more efficient journeys than ever before.
The most well-known company working towards this goal is Boom, which plans to create a 55-seater commercial airliner that will fly at Mach 2.2 (slightly faster than Concord), crossing from London to New York in around 3 hours 15 minutes. Seats will be priced at around $5,000.

New breakthroughs in material and engine technology will also increase the fuel efficiency of supersonic jets, and will likely be comparable to a business class seat on a subsonic jet.

A Boom jet will take to the skies next year for testing, and the company hopes to carry its first paying passenger in 2025.

Oh, and worried about noise? There are companies working on ‘boom-less’ flight, travelling at supersonic speeds without the supersonic boom reaching the ground.

2. VIRGIN HYPERLOOP

First introduced by Elon Musk, a Hyperloop system is intended to move passengers or cargo at airline speeds at a fraction of the cost of air travel.

The Hyperloop concept uses an electric motor to accelerate and decelerate an electromagnetically levitated pod through a low-pressure tube. The vehicle will glide silently for miles at speeds up to 670 mph with no turbulence.

The system is designed to be entirely autonomous, quiet and on-demand.

Hyperloop One has completed construction of a 500-metre Development Loop test track in North Las Vegas and in May 2017, held its first full-scale Hyperloop test. Its goal is to be up and running by 2021.

There are a number of cities hoping to be the first to get the new transport system, including some in the UK. There’s one proposed route between London and Edinburgh, and another between Glasgow and Liverpool.

3. SPACE TRAVEL

There are a number of companies working in the space tourism industry, but it’s another one of Mr Branson’s endeavours, Virgin Galactic, which is the most well known.
Virgin Galactic’s flights are not like traditional rocket launches. Instead of a vertical launch, you’ll start your journey in the six-seater spaceship attached to a lightweight plane known as the Virgin mothership, VMS Eve.

VMS Eve will take off at sunrise and slowly climb to around 50,000 ft. At this point the spaceship detaches and the hybrid rocket will kick in, pushing 3.5 Gs. You’ll accelerate from 140 knots to the speed of sound in 6.5 seconds. The pilot will then pitch the nose up and continue to accelerate vertically, going on to reach four times the speed of sound.

Outside, the sky will change from blue to purple to black – you’ll be able to see this from the front windows, as well as the nine large windows on the side and roof of the ship. These are double the size of traditional aeroplane windows.

The spaceship will reach its peak altitude and remain in space for around six minutes. It’ll be dead silent. During this peak, the seats will fold away and you’ll experience zero gravity, float around, and have your picture taken.

The feather mechanism will kick in, changing the shape of the ship, as it begins to glide back to Earth. It then lands back in New Mexico like a regular plane. The whole flight takes around two hours.

At the moment, that journey will cost you $250,000. That’s clearly a lot of money and only accessible to the super rich (although one or two people have taken out mortgages to fund the flight).

In the future, however, as the ships get larger and can take more people, we could see the introduction of suborbital intercontinental travel.
For example, who says the plane has to land again in New Mexico? You could fly anywhere in the world in under three hours. Richard Branson has predicted that within a generation it will be possible to fly from Australia to London in less than two hours.

4. SELF-DRIVING CARS AND SMART ROADS

SELF-DRIVING CARS have the potential to make travelling easier and safer than ever. Getting around an unfamiliar city could be as simple as opening an app and hailing an autonomous car.

Technically speaking, self-driving cars are already on the road, thanks to a number of brands – but they’re not legally allowed to fully drive themselves yet on public roads, and may not be for a while yet.

There is a long list of companies working on self-driving vehicles, from traditional car manufacturers such as BMW, Audi and Volkswagen, to tech companies such as Uber, Tesla and Google.

The most notable company in this field is Tesla, which is constantly rolling out software and hardware updates for its cars to improve their autonomous capabilities little by little.

Its Autopilot system can already drive a car better than a human, Tesla says, though right now you’re only legally allowed to use it to help you stay in lanes on a motorway, change lanes when needed, and adjust the car’s speed based on the traffic around it.

The emergence of smart roads will make travelling by car even easier. These smart roads will be able to instantly communicate with your car about traffic, parking spaces or hazards, and help you navigate your way around an unfamiliar city.

Source: https://www.t3.com/features/4-futuristic-transport-methods-changing-how-we-travel-around-the-world

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No Price Hike, but New Caps on MoviePass Discount Tix Plan

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MoviePass, a discount service for movie tickets at theaters, is rescinding a planned 50 percent price increase following a subscriber backlash, but imposes new caps on use.

MoviePass, a discount service for movie tickets at theaters, is walking back a planned 50 percent price increase following a subscriber backlash. But the cash-starved company will soon impose a cap of three movies per month, instead of one every day.

The company says the new plan will include “many major studio first-run films,” though there will be exceptions the company didn’t specify. In doing so, MoviePass is rescinding a recent cost-cutting move of barring viewings of most major releases during the first two weeks.

MoviePass has shown that many moviegoers will make time to hit theaters when movies are affordable, despite more convenient options such as Netflix and video on demand. U.S. movie ticket sales are up 8 percent so far this year, according to comScore. MoviePass claims credit for some of that.

MoviePass has grown to 3 million subscribers, from about 20,000, since it slashed monthly rates nearly a year ago to $10, from as high as $50.

But that success has proven costly. Because MoviePass typically pays theaters the full cost of tickets — $15 or more in big cities — a single movie can put the service in the red. Its parent company recently had to take out a $5 million emergency loan to pay its payment processors after missed payments resulted in service outages.

MoviePass has made many haphazard changes in recent weeks to reduce costs, including blocking most or all evening screenings, regardless of when the movie came out. That has led to complaints from subscribers, some of whom have threatened to leave for a rival plan from the AMC theater chain.

Though MoviePass says it’s not raising monthly prices to $15, there’s still a hidden price increase. The company already has a three-movie plan for $8 a month. Now, it will be $10.

MoviePass is also rescinding other cost-cutting measures, including surcharges for popular movies and show times and requirements to send photographs of ticket stubs to combat fraud.

MoviePass says the new cap will affect only about 15 percent of subscribers — those who now watch four or more movies a month.

The new caps take effect Aug. 15, though those with annual subscriptions won’t be affected until their renewal date.
The stock price of MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., increased 19 percent to close Monday at 8 cents, though it’s still down from nearly $50 a month ago, adjusted for a reverse stock split.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: https://www.usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2018-08-06/no-price-hike-but-new-caps-on-moviepass-discount-tix-plan

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UPS tests ‘smart lock’ technology in New York apartment buildings

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United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) on Tuesday said it is testing “smart lock” technology that allows its delivery drivers to open doors and drop multiple packages at secure locations inside apartment buildings around New York City.

The test includes “hundreds of non-doorman” multi-family buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn that have installed Latch’s “smart access system.” The project comes as UPS is working to make “last-mile” e-commerce deliveries to households more convenient and cost effective by reducing package theft and the need for drivers to make repeated delivery attempts.

“It’s difficult to securely deliver packages in high-density, multi-family urban residences, especially when people are not at home,” said Jerome Roberts, vice president of global product innovation at UPS.

The partnership with Latch – a New York City-based startup that has raised $26 million in private funding – enables UPS drivers to open entry doors with a handheld device that has a different access credential for each building on a route. Every time a driver enters a building, Latch creates a traceable record.
Derek Banta, UPS’s director of global product innovation concepts, said the parcel delivery company will assess the potential cost savings from “completing more deliveries on the first attempt.”

UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, and rival FedEx Corp (FDX.N) have invested billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to handle surging demand for e-commerce deliveries. Residential deliveries typically cost more than business deliveries because drivers usually drop more packages per stop at offices than at homes.
FedEx told Reuters it began testing smart lock technology in select markets before the winter holiday shipping season last year. FedEx declined to identify the test markets or its smart access technology partner.

Latch a year ago teamed up with Walmart Inc’s (WMT.N) Jet.com e-commerce site to test its technology at 1,000 residential buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Walmart also made waves in September when it started dropping packages inside homes – or groceries inside refrigerators – as part of a test with August Home smart lock customers in Silicon Valley.

Amazon.com (AMZN.O) late last year announced a secure-lock service called Amazon Key that enables Amazon Logistics delivery workers to briefly unlock a customer’s door to drop a package inside.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ups-latch/ups-tests-smart-lock-technology-in-new-york-apartment-buildings-idUSKBN1K71JO

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