Report: Waymo Demands at Least $1 Billion to Settle Uber Suit

Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo sought at least $1 billion in damages and a public apology from Uber Technologies Inc as conditions for settling its high-profile trade secret lawsuit against the ride-services company, sources familiar with the proposal told Reuters. The Waymo self-driving car unit also asked that an independent monitor be appointed to ensure Uber does not use Waymo technology in the future, the sources said. Uber rejected those terms, said…

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Dutch Team Wins 7th Australian Solar-Powered Car Race

A Dutch team won a solar-powered car race across Australia for a seventh time on Thursday, with a University of Michigan car likely to take second place in the biennial event. The Nuon team’s Nuna 9 car averaged more than 80 kph (50 mph) to reach the World Solar Challenge finish line in the southern coastal city of Adelaide after five days of racing across 3,022 kilometers (1,878 miles) of…

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Facebook Gets Real About Broadening Virtual Reality’s Appeal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to be realizing a sobering reality about virtual reality: His company’s Oculus headsets that send people into artificial worlds are too expensive and confining to appeal to the masses. Zuckerberg on Wednesday revealed how Facebook intends to address that problem, unveiling a stand-alone headset that won’t require plugging in a smartphone or a cord tethering it to a personal computer like the Oculus Rift headset…

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California Moves Toward Public Access for Self-driving Cars

California regulators took an important step Wednesday to clear the road for everyday people to get self-driving cars. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles published proposed rules that would govern the technology within California, where for several years manufacturers have been testing hundreds of prototypes on roads. That testing requires a trained safety driver behind the wheel, just in case the onboard computers and sensors fail. Though companies are not…

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Half of US, Japan Teens ‘Addicted’ to Smartphones

About half of teenagers in the United States and Japan say they are addicted to their smartphones. University of Southern California (USC) researchers asked 1,200 Japanese about their use of electronic devices. The researchers are with the Walter Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. Their findings were compared with an earlier study on digital media use among families in North America. “Advances in digital media and mobile devices are changing…

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Facebook’s Zuckerberg Apologizes for Virtual Tour of Devastated Puerto Rico

Mark Zuckerberg has apologized for showcasing Facebook’s virtual reality capability with a tour of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. The Facebook founder and another executive discussed the platform’s virtual reality project through avatars in a video recorded live Monday. The video begins with the avatars pictured on the roof of Facebook’s Mountain View, California, headquarters before heading to Puerto Rico by using a 360-degree video recorded by National Public Radio as a…

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US Researchers Genetically Modify Corn to Boost Nutritional Value

U.S. researchers said this week they have discovered a way to genetically engineer corn, the world’s largest commodity crop, to produce a type of amino acid found in meat. The result is a nutritionally rich food that could benefit millions worldwide, while also reducing the cost of animal feed.  The breakthrough came in a report in the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed journal.  Researchers say the process involves infusing…

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US Signals Tougher Stance with Tech Companies on Encryption

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Tuesday sharply criticized technology companies that have built strongly encrypted products, suggesting Silicon Valley is more willing to comply with foreign government demands for data than those made by their home country. While echoing many arguments made by previous senior U.S. law enforcement officials, Rosenstein struck a harder line than his predecessors who led the Obama Justice Department, dismissing attempts to negotiate with…

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