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What Your Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Might Not Cover

You can save a decent amount on your car rental by skipping the insurance. If you paid for your rental with your credit card, you’re most likely already covered. But it’s important to know the specifics of what that card does and doesn’t cover, and how it works.

Consumer Columnist Mitch Lipka points out that your credit card coverage often depends on your personal auto insurance coverage. He writes:

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slidenjoy

Jumping from a multi-display desktop setup to a laptop can be a bit of a letdown, particularly if you’re rocking more than two displays. Fortunately, someone’s working on a way to double or triple your mobile screen space. The product is called Sliden’Joy, and it can clip a second and third display onto your laptop’s existing display. Or third and fourth, if you happen to be one of the select few who plunked down big bucks for a dual-screen laptop.

Their pixel-packing panels come in three different sizes: 13, 15, and 17 inches. Sliden’Joy will come in several different finishes, too, so there ought to be one that’s a good fit for your notebook of choice. A single display (presumably the 13-incher) will run €199 (about $220), while dual-display packs start at €299 (about $330).

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See which companies top the list, in the Reputation Institute's 2015 US Technology RepTrak.
(Image: David Armano via Flickr)

The Reputation Institute has announced its annual list of the 25 most reputable tech companies in the US. We're highlighting the companies that made it into the top 10 on The 2015 US Technology RepTrak. It's a set of companies that is very different than the list that we posted a few months ago of companies where IT pros most want to work. Clearly, a company's reputation among IT pros is not the same as the reputation it has among the general public.

The Technology RepTrak rankings are drawn from a larger survey that also provides ratings used in the organization's overall 2015 US 100 most reputable companies. For its overall rankings, the Reputation Institute surveyed 50,000 people in first quarter 2015 and received a total of 80,000 ratings (respondents were allowed to rate more than one company). Business-to-consumer and business-to-business tech companies were evaluated. In addition to the technology section and the US 100, the survey was also used to compile reputation rankings for US businesses in the consumer goods, industrial, healthcare, and hospitality industries, among other sectors.

The survey asked respondents to rate companies in seven categories: products/services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership, and financial performance. The Institute considers these seven categories to have direct influence on the profitability of a company because they affect a customer's decisions to buy their offerings or invest in the company. Scoring high in these categories also helps a company weather a crisis or inspire a recommendation from a customer, according to the Institute.

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Researchers at Clemson University have created a new sort of robotic design based on the long, curled tail of the seahorse. The seahorse is unique because it consists of “square prisms surrounded by bony plates that are connected by joints.” Other animal tails are cylindrical and therefore easily crushed.

The researchers write:

Researchers found that the square prototype was stiffer, stronger and more resilient than the circular one when crushed. The square prototype was about half as able to twist, a restriction that could prevent damage to the seahorse and give it better control when it grabs things.Both prototypes could bend about 90 degrees, although the cylindrical version was slightly less restricted.

Porter said the seahorse tail could inspire new forms of armor. It could also lead to search-and-rescue robots that move on the ground like a snake and are able to contract to fit into tight spaces.

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First, it was a Corvette-powered Land Rover that made Richard Hammond yell, “I am a driving god!” at the top of his lungs. Now, it’s a fresh pair of 4x4s — one designed for track day performance and luxury while the other is suited for high-speed military duty. Clearly, British automaker Wildcat isn’t your average car company.

The new duo has just been announced by the brand, and despite wildly differing looks, attitudes, and available weaponry, the vehicles are actually based on the same lightweight composite platform.

The MV-LSV (or Light Strike Vehicle) builds on Wildcat’s off-roading experience to offer high-speed capability through the harshest environments. Under the vented hood lies a 3.0-liter, 268-horsepower turbodiesel six-cylinder capable of pushing the car to over 100 mph, and inside, a modular platform allows for multiple seating arrangements, service/repair supplies, and even medical equipment. The vehicle’s size and weight are also optimized for air portability.

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Posted by on in Tech Deals

Advance Auto Parts

 

 

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Following revelations that Apple disabled the popular music Home Sharing feature with its latest iOS 8.4 update, SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue on Monday said the company is working to restore services for iOS 9.

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In response to a question regarding the Home Sharing situation on iOS 8.4, Cue tweeted out, "We are working to have Home Sharing in iOS 9," suggesting the feature will be at least partially reinstated with Apple's next-generation mobile operating system.Apple quietly removed Home Sharing for music from iOS 8.4, an unfortunate decision given Apple Music's launch that same day. The company has not officially commented on the matter.Home Sharing was carried over from Mac in iOS 4.3 as a way stream content to mobile devices from a central computer connected to a common network. Its removal left iPhone, iPad and iPod owners without an in-house solution for streaming tracks from Mac-based iTunes libraries. Cue's comments are consistent with early iOS 8.4 beta release notes that listed Home Sharing as "not currently available" under known issues. When the OS shipped, the feature's music streaming component was indeed absent from iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, though video sharing was still available. Owners of desktops and Apple TV can still share both music and video. For now, Apple Music offers a $14.99 Family Plan with full access to Apple's music catalog for up to six people, in some ways replacing Home Sharing for a cost. As previously noted, however, Apple Music's current offerings, while expansive, are not complete and could pose a problem for certain users.
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“Where is this?”
“I don’t know. You were here first.”

The opening scene of “Maybe Tomorrow” takes last week’s cliffhanger and makes a hard left into David Lynch territory, mashing together the eeriness of Twin Peaks and the boozy, southern California setting of Mulholland Drive. The potential of that twist left a lot of people wondering if pulling a Janet-Leigh-in-Psycho move with a big-time movie star like Colin Farrell could shake the dust off of this season. But what actually happens is a bit more interesting, as “Maybe Tomorrow” opens in an off-putting purgatory where Ray confronts his own violent tendencies, some representation of his father, and the possibility that he may be fated to die a gruesome death—all while a Conway Twitty impersonator sings “The Rose,” a song made famous by Bette Midler in the film of the same name. It’s enough of a head-scratcher to elevate the season from a resigned, confused, “What’s going on?” to a dumbfounded, “What the hell is going on?”

And the aftermath adds something this season has so far been desperately lacking: grim humor. Farrell’s pitiful declaration that he’s soiled himself after being shot is the first unironic belly-laugh moment since Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey were trading barbs. The dream sequence—along with the news that the State’s Attorney’s office is sniffing around his ex-wife for potential evidence leading to an indictment—helps change Velcoro from sad-sack mob muscle into a desperate man who just doesn’t care anymore. That’s a much more unpredictable position, and one that allows Farrell to play up the drunken clown act even when he stops drinking. (“Booze tends to take the edge off. I want to stay angry.”)

tumblr_nr365lzVIv1ttnmy6o1_500 Tumblr/HBOFathers & Sons This episode does eventually introduce Velcoro’s real father—he’s a bitter former cop who bemoans that it’s now “No Country For White Men,” while watching Detective Story, the 1951 Kirk Douglas film—but they’re hardly the only parent/child specter haunting this episode. Frank and his wife are trying to conceive, but while attempting to collect a sperm sample Frank can’t, ahem, perform, which only makes him lash out about how the process is “unnatural” and that he’s got “phenomenal motility.” His mind is too clouded with his spoiled business deal, or perhaps it’s a sign that he’s not worthy of escaping criminal life to fully go legitimate. After last week’s story of his alcoholic father’s abusive behavior, Frank gets so riled up about another one of his crew winding up dead—with eyes burned out by acid, just like Caspere—that he feels the need to exert violent, paternal dominance over his former underlings at a strip club, Lux Infinitum. Frank is desperate to get out of his cycle of bad fortune as well, only he’s trying to ensure a family legacy, and reverts to violence to aid his plight. Nearly every parent/child relationship this season carries with it traces of abuse: Ray viciously attacks the father of his son’s bully; Paul’s father clearly stepped on his mother and that left its own scars; Ani’s father is the leader of a hippie commune that affected all five children who grew up there—two suicides, two prison inmates, and one cop. (Not to mention Frank’s rat story from last week.) The most interesting new character revealed in last night’s episode is Mayor Chessani’s son, the one labeled a “destroyer.” When Ani and Paul encounter him at the mayor’s Bel Air mansion (Vinci only has 75 permanent residents), the kid is spouting potentially fake accents and evading questions. He appears to be a classic red herring, but add that to the list of messed-up kids affected by the deep-seated strangeness of southern California existence. The extended rumination on fatherhood has connections back to David Lynch as well—the director threw all his existential dread about being an unsuitable parent into his debut featureEraserhead. truedetective15_24 Lacey Terrell/HBOPaul Woodrugh Doth Protest Too Much As heavily foreshadowed throughout the first two episodes of the season, there is more to Special Investigator Paul Woodrugh that he’s willing to share with any of the other characters. Drinking beers with a former comrade at a dirtbike track, it’s clear that the little blue pill helping him with his girlfriend and the trumped-up story about a gay guy at the bank is masking his own self-hatred over his sexuality. And though Paul isn’t willing to properly work through his identity on his own or talk about it with others, he will tacitly acknowledge his true self to further the investigation when a male hooker recognizes exactly why female hookers won’t spill any details about Ben Caspere to him. That leads to the first inadvertent interaction between Paul and Frank, who literally bump into each other at Lux Infinitum. It’s an obvious hint, but it reinforces that bringing together former criminal associates, or paying informants who work the night shift, aren’t separated by much on opposite sides of the law. That’s the same note Pizzolatto strikes whenever Bezzerides talks to her bosses, who are so bloodthirsty to take down anyone as a potential informant encourage her to use her body to entice Velcoro into admitting guilt in order to score an easy promotion. No matter what side of the line a character steps on surrounding this investigation, there are varying degrees of corruption, and the audience has to decide what context merits what kind of rule-breaking before a line gets crossed. truedetective15_27 Lacey Terrell/HBOThe Thrill Of The Chase The final third of “Maybe Tomorrow” contains both a promising action scene and a boneheaded attack on contemporary cinema. The Caspere investigators find that the car used to transport the City Manager’s body was stolen from a film shoot—a post-apocalyptic revenge story. It’s an attempt to skewer the proliferation of the dystopia genre, but now is a bad time for it, since one of the best-realized entries (Mad Max: Fury Road) just hit theaters to wild acclaim. It comes off as sour grapes from a guy who’s mining decades of influences for Los Angeles crime stories without turning up an original take, and as an added twist of venom, the film director bears a slight resemblance to Fukunaga, who executed last season’s famed long take that became the defining moment of True Detective. Petty gripes and cheap shots are holding Pizzolatto back as a writer—and the sinking feeling that he’s using this season to directly respond to personal critics only lowers the ceiling on what this story could become. But the actual chase scene, through a vagrant camp underneath a highway, does provide some genuine excitement. It’s somewhat inexplicable, since the masked suspect happens to show up right where Ani and Ray are chasing down a lead to burn the exact car they’re looking for. But it gets Ray and Ani closer to fully trusting each other. Both sides of this investigation, official and off-the-books, are pulling at Paul, Ani, and Ray. But they’ve begun to understand that they’re all willing to cast off the accessory bullshit to pound the pavement when they have a suspect. That kind of professionalism breeds loyalty. All four main characters are exhausted by bureaucracy at some level, but they keep coming to work and pulling at threads when they partner up, even as various authorities try to push the focus to other areas. “Maybe Tomorrow” offers hope that this season will continue to improve, but it also dangles the possibility that, like Frank’s attempt to escape to “legitimate business,” the hope is entirely false. truedetective15_25 Lacey Terrell/HBOGo Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.
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Meet the next generation of the GoPro action camera. Called the Hero4 Session, this new camera is the first major redesign of the company’s ubiquitous camera since the original Digital Hero launched in 2007. But it’s not just a pretty new face. This camera is a significant step forward for GoPro. This is the first GoPro that doesn’t need a case to survive extreme activities.

The Hero4 Session is the smallest GoPro yet. It’s a one and a half inch cube and weighs just 2.6 ounces. That’s about half the weight of an iPhone 6. And users will not need to lug around different cases to use the camera. It’s waterproof. This is part of the company’s efforts to reduce the amount of stuff needed to use a GoPro camera.

The smaller size comes with concessions. The camera lacks the 4k recording capability found in GoPro’s high-end models. The battery is also not replaceable or swappable. Yet the camera still hits a sweet spot. The Hero4 Session is the best GoPro yet.

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App stores are crowded places these days, and because storage space on your phone is often at a premium, you’ll want to find and fill it with not only the best, but also the most helpful apps out there. Because they come and go quicker than the latest fashion trends, and digging through Google Play, the iTunes App Store, or any of the others is such a mission; a little nudge in the right direction is often very welcome. Here are the apps we think you need to check out this week.

Apple Music

AppleMusic1

It’s pretty much impossible to talk about apps this week without bringing up Apple Music, arguably the biggest and most anticipated launch for a mobile service in awhile. A rival and a threat to the existing big shots in the streaming business, Apple digs back into the music roots that brought it to prominence—remember how popular the iPod was not that long ago?—and makes it’s play for the king of streaming.

The dirty little secret about most streaming music apps, though, is that they aren’t all that different. Most draw from the same music library, so it’s just interface and little things that set each apart. Luckily for Apple, that’s what it does well. Borrowing heavily from the Beats Music service it absorbed and adding some of the typical Apple polish, Apple Music aims to stand out above the rest with human curation, streaming radio, and some exclusive tunes (hello Taylor Swift). Time will tell if it’ll be enough, but you’ve got three months of free streaming to find out for yourself. To get it, you’ll need to update the software on your iOS device, and iTunes on your computer.

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DARPA's Visual Media Reasoning interface in action

It's easy to find computer vision technology that detect objects in photos, but it's still tough to sift through photos... and that's a big challenge for the military, where finding the right picture could mean taking out a target or spotting a terrorist threat. Thankfully, the US' armed forces may soon have a way to not only spot items in large image libraries, but help human observers find them. DARPA's upcoming, artificial intelligence-backed Visual Media Reasoning system both detects what's in a shot and presents it in a simple interface that bunches photos and videos together based on patterns. If you want to know where a distinctive-looking car has been, for example, you might only need to look in a single group.

As you might suspect, the goal is to turn enemy media campaigns on their head -- all those online propaganda pics and training videos would make it much easier to pinpoint the whereabouts of bases and leaders. There's a chance that it would get creepy given that it could easily power other government surveillance programs, but there's no doubt that soldiers would appreciate this AI-assisted intel.

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The Mad Catz Micro C.T.R.L.i is the most affordable iPhone- and iPad-compatible wireless game controller on the market, and that alone will make it the ideal choice for many mobile gamers, even though its design has a few glaring issues.

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The Bluetooth-enabled Mad Catz controller is compatible with any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 8 or later. Mad Catz provided AppleInsider with a blue Micro C.T.R.L.i controller for the purposes of this review, though it's also available in red, white and orange.

With a $50 retail price, and some models selling for as little as $40, the C.T.R.L.i is the cheapest iOS-compatible gaming controller we've tested to date. But the controller cuts one big corner to achieve this low price: It lacks an integrated rechargeable battery, and instead requires users to bring their own AAA batteries to power it.

Design

Though it has a relatively low price point, the Mad Catz micro controller is well made. It's not nearly as small as the diminutive SteelSeries Stratus we previously reviewed, but in our view, that's a good thing — the Stratus sacrificed too much comfort for its size.

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inventwheel Last month I attended the Collision conference in Las Vegas; it served up a hipster/music festival feel with a decidedly tech twist. The event welcomed old-school headliners like PayPal, Dropbox and Facebook, but also brought in hundreds of tech startups, from cloud management vendor CloudBolt to MedYear, a consumer health information exchange platform. The vibe was electric. Read More
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Posted by on in Slashdot

At first I thought they might be doing some flavor of Computational RAM [wikipedia.org], but they did something rather different. The system is analog. And it is suggested memristors [hp.com] could provide useful in implementation of similar systems.

Just a couple sections I found interesting FTA:

As we discuss in the following paragraphs, the machine we built is analog and hence would be scalable to very large numbers of memprocessors only in the absence of noise or using some error-correcting codes. This problem derives from the fact that in the present realization, we use the frequencies of the collective state to encode information, and to maintain the energy of the system bounded, the amplitudes of the frequencies are dampened exponentially with the number of memprocessors involved. However, this latter limitation is due to the particular choice of encoding the information in the collective state and could be overcome by using other realizations of digital memcomputing machines and using error-correcting codes. For example in (8), two of the authors (F.T. and M.D.) proposed a different way to encode a quadratic information overhead in a network of memristors that is not subject to this energy bound.

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Posted by on in Techlick

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Will Gerry might look the part of a fourth-generation farmer — dirty denim jeans, shirt sleeves rolled up and a gray beard that wraps from brim to brim on his leather hat. But once Gerry whips the smartphone out of his pocket, he starts rattling off tech jargon and analyzing data points across his farm like a 20-something whiz kid from Silicon Valley.

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Holidays can be exhausting, but it's nothing an underwater garden can't solve. This is Nemo's Garden, an underwater greenhouse anchored off Italy's Ligurian coast, recently detailed in The Washington Post. Stationed 20 feet underwater, Nemo's garden is able to take advantage of high humidity, even temperatures and exceptionally high CO2 concentrations to grow herbs and fruits significantly faster than you could on land. Luckily for us, they've also set up a public livestream, in case you'd like to spend a few minutes losing yourself in the paradise of aquatic agriculture.

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reddit-iama-landing-page.jpgReddit users are facing online walls after a number of subreddits were made private. Screenshot by Claire Reilly/CNET

Entire sections of Reddit are going dark as key subreddits are being made private in protest of the alleged firing of Victoria Taylor, one of the social news site's highest profile administrators.

Reddit users are reporting Taylor, the site's director of talent and a key administrator (known by the user handle /u/chooter), was fired without notice, leaving one of the site's most popular subreddits in turmoil. Reddit itself is underpinned by these subreddits -- user-moderated sections of the site labelled for discussion of particular interests and topics, such as /r/art and /r/movies.

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Gls0987af

Image: Andreas Geber, dpa, Corbis

The rise and fall of Google Glass from cool edge tech to bar room punchline may be about to take another turn.

A new set of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) documents filed by Google offers a peek at an upcoming device that is equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionality, just like the first version of Google Glass.

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