TIME Uber

Uber Hires Hackers to Secure Its Vehicles

They'll work in the company's self-driving car and robotics research lab

Remember those hackers who remotely took over a Jeep Cherokee from miles away last month? Uber just hired them.

Computer security engineers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek will work in Uber’s Pittsburgh offices, home to the company’s self-driving car and robotics research lab, the New York Times reports. They’ll work with Joe Sullivan, Uber’s chief security officer, and John Flynn, chief information security officer. Together, they’ll work toward “building out a world-class safety and security program at Uber.”

Miller, who previously worked as a security researched at Twitter, confirmed the move in a tweet, announcing that he’d start Tuesday:

“I’ve been in security for more than 10 years, and I’ve worked on computers and phones,” Miller told the New York Times last month. “This time, I wanted to do something that my grandmother would understand. If I tell her, ‘I can hack into your car,’ she understands what that means.”

TIME LG

LG’s ‘Rolly’ Keyboard Rolls Up Into a Stick to Fit In Your Bag

LG's Rolly Keyboard.

You could also use it to poke and annoy your sister

LG has launched the first “rollable” keyboard for mobile devices, one where users can fold into a stick and carry it in their pocket or bag.

Called the “Rolly Keyboard,” the product will be launched at IFA 2015, Europe’s largest electronics trade show, in Berlin next week. Prices and more details of the roll-out of the Rolly will be revealed at the launch.

One AAA battery is needed for three months of use, and the full-sized keyboard connects via Bluetooth.

LG is also expected to launch the latest version of its G Pad tablet at IFA 2015. The Korean company will be hoping these products will help pull up last quarter’s poor financial results, when it announced operating profit fell to $211 million from $516 million in the same period last year, amidst slackening demand for its LCD TVs and smartphones.

TIME twitter

Twitter Hops On the Diversity Goal Train

Twitter Prices At $23-25 Per Share Ahead Of IPO
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

This is a huge step forward for the company

Following similar announcements from tech companies such as Pinterest, Twitter released its diversity goals for 2016 Friday.

Janet Van Huysse, Twitter’s VP of Diversity and Inclusion, explained the move in a blog post:

“We want the makeup of our company to reflect the vast range of people who use Twitter. Doing so will help us build a product to better serve people around the world. While we’ve already been working towards internal diversity goals at different levels of the company, I’m very pleased to report that we are now setting company-wide diversity goals — and we’re sharing them publicly.”

The social media platform’s goal is to increase the overall representation of women in the company from 34% to 35%, representation in its tech division from 13% to 16%, and in leadership roles from to 22% to 25%.

Gender twitter

Twitter also plans to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the U.S. from 10% to 11% overall, and from 7% to 9% in tech roles. It also wants to see the number of underrepresented minorities in leadership roles rise to 6%.

Ethnicity twitter

Compared to nine other major tech companies, Twitter is fairing pretty well when it comes to gender diversity. It is less diverse overall than Airbnb, eBay, and LinkedIn, but more diverse than other major players, such as Facebook and Google. For underrepresented minorities, it’s essentially in the middle of the pack.

While Fortune will not be including Twitter in its tech diversity rankings until its 2015 EEO-1 Report is released, we can compare this new information to last year, when it ranked ninth (out of 14) on gender diversity, and sixth on ethnic diversity (in Fortune’s rankings, all non-white employees are considered diverse).

The diversity push comes after a backlash over Twitter’s frat-themed party highlighted just how white- and male-dominated the company is. After apologizing for the party, interim CEO Jack Dorsey promised that diversity would be made a company-wide goal, according to reporting by Re/code.

Increasing its representation of women and underrepresented minorities by one or two percentage points might not seem like a huge shift, but being held publicly accountable for its diversity goals is a huge step forward for the company, and for the tech industry as a whole.

Subscribe to The Broadsheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the world’s most powerful women.

(Charts based on self-reporting in 2015 by Twitter’s employees, and are courtesy of Twitter.)

TIME Aviation

This New App Shows Drone Pilots Where it’s Safe to Fly

Inside The Robo Universe Conference And Expo
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images An attendee flies a Phantom 2 drone developed by SZ DJI Technology Co. at the RoboUniverse Conference & Expo in Goyang, South Korea, on Wednesday, June 24, 2015.

As full-size aircraft pilots report more drone incidents

Drones flying in unsafe places are becoming a real problem for pilots, who by August already reported double the number of close calls than they experienced throughout all of last year. That’s in part why the Federal Aviation Administration is rolling out a new app designed to help drone hobbyists check if their planned outings are safe.

Called “B4UFLY,” the iOS version is out in beta Friday. The app lets drone flyers quickly check the status of local airspace, taking into account any special restrictions, nearby airports and other aviation rules. It’s similar to, though much simpler than, the process pilots of full-size aircraft undergo when planning a flight.

 B4UFLY App
FAAFAA B4UFLY App

The FAA’s B4UFLY beta is open to drone flyers who previously registered to be a part of the test. The agency expects the iOS app as well as an Android version to be available to the general public in “several months.”

The app could also be seen as a move on the FAA’s part to better ensure hobbyist drone pilots operate their aircraft in a safe manner. While the agency has broad powers to regulate the commercial use of drones, it has far less authority over recreational activity. Making sure such hobbyist pilots know where is safe to fly — and where isn’t — could help the FAA prevent a would-be disaster.

 

TIME Innovation

This Material Can Heal Itself in Less Than One Second

An extra precaution for astronauts

Researchers have developed a new material that can heal itself when punctured, according to an American Chemical Society news release.

The material is made by inserting a liquid with a “key ingredient” in between two layers of a solid polymer. When the solid layers are penetrated and the liquid is released, the key ingredient reacts with oxygen to quickly form a solid plug. A video of the researchers testing the material by shooting a bullet through it shows that it fixes itself in under a second.

This research, funded by NASA, could help prevent damage to spacecraft, and perhaps even save lives. The International Space Station is the most highly protected spacecraft to ever exist, equipped with bumpers that destroy debris before it has a chance to hit its walls. However, in those conditions, it’s extremely reassuring to have a backup plan just in case the bumpers fail.

The researchers made sure to mention that this technology could be applied to other structures as well, such as automobiles.

Watch the self-healing material in action:

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Ashley Madison

CEO Of Ashley Madison Parent Company Stepping Down

Ashley Madison founder Noel Biderman poses during an interview in Hong Kong
Bobby Yip—Reuters Ashley Madison founder Noel Biderman poses during an interview in Hong Kong on Aug. 28, 2013.

Avid Life Media chief exec Noel Biderman quits amid hacking scandal.

A week after hackers first published stolen data from the infidelity website Ashley Madison, parent company Avid Life Media’s chief executive officer Noel Biderman has tendered his resignation.

“Effective today, Noel Biderman, in mutual agreement with the company, is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer of Avid Life Media Inc. (ALM) and is no longer with the company,” the company wrote in a statement. “Until the appointment of a new CEO, the company will be led by the existing senior management team.”

AshleyMadison.com has lately been at the center of a hacking scandal in which personal information for more than 30 million users—ostensible extramarital affair-seekers—became public. The data dumps have included information such as names, email addresses, sexual preferences, partial credit information, profile information, and more.

Last week, the individual or group behind the attack, known as the “Impact Team,” leaked to the dark web a cache of Biderman’s alleged email correspondences. The 197,000 messages have revealed that Biderman apparently encouraged hacking a competitor, considered buying the gay, bi-sexual and bicurious dating app Grindr, planned a proprietary wife-rating app, and wrote a script for a movie called In Bed with Ashley Madison.

As the investigation to uncover the attackers continues, reports have surfaced that some users may have committed suicide as a result of having their personal information exposed. Cybercriminals are also apparently targeting individuals listed in the Ashley Madison database for extortion schemes.

“This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees,” the Avid Life Media statement reads, regarding the Biderman’s decision to step down.

The company says it is working alongside law enforcement, which has dubbed the investigation “project unicorn,” to apprehend those responsible for the data breach. Avid Life Media also says it will award tipsters $377,000 for any information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator (or perpetrators).

“We are actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members’ privacy by criminals,” the company said in the statement. “We will continue to provide access to our unique platforms for our worldwide members.”

TIME Apple

Apple’s Siri Will Give You Hints About the Upcoming iPhone Event

Apple Poised to Sell 10 Million IPhones in Record Debut
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

She doesn’t promise to be helpful

The tech world is on the edge of their collective seat in anticipation of Apple’s upcoming Sept. 9 event, when the tech giant is expected to unveil its newest iPhones.

If you’re like just about every tech blogger under the sun, and want the inside scoop on what Apple CEO Tim Cook will reveal at the event, you now have an option besides stalking the apple-obsessed blogosphere: just ask Siri.

Ask the robo servant to “give me a hint,” and you’ll be served with a variety of answers, from the admonishing to the playful, like, “look deep within yourself and you will find the answer. Especially on 9 September.”

These answers aren’t probably any more insightful that the predictions of Apple bloggers, but they will at least give you something to do before the big day.

TIME Media

Facebook to Crack Down on Online Video Piracy

The company is trying to stop the practice known as "freebooting"

Facebook is finally responding to ongoing complaints that it’s too easy rip other people’s videos and repost them on the social network. In a blog post Thursday, the company announced it was taking several steps to curtail the practice, which is known as “freebooting.”

Facebook said it is working on new video matching technology that will let creators identify freebooted versions of their videos across the social network. “Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly and accurately, and when matches are surfaced, publishers will be able to report them to us for removal,” the company wrote.

For now the new tool will be available as a beta version to a small group of media companies, multi-channel networks and indivdiaul creators. Facebook plans to roll the tool out to larger audience over time. The company said it is also improving its current procedures to remove copyright-infringing content more efficiently.

Freebooting has caused an increasingly loud contingent of YouTube stars to complain that Facebook wasn’t properly addressing the problem. A blog post by Hank Green, a popular vlogger and co-founder of the video conference VidCon, claimed that Facebook’s policies encouraged the theft of creators’ videos.

TIME Startups

Here’s How Startups Actually Start Up

Startup office
Hero Images—Getty Images/Hero Images

Explained in plain English

There’s a sucker born every day — or so they say. But the way startup fever has been spreading across the land, it almost feels more like there’s a Zuckerberg being born every day. And that feeling is real. According to data from the Kauffman Foundation, 2015 has marked the first year startup activity has been on the rise since the Great Recession. In fact, it’s soaring — the numbers show we’re living through the biggest upswing in new companies, products, business deals, and jobs in the past twenty years.

That makes it sound like now is the perfect time to bring your million dollar idea to market — but how is that even done?

First off, begin by casting aside any fears that you can’t make a dent in the tech universe with little computer prowess. “We’re seeing more and more people enter the tech space because the definition of tech continues to grow,” says Michele Markey, vice president of Kauffman FastTrac, a global network of advisors helping entrepreneurs launch and grow companies. She’s seen everything from medical devices to mobile apps launch from Main Street as much as Silicon Valley, and that’s a trend many expect to continue.

There are many million and billion dollar companies for a startup to model itself against, but there’s no one true formula for success. Still, the majority of buzz-worthy businesses have conducted these tried and true practices along the way.

1. Eying the competition

It may not sound as exciting as a weekend-long hackathon or a giving a flashy presentation to a bunch of investors, but the reality is that most startups live and die based on early research. Scoping out the competition is vital to understanding where there’s an opportunity to make a move. This can involve everything from dissecting competing products to improve upon their designs or simply mapping out their locations to find a new way to reach underserved customers.

And there’s always competition to scout; few successful startups create an entirely new product or service. Apple — the ultimate garage-to-giant success story — didn’t invent the personal computer, digital music player, smartphone, or tablet computer. Instead, it waited, watched, and eventually released gadgets that capitalized on the deficiencies of products already out there.

2. Finding and defining customers

Markey says startup founders also conduct research by hitting the bricks and talking to would-be customers about their ideas. “A smart entrepreneur needs to figure out where their sweet spot in the marketplace is,” she says. “Who is that customer that’s going to use the product, pay the money, and maybe be the repeat user?

Figuring out this information on a broad scale can involve hunting down perspective customers’ demographics and learning everything they can about them. This sounds like it could be an expensive proposition, but the truth is all an entrepreneur needs to get this data is a library card. ReferenceUSA, a database to which many local libraries subscribe, has historical business information dating back to 2003, making it a good place to gather demographic data.

3. Shoring up intellectual property

Padlocking your product or service with an array of patents, trademarks, or copyrights can sound terribly dull, but the truth is it’s one of the most important steps to ensuring a budding company’s success. Without these protections, a competitor can swoop in and copy an idea without having to pay a dime for all the hard work done until this point.

“Issued patents may be used to stop competitors from entering the field and to recover damages for any infringement that occurred,” writes attorney Michael Kasdan in this excellent intellectual property explainer for startups. In addition, he writes, patents can protect a startup from getting sued for patent infringement by someone else.

Trademarks, meanwhile, help protect the company’s branding, from logos to mottos, to ensure that copycats can’t use a business’s image or likeness to sell imitation wares. With knock-off products coming in from China or being replicated with 3-D printers, startups are smart to trademark their image early to fend off the phonies.

And finally, startups are also wise to copyright their reproducible works. Whether it’s an paperback, and e-book, or even an image, if it can be duplicated, it should be protected. That may sound like a publishing industry problem rather than a startup issue, but as TechCrunch noted last year, it only took four hours for copyright law to crush one particular startup’s dreams.

4. Hire some help

Visionaries can’t build a business from the ground up alone. Sooner or later they’re going to need to enlist some outside assistance. Dave McClure, founding partner of accelerator 500 Startups, has said a triumvirate of talent including hustlers, hackers, and designers are typically what’s necessary to turn a new company into a success. Hustlers pull the strings to make the product pan out financially, whether that means being a silver-tongued salesman wooing investors or a master networker making behind-the-scenes deals. Hackers, especially for tech products, are the people who roll up their sleeves and get elbow-deep in coding a computer-related product or app. Designers, meanwhile, take that glob of code or computers and put a shiny shell around it to make it intuitive to use.

5. Figure out the finances

In step number four, this once lean, one-person dream has evolved into a fully-functioning company, complete with employees to pay and mouths to feed. But in order to do that, the company will have to spend money. And while there’s no shortage of ways that people can get creative with their finances, there’s only a few major ways that startups typically find the funding to survive step number five.

First, they can “bootstrap.” As this self-sufficient term implies, bootstrap funding comes from within the company, whether that’s from a well-heeled founder or through maxing out a team’s credit cards. Personal loans can also come into play here, too. The key here is that boot-strapping founders (or co-founders) retain full control of the company, and if the venture is a success, they also get to reap all the rewards.

Another way to help pay for resources is to work with an accelerator or an incubator. These organizations will lend a startup access to facilities in exchange for a percentage of equity. However, spots are limited and competition is tight, so founders need a compelling idea, a lot of potential, and some whip-smart talent to get accepted by these programs. One of the most well known incubators, Y Combinator, typically offers $120,000 in exchange for a 7% stake of the company’s ownership. Similarly, TechStars, a leading accelerator, has a standard $118,000/7–10% offer.

The primary difference between incubators and accelerators is that the former is a slower, more nurturing environment aimed at developing long-term success over a period of years, while the latter aims to get startups to launch much more quickly and profitably within a span of months. And these are just two of the ways startups get money — from angel investors to funding rounds to silent partners, there are many more.

6. Survive the launch

While none of the above steps are absolutes, there is typically one truth about startups until this point: They are in stealth mode. Keeping efforts as quiet as possible can be key to taking the world by surprise. But once they reach launch day, it’s time to make some noise. Here, social and conventional media are key to turning heads and generating interest, whether that means promoting an app or an Armenian restaurant.

But while so much work has gone into the effort to this stage, this is only the beginning, a truth that some startups don’t handle very well. “It has to be way more than just a really great product,” says Markey. “You’ve got to have the right messaging, the right branding, the right value proposition in a very noisy and crowded marketplace.” And sometimes entrepreneurs underestimate that, because they’ve become myopic and enamored with their brilliant product.

As a result, the reality is that half of all small businesses fail by the time they reach their fifth year, says the Small Business Association, and only one-third make it to year 10. Then again, those numbers don’t reflect the entrepreneurs who were able to build something wildly valuable and sell it off to an even larger company for a big score. So, don’t let the numbers weigh down your dreams, but work hard to make sure they pencil out.

Read next: 6 Lessons From the Rising Startup Leaders

Download TIME’s mobile app for iOS to have your world explained wherever you go

TIME Google

How A Fixed Gear Bike Can Mess With Google’s Self-Driving Cars

Sensors are confused by the cyclist's rocking motion

Google’s self-driving cars have driven over a million miles in autonomous mode. But when Google brought its testing program to Austin, Texas, one of the vehicles met its match: a cyclist doing a track stand – when a rider shifts very slightly forward and back to maintain balance while keeping feet on the pedals.

Whereas our brains can predict relatively easily how a car, pedestrian or cyclist might act, computers have to be programmed to recognize different patterns of behavior on the road.

According to a report in The Washington Post, one cyclist in Austin rode up to a stop sign at a four-way intersection and started track standing as he waited for the Google car to carry on. In his account posted on an online forum, he explains that the car apparently detected his presence and stayed stationary, struggling to work out whether the rider was moving forward or not:

it finally began to proceed, but as it did, I rolled forward an inch while still standing. the car immediately stopped…

I continued to stand, it continued to stay stopped. then as it began to move again, I had to rock the bike to maintain balance. it stopped abruptly.

we repeated this little dance for about 2 full minutes and the car never made it past the middle of the intersection. the two guys inside were laughing and punching stuff into a laptop, I guess trying to modify some code to ‘teach’ the car something about how to deal with the situation.

The cyclist balancing on his pedals, while moving a tiny bit to keep upright, confused a computer’s understanding of how cycles behave. And while Google is continuing to refine its software, for now it seems they have some way to go before self-driving cars are ready to hit the road.

[Washington Post]

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com