TIME robots

Apple’s Co-founder: We’re All Going to Be Robots’ Pets One Day

9th annual Southeast Venture Conference and Digital Summit Charlotte
Charlotte Observer—TNS via Getty Images Steve Wozniak

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk agrees

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks we’re all probably going to become robots’ pets.

Speaking at a recent technology conference, Wozniak said that at first the thought of artificially intelligent beings in charge of everything scared him. But now it’s a comforting thought.

Fast forward hundreds of years to when robots are in charge. At that time, humans will probably be treated in a similar fashion to dogs, Wozniak said during an event at the Freescale Technology Forum 2015 in Austin, Texas.

“It’s actually going to turn out really good for humans,” he added. “And it will be hundreds of years down the stream before [artificially intelligent beings would] even have the ability.”

“They’ll be so smart by then that they’ll know they have to keep nature, and humans are part of nature,” he continued. “So I got over my fear that we’d be replaced by computers.”

Wozniak believes robots will helps us because we’re the “gods originally.”

At the event, Wozniak also took the time to discuss the Internet of Things. He likes it, but cautioned that connected devices in the home have the potential to attack humanity.

Wozniak isn’t the only tech leader with thoughts on future human and robot interaction. In a recent interview with scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk warned that robots will use humans as pets once they achieve a level of artificial intelligence known as “superintelligence.”

They’ll treat humans like “pet Labradors,” he said.

TIME self-driving cars

Bill Gates Thinks Uber Has the Best Shot at Self-driving Cars

One company will rule the space

Driverless cars have become a moonshot project for tech companies around the world, and Microsoft’s Co-founder and world-leading philanthropist Bill Gates believes there’s one company that will rule the space.

In a conversation with Financial Times Editor Lionel Barber at an event in London Wednesday, Gates shared his thoughts on issues ranging from the global economy to robots to Silicon Valley. Gates said a real tipping point for change in driving will come from self-driving cars, calling it “the real rubicon.” And Uber is primed to take the lead, he added.

FT Alphaville writer Izabella Kaminska live-tweeted Gates’ thoughts:

If Gates is correct, it will validate recent moves by Uber to invest in self-driving technology. Earlier this year, Uber announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to create the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh “to do research and development, primarily in the areas of mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology.”

CEO Travis Kalanick has made it no secret that his company sees a future where we drive without our hands on a steering wheel. “The reason Uber could be expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car, you’re paying for the other dude in the car,” Kalanick said in a conference last year. “So the magic there is you basically bring the cost below the cost of ownership for everybody, and then car ownership goes away.”

The move has set Uber up for a battle with Google. Last year, at the Code Conference, the tech giant made public a two-seater, self-driving car after years of research. Both companies, however, will have to battle the public’s perception on giving up control of a car. A survey conducted by NerdWallet found that only 37% of women and around half of men expressed any interest in owning a self-driving vehicle.

TIME Microsoft

Why the Navy Still Pays Millions for Microsoft’s Windows XP

Microsoft Windows XP log-in screen.
Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Microsoft will ship the Navy custom updates

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in April 2014, but the product is still a moneymaker.

That’s because some customers just can’t let go of it. The United States Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), for instance, inked a $9.1 million contract with the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant this month to keep its XP-based systems afloat. Microsoft, in exchange, will supply the command with custom security fixes for its products such as Windows XP, which no longer gets security updates, and Office 2003, Exchange 2003 and Windows Server 2003, which lapse in mid-July, reports IDG News.

“The Navy relies on a number of legacy applications and programs that are reliant on legacy Windows products,” SPAWAR spokesman Steven Davis told the news service. “Until those applications and programs are modernized or phased out, this continuity of services is required to maintain operational effectiveness.”

In fact, as many as 100,000 machines at SPAWAR may rely on the outdated technology, according to a federal contract extension.

But the Navy isn’t the only holdover. The Army recentlygreen-lit an extension of Windows XP support for “over 8,000 devices,” Ars Technica points out. And federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service are still paying for support while they transition to Windows 7, for which free security updates won’t end until the beginning of 2020. (Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 at the end of July.)

All this may seem weird, but it would be far more dangerous for the Navy to let its contract expire—or for it to roll out an emergency operating system refresh that it might potentially botch. Letting its Windows XP support expire might leave “critical command and control systems” vulnerable to attack, as IDG notes, citing Navy documents.

“A plan for migrating to current and supported capabilities has been developed and is being executed,” Davis said.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Gadgets

How Google Wants to Make Work Meetings Wildly Better

Chromebox
Google Chromebox

Updated Chromebox product handles large meeting rooms

Google is expanding its footprint in the world of office meetings.

Last year, the company unveiled a package of teleconferencing devices that included a Chromebox computer, a webcam and a speakerphone for $999. This week, the company announced an expanded version of its “Chromebox for meetings” offering that includes a pan-tilt-zoom camera, two speakerphones and dual screen support. The onboard Chrome software is also getting an upgrade, with the ability for participants to share their screens in a full-screen mode during teleconference.

The new package, which is aimed at accommodating especially large meeting rooms, will cost $1,999. Google also throws in a free first year of its $250-per-year support fee for the devices.

Google rival Microsoft is also taking a stab at improving work meetings with its 84-inch Surface Hub device.

TIME facebook

Facebook Poached This Influential Yahoo Exec

US-IT-INTERNET-FACEBOOK
KAREN BLEIER—AFP/Getty Images

He held his post at Yahoo for a little over a year

Alex Stamos, Yahoo’s chief information security officer, announced on his Facebook page Wednesday that he’s leaving to take a similar post at Facebook.

“The Internet has been an incredible force for connecting the world and giving individuals access to personal, educational and economic opportunities that are unprecedented in human history,” Stamos wrote. “These benefits are not without risk, and it is the responsibility of our industry to build the safest, most trustworthy products possible.”

He added: “This is why I am joining Facebook.”

The post generated over 800 likes on the social media service he’ll soon be working for.

Stamos had served as Yahoo’s top cybersecurity officer and was with the company for a little over a year. He succeeds Joe Sullivan, who left Facebook in April to join ride-share startup Uber.

TIME Uber

Paris Taxi Drivers Burn Tires, Flip Cars In Giant Protest Against Uber

In its five year history, Uber has made a lot of enemies. Some of its fiercest may be in Paris.

Cabbies on Thursday blocked roads to and from Paris airports and disrupted traffic on a major highway in opposition of Uber’s service, which they say represents unfair competition.

AFP reported that cab drivers blocked access to three terminals at Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris’s main transportation hub, and they were converging on Orly airport and train stations in the city. French media reports also showed cabbies overturning cars and burning tires in protest.

Parisian cabbies have staged similar protests in the past, and on some occasions they’ve turned violent.

Though they severely disrupted travel on Thursday, demonstrators won the support of France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve who ordered Paris police to issue a decree banning the activity of UberPOP, which uses unlicensed drivers in private cars to undercut existing taxis, Reuters reports. He also told local police chiefs and prosecutors to crack down on what he said was a failure by Uber to pay social and tax fees in France.

In October 2014, a law in France placed a ban on putting clients in touch with unregistered drivers, but Uber has challenged the rule saying it was unclear and infringed on the freedom to do business.

According to Reuters, Uber spokesman Thomas Meister said Cazeneuve was over-riding the normal legal process. “The way things work in a state of law is that it’s for the justice to judge whether something is legal or illegal,” he told the news agency.

The protests ensnarled at least one celebrity on Thursday. Courtney Love tweeted that demonstrators attacked the car she was in and held her driver hostage.

Luckily, she managed to escape.

 

TIME Gaming

Nintendo Allows Same-Sex Marriage in Role-Playing Game

fire-emblem-fates
Nintendo

“We believe that our gameplay experiences should reflect the diversity of the communities in which we operate.”

A Nintendo videogame released in Japan on Wednesday and drops in the U.S. in 2016 will break new ground by including the option for same-sex marriage for the first time.

The characters in the popular role-playing game series Fire Emblem will be able to marry people of the same sex. Nintendo issued this statement to announce the decision:

“We believe that our gameplay experiences should reflect the diversity of the communities in which we operate and, at the same time, we will always design the game specifications of each title by considering a variety of factors, such as the game’s scenario and the nature of the game play. In the end of course, the game should be fun to play. We feel that Fire Emblem Fates is indeed enjoyable to play and we hope fans like the game.”

The gaming company had previously received criticism for not offering same-sex relationship options in its games. The new game will be called Fire Emblem Fates in North America and is playable on Nintendo’s handheld 3DS console.

[Japan Times]

TIME Media

Hey, Taylor Swift: Here’s How Much Apple Is Really Paying Musicians

onstage during KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2014  powered by LINE at Staples Center on December 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Winter—2014 Getty Images Taylor Swift onstage during KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2014 powered by LINE at Staples Center on December 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Apple will pay labels and publishers less during free trial of Apple Music, but it will pay something

The new terms of Apple’s deals with record labels for its new music streaming service are slowly leaking out.

The New York Times reports that Apple Music will pay labels 0.2 cents per stream during the service’s three-month free trial. Meanwhile, Billboard says music publishers, who control the songwriting rights for recorded music, will get 0.047 cents per stream during the free period.

That’s a turnaround from Apple’s initial plan, which was to pay rights holders nothing during the free three month trial. Pressure from independent labels and a widely shared blog post by Taylor Swift criticizing the policy compelled Apple to change course.

It’s unclear whether this plan to pay up during the free trial will affect Apple’s plan to offer 71.5% of total Apple Music subscription revenue to music rights holders. The figure would be slightly higher than Spotify’s rate of 70%.

TIME

See Chevy’s New, More Fuel-efficient Cruze

2016 Chevrolet Cruze front 7/8
The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze – a larger, lighter, more efficient and more sophisticated evolution of the brand’s best-selling global car. The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze.

It's a leaner, meaner, greener machine

General Motors has announced the latest generation of its best-selling Chevrolet Cruze — and it’s larger, lighter, faster, and more fuel-efficient.

After issuing a press release entirely in emoji, details on the 2016 Chevy Cruze were revealed in a slightly more legible statement by the company. The new compact car will be 250 pounds lighter despite being three inches longer. It will do 40 miles per gallon on the highway, and launches with the automaker’s established 4G LTE wifi hotspot, and built-in Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

The Cruze has become Chevrolet’s best-selling car, with 3.5 million sold around the world since 2008. However, sales of the Cruze are lagging behind Toyota’s Corolla and Honda’s Civic in the US market, placing behind both last year, according to numbers from MotorTrend. GM has estimated that the latest Cruze will generate $1,500 more profit per car than the old model, according to Reuters, and will hopefully bring newer drivers into the Chevy fold.

The price of the 2016 Chevy wasn’t released. It will go on sale early next, with its diesel model following in 2017.

TIME Sex

Condoms That Change Color In Contact with STD Win Tech Award

Condoms Teens Sex
Getty Images

The idea, which involves color-changing protection, remains in its very, very early stages

The old adage goes that teenagers think about sex constantly, but there are at least a few out there who have expressed a very keen interest in the particulars of safe sex.

Three British teens—two 14-year-olds and one 13-year-old—have proposed an idea for a new type of condom that could detect sexually transmitted diseases amongst intimate partners. The Washington Post explains:

There would be antibodies on the condom that would interact with the antigens of STDs, causing the condom to change colors depending on the disease…For instance, if the condom were exposed to chlamydia, it might glow green — or yellow for herpes, purple for human papilloma virus and blue for syphilis.

The proposal won the trio the top prize in the U.K.’s TeenTech Awards, and they have already reportedly been approached by condom companies.

The idea, however, is not without its imperfections. It seems unclear whether the STIs would be detected in just the user’s partner or also the user as well. In addition, there’s the awkward question of what would happen if the condom came into contact with two or more STDs—not to mention the logistical difficulties of figuring out a way to determine the color with sufficient opportunity to make use of those findings.

Nevertheless, if teens are going to think about sex, it’s tough to quibble with them spending more time thinking about ways to make is safer.

[Washington Post]

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