Tesla’s new parked-car trick: Press a button on your phone, the car comes to you. Or close. Maybe.
Tesla’s latest over-the-air software update for its cars is perfect fodder for online viral videos. It added a feature the company calls “smart summon.” Owners use an app on their phone to summon their cars from about 200 feet away, and have it drive to them all by itself with nobody inside — just hold down a button. Ars Technica’s Timothy Lee, who watched 100 videos Tesla owners have uploaded using the smart summon feature, said the results seem to vary.
The U.S. is still exporting sensitive tech to China despite a White House clampdown
U.S. companies export tens of billions of dollars in sensitive technology every year — AI computer chips, drones or encryption software. They have to apply for licences to do it, and those approvals have dropped in recent years, while rejections have risen. Matt Drange, an investigative reporter at The Information, sifted through the data to see what it can tell us about tech trade.
Some ways to keep the power on in California’s fire season
PG&E cut power to more than 700,000 people and businesses last week in Northern California cities as a way to prevent fires from sparking in dry, windy weather. But is a chaotic blackout the best solution? Marketplace’s Ben Bradford tells host Amy Scott that there are alternatives that could prevent this kind of disruption in the future.
Can an app make the call on baseball umpires?
With the World Series just around the corner, we’re hearing a lot about players’ stats. But another issue is when an umpire gets a call wrong. Major League Baseball is trying to make those instances less frequent. Over the summer, robot umpires helped officiate a minor league game. The goal is not only to improve accuracy of the calls, but to speed up the game and get more butts in the seats. But Boston University finance professor Mark Williams thinks there’s a way to use an app to make human umpires better at their jobs before we turn the reins over to the bots. We talk with him about the idea behind it.
Do fake images need to look convincing to be convincing?
Christye Sisson, a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, is working with the Department of Defense to help build a sophisticated tool that can identify fake images. She and her students act like the bad guys — doing painstaking work to develop the most convincing fake images they can. They’ve learned a lot about what it takes to fool people, including that maybe they don’t need to work so hard, at least on social media.