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Germany Researches Platoon Power for Future Cars

posted Sunday Mar 11, 2012 by Jon Wurm

Germany Researches Platoon Power for Future Cars

It's been about 67 years since Germany has actively explored platooning technology but the Robotics Innovation Center at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz) brought it back to the present at CeBIT this year. Their EO prototype electric car showcased some interesting abilities and, despite its futuristic design, there didn't seem to be any futuristic weapons mounted on it just yet; so, for now, it seems we're safe.

The EO prototype is the product of only 10 months of work and is a ways away from traversing the Autobahn but it has demonstrated some pretty cool functionality. For example, the car is very versatile with regards to adjusting to its environment. Every driver finds themselves in common situations where space is limited and they are required to maneuver vehicles in awkward ways. Thankfully, the EO can shorten its wheelbase to perform tighter turns, something that would be useful for urban driving. It can also lower its center of gravity to make "high speed" driving more efficient. It's also well worth mentioning that it can rotate its wheels 90 degrees making parallel parking a cinch.

But wait, there's more! Platooning will help make sure that you never have to roam alone again, even if you book a vacation without using Travelosity. Find out more and check out a video after the break.

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Verizon's HomeFusion Internet Service Brings High-Speed to a One-Street-Light City Near You

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Verizon's HomeFusion Internet Service Brings High-Speed to a One-Street-Light City Near You

Hey, are you some of the 40% of Americans who don't have high-speed Internet? Is it because the price is too high? Are you too far out in a rural area that no service is available to you? Well, if you're the former, this news won't help you. However, the people in the latter, prepare to rejoice as we have some news this week that will brighten your day in the same way upgrading your modem from 28.8 to 56k did!

We have the details after the break.

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Rumor Mill Churns with Talks of Valve Creating a Console Called Steam Box

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Rumor Mill Churns with Talks of Valve Creating a Console Called Steam Box

While we may never see the next release of Half-Life: Episode 3 in our lifetime, Valve is rumored to be working on a new project that may make the final chapter in the Black Mesa world seem less important. Valve's co-founder Gabe Newell spoke to Penny Arcade and hinted at the company possibly making a physical console that could go toe-to-toe with the next-gen versions of the Xbox and PlayStation. Newell said, "well, if we have to sell hardware we will."

Under normal circumstances, we'd chalk this up to another Internet rumor that is merely fun to chat about on a message board, however this time there may be some proof behind this speculation.

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US Cellular Employees Enjoy Nudity

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Scott Ertz

US Cellular Employees Enjoy Nudity

Have you ever taken a naughty photo with your phone's camera? Sure you have. Well, the people who have taken those photos AND brought their phone in to a US Cellular store in Iowa might have had their photos shared around the store. That is the claim of a sexual harassment suit filed by Lisa Blazek against the company.

Apparently, the employees would look through customers' phones for nude photos, and when found, would show them to other employees. According tot he complaint,

If photos of that nature were found, they would show them throughout the store. Many times I would be called over to look at something only to find out that it was a sexual picture on a customer's phone.

It got to the point where I could no longer handle going to work. It affected me physically, mentally and emotionally. It took over every aspect of my life.

Blazek also alleges that co-workers would talk about their sexual escapades, as well as being asked to show her breasts. When she complained, her hours were changed and the harassment increased. These are all not out of the ordinary for the circumstances, but the rifling through a customer's personal property looking for dirty pictures is a little out of the ordinary, I would imagine.

With this information out in the open, I would imagine US Cellular will start receiving letters of complain from customers. I would hope they handle the situation better than Boost Mobile did a few years ago when they resold used phones with pornography on them to customers.

Have you had an experience with a wireless store or a computer store sharing your personal photos? Let us know in the comments section.

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Zynga Sets Up Big Name Partnerships

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Zynga Sets Up Big Name Partnerships

The Zynga platform, officially announced last week is already building up quite a partnership catalog. In its first week of existence, Zynga has managed to rope in some pretty big-named studios, including Playdemic, Rebellion and Konami.

While no games have been officially announced, there is a lot of potential here for Konami to bring some popular games to the platform. With franchises like Dance Dance Revolution, Contra, Castlevania, Metal Gear and Silent Hill, there are a lot of popular games that would be easy to port to Zynga with a high success rate. According to Kazuhiko Uehara, senior vice president for Konami,

This new partnership accelerates Konami's continued success as a top global social games developer and underscores our commitment to provide high quality gaming experiences to the ever-growing social space. We are thrilled to partner with Zynga to bring Konami games to the heart of the gaming audience on Zynga.com and Facebook.

I am personally hoping to see some DDR-inspired, StepMania-style games hit the platform. What Konami games do you hope come to Zynga through this partnership? Tell us in the comments section.

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Google Play's In-App Payment Requirements

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Google Play's In-App Payment Requirements

We all remember when Apple forced app subscriptions to use iTunes for their payment method, including a 30% cut to Apple. If I remember correctly, it was received really well by app developers. I don't think I am remembering correctly, though. In fact, there might have been a lot of backlash from companies like Pandora and last.fm.

Positive media coverage and happy developers from Apple's decision have led to Google making a similar decision. In standard Google fashion, however, they have upped the ante and threatened developers who do not currently follow the rules. Si Shen, CEO of Papaya, an Android social gaming network, told Reuters,

{Google} told people that if they used other payment services they would be breaking the terms of use. Whether it's right or wrong, we have to follow the rules.

How is this affecting developers? Hit the break to find out.

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