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Representatives from countries around the world met on Nov. 18 to discuss weapons systems at the United Nations’ Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

One point of particular interest at the meeting was a call by 22 nations to place an outright ban on the development and utilization of automated weapons, also known as “killer robots.”

Leading up to the convention, hundreds of experts in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics joined in sending letters to world leaders, urging them to support a ban on autonomous weapons.

Elon Musk, founder of OpenAI and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has also been pushing for the regulation of autonomous weapons development.

The meeting may have been less productive than these groups hoped.

They were mainly able set groundwork for future talks, likely to occur sometime next year. Mary Wareham, advocacy director of the Arms Division at the Human Rights Watch and global coordinator for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots told AFP, “Countries do not have time…to waste just talking about this subject.”
Google has announced a bunch of new updates coming to Assistant today that should make it possible for developers to make more functional applications that better integrate with your Google Assistant devices.

One of the biggest additions is support for new languages. Developers will now be able to write apps in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Indian English.

Another major update is the ability for developers to create applications that take advantage of having both a Google Home and a phone with Assistant, allowing Home devices to hand off requests to smartphones for completion of actions (like, say, paying for a sandwich you ordered on your Home).

Google will also allow apps to recognize implicit requests, so that you don’t have to specifically call them out by name. It’s the difference between saying “turn off the lights” and “have the Philips Hue app turn off the lights.”
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Uber, claiming that the company hasn’t done enough to inform the public about alleged harassment and assault by drivers.

The legal complaint, filed by Wigdor LLP on behalf of two plaintiffs, alleges that “thousands of female passengers have endured unlawful conduct by their Uber drivers including rape, sexual assault, physical violence and gender-motivated harassment.”

The document suggests that Uber has taken shortcuts in its driver screening.

“Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired.”

The lawsuit claims that by labeling itself as a “technology” company instead of a “transportation” company, Uber has been able to avoid costlier background checks.

A spokesperson for Uber responded to the lawsuit, telling us, “Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it, these allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously.”
Now that the iPhone X has been out for a week, it’s time to get started on rumors for next year’s iPhones.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose iPhone predictions have been fairly reliable over the last several years, says that he expects to see two new full-screen iPhones next year: one will have a 6.5-inch OLED display, essentially making it a Plus version of the iPhone X; and the other will have a 6.1-inch LCD display, likely making it more like a full-screen version of the current Plus-sized iPhone.

And yes, both will have the notch.

In his research note, which was reported byMacRumors, Kuo writes that Apple is hoping to “satisfy various needs of the high-end market” by expanding its full-screen product line.

At the high end will be the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone; beneath that will be an updated version of the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X; and finally, the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will sit below both of them.

Kuo predicts that the 6.1-inch phone will be priced somewhere between $649 to $749 and be set apart by having a less dense screen resolution, offering a (slightly) worse picture.
The big new thing in smartphones lately is one of those buzz phrases you’ll have heard tossed around: machine learning.

Like augmented and virtual reality, machine learning is often thought of as a distant promise. 

A machine learning advantage can’t be easily replicated, cloned, or reverse-engineered: to compete with the likes of Apple and Google at this game, you need to have as much computing power and user data as they do (which you probably lack) and as much time as they’ve invested (which you probably don’t have).

In simple terms, machine learning promises to be the holy grail for giant tech companies that want to scale peaks that smaller rivals can’t reach.

It capitalizes on vast resources and user bases, and it keeps getting better with time, so competitors have to keep moving just to stay within reach.
The RoboBee project was first unveiled in 2013, when the bots were only capable of takeoff and flying – since then, they’ve been modified to stick to surfaces and swim underwater, and now their creators say they’re able to dive in and out of water.

The RoboBee weighs just 175 milligrams, and at this size, surface tension is like extra strong gravity: it’s 10 times the robot’s weight, and three times its lifting power.

To solve this problem, researchers from Harvard’s outfitted the RoboBee with a tiny combustible rocket, giving it the oomph needed to break the water’s surface tension – gas fills a chamber in the RoboBee’s interior, it’s lit by an internal spark, and woosh, it shoots out of the water.

What’s cleverest about this system is that it actually uses the water itself as fuel – a pair of tiny electrolytic plates convert the liquid into oxyhydrogen, a violently explosive gas.

To fit in all this extra gear, the RoboBee had to be redesigned, with a central gas chamber added, along with four buoyant outriggers – robot floaties, basically.

Still, there’s no space on board for sensors or a sophisticated guidance system – so although the new RoboBee can fly, land in water, paddle about, then burst out again, it can’t be remotely controlled, and it isn’t yet capable of doing useful bee tasks like pollinating the crops we all depend upon to live.
One of the biggest software changes on Apple's new iPhone X is the location of Control Center, the useful user interface that provides you with quick access to music playback controls, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles, the flashlight, calculator, and much more thanks to iOS 11's customizable layout.

On pre-iPhone X devices, the Control Center is awoken by swiping up from the bottom edge of the device. Because that action is now the default "go home" gesture on iPhone X, Apple has moved Control Center to the top right edge of the smartphone. 

This location change has removed the simplicity and ease-of-access to Control Center for many iPhone X users -- particularly those who are left handed -- who have been posting about the iPhone X-specific issue in the MacRumors forums, Twitter, and on Reddit.

Some of these users have also provided interesting alternative locations and invoking gestures that Apple could potentially implement in future iOS updates, but it should be reiterated that these are simply community ideas and not in any way an indication that we'll see them added to the iPhone X.
India has taken a giant leap in developing futuristic weapon platforms with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully developing electromagnetic railguns (EMRG).

The EMRG can fire projectiles at extremely high velocities reaching up to Mach 6 or 4,600 miles per hour – these railguns launch the projectile without using explosives or propellants, instead they use kinetic and laser energy to achieve extremely high velocities.

DRDO officials claimed that they tested a 12 mm square bore EMRG and in the next stage they will go for the 30 mm variety, according to Sputnik News.

The railguns being developed will be able to launch a one kilogram projectile with a velocity of more than 2,000 m/s with a capacitor bank of 10 megajoules.

According to defence experts these railguns are easy to handle and can be deployed very quickly in any theatre of operation.

However, they added that India is still perfecting the technology used in electromagnetic railguns and the armed forces are a few years away from getting these weapons.
The iPhone X may be the most advanced iPhone we’ve ever seen, but it’s also the most controversial.

Sure, the iPhone X is jam-packed with all sorts of new features and technologies, but it’s downright impossible to ignore the notch housed at the top of the device.

There’s actually an app out there that, through some clever iOS background-image trickery, that can effectively remove the notch design from the iPhone X homescreen and lockscreen.

The app is called Notcho – obviously – and it allows users to create backgrounds that turn the flaps alongside the notch inky black.

The app comes with a few of its own pre-loaded backgrounds but it also lets you tweak your own backgrounds if that’s more your style.

Notcho is free, but the free version includes a small watermark that you’ll definitely not want ruining the user experience – if you want to get rid of the watermark, that requires an in-app purchase of $1.99.
It's a new month, and that means a new security update for Android.

The November Android security patch is out, and this is more noteworthy than most with its fix for the high-profile key reinstallation attack (KRACK).

It also puts some Band-Aids on the newly released Pixel 2 phones.

Google actually released three "November" security patches last night. First there's the normal "2017-11-01" security patch, which contains all the monthly patches developed on the regular schedule.

OEMs get these fixes a full month in advance (so early October in this case), and Google lets the bugs sit around for a whole month, allowing OEMs to port the patch to their phones.

A month later, Google discloses the bugs and (theoretically) does a simultaneous release with the Android OEMs and carriers.