Tesla recalls 53,000 vehicles for potential parking brake issue

A small gear built by one of the company’s third-party suppliers is to blame, and Tesla figures less than five percent of the 53,000 recalled vehicles might have the part — but better safe than sorry. The replacement process takes only 45 minutes, and assuming every potentially affected vehicle is brought in to Tesla, the recall process will be over by October 2017.

The move is typical for Tesla: It issued an early recall of 90,000 Model S sedans in November 2015 for safety concerns (again, before a flaw caused any accidents) and pulled back its just-released Model X SUVs in April 2016. Heck, it even recalled and replaced almost 30,000 wall chargers back in 2014.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/tesla-recalls-53-000-vehicles-for-potential-parking-brake-issue/

Lyft’s dashboard display helps drivers with hearing impairments

Typically, Lyft drivers hear an audible “ping” when they get a new ride, which isn’t the best way to notify someone with a hearing impairment. Now, though, Lyft will visually notify its drivers of a new ride with large text on the company’s new in-car display, Amp. This device already lights up, changes color, and can send little happy messages to riders; why not add something to benefit the driver, too?

Lyft has also started letting riders know when their driver is deaf or hard of hearing. Before the car arrives, passengers will get a text message telling them to contact their driver via text instead of voice, and to let the driver lead the communication when in the car. It’s such a simple thing, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t already happening.

The ridesharing company has partnered with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) to continue improving its app. It also hopes to promote awareness of opportunities for the deaf and hard of hearing and promote the importance of equal access to policymakers.

Uber has similar features to what Lyft announced today, though it’s all done via the Uber app instead of a hardware add-on in the car. When a new ride is available, Uber drivers will see a flash on their smartphone’s screen instead of just a sound, and passengers also get a notification about their driver’s status. Simple changes to existing hardware and software like this make everything much nicer for all of us, regardless of ability.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/lyft-hearing-impairments/

You can wake up Microsoft’s Surface Studio by talking to it

Waking up your PC from sleep is as easy as tapping the touchscreen, moving the mouse or pressing a button on the keyboard — but if you have a Microsoft Surface Studio, it just got even easier. Thanks to a new audio driver update, Studio owners can now wake their machine by simply calling out for Microsoft’s digital assistant. As long as you have the Windows 10 Creator Update and the latest patch, all you have to do is say the assistant’s keywords: “Hey Cortana.”

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/microsoft-surface-studio-hey-cortana-wake-command/

‘Up Next’ is an Apple Music series highlighting new artists

When the streaming service launched, its “Connect” feature was supposed to be a one-to-millions social network for artists to share bits of music, photos and videos with their fans. But it never really took off so Apple more or less shelved the idea. Up Next looks like a sort of return to that, but instead of an artist sharing intimate moments from the studio with his or her audience, Apple is putting the spotlight on musicians that otherwise might fly under radar of the service’s 20 million paid subscribers.

Introducing #UpNext.
Music’s Next Generation.
A new artist every month.
Up first, @6LACK.https://t.co/mPtDdmNNLG pic.twitter.com/qq62ggEyCh

— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) April 20, 2017

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/apple-music-up-next-zane-lowe/

Future Moto Mods could offer sticky notes and improved audio

The winning teams include Digiframe, a mod by Andrius Valentukonis and Ilja Laurs that gives you a little widget-based sticky note screen on the back of your phone that shows important info without having to launch specific apps on your Moto Z. You can stick it to your fridge when it’s not attached to your phone, too, so you can leave notes or to-do lists for roommates, family, or yourself.

The MACAY TrueSound HiFi, by Abigain Brown and Yousef Alsayid, puts an audio converter on your Moto Z. This winning hardware mod converts digital-to-analog as well as analog-to-digital signals and promises to give musicians and audiophiles a HiDef audio port for pro audio applications, like connecting to studio equipment or high-end speakers and headphones.

Runner-up projects include a wireless charging mod, a slider keyboard for those hardware-typist holdouts, an edge-notification mod, and a solar charger that attaches to your phone. The solar battery team won the top spot in the San Francisco hackathon last February.

All the Pitch Day participants will participate in the Moto Mods Accelerator Program, which provides engineering and design support. Remaining teams can continue to refine their projects through Motorola’s developer portal and partnership with Indiegogo. The program also offers engineering feedback, design support, and hands-on coaching to help teams get their mods ready for prime-time.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/future-moto-mods/

Amazon’s Echo can manage your Google calendar for work

The surprising thing here is that Google Home doesn’t yet work with G Suite accounts, nor does it even let you add events to your Google Calendar. That gives the Echo a distinct advantage over Google Home, at least in terms of how it manages your daily info. Home can read out your daily agenda, so it’s not a complete bust, but being able to add items to your calendar feels like the kind of that that should have been in there on day one.

The good news is that Google’s been adding features to Home pretty rapidly — earlier today, the company released an update that lets multiple users add their own accounts to Home so they could get personalized daily agendas or commuting details. Hopefully Google will add more robust calendar features soon, but in the meantime, the Echo maintains a leg up on Home in that regard.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/amazon-echo-google-g-suite-calendar-support/

Prepare for the world’s first nanocar race this month

The nanocars come in a variety of shapes and functionalities, and they’re not technically “cars,” since they don’t have motors (and most don’t even have wheels), as noted by Nature. The teams will make their nanocars move by shooting electrons at them from the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). They won’t be allowed to actually push the tiny vehicles, but many designs will take advantage of this specific racetrack environment.

For example, the entry from the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, has butterfly-like wings that are meant to flap when the STM gives it a jolt. Some nanocars will react to the electrons in ways that should raise their energy states, propelling them even further down the track.

Of course, the entire race will be broadcast, almost-live, on YouTube and the event’s official website. The researchers have developed a creative method of filming the race: After each prod of the STM, the teams will take three minutes to scan the track with the microscope; these scans will be collected every hour and posted online as short animations.

The race isn’t all fun and games, of course. The scientists plan to use it as an opportunity to collaborate and further study the way isolated nanomachines behave on solid surfaces — research that could impact the future of medical treatment and other integrated technologies.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/prepare-for-the-worlds-first-nanocar-race-this-month/

Apple Music’s next exclusive is a Clive Davis documentary

Apple Music’s next documentary focuses on music industry legend Clive Davis. Last night at the annual Tribeca Film Festival, it was announced that Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives would be exclusive to Apple’s music-streaming service. That report comes via Deadline. While Davis’ name might be unfamiliar, his influence has been felt throughout the music industry for some 50 years. Davis is responsible for signing Bruce Springsteen; Carlos Santana (above); Earth, Wind & Fire and Alicia Keys in addition to cofounding Sean “Puffy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records among many, many other accomplishments. For more on his career, be sure to check out New York Times‘ recent interview with Davis.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/apple-music-clive-davis-tribeca/

Crackle signs up 50 Cent for two original series

With Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee moving to Netflix, Crackle is looking to fill the gaps Jerry Seinfeld left in its lineup. The service is also working on original videos as a partnership with Mashable and A.V. Club publisher Fusion Media Group. But even then, whether or not the new programming can set Crackle apart from other services with seemingly endless pockets is up in the air, despite how many big names may be involved. If it doesn’t end up working out for 50, he always his headphone empire to fall back on. As for Crackle, the Dead Rising universe is ripe for more stories.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/crackle-50-cent-in-da-streaming-club/

HBO adapting Ray Bradbury’s dystopian classic ‘Fahrenheit 451’

The book portrays a future where books are outlawed and “Firemen” like Guy Montag (Jordan) and his boss Captain Beatty (Shannon) are charged with setting them ablaze — the title refers to the temperature at which paper supposedly catches fire. However, when Montag meets a free-thinking new neighbor, Clarisse, he starts to question the course of his life.

Bradbury published the novel back in 1953, during a time when book burning was actually a thing in the US. It became an instant classic as a meditation on censorship and freedom of expression, much as Orwell’s 1984 is synonymous with pervasive government surveillance. The only adaptation is French director François Truffaut’s 1966 adaption, a film that did become a cult hit but isn’t exactly widely known.

It’s a bit surprising that Fahrenheit 451, one of the best-known and liveliest tales of a potentially bleak future, has yet to be adapted since then. With HBO and Jordan behind it (as star and executive producer), there’s a solid chance we’ll finally see it come to life again and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/04/20/hbo-adapting-ray-bradburys-dystopian-classic-fahrenheit-451/