Apple has an idea for car sensors that could drastically reduce crashes

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

Apple has scoped out an idea for Bluetooth sensors that help cars communicate with each other, according to an updated patent published on Thursday.

Sensors, likely Bluetooth short-range wireless technology, would scan the surroundings, communicating with other cars, sensors and a GPS system, updating a drivers’ dashboard display to reflect obstacles like ambulances or cars passing.

The patent doesn’t describe the technology as a self-driving car, but rather, compares it to a souped-up version of parking sensors blind-spot detection systems that are already commonplace in cars today.

Source: USPTO

Just because a technology is patented doesn’t mean it will ever see the light outside of Apple’s headquarters — indeed, most patented technologies are never commercialized and this might not be either.

And the idea of vehicle-to-vehicle communication isn’t new: The CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium was founded in 2002. Broadcom, for instance, has already been working on similar technology for years.Qualcomm has several solutions, incorporating Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G/4G LTE.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.

Still, it makes sense for Apple to be doubling down on this type of technology for a few reasons.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the company is investing heavily in building autonomous systems — and one major application of that technology is cars. Apple already has a modified mobile operating system, CarPlay, that’s designed to be used in the car. As autonomous vehicles take over more of the drivers’ traditional duties, systems like CarPlay could be more widely used.

Source: USPTO

Apple is also interested in improving wireless connections in general. With its latest wireless earbuds, AirPods, Apple revealed a new W1 chipto improve performance. While it’s a bit of a leap to draw a line between the two, one of the inventors on Apple’s automobile patent lists his occupation as iOS Bluetooth engineer. Not to mention that a recently disbanded automotive sensor company, Pearl Automation, was flush with former Apple engineers.

If Apple does build the fabled iCar, it may actually be required to have this type of vehicle-to-vehicle communication system. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposal would require vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, predicting the technology could “prevent or reduce the severity of up to 80 percent of non-alcohol-related crashes.”


3 Funds That Crush Apple And Pay 9%+ Income

I write on high yield assets that deliver a reliable income stream. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

If you’ve held Apple (AAPL) for a long time, you’re probably feeling pretty smug. And you should—the stock isway up over just about any time period and has nearly doubled in the last five years:

Apple’s Sparkling Performance

Clearly, Apple is an amazing stock. But what if I told you we can top that 96.3% gain in the next five years?

All we have to do is go someplace most investors aren’t. I’m talking about high-yielding—and almost totally ignored—closed-end funds.

The three I want to show you today are the PIMCO Dynamic Income Fund (PDI), the Tekla Life Sciences Investors Fund (HQL) and the Western Asset Mortgage Defined Opportunity Fund (DMO).

Because here’s something that might surprise you—they’re all beating Apple, and not by a little bit.

Apple Gets Schooled

Before I get to why these funds are soaring, let me show you three reasons why it’s better to buy into them than Apple.

#1: You Get Paid Upfront

Let’s cut right to the chase. These funds are better because they pay out more in dividends.

Apple’s dividend yield is a measly 1.6%. So even if you own $1 million of Apple stock, you’d get just $1,333 in monthly cash income. That’s poverty wages for a millionaire—ridiculous!

These 3 funds are in another league entirely.

HQL pays a 9.9% dividend, and DMO is paying 11.3%. PDI pays a tad less, at 9%, but it also has a habit of paying massive special dividends at the end of the year. I’ve written before that PDI’s special dividends will likely shrink in the future, but even without them this fund boasts a massive cash payout.

And if you put all 3 of these income studs in a $1 million portfolio, you’d trigger $8,417 in monthly dividend payments (even better, two of these CEFs—PDI and DMO—actually pay dividends monthly, just like 4 other high-yield investments I recommended a couple months ago).

That’s a six-figure income that you can get passively—without selling a single stock! Apple can’t hold a candle to these funds’ massive payouts.

#2: Safety Through Diversification

With Apple, you’re buying a great company. But you’re just buying one company.

With PDI, HQL and DMO, you’re getting exposure to hundreds of companies. And while all of them are smaller than Apple, many of them are bargains because they get a lot less attention than Cupertino’s fruit company.

And this extra layer of safety goes beyond that.

Because all 3 funds buy some combination of stocks, bonds and private equity stakes—meaning there’s upside, some insulation from a market correction and exposure to investments that most folks just can’t buy. This broad base is a big reason for these funds’ gangbuster returns.

#3: They Can’t Wait to Put Cash in Your Pocket

One of the problems with companies like Apple is that it’s in no rush to return profits to investors. While Apple has a profit margin of 20.9%, investors are only getting that 1.6% dividend yield!

That’s partly because Apple wants to keep that money and invest it in new ventures. But it also means Apple has $257 billion in cash it isn’t using for anything—and it isn’t getting much of a return, considering interest rates are near zero!

That isn’t Apple’s fault; it’s a complicated story, but a mix of tax codes and an overvalued venture capital market make it hard for Apple to make a lot of savvy acquisitions.

The CEFs I prefer don’t have either problem. Since they focus on returning as much capital to investors as possible while still investing in growing ventures, we get a bigger portion of the fund’s profits than we’d get with Apple. Plus we get our share immediately in the form of cold, hard cash.

Finally, these funds are no slouches in a place where Apple fanboys and girls think the company has the market cornered: innovation. The people managing these funds are specialists who run them as if they were managing actual companies.

Tekla and Western Asset Management hire industry experts to make investments in very specialized and highly complicated sectors and assets—things your typical stock picker is not going to pick up on. That, again, makes their funds act a lot more like companies than diversified mutual funds or ETFs.

The bottom line?

I like to think of funds like these as Apple+. You’re getting access to top-notch experts making wise bets on the future, just like you would with Tim Cook’s company. But you’re also getting a far bigger income stream, much more diversification and superior returns. That’s why I like CEFs much more than regular stocks—and you should, too.

Disclosure: none

Michael Foster is the Lead Research Analyst for Contrarian Outlook. For more great income ideas, click here for our latest report “7 Great Dividend Growth Stocks for a Secure Retirement.”


Vishal Sikka Seeks Inspiration From Steve Jobs in His Resignation Letter


Infosys CEO and MD Vishal Sikka in his resignation letter has quoted the famous Stanford speech of Steve Jobs as he seeks inspiration to move beyond Infosys. Sikka in his resignation letter said, “I have decided to leave because the distractions, the very public noise around us, have created an untenable atmosphere.”

Co-founder Narayana Murthy, reportedly in an email, had claimed that he had been told by independent directors that Vishal Sikka was more suited as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) than as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). While this claim is yet to be confirmed, Sikka wrote, “Life is too short to engage in battles of opinions in the public, these add no value, take critical time and focus away from the business, and indeed add more to the noise, to the eardrum buzz…”

Going forward, Sikka—the present Executive Vice Chairman on the Board– wants “to return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment, where I can take on new lofty challenges…” Seeking inspiration to go ahead his plan, Sikka in his four page resignation letter falls back to the immensely popular Steve Jobs speech: “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

Sikka said, “As Steve Jobs said, I must follow my heart and my intuition, build my buildings, give my givings, and do something else.”

Hinting on what’s next for him, he shared, “Over the next weeks and months, I look forward to working with the Board and management to create a smooth transition, and simultaneously staring into the great unknown, and to doing something great, something purposeful, for the times ahead. And also to spend some time with my loved ones. I’ve been away from home far too often and far too long.”

WATCH VIDEO: Time limited, don’t waste it: Jobs at Stanford


Whatever your A-level results, stay away from social media today

Students receiving their A-level results at City and Islington college, London, 17 August 2017.

Results day. The day when thousands of A-level students find out the marks for the final exams that determine whether or not they have got into university, and if so, where they’ll be spending the next few years. It’s a landmark moment, not that any of you getting your results today need me to tell you that.

If you’ll allow an old(er) woman a moment of reminiscence, I remember my own results day well, even if it was just over a decade ago. I wasn’t among those who had been phoned up the night before to come down early to jump up in the air alluringly for the local papers (not nubile enough, perhaps, or maybe I’d just failed horribly), so I slept in. I finally showed up at around 2pm (by which time my friends had been in the pub for hours), not because I didn’t care, but because I cared so much. I didn’t want other students around when I found out my future. I was terrified of failure.

Thankfully, social media didn’t really exist then. Otherwise I would have woken up to post after post of other pupils’ celebrations, which would have served only to compound the fear. Which is why I’d advise today’s cohort to be cautious about how much they boast. This is an important moment, yes, but one of your friends’ hearts is probably breaking as you upload that celebratory status. For every dream that, on results day, transpires into concrete quads and bicycles and medieval libraries, there’s another turning to dust. Be humble.

It’s a good lesson for the future. Much has been made of the so-called iGen – today’s teenagers who have grown up never knowing a time before the internet and smartphones existed – and the impact that 24/7 connectivity and constant social media sharing could be having on mental health. Certainly rates of depression and anxiety have skyrocketed.

I suspect that my generation, which is only a few years older than today’s teenagers, caught the tail end of this. Certainly, we’re acutely conscious of the look-at-me competitiveness of social media, a world of self PR in which people are their own publicists, yet at the same time many of us continue to be guilty of it ourselves. Right now, in our mid- to late-20s and early 30s, it’s exotic travel, weddings, babies and – my least favourite – house selfies. “Look at the keys to the house we just bought!” “Look at our brand new flat!” It’s easy to see why people are happy (unless you’re very lucky, it’s no picnic getting that money together these days), but it also feels like a punch in the guts to those who are so far away from achieving that dream, if they ever will. No wonder so many of my friends have quit social media recently.

In this social media bubble, where people’s lives are condensed into ruthlessly curated news feeds, only certain kinds of updates are really acceptable. You’re fine to post an ultrasound announcing that you’re pregnant, but it would be frowned upon for me to have jubilantly posted a negative pregnancy test every time I had a scare, and even less so for a couple to post frankly about their miscarriage. If you’ve bought a house, fine. If your house has been repossessed, not so fine.

When people do go ahead and break this social contract, revealing the pain, grief, or depression that they are feeling online, you note that it makes people uncomfortable. The sympathetic likes and comments may roll in, but there’s a sense that so much raw unhappiness is unbecoming, somehow. It undermines the facade. Instead of presenting people with a pleasing spectacle which they can passively scroll through and heart before getting on with their day, it demands something of them. That demand is conscious engagement. People don’t like it. It reveals the world as the sad place it so often can be.

Which is why, if you’re a teenager, you might see uploads of plenty of transcripts displaying straight As, but you’re unlikely to be subject to a devastated status from a friend whose plans lie in tatters at their feet. By all means celebrate – you’ve worked hard as a guinea pig in what amounts to an untested new exam system – but spare a thought for those who haven’t done as well as they hoped today. And also bear in mind that, though it might feel like it, life isn’t some linear track on to which you are now irrevocably attached, always moving forwards, onwards, upwards. There’ll be setbacks too. Of the friends I celebrated results day with 12 years ago, quite a few switched courses or dropped out. Some of us ended up in places we never thought we would, myself included, as I write this.

The jury is out on whether the supposedly toxic effects of the internet are really all that toxic. But nonetheless, you’ve spent the last couple of years with either your head in a book or your eyes glued to a screen. It’s time to get down the pub and see your friends in person, popping the prosecco with those who did well, and comforting those who didn’t. Social media can wait. Believe me, you have a whole life ahead of wrestling with that shit.


Newton Mail finally comes to Windows for a cross-platform email experience

Newton Mail, a multi-platform email app that’s been available on Mac, iOS, and Android, is finally reaching the last major platform it had yet to be offered on: Windows 10.

Aside from, you know, being offered on Windows, there’s not much else new in the announcement. Newton Mail for Windows offers most of the enhanced features as it does on other platforms, including read receipts and additional sender profile features, while others, like the ability to automatically organize your emails will be coming soon. It’s compatible with the same slew of email providers, too: Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, iCloud, Google Apps, Office 365, and IMAP accounts will all work with Newton.

The biggest caveat, though, is cost. Newton Mail may have grown out of the free CloudMagic app, but it costs $50 per year to use. That price is for all platforms, though, so if you’re already a Newton subscriber, you’ll be able to simply install the Windows app and go about your day on your PC with all your existing accounts. But despite the advanced features and cross-platform functionality, you really have to consider if the cost is worth it for your inbox.

Correction: Some Newton Mail features, like Tidy Inbox, aren’t available on Windows yet, but will be coming soon.


HBO’s Social Media Accounts Hacked. ‘Again?’ Asks Internet

HBO's Social Media Accounts Hacked. 'Again?' Asks InternetIn the latest of many security breaches that have plagued HBO for the past few weeks, the network’s social media accounts were compromised about three hours before writing this. HBO’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were hacked by a group called OurMine, who also hacked the social media handles of many of the network’s shows, including Game of Thrones and Veep. The social media posts were removed shortly after they were posted.

“Hi, OurMine are here, we are just testing your security, HBO team please contact us to upgrade the security – -> Contact,” read the messages posted on both the social media platforms.Another message read, “let’s make #HBOHacked trending!”

OurMine is notorious for hacking high-profile social media handles, and has in the past managed to compromise the social media accounts of Netflix, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, reports the BBC.

For HBO, this is the latest in a line of many cyber security breaches which saw leaks of unaired Game of Thrones episodes, show scripts and other sensitive company information. It also follows at the heels of HBO Spain accidentally broadcasting Game of Thrones season 7, episode 6, days before its release, leaving many fans wondering whether HBO seriously needs to upgrade its security.


SteamOS vs. Ubuntu vs. Windows 10: Which Is The Best Operating System For Gaming?

Several operating systems have been developed for a broad range of purposes, but, currently, there are only three best operating systems for gaming: SteamOS, Ubuntu and Windows 10. Naturally, all three will have varied gaming performance between them, and it is our job to provide you with accurate information on which OS to use if your primary usage will be for long gaming sessions. At the end of the day, it will also come down to the user’s preference.

Years ago, MS-DOS was the ‘go to’ operating system when you wanted to engage in prolonged gaming sessions but its complexity required that a better alternative should be provided to the masses that will also feature a unique interface for easy use. After years of development, several new variations of platforms came that have been designed for gaming purposes.


OMG launches second Laser-Tag gaming centre in Gurgaon

“A one of a kind laser tag centre in the city, OMG will provide a square for all the action-lovers and casual gamers alike to meet, play and compete”, shares Sahil and Aakritti.

After receiving an enormously overwhelming response for the previous venture, OMG has upped the ante with the advanced physical live activities that are well-set to captivate the action maniacs and offer a hypnotic gaming experience in the monster arena. The action-packed effects and live play makes for an ultimate experience for thrill-seekers.

OMG features some seriously impressive technology, as it takes the gaming affair sincerely, the games say it!

The dimly lit arena takes you to another universe where you will be always under attack so you better stay on your toes. Get set to venture into the evolution of combat gaming experience from plastic toy guns to paintball to harmless laser guns. Bubble Football is the fun recreation of the original football game which entraps you into a zorb like bubble covering your upper body and head. You have got to possess The Flash’s swiftness and Mr. Fantastic’s machinations to outcraft your opponents. OMG has set a benchmark for the gamers with intricate and mind-boggling maze that will set the difficulty level a few notches higher.

The Gamers’ Paradise has introduced a range of other intriguing activities that will leave you tumbling and falling in laughter – these which will be big with casual gamers and families.


Tim Cook’s Charlottesville email to Apple employees: “Hate is a cancer”

The Apple CEO sent an email to employees about the events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend that saw one woman killed at a white supremacist rally, reports BuzzfeedIn the email, Cook said “hate is a cancer” and that he “disagree[s] with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights.” Cook also announced Apple will give $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. You can read his full email below:

Story image for Apple from Reuters


Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.

What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world. We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.

Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point–that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect. I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.

In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30. In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.


Tencent’s mobile gaming growth continues

Story image for Gaming from MyBroadband

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. posted double-digit revenue and profit increases as it continued to grow its mobile-gaming, social-media and advertising businesses in the second quarter.

Tencent, one of China’s largest publicly traded companies and the world’s biggest videogame publisher by revenue, also operates the popular social-media app WeChat.

Mobile-game revenue grew 54% and exceeded computer games revenue for the first time. Computer-game revenue grew 29%, but the company warned that future PC revenue growth rates would decline. The company posted 14.8 billion yuan ($2.21 billion) in mobile revenue and 13.6 billion yuan in computer revenue.

Its share price has rose 70% so far this year.

The company said its WeChat app, known in China as Weixin, saw 963 million monthly average users in the quarter, growing 19.5% from a year earlier.

Another of the company’s social-media networks, QQ, saw a 5.4% decline in monthly active users to 850 million. Still, Tencent said the decrease was due to fewer casual users while engagement with core users increased. QQ also saw smart-device growth among younger users.

Online advertising revenue grew 55% to 10.15 billion yuan, driven by increased mobile video views as TV dramas and variety shows attracted users.

In all, profit grew 70% to 18.23 billion yuan, or 1.9 yuan a share, compared with 10.74 billion yuan, or 1.13 yuan a share, a year prior. Revenue grew 59% to 56.6 billion yuan. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected 53.03 billion yuan in revenue and profit of 1.52 yuan a share.

Chester Yung contributed to this article.