Look Out Spotify, Apple Music: Tesla Considering To Launch Its Own Music Streaming Service

Spotify and Apple Music may soon find a new challenger in the music streaming service industry from an unlikely source: electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla.

According to reports, Tesla has been speaking with the music industry on the possibility of creating its own music streaming service that will be bundled with its electric vehicles.

Tesla To Enter Music Streaming Scene?

Sources in the music industry claim that Tesla has spoken with all the major music labels on licensing a music streaming service. The service will be bundled with the company’s vehicles, such as the electric sedan Model S, the electric SUV Model X, and the upcoming mass-market electric sedan Model 3.

The full scope of Tesla’s ambitions was not made clear, but sources believe that the company is looking to offer multiple tiers for the planned music streaming service. The tiers will start with a web radio service, such as the one offered by Pandora, which will be enabled by the internet connectivity already present in Tesla’s electric vehicles through their dashboards.

The whole plan is seemingly not yet fully formed, but Tesla is already doing its due diligence by asking about acquiring the rights to stream albums and songs from the top artists from all over the world.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk actually hinted that the company was exploring music products at the latest shareholder meeting of the company in June. He said that it was difficult to “find good playlists or good matching algorithms” for music that drivers want to hear while on the road, and that the company will be announcing how it will solve the problem within the year.

Why Will Tesla Challenge Spotify And Apple Music?

The big question is why Tesla is planning to go through the trouble of creating its own music streaming service, when it can instead integrate Spotify or Apple Music into its electric vehicles. Tesla already has a deal in place to include Spotify in electric vehicles sold outside the United States, so such a setup can be done if the company wants to.

The labels will not turn down Tesla’s overtures if it pushes through with creating its own music streaming service, as it will be another source of revenue. From the comment of a Tesla spokesperson, it appears that the company is indeed serious about its plans.

“We believe it’s important to have an exceptional in-car experience so our customers can listen to the music they want from whatever source they choose,” the spokesperson said, adding that Tesla’s goal is to “achieve maximum happiness” for its customers.

While Tesla is considered as the market leader in the burgeoning electric car industry, it will be jumping into a music streaming space that is currently dominated by Spotify, with 50 million premium subscribers, followed by Apple Music, with 27 million paid users and looking to pose a bigger challenge to Spotify by launching a $99 annual subscription option.

How Tesla’s music streaming service will stand up against these two remains to be seen, but it will have to offer something beyond the usual features if it wants to make a significant impression in the industry.

[Source”pcworld”]

‘Sahara Life should not procure new business’

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Return to frontpage ‘Sahara Life should not procure new business’
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‘Sahara Life should not procure new business’
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT HYDERABAD, JUNE 23, 2017 21:05 IST
UPDATED: JUNE 23, 2017 21:13 IST
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Someone filling out Restraining Order.
IRDAI order allows company to service existing business

Insurance regulator IRDAI, which earlier this month had appointed an administrator to manage the affairs of Sahara India Life Insurance, on Friday directed the company not to procure new business.

The company is directed “not to procure/collect proposal deposits/underwrite new business with immediate effect, i.e., close of business on June 23, 2017,” the regulator said in its order.

Advising Sahara India Life to inform all concerned such as agents and intermediaries of the direction, it said the company should ensure that it did not conduct new insurance business immediately on receipt of the order.

However, the company is directed to “continue to collect and account for renewal premium; and service the existing business and policyholders, unhindered,” the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India said.

IRDAI had on June 12 appointed its General Manager (F&A-NL) R.K.Sharma as administrator of the company and asked him to file a report on the most advantageous course of action in the interest of the policy holders. There were reasons to believe that Sahara India Life “is acting in a manner [that is] likely to be prejudicial to the interests” of the policy holders, the regulator had stated.

[Source”pcworld”]

Apple’s Week Centered on Tim Cook and Qualcomm

Story image for Apple from Fortune

In a first in quite some time, Apple suffered from a rather troubled week.

Over the past several days, Apple was forced to deal with some problems. The company has been quietly scrubbing the App Store of what has been called “hundreds of thousands” of apps that are delivering little to no value to users. Additionally, the company’s fight with chipmaker Qualcomm intensified this week. And Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, watched his employee approval rating fall. But in a bit of bittersweet news for Apple, the company’s e-book troubles are being put to rest.

Overall, it wasn’t the best of weeks for Apple (AAPL, +0.45%). But even so, there are no signs of business troubles in Cupertino, so it wasn’t all bad.

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Here’s our look at the biggest Apple news from the past week:

This is Fortune’s weekly roundup of the biggest Apple news this week. To see last week’s roundup, click here.

  1. Apple CEO Tim Cook’s employee ranking is down for 2017. In a new study from Glassdoor, Cook took the 53rd slot in a ranking of the world’s top CEOs by employee opinion. Cook earned a 93% approval rating in the study. That’s down from a 96% approval rating last year, when he took the eighth spot in the study. Glassdoor didn’t say why Cook’s approval rating fell year over year, but he’s still far ahead of most chief executives: the average CEO approval rating is 67%.
  2. Apple opened a new front in its battle against Qualcomm this week, saying the chip-maker shouldn’t get a cut on every iPhone it sells. Qualcomm has argued that it should get a license on each iPhone sold, and has been accused by Apple of withholding $1 billion in rebates. The companies are battling the case in a U.S. federal court.
  3. Good news if you have an Apple e-book credit: you can cash it in. Bad news if you have an Apple e-book credit: you have practically no time to do it. Those who are eligible for a credit received emails this week informing them that they would need to cash in their rebates by Saturday at 11:59 p.m. PT. That means you have just hours to get your credit. The credit is the result of Apple’s protracted battle over alleged e-book price-fixing between 2010 and 2012. Apple was ordered last year to pay $400 million in refunds to those affected by its e-book pricing.
  4. If you’re looking to save a few bucks on Apple Music, it’s now possible. Apple has quietly added an annual Apple Music subscription to the service for $99. That’s a $21 savings on the standard $9.99-a-month option. It’s a bit buried, however, so click here to find out how to access the annual Apple Music subscription.
  5. Apple has been quietly removing “hundreds of thousands” of useless apps from its App Store over the past year, according to TechCrunch. Apple has also updated its App Store guidelines to ban apps that use a “commercialized template or app generation service.” The move could reduce the chances of spam or scam apps making their way into the App Store.

One more thing… An unidentified bidder this week bought an original—and working—Apple I computer for $355,500 at a Christie’s New York

[Source”pcworld”]

Neil Featherby: Looking for inspiration at this time of year?

Sportlink's Neil Featherby says it's important to stay motivated at this time of year. Picture: Archant

What with all the early season races now out of the way, particularly those which were used in the run-up to marathons like London, Brighton, Manchester, Edinburgh or Bungay, it can be hard for the road runner to find motivation at this time of year.

I have always called this period Pimms and Lemonade months when perhaps people’s thoughts start to turn towards holidays, watching a bit of cricket, Wimbledon, or of course this year’s World Athletics Championships in London.

However, there is still plenty of running and racing to do especially with the autumn round of half and full marathons just a few weeks away.

Now whilst it can be hard going when it is so warm or indeed even stifling as it has been these last few days you perhaps just need that little bit of extra motivation to get going.

I was asked very recently in Sportlink by a well-known running couple, Simon and Deborah English, after they had both won their races earlier that morning as to how did I always keep my enthusiasm towards running 100 plus miles every single week of the year.

Needless to say my answer was that I wasn’t always motivated to get out and run 20 miles or more every day irrespective of the time of year, but what I did do was have a collection of brilliant videos which documented the lives of Sebastian Coe (Born to Run) along with Steve Ovett and Steve Cram which were all featured at one time or another during the 1980s.

I told them to go check them out with a lot of other great stuff which you can now see on Youtube and if that doesn’t inspire you to run, then I don’t know what will.

Later that evening I received an email from Simon saying: “Just watched it – awesome!”

On Monday night I decided to do a treadmill session for which I put Youtube on the display and whilst going through some of the great classics, my real attention was tuned in to two races which both have to be considered amongst some of the best finishes ever to big time races.

The Boston Marathon 1982 between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley and The Great North Run 2013 between Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah.

Even for an old plodder like me, I could feel my energy levels rise whilst the hairs stood up on the back of my neck (none on my head) whereby my stride and pace increased with absolute ease.

Most amazingly I also noticed that my heart rate dropped by several beats as I cruised along watching these athletes at the very top of their game and all with two things in common…talent for one, but secondly the motivation to give absolutely 100pc when required.

Awesome and out of this world are most definitely the best words to describe athletes of this calibre, but I wonder if they ever had to go looking for inspiration?

[Source”pcworld”]

Chicago’s new Apple store has a giant MacBook for a roof

Construction is underway at the new Apple store in downtown Chicago, and today, as reported by DNA Chicago, a new design element was added — a giant Apple logo. A construction crew laid out the logo on the store’s silver, rectangular roof, making it look like a giant MacBook. It stayed for less than an hour before crews rolled up the logo and removed it.

Designed by London-based Foster+Partners, the store is a relocation of Apple’s original Chicago flagship and is a 20,000-square-foot space which, upon completion, will have all-glass walls and a thin, carbon fiber roof… that looks like a MacBook.

The first renderings were originally unveiled in 2015, and touted the project’s “echo” to Prairie Style homes. As the Chicago Tribune details, the all-glass walls range between 14 to 32 feet in height, and are made out of four layers of half-inch thick glass joined with layers of stronger, thicker laminated glass.

[Source”pcworld”]

Nokia 3, Nokia 5 Android Phone Pre-Orders Open in the UK

Nokia 3, Nokia 5 Android Phone Pre-Orders Open in the UK

After being launched in India, HMD Global is expanding the availability of Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 Android smartphones. Both the phones will be going on sale in the UK starting next month.

The Nokia 3 will be going on sale in the UK from July 12, and will be available unlocked at GBP 129.99 (roughly Rs. 10,600). The Nokia 5, on the other hand, will be going on sale sale on July 19 and will be priced at GBP 179.99 (roughly Rs. 15,000). Currently, interested consumers in the UK can pre-order the Nokia 3 or Nokia 5 via Amazon or Clove e-commerce websites.

Notably, Clove also mentions that July 12 and 19 are official launch dates for the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 respectively. Surprisingly, there’s no availability detail on the Nokia 6, which completes the trio of new Android smartphones from HMD Global.

 

The company unveiled the trio of Android smartphones in India earlier this month. The Nokia 5 price in India is Rs. 12,899, and will be available for pre-booking starting July 7 through offline channels. Nokia 3, is the cheapest of the three, has been priced at Rs. 9,499, and is now on sale in India. The Nokia 6 has been launched in India at Rs. 14,999. The Nokia 6 registrations for the first sale will start on July 14, but the company has not announced when the smartphone will go on sale.

The Nokia 5 features a 5.2-inch HD display and runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It is powered by the Snapdragon 430 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB inbuilt storage and also supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 128GB). Nokia 5 packs a 13-megapixel sensor on the back and an 8-megapixel sensor at the front. The handset features a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button and it houses a 3000mAh non-removable battery.

The Nokia 3 is targeted at those who are looking for a premium-looking handset at a budget and features a 5-inch HD display, Android 7.0 Nougat, and 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek 6737 SoC. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card support. Optics include an 8-megapixel camera on both the front and back. The N

[Source”pcworld”]

How to use Gmail’s Google Tasks as your daily to-do list

gmail logo resized

Dedicated to-do apps abound, but one of the best may be right in your inbox. Google Tasks, integrated into Gmail, provides a simple way to create ordered task lists, complete with due dates, and even turn emails into action items. Here’s how to get started.

Create a task

add to tasks

PCWorld

With Google Tasks you can create a to-do list right in your inbox.

To start building a to-do list, click the down arrow next to “Gmail” in the upper left corner of your inbox. The Tasks window will open in the lower-right corner. To add a task, click the plus icon at the bottom of the window. A blank field will open with a checkbox and a blinking cursor. Type in your action item.

If you want to add a due date or notes, click the arrow to the right of the task and enter the details in the appropriate fields.

Turn an email message into a task

create task

PCWorld

You can type to-dos directly in your task list or add emails as action items.

You probably find that a good chunk of the emails you receive require some action from you. Google Tasks allows you to quickly turn these messages into to-do items without leaving your inbox.

To turn an email into a task, select the message either by selecting the checkbox next to it or opening it. Next, click the More button above your inbox and select Add to Tasks from the drop-down menu. The message is added to your to-do list using the subject line as the item name. A link to the original message is also included. As when you create a task, you can add a due date and other details by clicking the arrow next to the task.

Add sub-tasks

For more complex to-dos, you’ll want to break the main task into several sub-tasks. To do this, create each sub-task under the main task and hit the Tab button to indent each one.

Make multiple task lists

task notes

PCWorld

You can add a due date and notes to any task by clicking the arrow next to it.

In addition to your daily task list, you may want to create separate lists dedicated to specific projects. To do this, click the Switch List icon (it looks like three bullets, each followed by a line) at the bottom of your main task list and select New list from the pop-up menu. Enter the name of your new list, then click OK and add your tasks. When you want to switch between lists, just click the Switch List icon and choose the one you want.

Print or email lists and other actions

To print or email a task list click the Actions button and select the appropriate option. From here you can also rearrange your tasks either by sorting them by due date or manually moving them up and down using the displayed key combos.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
[Source”pcworld”]

Hands-on: Middle Earth: Shadow of War gets more creative with Tolkien’s universe

middleearthshadowofwar screenshot1 resized+

A lot of time and effort will be spent discussing Middle Earth: Shadow of War’s improved Nemesis System between now and probably about a month after release. And for good reason—the Nemesis System was the only thing that elevated predecessor Shadow of Mordor from another me-too Assassin’s Creed clone into a technical wunderkind.

Leaning into that aspect for the sequel is probably a good call, especially since we’ve failed to see similar tech make its way through the industry. The dynamic characters that made Shadow of Mordor such a joy are still, three years on, a novelty.

But I had 20 to 30 minutes of hands-on time with Shadow of War during E3 and to be honest, the Nemesis System was the least of my concerns. There was a bit of been-here-done-that to the proceedings, sure—but more problematic is the time investment required to see the Nemesis System in action. The entire concept only flourishes when it’s your cast of characters, when it’s your army of orcs following you into battle against another army of orcs you’ve come to systematically despise.

That’s the whole premise, right?

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

So I captured the fortress Monolith had prepared for the demo. I scaled walls, rode the backs of various beasts, hurled poison at foes, leapt hundreds of feet through the air to assassinate an unwary foe. I captured the courtyard, then the outer keep. Lost a few commanders along the way. Killed more than a few of the enemy’s commanders. I made it to the center of the fortress, fought a monstrous troll-enemy while poison spurted from the floor.

It was very similar to the Shadow of War demo we saw back at GDC. The impression I get is still just “Nemesis System, but expanded.” And that’s fine, and I’m sure it’ll be an interesting bit of tech to watch in action when the game releases in October.

Let’s talk about the story, though. Or, rather, the risks Monolith gets to take with the story this time around. That’s what got me really interested last week.

The original Shadow of Mordor’s story wasn’t anything to write home about—it seemed like a barebones scaffolding for an extensive Nemesis System tech demo, as if Monolith came up with this amazing idea and then slapped a license on it. Shadow of Mordor could’ve been an Arkham game, a Suicide Squad game, a Justice League game, another interminable Lego adventure, or any other WB license.

But it wasn’t. It was Lord of the Rings, sort of.

GAMING
Shadow of War gameplay

And so Gollum popped up at one point, there were various bits of fan service hidden in scraps of lore around the world, and what have you. It was ever-so-carefully crafted. Almost too carefully, as is the case with many “Extended Universe”-type stories. Like Tron: Legacy or Star Trek: Into Darkness, an insistence on too-obvious callbacks mixed with hesitance to deface what came before left Shadow of Mordor feeling like a very extensive fan-fiction.

This awkward reverence was everywhere, from our hero Talion acting as poor man’s Aragorn to Marwen’s life force being sucked away by Saruman the same as Theodin’s. Predictable, at best. Boring, most of the time.

Shadow of Mordor spent so long lulling the player into a sense of complacency that when its story finally did go to some weird places—right at the end—it came as a sharp left turn. For 20-odd hours you’d been fed a generic tale of revenge, and then suddenly Monolith decided to upend Tolkien’s whole universe and create a (paradoxical) second One Ring.

Then the game ends.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

The sequel sees Monolith picking up and fleshing out that story, as Talion and his ghost-elf buddy Celebrimbor struggle to take over Mordor as the “Bright Lord.” This plays into the whole Nemesis System of course, with Talion dominating orcs and forcing them to swear fealty to the Bright Lord, conquering entire regions in the name of the Bright Lord, and the like.

But it’s also indicative of a freer hand for Monolith’s writers, an impression that was reinforced when I played one of Shadow of War’s story missions. We followed some orcs into a swamp reminiscent of the book’s Dead Marshes, an eerie fog-filled nightmare full of brackish water. Normal enough for Mordor, and a typical set-up for Shadow of Mordor—take something familiar, then reskin it.

Some orcs imprisoned in elaborate vine growths came as a surprise though, as did the relative calm of the nearby wildlife—creatures that usually attacked Talion on sight simply watched us walk deeper into the swamp.

That’s when the forest spirit approached. Dryad, nymph, or some other Lord of the Rings-centric term I don’t know, what came out of the woods was a 20-foot tall woman made from vines. She then transformed into a warg made from cast-off bark, then into a wooden troll, and finally into a massive wooden dragon, each of which we had to defeat in battle.

Shadow of War

Daniel Masaoka

It’s far more audacious than pretty much anything I saw in Shadow of Mordor. This isn’t just some retread of the films. This is an entirely new creation, a whole new force at play in Middle Earth. Sure, you could draw some loose parallels to the Ents, but the correlation isn’t nearly as 1-to-1 as the various creatures and beings in Shadow of Mordor were.

And for good reason. A Monolith developer was observing as I went through the demo, and I asked about this forest entity, why she seemed so much more creative than what we saw in Shadow of Mordor. His answer was pretty simple—with the success of the first game, the writers were given considerably more freedom this time around. Expect a more daring story, or at least more daring moments as Monolith experiments more within the Lord of the Rings lore.

That’s an interesting prospect, at least to me. If it’s bad? Well, just write it off like the first game, or like any other fan-fiction.

I’d much rather Monolith try something new though. I want a reason to play Shadow of War that isn’t just “Well, the underlying technology is cool.” Especially with the game reportedly many times the size of Shadow of Mordor, the story hook needs to actually hook this time.

We haven’t seen much yet, and I doubt we’ll see much more before the game releases in October, but I came away from the E3 demo feeling more charitable than I did at GDC. Sure, the core of the game is still just “The Nemesis System, but bigger,” but maybe this time the surrounding framework won’t feel quite so skeletal.

That’s the hope, anyway.

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[Source”pcworld”]

Cyber boost: New operating system will improve Navy computing power

Cyber boost: New operating system will improve Navy computing power

With support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Dr. Binoy Ravindran, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, has designed a system that could revolutionize how military and commercial computing systems perform.

It’s called Popcorn Linux—an operating system that can compile different programming languages into a single cyber tongue.

“By applying Popcorn Linux to longtime, legacy Navy and Marine Corps computer systems, we can improve software without requiring thousands of man-hours to rewrite millions of lines of code,” said Dr. Wen Masters, head of ONR’s C4ISR Department. “This could yield significant savings in maintenance costs.”

Crunching huge amounts of data for complex applications like battlespace awareness and artificial intelligence requires extremely powerful processing. Unfortunately, many of the processors capable of this speak their own specialized software programming languages—and must be programmed to interact with each other.

To increase computing speed, microchip manufacturers in recent years have placed multiple processing units on individual chips. Take the iPhone 7, for example, which has four processors—two high-power (think of a Ford Mustang) and two low-power (think of a Toyota Prius)—to simultaneously dial phone numbers, open web pages, check text messages and take photos and videos.

That involves designating specialized “heterogeneous” processors to carry out specific tasks, like displaying graphics or web browsing. Each processor can be devoted to one specialty, rather than divided among several functions, resulting in much better, faster performance.

“Before, each processor was like one handyman re-modeling your entire bathroom,” said Dr. Sukarno Mertoguno, the ONR program officer sponsoring Ravindran’s research. “Heterogeneous processors, by contrast, represent an actual plumber installing the pipes and an actual painter painting the walls. Each processor has a specialty.”

But this specialization has problems—a “language” barrier. Each processor has its own set of instructions that only it understands. To address this, software developers must manually adjust code to determine which tasks should run on which processors—a tedious process, as extra features and updates are added regularly.

“This is especially true for Navy and Marine Corps software systems,” said Ravindran. “Many of these legacy systems were built in the 1970s or earlier, have numerous security patches and millions of lines of code, and represent a huge investment of time and money. How can Navy developers enjoy the benefits of next-generation heterogeneous processors without rewriting applications from scratch?”

Ravindran’s answer is Popcorn Linux, which can be used with any computer or device, and serves as a translation tool—taking generic coding language and translating it into multiple specialized program languages. From there, Popcorn Linux automatically figures out what pieces of the programming code are needed to perform particular tasks—and transfers these instruction “kernels” (the “popcorn” part) to the appropriate function.

While Popcorn Linux is still a proof-of-concept prototype created by Ravindran and his students, the system is about to enter a new phase of development.

“In our lab and academic setting, we’ve demonstrated that Popcorn Linux works well with respect to performance speed and power usage,” said Ravindran. “Later this year, we’ll work with industry partners to create a version of Popcorn Linux that can meet the strenuous industrial standards required by the Navy and Marine Corps.”

“We’re already hearing great enthusiasm from industry for Popcorn Linux,” said Masters. “We look forward to see how Dr. Ravindran and his team further develop this exciting system.”

[Source”pcworld”]

 

6 great Android features missing from iOS 11

6 great Android features missing from iOS 11

Call me a flip-flopper, but the new features in iOS 11 have me thinking of jumping back to iOS after switching to Android barely a year ago.

Indeed, the new version of iOS brings such enticing features as a revamped App Store, a customizable Control Center, and drag-and-drop for iPad users, plus such catch-up features as one-handed typing and easy person-to-person payments.

But returning to iOS would mean leaving behind many Android features I’ve grown to love, from the ability to set up multiple user profiles to one-touch Google searches on whatever’s onscreen at a given moment.

Read on for six awesome Android features that iOS 11 has yet to match, starting with…

[Source”pcworld”]