Google Self-Driving Car

Since California began issuing permits for self-driving car tests on public roads last fall, four out of nearly 50 vehicles had minor accidents. According to an Associated Press report, three of the four were Google's Lexus SUVs outfitted with Delphi's autonomous technology. The fourth was a test vehicle owned by Delphi. In half of the fender benders, the cars were in control when the accident occurred, and all of them happened at speeds of under 10 MPH. Most importantly, all four cases resulted in minor damage and no injuries. Due to the state's privacy laws, the report doesn't indicate any further details -- like if they happened while backing out of a parking space, for example.

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Sennheiser's Momentum headphones have been a staff favorite here at Engadget for a while. When the company announced a wireless version at CES, I was eager to get my hands on a pair for review. Unfortunately, when listening to music with the Bluetooth headphones and using an Apple Magic Mouse with my MacBook Air, I noticed regular music drop outs -- almost every time I moved my mouse. As it turns out, I wasn't the only one. After what Sennheisers says is a "small number" of customer complaints, it stopped production and shipment of the Momentum Wireless until the issue is fixed. Of course, stopping production tells me there's a big problem, but the company maintains the cases are "limited." In addition to interruptions when playing tunes, users experienced issues trying to make calls, too. Sennheiser explained the culprit could be a number of factors that prey on wireless connections, which could include anything from interference to signal strength that can't handle high-traffic areas.

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The best thing to happen to your email client since spam filters just did! Giphy, the ubiquitous search and discovery site for animated gifs, has released a Chrome extension that allows you to easily insert moving pictures directly into your electronic mails. After installing the extension, users will find Giphy's rainbow icon in their edit bar; click that to bring up a search bar and a few trending animations which can then be inserted inline. And with an internet's-worth of animation at your fingertips, who needs emoji?

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Xbox One May preview app

Ever wanted to turn on your Xbox One before you've even reached the living room? If so, it's time to upgrade your console. Microsoft has released the Xbox One's promised May update, and you now have the option of turning the system on (or off) from the SmartGlass app -- your system will be ready by the time you sit down to play. The refresh also brings voice messages to the One, and it enables dedicated party chat servers (rolling out over the weeks ahead) to make sure a finicky router won't get in the way of your conversations. It's not a gigantic update, but it's a big deal if you're either impatient or hate typing with a gamepad.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson has said he loses "sleep at night wondering whether we are intelligent enough to figure out the universe." It's a valid concern. We've put a man on the moon, landed on a comet and roved around on Mars, but it's really only the tip of the iceberg. There's so much that we haven't seen and don't know, it seems almost impossible to fully understand the universe.

It's not for lack of effort, though. People and spacecraft keep going up into space investigating the unknown, hoping to glean something new, or finding the Holy Grail -- a place that can sustain life. And as human beings become a more frequent presence in the cosmos we've had to establish rules to ensure that places like the International Space Station don't deteriorate into complete bedlam and that we're not fighting wars over uninhabitable swaths of Martian desert. The international community has actually come together and written regulatory guidelines for space exploration and laws that keep the final frontier from turning into the Wild West.

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Google is suspending Map Maker, the service that allows anyone to contribute to Google Maps, following a prank submission that showed the Android mascot urinating on an Apple logo. When the mapping mischief was first discovered, most of us had a good chuckle and wondered who was responsible. Inevitably, Google took it down and later confirmed that it was a user-created edit, which raised questions about Map Maker's review policies.

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Say goodbye to the $8 a month curated news app NYT Now, and say hello to the free, ad-supported news app of the same name. More than a year after launching NYT Now, which was basically a way for the New York Times to test out an inexpensive subscription offering, the paper is changing course. The basic gist of the app is the same: It serves up a hand-picked selection of NYT stories, which are continuously refreshed throughout the day. The paper's editors are also highlighting even more stories from around the web, which makes NYT Now feel more like a social news app like Feedly or Flipboard. The revamped app is yet another sign that the NYT is trying to be nimble in a time where major newspapers are struggling to hold onto subscribers and stay relevant.

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X-FILES: THE MOVIE (1998) DAVID DUCHOVNY, GILLIAN ANDERSON XFM 075 N

Back in March, Fox confirmed that FBI agents Mulder and Scully would return to television, and now we know when. The network announced that The X-Files six-episode run will begin on January 24th at 10 PM ET, following the NFL's NFC Championship Game. There's sure to be a load of interested viewers already marking down the date, but Fox is looking to rope in a few more by debuting the miniseries right after a big playoff game. The show's premiere is a two-night event with the second episode following on Monday, January 25th at 8 PM ET in what will be the regular time slot. If you'll recall, show creator Chris Carter will handle director and executive producer duties while David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their roles as the Bureau's paranormal investigating duo.

[Image credit: Moviestore collection Ltd / Alamy]

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Two years ago, BlackBerry finally broke free of the monotonous cycle it had entrenched itself in by launching its first all-touchscreen device, the Z10. Despite it being a costly flop, the company formerly known as RIM has continued to explore touchscreen territory with the help of its poke-friendly BB10 OS. BlackBerry is no longer a stranger to the form factor: It quickly followed up the Z10 with the Z30, and now the new BlackBerry Leap. There's little that separates BlackBerry's three main touchscreen devices as far as internals are concerned, and therein lies the main problem with the Leap. Instead of trying something different, BlackBerry has kept well within its comfort zone and pushed out another mid-range, touchscreen handset that's marginally divergent from its predecessors. Don't get me wrong: If a Leap lands on your desk to replace an old work phone, you'll no doubt get on with it just fine. But, if your own money is on the table, you're probably going to want to take it elsewhere.

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Makey Makey Go jello

Makey Makey Go is a super-cheap invention kit. For $19, you get a USB stick and an alligator clip; use the two in tandem and you can turn (almost) anything into a keyboard or mouse button. Examples of potential uses include a Slip'N Slide that takes a photo as you zoom past, a donut spacebar, a dog bed that initiates a Skype call and a foil sword game that counts the number of times you hit an opponent. If you have an idea that requires more than one button, you just plug in another stick.

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AeroMobil's flying car in a less than functional state

AeroMobil may have its work cut out for it if it's going to deliver a practical flying car within two years. Unfortunately, inventor Stefan Klein crashed a prototype in Slovakia this weekend after it entered an unrecoverable tailspin during a test flight. While the pilot thankfully managed to activate his vehicle's parachute in time and avoid any serious injuries, the machine wasn't so lucky -- as you can see above, it wasn't about to drive away. The company is optimistic about the accident in a statement, arguing that it's a "natural part" of testing that will help refine the design. It'll no doubt be a learning experience, but something tells us that the official roadmap doesn't include wrecking an aircraft. This is going to be a setback, even if it's relatively minor.

[Image credit: MH, SME.sk]

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If you've experienced a VR representation of a real place, chances are that you've just been looking around a static, 360-degree panorama of a room. OTOY believes that the days of the fixed-camera 3D picture are now done thanks to light-field technology, the same image refocusing tech you'll find in a Lytro. In short, a pair of DSLRs on a prototype rig spin around to capture pictures of a space with light field lenses. When that data is pulled into a computer, it creates a virtual version of that picture with unprecedented fidelity. The best thing, however, is that the company believes that users can then move about the image as they see fit.

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