Meet Airbus Ventures, A “Pure-Play” Aerospace Venture Firm

image1 In late spring last year,  the Netherlands-based aerospace and defense giant Airbus Group announced a $150 million corporate venture capital fund. Today, that fund, Airbus Ventures, announced its first bet, on an eight-year-old, Phoenix-based company called Local Motors that uses 3D printing to make appliances and road-ready vehicles. Our interest piqued, we talked earlier today… Read More

Apple is shutting down its iAd App Network on June 30

Apple Store

Apple today announced that it will shut down the iAd App Network at the end of June.

“Although we are no longer accepting new apps into the network, advertising campaigns may continue to run and you can still earn advertising revenue until June 30,” the company wrote in a blog post. “If you’d like to continue promoting your apps through iAd until then, you can create a campaign using iAd Workbench.”

Apple first launched iAd in 2010. Developers sign up for the iAd App Network to cause iAd advertisements to appear in their apps. And apps must already have the iAd Framework — which retrieves ads from the network — before developers submit their apps to review by Apple, according to documentation for the tool.

The announcement about the closure comes a couple of days after BuzzFeed reported that Apple would be breaking up the direct sales team for iAd.

Developing….










Lyft cuts fares on rides in 33 cities, days after Uber did the same thing

Lyft

Lyft has lowered its prices in select markets throughout the United States in an effort to compete with its main rival Uber. Starting today, customers in 33 markets, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Baltimore, and Washington, will see lower fares when using the service.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Lyft has followed suit with Uber, as the on-demand car service space has a tit-for-tat mentality. Last week Uber announced it would be lowering fares in 100 cities and here we are with Lyft. Here’s a list of the cities that will benefit from this cut:

Detroit, Baltimore, Bakersfield, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Denver, Fresno, Spokane, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Orlando, Memphis, Modesto, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orange County, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Norfolk, Pittsburgh, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose/Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Sonoma/Napa Counties, Toledo, Tampa, Tulsa, Indianapolis, and Raleigh-Durham

Depending on the market, riders could expect to see savings between 10 to 30 percent.

While Uber has declined to provide a list of all 100 cities, we’re told that San Francisco, Wichita, Houston, San Diego, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Charlotte, and Denver are on the list — there is some overlap between Uber and Lyft, which could make things interesting. Could there be a battle in those respective cities to gain the upper hand?

“Lowering the prices are necessary to stay competitive,” said a Lyft spokesperson. “With Uber price changes, we had to protect the ridership and the long-term earnings of our drivers.”

Lyft hasn’t had lengthy discussions with its drivers, but claimed they know the service is “still the best option for them and we only make these changes when we need to.” But while Uber has promised to guarantee earnings for its drivers, there’s no word about whether Lyft will do the same thing.

However, Lyft has been rolling out new features and services for its drivers, not only giving them a way to receive instant deposits of their fares, but also benefits at Shell and also Hertz. Yesterday, the company also introduced pre-matching, which is designed to make getting ride requests faster.

This latest battle over who has the lowest fares won’t last forever, but no end date has been set either.

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Watch IHMC’s Boston Dynamics robot vacuuming, sweeping, and cleaning

IHMC Robotics' Atlas humanoid robot vacuuming in a new video.

One of the teams that came in second place in last year’s DARPA Robotics Challenge competition has now shown its Atlas robot doing some potentially very useful things.

In a new video reported today by IEEE Spectrum, IHMC Robotics demonstrates its Atlas robot — which was made available to the team from Boston Dynamics, a company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet — doing several chores, including sweeping up Nerf bullets, throwing bottles and cans into a trash can, vacuuming, and even using a hand pallet truck to raise some concrete blocks. Some Japanese robots have been proven to be capable of performing household tasks. Now American robotics hardware and software are making progress in that area.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s interesting that the DARPA entry from IHMC — short for the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, based in the small city of Pensacola — was sponsored by Amazon, among others. Amazon, of course, uses robots in its warehouses, by way of its Kiva acquisition.

Check out the video to see what IHMC’s Atlas robot is doing nowadays:










‘Minecraft’ is one of Pornhub’s fastest-growing search terms

It's OK if Minecraft characters turn you on.

Think back to when you were a kid. You probably had a crush on a cartoon character. Well, today’s teenagers and college-aged kids have grown up with Minecraft … and they have some strong feelings about those blocks.

Minecraft is seeing a surge in popularity on the adult-video website Pornhub. In a blog post provided to GamesBeat, the triple-X site noted that searches for “Minecraft” have increased by 326 percent on Pornhub since January 2014. And the company is seeing more search traffic for the game. If you’re wondering what in the living hell “Minecraft porn” could possibly look like, well — you don’t have to imagine it. An animator that goes by the name FuturisticHub has created two videos that are obviously (obviously!) not suitable for work or just about anywhere else — you can watch ’em here.

Pornhub dug a little deeper to see what else people were searching for in conjunction with Minecraft. Terms like “Minecraft porn,” “Minecraft sex,” and “Minecraft hard drilling” were all among the phrases that people were looking for most often.

pornhub-insights-minecraft-searches-growth-3

“The most popular searches don’t always indicate what type of videos exist, but rather the type of videos people want to see,” reads the Pornhub blog post. “In the case of Minecraft, the most popular searches include some expected terms like ‘minecraft hentai’ and ‘minecraft animation.’ Some more interesting searches include ‘minecraft true love’ and ‘minecraft hard drilling.’ Even searches for gameplay and tutorial based ‘lets play minecraft’ videos can be found.”

Oh, and these Minecraft porn connoisseurs have tastes that go beyond blocks and low-resolution textures. Pornhub says that people often search for other games, like Halo, Clash of Clans, and Call of Duty, on its site before settling on Minecraft.

And if you are picturing that these searches are primarily coming from young men, you are absolutely correct.

The demographics of a Minecraft "let's play(with ourselves)er."

Above: The demographics of a Minecraft “let’s play(with ourselves)er.”

Image Credit: Pornhub

“Millennials — those under 35 years old — represent 91 percent of all Minecraft searches,” reads the blog. “Proportionally, 18-to-24 year olds are 498 percent more likely to seek out Minecraft porn than all other age groups.”

And, as you can see in the chart, men are 58 percent more likely to search for Minecraft porn than women.

This just goes to show that if something is popular enough, a bunch of people are going to grow up wanting to have sex with it.

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