Kodak (yes, that one) to launch cryptocurrency

Kodak is moving from cameras to crypto in a move likely to be viewed as a picture-perfect example of bitcoin mania.

The century-old camera brand said Tuesday it is investing in blockchain technology and plans to launch a “photo-centric cryptocurrency” called KODAKCoin.

Kodak (KODK)‘s stock surged as much as 40% in midday trading after the announcement.

With the price of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and other digital currencies skyrocketing, an eclectic mix of small, unrelated businesses has attempted to ride the wave of investor interest by teasing cryptocurrency pivots.

Long Island Iced Tea Corp. changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp (LBCC). Bioptyx rebranded as Riot Blockchain (RIOT) and shifted its business model from biotech to bitcoin. Rich Cigars, a tobacco company, and Vapetek, an e-cigarette firm, each declared they were suddenly blockchain businesses.

Related: I bought $250 in bitcoin. Here’s what I learned

Investors have generally reacted to these announcements by sending the stocks soaring. However, Kodak framed the move as being about more than profiting off a buzzword.

“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords,” Jeff Clarke, Kodak’s CEO, said in a statement. “But for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem.”

Kodak says it will use the blockchain, essentially a digital ledger, for a new platform called KODAKOne to help photographers manage image rights. KODAKCoin will be used for transactions when photographers license their work.

The Kodak news was quickly met with sarcasm on social media. As one reporter joked on Twitter (TWTR), it may only be a matter of time before we see the launch of “PolaroidCOIN” and “SearsCOIN.”

CNNMoney’s Paul R. La Monica contributed to this report.

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An Autonomous Omnicopter That Can Play Catch

Cool but next time throw it like a baseball.

This is a video of the Fetching Omnicoper, an “omni-directional eight-rotor vehicle” that can predict the flight path of a ball and catch it in a little net. The copter has a “unique actuator configuration that gives it full force and torque authority in all three dimensions.” Damn, I wish I had some torque authority. Or any kind of authority. You there, stop! Hey! What the — he just spit at me! Dad, come back.

We have developed a computationally efficient trajectory generator for six degrees-of-freedom multirotor vehicles, i.e. vehicles that can independently control their position and attitude. The trajectory generator is capable of generating approximately 500,000 trajectories per second that guide the multirotor vehicle from any initial state, i.e. position, velocity and attitude, to any desired final state in a given time. In this video, we show an example application that requires the evaluation of a large number of trajectories in real time.

Obviously, if you’re like me and your friend-meter is currently hovering around zero, this is the perfect copter for playing catch. Who needs human friends anyways, right? All they’re gonna do is backstab you and steal your girlfriend anyways. “Sounds like you’ve been burned before.” I have been — badly. “What happened?” I tried to shoot a mortar firework up the chimney.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks again to Rob, who agrees you don’t even need a friend to play catch if you’ve got a nice flat wall to throw against.

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Yevo’s premium earbuds are made from illegal firearms

The Yevo X Humanium wireless earbuds and charging case launched at CES 2018 look every bit the kind of premium device that can command a $499 price tag. But they actually use a special kind of metal — the kind that’s melted down from illegal weapons into what the IM Swedish Development Partner is calling Humanium. IM, the brains behind Humanium, works on weapons destruction programs in Guatemala and El Salvador. It conjured up the project as a means to offer financial support to the victims of armed violence in the Latin American region. The organization produced its first ton of Humanium from weapons seized in El Salvador in 2016, but this is apparently the first product crafted using the metal that will be released to the public.

Other than the material used to make them, the earbuds are identical to the Swedish company’s older Yevo 1 wireless earbuds. They connect via Bluetooth, have a 30-foot range and have a listening and call time of three to four hours. At $249, Yevo 1 costs half the Humanium version’s price. But if you have the extra money, prefer the color silver and want to help, then rest assured that Yevo isn’t getting all your money. Fifty percent of the version’s proceeds will go towards funding IM’s work, including fighting for children’s rights and combatting deadly diseases, in 12 countries across the globe.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

Source: Yevo Labs

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BMW shatters record for drifting: 8 hours, 232.5 miles, 5 nonstop refuelings

They did it. BMW USA smashed the previous Guinness World Record for longest vehicle drift in eight hours, more than doubling the previous record of 89.55 miles by going sideways around a small circular track for 232.5 miles.

In the process, the daredevils accomplished five successful refuelings from one drifting car to another to make the feat possible without stopping. (The process was explained in this video we shared yesterday.) In so doing, the team notched a second world record for the longest twin vehicle drift (water assisted) of 39.25 miles. It will presumably take some time for the records to be certified, but a behind-the-scenes video, which you can view below, shows an adjudicator from Guinness World Records on site at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, S.C., confirming the achievement.

Guinness rules don’t require car-to-car refueling, and the team could have gone the more conventional route by installing a larger fuel tank, or simply stopping to refill. But they opted for the greater challenge and took a page from military aircraft to devise a car-to-car refueling system

“Anytime you’re dealing with two cars sliding around, a guy hanging between them, moving a bunch of fuel, it’s a recipe for disaster,” says Ryan Mathews, competition and engineering manager with Detroit Speed Inc., which helped rig the BMW M5s for the attempt.

Fortunately there were no disastrous hitches, though the cars did bump each other at least once. Refueling this way, as you might imagine, is a crapshoot, with the first refuel transferring about 12 gallons and the second time just under 8 gallons. And the driver, Johan Schwartz, reported late in the day getting a sore neck and that his feet were falling asleep. But what do you expect when you’re focused on driving sideways over the equivalent distance of going from Boston to Princeton, N.J.?

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Fisker EMotion EV and flexible solid-state battery debut at CES

We’ve been following

Henrik Fisker

‘s new company closely, and have taken a keen interest not just in his

Fisker EMotion

luxury electric sedan, but also in the battery and charging technology the company’s been developing. Now, at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (


) in Las Vegas, we’ve gotten a

full reveal

of the upcoming vehicle, as well as new details about

Fisker’s solid-state battery technology

, which has the potential for dramatic increases in electric driving range.

Fisker teased the reveal

of the EMotion in recent days, showing off the butterfly doors, and giving us a glimpse of the interior. Previously, we had learned of its fantastic, 400-plus-mile range and swift charging capabilities.

A conversation we had with Henrik Fisker

revealed more about the design, the battery and a secret charging method that he thought could change the


game. Now, we have a lot more details about the car, though


is still keeping some of his company’s tricks under his hat.

The all-wheel-drive Fisker EMotion will have an estimated top speed of 161 miles per hour. It will be capable of Level 4 automated driving thanks to a suite of five Quanergy lidar sensors. The car will ride on 24-inch Pirelli low-rolling-resistance tires. The butterfly doors feature flush handles, and they open and close with the help of smartphone control. The car is about 197 inches long, with an overall height of about 52 inches, but Fisker says the packaging of the electric powertrain allows for a more spacious interior than most vehicles of this size.

Let’s talk more about that interior, as this is the first time we’ve gotten such a close look at it. It’s very luxurious, combining the comfort of leather with the convenience of modern infotainment technology. Fisker says it will also offer a vegan interior option for the EMotion. The car has four individually adjustable electric seats, with a five-seat option with a rear bench. Fisker promised the car would provide entertainment when operating in autonomous mode, and that comes in the form of three driver-oriented screens, with a curved center screen, as well as an optional 27-inch rear curved screen for the Chauffeur Edition EMotion. The glass roof features four zones of tint, each electrically adjustable to let in your desired amount of light.

The Fisker EMotion is set to launch by the end of 2019, with a starting price of $129,000. The company is currently taking reservations for $2,000 at

its website


Also on display at CES was Fisker’s patent-pending flexible solid-state battery technology. While the EMotion will launch with a lithium-ion battery pack using cells from LG Chem, the company is working on solid-state tech for EVs for 2020, and for personal electronics such as cellphones with an earlier expected launch. These batteries will more than double the energy density of lithium-ion.

This technology “is the next generation in charging everything from your personal cellphone to enabling mass adoption of

electric vehicles

due to unprecedented ranges and lighting-fast charge times,” said Henrik Fisker. “We’re incredibly excited to showcase working solid-state batteries and the vehicle, in-person, on such a massive global stage. Fisker Inc. is about breaking barriers, leading in

automotive technologies

and ultimately creating the most desirable, functional futuristic electric vehicles.”

Related Video:

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Bad docs and blue screens make Microsoft suspend Spectre patch for AMD machines

An Athlon 64 purchased in 2007.

Microsoft has suspended delivering the latest Windows update to certain systems with AMD processors after reports that the update was causing the machines to crash with a blue screen of death when booting. The update contains countermeasures against both the Meltdown and Spectre attacks; although AMD systems are not affected by Meltdown, they’re vulnerable to Spectre.

Withdrawing or suspending delivery of Windows Updates is not uncommon; while there is some testing done by Microsoft, releasing things to a wider audience does from time to time unearth incompatibilities or bugs within the update. What is uncommon is that Microsoft is not merely suspending this update; the company has also outlined why. Specifically, Microsoft writes that:

After investigating, Microsoft has determined that some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown.

This is an unusual act of buck-passing.

It’s not entirely clear what the documentation error is. There are some reports that users with very old AMD processors are seeing crashes because the Windows kernel is trying to use an instruction that the very earliest 64-bit AMD chips didn’t support. It’s not clear if this is the cause of suspension, but the bulk of complaints do seem to concern older chips, so it’s certainly possible.

from Ars Technica http://ift.tt/2EqFO2N