Why Teslas Totaled in the US Are Mysteriously Reincarnated in Ukraine


This summer, a Vancouver car mechanic named Max got a perplexing ping on his phone: Betty White was in Ukraine and needed his help. This was surprising because she had died on a Canadian highway back in January.

When Max last saw Betty White, his nickname for his Tesla Model Y Performance, they were both in rough shape after getting sideswiped on the highway. Max’s rotator cuff was torn in several places. The small SUV had bounced off multiple concrete barriers at high speed and was bashed in on all four corners, its wheels ripped to pieces. Coolant appeared to be leaking into the battery chamber. From his own work on EVs in the garage, Max knew that Betty was done for. “No auto shop would put a repair person at risk with that kind of damage,” says Max, whose last name isn’t being used out of doxing concerns. A damaged EV battery can become dangerous due to the risk of shocks, fire, and toxic fumes. His insurer agreed, and Betty was written off and sent to a salvage yard.

Months after he had last seen the car, Max’s Tesla app was now telling him that Betty needed a software update. It showed the car with an extra 200 kilometers on the odometer, fully charged, and parked in Uman, a town in Ukraine’s Cherkasy Oblast, midway between Kyiv and the front line with Russia’s invasion force. Minutes after that first ping, the app showed the car in service mode, suggesting Betty was undergoing repairs. “I thought it must be a mistake,” Max says.

There was no mistake. WIRED tracked Betty down to a Ukrainian auto auction website, looking good as new, maybe even better, with newly tinted windows and rearview mirrors wrapped in black. Betty 2.0 was being sold by “Mikhailo,” who wrote that the car had suffered “a small blow” in Canada and been repaired with original Tesla parts. The price, $55,000, was roughly the same as a new Model Y Performance costs in the US.

Courtesy of Max

Early this year a Tesla Model Y nicknamed Betty White got into a high speed crash in Vancouver.

via Wired Top Stories https://www.wired.com

November 17, 2023 at 05:09AM

What is RCS and how is it different from SMS and iMessage?


In a dramatic reversal, Apple announced this week it would offer RCS support starting in 2024. The decision effectively ends one of the most protracted and confusing conflicts between iOS and Android. If you’re not sure what any of that means, don’t worry: We’re about to lay out what could change with Apple’s adoption of the GSMA’s next-generation messaging protocol. 

What is SMS?

Short Message Service (SMS) is one of the most ubiquitous messaging protocols on the planet. It dates back to the early days of mobile technology. In December 1992, Neil Papworth, at the time an engineer at Vodafone, sent the first SMS text message when he wished his boss “Merry Christmas.” By the start of 2011, approximately 80 percent of all mobile phone users globally — an estimated 3.5 billion people — were sending SMS messages every month.

In 2023, however, the standard has some notable drawbacks. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters, and texts you send can’t include photos, videos, audio or GIFs. For that, cell phones have long turned to a supporting protocol known as Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), but it too has its share of technical limitations, including woefully small message size limits. SMS also doesn’t support end-to-end encryption.

But for all the ways SMS feels dated in an era dominated by instant messaging platforms, it has one defining advantage: SMS messages are routed through your carrier’s mobile network, meaning a data plan isn’t necessary to use the technology. That fact has meant SMS has often served as a fallback for more advanced protocols, including iMessage.

What is RCS?

RCS is short for Rich Communication Services, though sometimes it is also marketed as “Advanced Messaging.” Either way, it’s often positioned as a next-generation replacement for SMS and MMS. RCS allows users to take advantage of many features that were previously exclusive to over-the-top messaging platforms like WhatsApp.

For instance, the RCS Universal Profile includes full support for read receipts and typing indicators. It can also facilitate proper group chats, and allow users to send high-resolution images, video and audio clips. As of earlier this year, Google’s implementation of RCS also offers by default end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for both one-on-one and group chats.

Unlike SMS texts, RCS messages are routed over a mobile data connection or Wi-Fi link, with SMS functioning as a fallback. For that reason, the older protocol likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

One thing that’s important to remember about RCS is that it is not and has never been envisioned as a replacement or competitor to instant messaging apps. At its heart, RCS is a communication protocol between mobile telephone carriers and between a phone and carrier. Taking advantage of RCS does not require signing up for a new service. As long as your phone and carrier support RCS, and you’re using a compatible app such as Messages by Google, you can take advantage of everything the protocol has to offer — provided, of course, the person or people you’re messaging meet those same requirements.

How does iMessage fit into all this?

Apple announced iMessage in June 2011, a few short months before Steve Jobs died later that same year. Unlike RCS, iMessage is a proprietary messaging protocol controlled exclusively by Apple and available (barring some unofficial workarounds) only on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac devices. Starting in 2024, Apple plans to integrate support for RCS in its Messages app. However, at the moment the two protocols do not communicate with one another. As such, Apple’s Messages app will default to SMS/MMS when users attempt to send texts and media files to someone with an Android phone.

From the perspective of an iMessage user, it can feel like Android users are stuck in a bygone messaging era — even though the latter is not at fault for the situation. Due to iMessage’s reliance on SMS/MMS for Android communication, media files end up pixelated, there aren’t any read receipts or typing indicators and forget about trying to involve multiple iPhone and Android users in a single group chat.

How did we get here?

Although work on RCS began before Apple announced iMessage, the protocol had one major disadvantage that doomed it to a slow rollout. RCS is a multi-stakeholder project that includes the involvement of the GSMA, a trade body that represents the interests of the mobile communications industry at large. In 2015, Google took a more active role in the proliferation of RCS when it acquired Jibe Mobile. With Jibe’s technology as a base, it’s effectively Google that provides the glue that binds the RCS ecosystem together, but for a long time, the company did a poor job of aligning everyone involved in RCS toward a shared goal.

In fact, the early days of RCS were marked by false starts, with some carriers, including a group made up of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon forming a short-lived joint venture to push the protocol forward before eventually aligning themselves with Google. Even Samsung did its own thing for a while before it too eventually agreed to make Messages by Google the default messaging app it ships on phones in the US.

For that reason, Apple has had little reason to adopt RCS. After all, why would it give a bumbling competitor a freebie? And as recently as last year, it seemed there was little to no chance the situation was going to change anytime soon. "I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy into that," Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Code Conference in 2022 when he was asked about RCS messaging. “Buy your mom an iPhone” was his final word on the matter.

But it was also last year that the European Union passed its landmark Digital Markets and Services Act (DMA). The legislation requires “gatekeepers” to not favor their own systems or limit third parties from interoperating within them. Gatekeepers are any company that meets specific financial and usage qualifications. Apple, according to the law, is one such company. 

At the start of November, Google sent the European Commission arguing that iMessage violates the DMA. It’s probably not an accident that Apple’s RCS announcement coincided with the deadline for companies to file challenges to the DMA at the EU’s General Court. On Friday, the EU announced Apple is contesting its DMA assignments. The details of the company’s complaints aren’t public, but Bloomberg reported last week Apple was planning to challenge the gatekeeper designations of both iMessage and the App Store.

Does Apple’s support of RCS mean the end of green text bubbles on iPhone?

It’s too early to tell. On Thursday, Apple provided precious few details about how it plans to display and treat RCS messages on its devices. What’s more, the company did note that iMessage “will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.” That said, even if you take that statement to mean iMessage will continue to display texts from non-Apple devices differently from those sent from an iPhone, iPad or Mac, Apple’s adoption of RCS will lead to a better user experience for both iOS and Android users.

Again, Apple needs to provide specifics, but it’s easy to envision a future where its Messages app, thanks to RCS, properly displays high-resolution images and videos sent from Android phones, and allows both iOS and Android users to take part in group chats without something breaking. On Thursday, Apple also said it would work with GSMA members to improve the existing Universal Profile protocol, with a focus on adding end-to-end encryption to the standard.

Of course, whether that interoperability ends the stigma around green bubbles is harder to answer.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://ift.tt/9deSCFt

via Engadget http://www.engadget.com

November 17, 2023 at 02:30PM

MIT tests new ingestible sensor that records your breathing through your intestines


MIT researchers developed an ingestible capsule that can monitor vital signs including heart rate and breathing patterns from within a patient’s GI tract. The scientists also say that the novel device has the potential to also be used to detect signs of respiratory depression during an opioid overdose. Giovanni Traverso, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT who has been working on developing a range of ingestible sensors, told Engadget that the device will be especially useful for sleep studies.

Conventionally, sleep studies require patients to be hooked up to a number of sensors and devices. In labs and in at-home studies, sensors can be attached to a patient’s scalp, temples, chest and lungs with wires. A patient may also wear a nasal cannula, chest belt and pulse oximeter which can connect to a portable monitor. “As you can imagine, trying to sleep with all of this machinery can be challenging,” Traverso told Engadget.

Clear pill tab

This trial, which used a capsule made by Celero Systems —A start-up led by MIT and Harvard researchers— marks the first time ingestible sensor technology was tested in humans. Aside from the start-up and MIT, the research was spearheaded by experts at West Virginia University and other hospital affiliates.

The capsule contains two small batteries and a wireless antenna that transmits data. The ingestible sensor, which is the size of a vitamin capsule, traveled through the gastrointestinal tract, and collected signals from the device while it was in the stomach. The participants stayed at a sleep lab overnight while the device recorded respiration, heart rate, temperature and gastric motility. The sensor was also able to detect sleep apnea in one of the patients during the trial. The findings suggest that the ingestible was able to measure health metrics on par with medical-grade diagnostic equipment at the sleep center. Traditionally, patients that need to get diagnosed with specific sleep disorders are required to stay overnight at a sleep lab, where they get hooked onto an array of sensors and devices. Ingestible sensor technology eliminates the need for that.

Importantly, MIT says there were no adverse effects reported due to capsule ingestion. The capsule typically passes through a patient within a day or so, though that short internal shelf life may also limit how effective it could be as a monitoring device. Traverso told Engadget that he aims to have Celetro, which he co-founded, eventually contain a mechanism that will allow the capsule to sit in a patient’s stomach for a week.

Dr. Ali Rezai, the executive chair of the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, said that there is a huge potential for creating a new pathway through this device that will help providers identify when a patient is overdosing according to their vitals. In the future, researchers even anticipate that devices could incorporate drugs internally: overdose reversal agents, such as nalmefene, could be slowly administered if a sensor records that a person’s breathing rate slowed or stopped. More data from the studies will be made available in the coming months.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://ift.tt/tz5e7u2

via Engadget http://www.engadget.com

November 17, 2023 at 04:54PM