Self-driving semi trucks? Ex-Google guys are working to make it happen

If you think self-driving cars are either a great idea or a self-driving disaster waiting to happen, we’re sure you’re going to be happy to hear about a new start-up called Otto – which is for self-driving semi trucks. Turns out Otto was founded by an ex-Google engineer who built Google’s self-driving car.

He and three other ex-Googlers are hoping to bring self-driving safety to trucks by ditching human drivers altogether, and in truth, truck driving has been edging in this direction for a while now, with more and more autonomous features finding their way into trucks – like Volvos which can drive in reverse using automated guidance, but, for now, there’s still a driver at the wheel.

The developers say that their focus is on highway driving only to start, since that’s where trucks spend most of their time – and that’s where most accidents involving big rigs take place.

_________

Twitter is about to give you more room to write. No, the 140-character limit isn’t getting a bump, but photos and links will no longer count against that limit, according to Bloomberg.

The change hasn’t been implemented yet, but it could happen in the next few weeks as Twitter CEO and founder Jack Dorsey tries to rescue the slowly sinking Twitter ship. Founded in 2006 before Apple kicked off the smartphone revolution, Twitter’s 140 letter limit was initially designed to fit the display capabilities of that era’s flip-phones and other small-screen devices. Now that the world runs on smartphones, that limit seems a bit unnecessary.

Bloomberg says they even considered raising the letter limit to 10,000, but decided the 140-letter limit was what helped set the service apart. Twitter has some 330 million users, but adoption has stagnated while services like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram have surged. The stock is near an all-time low and Twitter’s future may be in doubt – unless Dorsey decides to sell it.

__________

It’s not every day we get excited over a graphics card, but seeing how VR and 4K games keep ramping up the performance demands for our PCs, we’re happy to report that Nvidia has risen to the challenge with the new GTX 1080, a gaming powerhouse with a lot of new tech under the hood. Top of the list: it’s the first GPU to feature 16-nanometer chip tech.

Graphics cards have been stuck in the 28- nanometer realm for four years now, and our friends at PC World say the new 1080’s performance is “insane” compared to today’s top-shelf cards. It also features new GDDR5X memory tech and Pascal architecture, if you’re keeping track at home. All those features add up to more speed, more speed, and a bit more speed. The top-performing Founders Edition of the card will cost $700 when it comes out.

With VR coming on strong and 4K gaming becoming more commonplace, you’re probably going to need it, so start saving now.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Computing

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.
Product Review

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a love letter to PC geeks

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line-up is targeted at business use, but it’s long appealed to hardcore PC geeks as well. The new X1 Extreme, which combines a powerful processor and high-resolution screen with Nvidia graphics, seems built for them…
DT Daily

The sound of silence? Jaguar gives iPace electric car a Jetsons buzz

Jaguar gives their new electric car a bit of a buzz, Apple plans on blocking new way law enforcement accesses locked iPhones, Sony has its hands full of complains about Fortnite access on the Nintendo Switch.
DT Daily

Be the king of Kong again as the iconic game lands on the Nintendo Switch

Rescue the princess and find true (retro) love as Donkey Kong comes to the Nintendo Switch, Grayshift says they can beat Apple's new security move, foldable Samsung phone may be just months away.
DT Daily

Apple iOS 12 update will include precise location data if you call 911

Apple says tech from RapidSOS will pinpoint your location in a 911 call, Microsoft snaps up student video maker company FlipGrid, we bring the bump and new audio tech to a DT staffer's mature car.
DT Daily

Call the Beastie Boys, Elon says there’s sabotage going on at Tesla

Apple fined millions by Australia for 2016 'Error 53' debacle, Elon says everyone is out to get Tesla including a disgruntled worker, Google's Messenger gets a long-awaited Apple-ish feature.
DT Daily

Not another notch: Oppo’s Find X smartphone camera pops up for pix

Honda's Insight hybrid grows up and turns 20, Microsoft plugs their new News app into an AI, Oppo Find X smartphone camera plays hide and seek.
DT Daily

IGTV video app rolls out right as Instagram tops a billion monthly users

Now you can start losing your digital car keys as well, Instagram (and by extension, Facebook) takes aim at YouTube with the new IGTV app, and Apple wrestles with their complicated wireless charging technology.
DT Daily

Latest LCD Apple iPhone rumors point to cost-cutting design, lower price?

New clues to a possibly less-spendy iPhone X variant emerge, The Glitch Mob takes EDM into VR and on the road "live", Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom opens tonight and we have a review.
DT Daily

Why are some monitor makers using 4K panels in lower resolution models?

German site claims some monitor makers are down-rezzing 4K monitor panels, Apple may debut upgraded AirPods, we have some design idea changes for the next iPhones.