Foldable iPad May Be On Way; Mercedes Certifies First Level-3 Autonomy Car in US; Incognito for Android Snags New Feature; San Francisco Tries to Slow Expansion of Robotaxi deployment

It’s not a folding iPhone, but Apple could be planning to put out a foldable iPad as soon as next year. Theverge.com reports that the tip comes from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He Tweeted today  “I’m positive about the foldable iPad in 2024 and expect this new model will boost shipments and improve the product mix.” No other details were disclosed, except that it will have a ‘carbon fiber’ kickstand. Others had reported a dual screen, folding iPad was in the works, but it wasn’t expected until at least 2026. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has reported that such an iPad could use the bottom display as a virtual keyboard when the device is used like a MacBook. 

Elon Musk is not going to be happy about this, but having ‘borrowed’ a number of his engineers and programmers from the Tesla self-driving team for Twitter, he can only blame himself. Mercedes-Benz has just certified the first Level-3 autonomous car in the US! According to engadget.com, it happened in Nevada, where Mercedes confirmed its Drive Pilot ADAS now complies with the requirements of Nevada Chapter 482A, which makes it the only Level 3 car maker at present. What does Level 3 mean to you? Glad you asked. It means you don’t have to keep your eyes forward and on the road at all times or hands on the wheel…however, if your face becomes covered, the system will disengage. Also, and this is a big limitation…it’s only good up to 40 miles per hour. Great if you are in a backup on the freeway, but not a great leap in tech. When engaged, the system handles lane-keeping duties, stays with the flow of traffic, navigates to destinations programmed into the Nav system, and will even react to “unexpected traffic situations and handles them independently-like by taking evasive maneuvers within the lane or by braking maneuvers.” Some other auto makers are planning to skip right over Level-3 to Level-4 but that is likely several years away. 

So you were browsing something either naughty or maybe just private, like one of your financial sites on your phone’s Chrome browser…and you have to hand the phone to someone else…and don’t want them to see the contents of your Incognito tab. Well, you’re in luck now. Mashable.com says Google has added a feature to automatically lock your Incognito tabs when you exit Chrome. Next time you open Chrome, it will require face recognition, fingerprint ID, or your passcode before that tab can be viewed. To activate the feature, go to Chrome Settings, then Privacy and Security, and turn on “Lock incognito tabs when you close Chrome.”

 After repeated incidents in which cars without drivers stopped and idled in the middle of the street for no obvious reason, delaying bus riders and disrupting the work of firefighters, San Francisco is looking to slow expansion of robotaxi fleets. NBC News notes that Cruise and Waymo, the two companies who run fleet of the autonomous vehicles, were named in letters San Francisco sent to state regulators, asking them to scale back the use of the vehicles until more bugs are worked out. Cruise, the division of General Motors, has been running a fleet of 30 vehicles from 10 pm to 6 am. It should be noted that there have been no life-threatening or fatal accidents involving the robo-cars. Waymo, which is part of Google Parent Alphabet, has thus far not given rides to the paying public without a safety driver behind the wheel. Both companies are continuing to lobby the city, state and feds to let them continue to run the self-driving cars on city streets. 

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now.

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