Project London is GTA 5’s most ambitious overhaul mod yet

Project London aims to build a London-like city in GTA 5. Can’t be hard, right? “I got a message the other day,” says modder Kieran. “from some guy asking if the roads could be done—if the cars could be swapped to the opposite side in the style of British road networks. I sat down and calculated the work for that. I’m looking at 210 hours just for the roads.”

The original GTA: London was set in the late ’60s, but his version is inspired by the modern city. He aims to install landmarks incrementally, before building the project out into a pseudo interpretation of The Big Smoke. Kieran tells me that doing so involves a fair bit of Google Street-mapping, researching real life videos and photos, and a touch of artistic license. Even then, Project London is an ambitious undertaking.

“It’s a lot of work, it will take time, but whenever I’m finished one thing—I’ve just finished Heathrow Airport, for example—I add it into the pack, update it, and release it. There are three of us working on it now, and while we strive to mirror reality, if we think something looks right in situ, and it still looks like London, then we’re fine with that.”

So far, this has seen Kieran—and partners Raddz Modding and Albo1125—recreate Wembley Stadium, a handful of London Underground stations, a host of the city’s major hospitals, and a range of British Emergency Service vehicles. Next, the threesome have London hotels in their sights, real life billboards, bus stops, police stations. At some point they plan to remove the base game’s iconic Vinewood hilltop sign “because, well, that’s not London, is it?”

As a financial advisor for Lloyds Bank, finding time between life real commitments marks Kieran’s biggest challenge. There are consecutive weeks where nothing gets done, he admits, but he hopes the recent formation of his three-person team can “keep the work flowing” into the future. His modding know-how is also self-taught and despite getting involved with GTA 5’s British modding community less than a year ago, the standard of his work—not to mention his output—is impressive. 

“Being part of various communities has made me realise that I’ve got an opportunity to do something,” he tells me. “And that’s where Project London started. Compared to other games, GTA is easier to mod, it’s easy to get the files that you need in order to do work, and there are a lot of people who’re able to offer advice and help out. That fact alone spurs you on to do more.”

Despite being less familiar with Grand Theft Auto’s first pre-millennium visit to Great Britain, Kieran tells me he became most involved with Rockstar’s satirically swiping series via its faux Miami, Tommy Vercetti-starring Vice City. He says he’s pored over every game since, but that GTA 5 marks his PC debut and thus the first of which he’s modded.  

“To be honest it was becoming aware of the modding communities that support Grand Theft Auto 5 that encouraged me to start doing the work I’m doing,” he says. “Between [the three of us] we’re trying to push forward and see what we can do, and achieve as much as we can achieve.”

I think the standard, vanilla GTA is a bit lacking in certain areas, and that’s why modders do what they do.

That’s not to say Kieran doesn’t appreciate the magnitude of the task at hand. As a hobbyist modder, his work is voluntary, part-time, and unpaid—and while he doesn’t lack motivation, he’s not yet in a position to even guess when the project might be finished.  

“I genuinely couldn’t tell you,” he says. “There are just so many files that need opened, tinkered with, replaced. The whole thing costs me money too—there’s a programme I need in order to do it. It’s just a lot of work, there are so many files that need replaced across the whole map—you wouldn’t believe the amount of files I’ve had to replace so far.

“Simply put, this project is something I love doing. It’s something that I’ve always loved doing. I think it makes the game overall more enjoyable. I think the standard, vanilla GTA is a bit lacking in certain areas, and that’s why modders do what they do.” 

While unable to commit to anything long-term, Project London is an exciting prospect. Following Grand Theft Auto 4’s imitative New York City and its successor’s artificial Los Angeles, a sizeable chunk of players have called for Vice City to take on real life Miami. I’d personally prefer the preconceived US trifecta eschewed in favour of something closer to home. And while I’ve no idea if Rockstar feel the same, Kieran and his team’s efforts could go a long way towards satisfying my appetite.   

No matter the timeframe, Project London is, for Kieran, strictly entertainment. I ask him if he’d ever consider a career in development off the back of something so ambitious.     

“That’s not something that particularly interests me, this is solely something that I like to do in my spare time. I love working with the GTA British community and working on something like this improves everyone’s ideas for mods and what they wish the game could be like. 

“I know there is a lot of us that wish we had a new GTA London and this project, ambitious as it is, goes a ways to realising that. There are a lot of us working to give the game a British-leaning look. We do a lot of hard work and I’m proud of that.”

More information of the Project London work-in-progress mod can be found via its GTA 5 Mods page. 

NASA Is Moving Ahead With an Ambitious Plan to Deflect an Asteroid

A mission to demonstrate an asteroid deflection technique just got a NASA promotion to the design phase. Called DART, the plan would see a refrigerator-sized spacecraft smash into a non-threatening asteroid, causing it to move ever so slightly from its original orbital path. The project is seen as an important first step in developing a planetary shield against incoming asteroids.

DART, which stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is being designed by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and it will rely on the “kinetic impactor technique,” whereby a fast moving spacecraft will smash into a Near Earth Object (NEO), causing it to gradually shift its orbit. Eventually, the tactic could be used to nudge an asteroid that’s headed straight for Earth.

In what will be the first demonstration of its kind, DART will be tested on the smaller of two non-threatening asteroids in the Didymos system. The two asteroids in this binary pairing are known as Didymos A, which measures about a half-mile in diameter, and Didymos B, which is about 530 feet wide. NASA is hoping to smash a spacecraft into Didymos B in 2024. These rocky objects are similar in size and composition to many asteroids, including those that could wreak havoc on Earth.

“A binary asteroid is the perfect natural laboratory for this test,” said Tom Statler, program scientist for DART at NASA Headquarters, in a statement. “The fact that Didymos B is in orbit around Didymos A makes it easier to see the results of the impact, and ensures that the experiment doesn’t change the orbit of the pair around the Sun.”

For the mission, DART would fly to Didymos and use an autonomous onboard targeting system to aim itself at Didymos B. The refrigerator-sized spacecraft would strike the smaller asteroid at about 3.7 miles per second, which is about nine times faster than a bullet.

To the naked eye, this celestial collision won’t appear as much, but Earth-based observatories should be able to measure the resulting change in the orbit of Didymos B around Didymos A. Even a small nudge should have an impact on its orbital trajectory, which will become more obvious over time.

Importantly, DART will allow scientists to better determine the effects of such impacts on asteroids, and the data gleaned from this mission could inform future efforts—including a mission to deflect an actual Earth-bound asteroid. This test will let scientists know how heavy and fast a kinetic impactor needs to be, or how many kinetic impactors might be required to sufficiently move a single target.

“DART is a critical step in demonstrating we can protect our planet from a future asteroid impact,” said DART co-leader Andy Cheng from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. “Since we don’t know that much about their internal structure or composition, we need to perform this experiment on a real asteroid. With DART, we can show how to protect Earth from an asteroid strike with a kinetic impactor by knocking the hazardous object into a different flight path that would not threaten the planet.”

Moving the project from the conceptual stage to the design stage is no guarantee this mission will actually happen, but it’s an important next step. Regardless, it’s encouraging to know a planetary shield is in the nascent stages of development.

[NASA, JHU]

NASA selects three aeronautics teams to explore ‘ambitious’ ideas

Principal Investigator Natalia Alexandrov makes the pitch to a group of NASA aeronautics managers for her team’s study, ATTRACTOR, which will explore how to embed reliability into algorithms that are used over time to inform autonomous systems in aviation. Credit: NASA/Andrew Carlsen

Three teams of NASA researchers who have dreamed up potential solutions for pieces of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) puzzle have received the nod to officially begin formal feasibility studies of their concepts.


The trio of investigations are part of NASA’s Convergent Aeronautics Solutions (CAS) project and are expected to take between 24 and to 30 months to complete.

“Our idea is to invest a very modest amount of time and money into new technologies that are ambitious and potentially transformative,” said Richard Barhydt, NASA’s acting director of the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP). “They may or may not work, but we won’t know unless we try.”

The studies will explore whether and how it might be possible to:

  1. Build a path toward safe inclusion and certification of autonomous systems in aviation. Autonomous systems, such as self-driving cars and future UAS, rely on learning algorithms that adapt to new goals and environments. The idea is to develop autonomy-enabling algorithms that lay a foundation for establishing justifiable confidence in machine decisions and, ultimately, lead to certification of autonomous systems.
  2. Develop new methods and technologies for a remotely-piloted drone to make sure it’s “fit to fly” before every single flight. The idea is to verify the aircraft is structurally and mechanically sound, and that all its onboard systems have not been damaged or hacked in some way. If it’s not sound, the aircraft will ground itself.
  3. Use quantum computing and communication technology to build a secure and jam-free network capable of accommodating hundreds of thousands of drones flying each day. Because of the manner in which data is organized and processed, quantum computing enables certain computations and communications to be done much more efficiently than a regular computer. For example, quantum computers may be able to solve certain problems in a few days that would take millions of years on the average computer.

The three studies were selected by a team of NASA aeronautics managers, led by recently retired TACP Director Doug Rohn, who made their decisions after hearing proposals offered by the principal investigators.

To be considered, research teams had to form on their own, represent multidisciplinary talents, and have members from more than one of NASA’s aeronautics centers in Virginia, California and Ohio.

The three selected proposals join five that were selected in 2016 and six that were selected in 2015.


Explore further:
NASA charges toward greener aviation with novel concepts

Cyber attackers are more ambitious than ever, Symantec warns

2016 was marked by extraordinary cyber attacks, including multi-million dollar virtual bank heists and overt attempts to disrupt the US electoral process by state-sponsored groups, say researchers.

The past year also saw some of the biggest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on record powered by a botnet of devices making up the internet of things (IoT).

Targeted attacks shifted from economic espionage to politically motivated sabotage and subversion, Symantec’s 2017 internet security threat report revealed.

This shift points to a growing trend of criminals attempting to influence politics discord in other countries and raises questions about the role of cyber security in changing geopolitical dynamics.

Cyber attacks against the US Democratic Party and the subsequent leak of stolen information were one of the major talking points of the US presidential election.

With the US Intelligence Community attributing the attacks to Russia and concluding the campaign would have been judged a success, the report said it is likely these tactics will be reused in efforts to influence politics and sow discord in other countries.

Cyber attacks involving sabotage have traditionally been rare, but 2016 saw two separate waves of attacks involving destructive malware. Disk-wiping malware was used against targets in Ukraine in January and again in December – attacks which also resulted in power outages.

The disk-wiping Trojan Shamoon also reappeared after a four-year absence and was used against multiple organisations in Saudi Arabia.

The upsurge in disruptive attacks coincided with a decline in some covert activity, the report said, such as economic espionage, the theft of intellectual property, and trade secrets.

Following a 2015 agreement between the US and China, which saw both countries promise not to conduct economic espionage in cyber space, researchers found that malware linked to suspected Chinese espionage groups dropped considerably.

However, they said this does not mean economic espionage has disappeared entirely and comes at a time when other forms of targeted attack, such as subversion or high-level financial attacks, have increased.

Symantec uncovered evidence linking North Korea to attacks on banks in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ecuador and Poland. “This was an incredibly audacious hack as well as the first time we observed strong indications of nation state involvement in financial cyber crime,” said Kevin Haley, director, Symantec security response. “While their sights were set even higher, the attackers stole at least $94m.”

Until recently, cyber criminals mainly focused on bank customers, raiding accounts or stealing credit cards. However, the report said a new breed of attacker has bigger ambitions and is targeting the banks themselves, sometimes attempting to steal millions of dollars in a single attack.

Gangs such as Carbanak have led the way, demonstrating the potential of this approach by pulling of a string of attacks against US banks. During 2016, two other cyber crime groups upped the ante by launching even more ambitious attacks, the report said.

Exploiting weaknesses

The Banswift group managed to steal $81m from Bangladesh’s central bank by exploiting weaknesses in the bank’s security to infiltrate its network and steal its Swift credentials, allowing them to make the fraudulent transactions.

Another group, known as Odinaff, was also found to be mounting sophisticated attacks against banks and other financial institutions. It too appeared to be using malware to hide customers’ own records of Swift messages relating to fraudulent transactions carried out by the group.

While Banswift and Odinaff demonstrated some technical expertise and employed tactics associated with advanced groups, the report said much less sophisticated groups also stole massive sums of money.

Business email compromise (BEC) scams, which rely on little more than carefully composed spear-phishing emails, continue to cause major losses, the report warned, with more than $3bn stolen using this technique in the past three years.

While cyber attacks managed to cause unprecedented levels of disruption in 2016, the report said attackers frequently used very simple tools and tactics to make a big impact.

Zero-day or unknown vulnerabilities and sophisticated malware now tend to be used sparingly and attackers are increasingly attempting to hide in plain sight.

Attackers relying on straightforward approaches

Attackers are mainly relying on straightforward approaches, such as spear-phishing emails, and using whatever tools are on hand, such as legitimate network administration software like Microsoft PowerShell – as well as macros and operating system features.

The most high-profile case involving this “living off the land” approach, the report said, took place during the US elections, when a simple spear-phishing email provided access to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account without the use of any malware or vulnerabilities.

This approach provides many advantages to attackers. Identifying and exploiting zero days has become harder as improvements in secure development and bounty programs take hold. As a result, web attack toolkits have fallen out of favour, the report said, probably due to the effort required in maintaining fresh exploits and a backend infrastructure.

These default features of Windows and Microsoft Office can facilitate remote access and malware downloads without the use of vulnerabilities or malicious tools. Despite existing for almost 20 years, the report notes that Office macros have re-emerged on the threat landscape as attackers use social engineering techniques to defeat security measures that were put in place to tackle the former problem of macro viruses.

When executed well, the report said “living off the land” approaches can result in almost symptomless infections, allowing attackers to hide in plain sight.

Similarly, malicious emails emerged as the weapon of choice for a wide range of cyber attacks during 2016 by attackers ranging from state-sponsored cyber espionage groups to mass-mailing ransomware gangs. One in 131 emails sent were malicious – the highest rate in five years.

The factors behind email’s renewed popularity

Email’s renewed popularity, the researchers said, has been driven by several factors:

  • It is a proven attack channel.
  • It does not rely on vulnerabilities.
  • It uses simple deception to lure victims into opening attachments, clicking links, or disclosing credentials.

Malicious emails disguised as routine correspondence, such as invoices or delivery notifications, were the favoured means of spreading ransomware.

The availability of spam botnets-for-hire, such as Necurs, allowed ransomware groups to mount massive email campaigns during 2016, pumping out hundreds of thousands of malicious emails daily. The report also confirmed that ransomware continues to be a growing threat, with the average ransom escalating significantly in 2016.

Ransomware, continues to plague businesses and consumers, with indiscriminate campaigns pushing out massive volumes of malicious emails.

Ransoms are also increasing, with the average ransom demand in 2016 rising to $1,077, up from $294 a year earlier. The number of new ransomware families uncovered during 2016 more than tripled to 101 and Symantec logged a 36% increase in ransomware infections.

The report confirmed that the IoT is becoming the new “holy grail” for cyber criminals.

Mirai, the botnet behind a wave of major DDoS attacks, was primarily made up of infected routers and security cameras, low-powered and poorly secured devices. In the wrong hands, even relatively benign devices and software can be used to devastating effect.

Symantec witnessed a twofold increase in attempted attacks against IoT devices over the course of 2016 and, at times of peak activity, the average IoT device was attacked once every two minutes.

Several of Mirai’s targets were cloud-related services, such as DNS provider Dyn. This, coupled with the hacking of millions of MongoDB databases hosted in the cloud, shows how cloud attacks have become a reality and are likely to increase in 2017.

A growing reliance on cloud services should be an area of concern for enterprises, as they present a security blind spot.

Symantec found the average organisation was using 928 cloud apps, up from 841 earlier in the year. However, most CIOs think their organisations only use around 30 or 40 cloud apps, meaning the level of risk could be underestimated, leaving them open to attack from newly emergent threats.

Ambitious Engineer At Center of Colossal Fight Between Google and Uber

In 2013, Anthony Levandowski was the star of Google’s self-driving car project. The tall, swaggering engineer was featured in a long New Yorker story about the search engine willing the impossible technology into reality.

Less than four years later, he is Google’s enemy number one. 

On Thursday, Waymo, the Alphabet Inc. company formed from Google’s self-driving project, filed a blistering lawsuit accusing Levandowski of taking incredibly valuable intellectual property from Alphabet to his current company, Uber Technologies Inc.

Anthony Levandowski. Photographer: Angelo Merendino/AFP via Getty Images

Photographer: Angelo Merendino/AFP via Getty Images

Waymo’s lawsuit hinges on a series of alleged moves from Levandowski in the days leading up to his departure from Alphabet in January 2016. His web searches, downloads and access to an external drive left behind digital footprints. When exposed, they were closely scrutinized by his former employer –which is now citing them as central to its lawsuit, a rare intellectual property claim from Alphabet.

The legal case also deepens a growing rift between the two companies, which are becoming bitter rivals in mapping, autonomous vehicles and — potentially — Uber’s core business of ride-hailing services.

At the center of it all is the six foot seven Levandowski

The prodigious engineer has spent much of his career chasing a dream of placing robotic cars on the road. While at the University of California at Berkeley, he entered a self-driving motorcycle in the 2004 DARPA Grand Challenge, a historic event for the young field. 

He also started 510 Systems, a robotics firm building lasers for autonomous vehicles. The startup once ran a stunt with a self-driving pizza car. Levandowski started at Google in 2007, working on its Street View unit, where he played an instrumental role in building its mapping hardware to fit on cars.

After being recruited to its secretive car project, he continued to work on 510 Systems, according to two people familiar with the situation. Google eventually acquired the startup as it pushed deeper into self-driving technology.

Years later, Waymo would detail how Levandowski had secretly plotted his next startup, Otto, while also working for Google. Uber acquired Otto in August for $680 million.

According to Waymo’s suit, Levandowski installed “specialized software” on his corporate laptop, in December 2015, loading it with 14,000 confidential files about lidar technology, vital to autonomous driving. “Levandowski took extraordinary efforts to raid Waymo’s design server and then conceal his activities,” the suit reads.

Raw data from Velodyne’s HDL-64E LiDAR sensor.

Source: Velodyne LiDAR

In January of last year, he began telling Alphabet colleagues about plans to “replicate” its technology at a competitor. The suit says he visited Uber’s San Francisco headquarters on January 14, 2016 and the next day he formed a company that would become Otto.

Less than two weeks later, he resigned from Alphabet without notice. 

Alphabet’s lawsuit comes after a wave of significant departures from its car unit, which has still not delivered a commercial service despite years of work. 

Some workers may have had additional impetus to leave. At the onset of its car project, Google set up a pay system that would reward early employees greatly upon departure, as Bloomberg News reported earlier. “Notably,” Waymo’s lawsuit reads, “Otto announced the acquisition [by Uber] shortly after Mr. Levandowski received his final multi-million dollar compensation payment from Google.” 

Levandowski was among the first to exit. 

In a statement, Uber said: “We take the allegations made against Otto and Uber employees seriously and we will review this matter carefully.” Levandowski didn’t respond to phone calls seeking comment.

“We did not steal any Google IP,” Levandowski told Forbes last year in comments that were republished Thursday. “Just want to make sure, super clear on that. We built everything from scratch and we have all of the logs to make that—just to be super clear.”

Uber placed him atop their nascent autonomous vehicle efforts in July. The next month the company unveiled plans to bring self-driving cars to Pittsburgh.

Waymo’s suit caps a horrendous week for Uber, which is reeling from damning public charges of sexual harassment in its ranks. The company’s culture has been slammed and Eric Holder, a former U.S. attorney general, has been hired to investigate.

Former Google colleagues described Levandowski as “very driven,” with a personality similar to Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick.

That’s a comparison Kalanick made himself when he announced the acquisition of Otto.

“I feel like we’re brothers from another mother,” he said at the time. 

‘Grand Theft Auto’ Producer Reveals New Project Titled ‘Everywhere’: Is It Too Ambitious? : CULTURE : Tech Times

The name of Leslie Benzies might not be as popular as that of Hideo Kojima and Shigeru Miyamoto in the world of video game producers, but you may have heard of his work: the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

Benzies, the former president of Rockstar North and currently involved in a $150 million lawsuit that he filed against Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games, has launched his new studio and its first project.

The Everywhere Project

Everywhere is just the working title of the game, which will be produced by Benzies’s new studio which does not yet have a name but has locations in Edinburgh and Los Angeles. The studio was opened by Benzies alongside Matthew Smith and Colin Entwistle, who are both former developers for Grand Theft Auto, and now currently has about 30 employees and still hiring.

“It’s ambitious and different from anything I’ve worked on before,” said Benzies of Everywhere in an interview with VentureBeat, adding that the game will have a lot of traditional mechanics but will be offering even more, drawing inspiration from everywhere, as the project’s title suggests.

According to Benzies, players will have real freedom in Everywhere, with a huge variety of modes and styles that players can enjoy with their chosen identities. Smith added that the story and setting of Everywhere will remain a secret for now, but echoes that the game will be all about giving players “an enormous amount of freedom.”

Smith continues by saying that there will be a balance of possibilities and constraints in Everywhere, which will be enough to keep players entertained while making them feel that they are able to actively shape the game’s world in a genuine alternate reality.

Benzies and his studio will be using the free Lumberyard engine of Amazon to make the game, which will be coming to consoles and on the PC.

Is Everywhere Too Ambitious?

While setting ambitious goals is part of how an amazing game starts development, is the plan for Everywhere too ambitious?

In an interview with Polygon, Benzies said that Everywhere will be very different from the Grand Theft Auto games. While there may be parts that would be satirical similar to some aspects of Grand Theft Auto, the tone will be very different, with players even being in control of the tone that will be set in Everywhere.

Smith added that there will be plenty of stories and characters in Everywhere, though players will be allowed to create their own stories and characters in the game.

From the statements of Benzies and Smith, it seems that Everywhere will be an open-world game unlike anything ever seen before, and while that would draw raised eyebrows due to how immense an undertaking a genuine alternate reality would be, it is exciting to see how the project will turn out.

Lawsuit By Benzies Against Take-Two, Rockstar

Benzies filed a lawsuit for $150 million against Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games in April 2016, and litigation is ongoing which means that Benzies could not discuss the issue in interviews. However, he added that the lawsuit is not affecting his work on Everywhere.




© 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

A whirlwind tour of Faraday Future’s ambitious new SUV

So after the PR team affixed stickers to the front and back lenses of my iPhone, they gave me and other reporters a tour of the facility. It ended with a ride in one of the company’s 12 prototype cars and a look at the final design. The ride was impressive and the design is striking. But as the day progressed it became clear that Faraday is cramming a ton of features into its first car. It’s hard enough to build an automobile but to make your first one this complex doesn’t seem like the best plan if Faraday is truly in such dire financial straits.

As we were led through the offices we were given a series of presentations about how it’s building its first the car. Faraday is extremely proud of how it used VR to design the vehicle (other automakers do that) and talked at length about how its computer-model simulations of impacts were nearly identical to real world collisions. That’s great when you’re figuring out how to build the safest frame without crash testing a bunch of prototypes.

Then it came time to discuss the features and boy does it have a lot of them. According to Faraday it will be the most connected vehicle in the industry. Think: multiple modems connecting to any and all available carriers for the best network speed. The idea is to get the best that carriers have to offer in an area so you can stream movies, games and whatever else you’ll need to be entertained in the car.

The vehicle will also have seamless entry via either your Bluetooth-enabled phone or facial recognition/iris detection. The latter will is possible thanks to a camera in the B pillar (the panel between the front and back door). Oh, and by the way, that external pillar will also have a display that will “illuminate with an owner confirmation sequence that brightens based on proximity.”

Once you’re in the car, a driver or passenger’s “FFID” will be used to adjust the chair, cue up their favorite music and movies, set the ideal temperature and driving style. That’s accomplished by even more facial recognition cameras. Faraday says the recognition information will be stored in the car for security reasons.

Once you do get rolling, there are some autonomous features the company will be releasing. One includes self-parking. An over-the-air update for the FF91 will eventually give the car the ability to drop you off at the front of a store and using Lidar, find a parking space. If you’ve ever been to a busy mall, this is a godsend. But it also requires Faraday to map out and verify parking lots for it to work.

All of this is being developed in house. Which on one hand is impressive for such a small company, but also means that it could run up the price of the vehicle when and if it goes on sale. The staggering number of features demoed during the tour made it difficult to even guess at the eventual price of the FF 91.

Continuing our overview, the doors will have radar and an internal braking system so when you open them, they won’t hit a wall or a pole. Instead of handles, the car has buttons. The combined motors (one in the front and one in the rear for all wheel drive) will output 1,050 horsepower. It has “mood” lighting across the front and sides to indicate to other drivers and pedestrians if the car is on driver, autonomous or ride sharing mode. It has a range of of 378 miles. The back seats lean back like you’re sitting in first class on a plane. (This list seemed to grow larger and larger as the tour progressed and it’s clear that this will be a very expensive SUV.)

Finally we were treated to a ride in one of the company’s 12 prototypes. The exterior was covered in camouflage while the interior was a jumble of computers, wires and exposed metal. We were then told of another feature. The car has four-wheel steering which automatically adjusts to different driving situations. At low speeds it has what looked like an impressive turning circle although the company wouldn’t share actual details.

At high speeds while changing lanes it turns the rear wheels in parallel to the front tires for a smoother glide across the road.

During my ride the driver made sharp turns left and right through an invisible obstacle course to demo how well the SUV handles. Then he gave me taste of the speed it’s capable of. Faraday boasts a zero to 60 in 4.44 seconds and while I didn’t have a stopwatch, it felt every bit as fast as a Tesla Model S P100D. While I’m unsure if the company can deliver its gigantic laundry list of bleeding-edge features, at least the car is capable of making adrenaline junkies happy.

As the day came to an end the final design for the SUV was unveiled. Except for the Lidar puck that emerges from the hood (something that will clearly set the company up for ridicule), it looks like a luxury automobile with a few concept car flourishes.

Because I wasn’t allowed to take photos, I stared at the vehicle trying to decide if the nearly 1,500 Faraday employees built the ultimate connected car or were just riding out the clock on a dream that could quickly disappear.

At the beginning of the tour Nick Sampson SVP of R&D and engineering said: “We don’t put ourselves across as an automobile company or a car company. We’re a completely different organization. We’re technology. We’re entertainment. We’re many more things.”

If everything goes south, he’s right about one thing: The company is entertainment.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.

Google Nexus 7 2016 Could Be Google Pixel 7; Features And Specs Are Ambitious? : Tech : University Herald

Search giant Google has been shrouded with rumors lately about its anticipated Google Nexus 7 tablet that many believed would be launched next year. Many are speculating whether it will be re branded to Pixel 7, following the trend set by Google Pixel X and Pixel XL as successors of Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.

The guessing game has again started to erupt as to the name of the tablet and when it will be launched. Latin Post shared that Nexus tablet will not run Android Nougat 7.0 but it could be using the hybrid OS that Google has developed, the Andromeda. Reports added that this operating system allows a tablet to get Chrome features into Android and this could mean a ‘more ambitious’ project.

Google Nexus 7 should the company retained its name will be device that has desktop-class performance. The source added that an Andromeda hybrid OS enables a device to have a laptop experience, much like how Apple has done with iPad Pro.

As projected by various tech bloggers, this promising high-end tablet would have a quality high definition screen with a 7-inch 1440 X 2560 display. As to the design, Tech Radar emphasized that there are no design rumors yet, however, it projected a design similar to the Pixel and Pixel XL which would have a two-tone metal body. When it comes to its operating system and power, a Snapdragon 820 processor is likely to be used and 4GB of RAM.

Other features include a 64GB of storage and a fingerprint scanner and another thing that most certainly not in the list of features would be a microSD slot, given that Nexus devices never have them. Information also circulate about its 13MP camera, which is a high megapixel count for a tablet, however, another possibility could be a 12MP snapper given that Pixel and Pixel XL plus Huawei P9 has this feature.