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Technology news and blog articles from The Huffington Post
  • Deepen your mind while you deepen your tan. Microsoft founder, philanthropist and avid bookworm Bill Gates has a few book recommendations for the summer. Each of the titles, which he listed in a blog post on Monday, are meant to help readers better understand the larger world around them. “Some of these books helped me better understand what it’s like to grow up outside the mainstream,” Gates wrote. “As a child of mixed race in apartheid South Africa, as a young man trying to escape his impoverished life in rural Appalachia, or as the son of a peanut farmer in Plains, Georgia.”  He adds, “I hope you’ll find that others make you think deeper about what it means to truly connect with other people and to have purpose in your life. And all of them will transport you somewhere else — whether you’re sitting on a beach towel or on your own couch.” One book Gates recommends is Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show,” which details the comedian’s life growing up in apartheid South Africa. “I loved reading this memoir about how [the] host honed his outsider approach to comedy over a lifetime of never quite fitting in,” Gates wrote. To find out Gates four other picks, just watch the video above. Happy reading! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Police officers should take care, because robots are starting to gun for their jobs. At least they are in Dubai, where a robot police officer officially reported for duty on Tuesday, according to Ruptly TV. Police have nicknamed the robotic cop “RoboCop” after the classic 1980’s action movie, but its duties seem more appropriate for “Paul Blart, Mall Cop.” The robot officer, manufactured by Pal Robotics of Barcelona, has a touchscreen that allows shoppers to report crimes or pay traffic violations. It can also giving directions and shower people with compliments (which, of course, always sound more sincere coming from a pre-programmed electronic device). Oh, it can also scan a person’s face from 100 feet away, according to Konbini.com. This first RoboCop is just the beginning for Dubai, which hopes to eventually make its police force 25 percent robot, according to Newsweek. “We are looking to make everything smart in Dubai Police. By 2030, we will have the first smart police station which won’t require human employees,” Brigadier-General Khalid Nasser Al Razzouqi, director-general of Smart Services at Dubai Police, told the Gulf News. As cute as a compliment-giving robotic police officer might seem, there are potential pitfalls, and not just the loss of business for doughnut shops. Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England, argues there are some serious moral concerns “There are big ethical problems,” he told CNN. “If you’re asking a robot to apprehend criminals, how can you be sure that the robot would not injure people?” He adds that guaranteeing a robot can safely intervene in crime-related scenarios 100 percent of the time is “extremely difficult.” “Of course, when humans make mistakes they are held to account,” Winfield said. “The problem is that you can’t make a machine responsible for its mistakes... How do you punish it? How do you sanction it? You can’t.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Recently-crowned Miss USA Kára McCullough has some powerful words for women and girls who wish to pursue a career in STEM.  In a video for Now This posted on Wednesday, McCullough talks about how much she loves her position as emergency preparedness specialist with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but how it wasn’t an easy journey to get there.  “Being a woman in the science industry is truly empowering,” she says. “I walk into my agency knowing that I am meant to be here.” McCullough, who majored in chemistry in college, touches on her struggles with math and how having those struggles inspired her to push herself even harder.  Prior to being crowned Miss USA, she started a community program, Science Exploration for Kids, to encourage young girls and boys to get enthusiastic about STEM subjects, especially those who, like her, struggle with certain aspects of it.  McCullough hopes to use her platform as Miss USA to encourage young girls to explore the STEM fields, and stay confident even if they feel out of place.  “Don’t ever give up on yourself,” she says in the video. “I struggled with math as a child but I allowed myself to not be limited by those inabilities.” Hear, hear.  type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=591b4566e4b05dd15f0bf678,59193e17e4b0fe039b35aa65,5919176de4b00f308cf6396a -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Uber says it will reimburse its New York City drivers “tens of millions” of dollars in lost earnings for miscalculating its commission there for several years. The ride-hailing company said it had inadvertently calculated its commission since November 2014 based on drivers’ “gross” fares ― before taxes and fees are taken out. Instead, it should have collected a percent of the smaller, post-tax “net” fare. Uber said it realized the error last Friday, after it revamped how it shows drivers their earnings and discovered their commissions violated the terms of service. The company told HuffPost it would refund drivers’ backpay they’re due, plus 9 percent interest. The average driver should receive around $900. “We are committed to paying every driver every penny they are owed - plus interest - as quickly as possible,” said Rachel Holt, Regional General Manager, US & Canada, in an emailed statement. “We are working hard to regain driver trust, and that means being transparent, sticking to our word, and making the Uber experience better from end to end.” But New York’s Independent Drivers Guild said the news is just one more sign of an industry in need of regulation. “Uber’s theft of drivers’ hard-earned wages is the latest in a long history of underhanded tactics in this industry,” IDG founder Jim Conigliaro Jr. told HuffPost in an emailed statement.  “Year after year, companies like Uber, Lyft, Juno and Gett become more valuable and year after year they find new ways to take advantage of hard-working drivers,” he added. “This is exactly why we have been calling for industry-wide pay protections to stop the exploitation of New York’s drivers once and for all.”  It’s unclear if Uber drivers in other cities have been subject to similar miscalculations. The company said it is reviewing that possibility but has yet to find another instance.  While Uber calculates its take based on drivers’ “net” fares, ride-hailing competitor Lyft told HuffPost its commissions still are based on its drivers’ gross fares, as its agreement specifies. “In New York, we deduct commissions and administrative fees from gross fares, as per our driver agreement,” a Lyft spokesman said in an emailed statement. “We also pay sales tax on gross fares as required by law.”  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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