Google’s Android Phone app now identifies spam callers

There’s nothing worse than answering a call from a number you don’t recognize and getting locked into an awkward sales or marketing call. Well, those incidents may be less frequent for many after Google added spam call detection to its phone app for Android.

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Oculus update paves the way for room-scale VR on the Rift

The Rift’s best days are still ahead of it as Facebook’s virtual reality company prepares to drastically improve user experience by introducing its room-scale tracked motion Touch controllers in Q4 of this year.

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Amazon Prime launches in India, initially without Prime Video service

Today seems to be a day of e-commerce inevitabilities in India. Alongside news of Rocket Internet-backed Jabong’s sale comes the launch of Amazon Prime in the country.

The service costs 499 INR (around $7.50) per year, although that “introductory” price will later rise to 999 INR ($14.80), for which customers get free one- and two-day delivery for products to over 100 cities, discounted same-day delivery in top-tier cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, and early access to selected deals.

Amazon’s Prime video service is missing from the list at this point, but media reports indicated that it will come soon. Factor Daily reported earlier this month that Amazon is sinking as much as $300 million into securing and developing original content in India for Prime customers ahead of a launch “later this year.” That sum is reportedly coming from the $3 billion that Amazon this summer committed to pumping into its India-based business as it continues to battle with homegrown e-commerce rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal.

Amazon’s website hints that Prime Video is “coming,” but there’s no specific timeframe at this point.

Elon Musk reveals Tesla’s master plan

Elon Musk plans to steer Tesla towards fully autonomous driving, car sharing, and cargo transport, according to the long awaited blog post on the company’s website. A fully solar power ecosystem driven in-part by SolarCity will help Musk and Co. get there.

Musk has been teasing the master plan part II for days. What would be in it? Would Tesla cars fly? Would they go to space? What does Lana Del Rey have to do with it? Why is Elon Musk talking about crack on Twitter?

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Smartwatch shipments drop 32-percent in the second quarter

According to new numbers posted by IDC, smartwatch shipments are down for the second quarter of this year, marking the first drop of its kind. And it’s not insignificant falloff – moving from 5.1 million a year ago to 3.5 million this quarter. That’s a 32-percent decline.

The culprit seems pretty clear for the research firm. IDC lays the blame squarely at the Apple’s feet. While the hardware giant managed to maintain its position at the top of the leaderboard (from 3.6 to 1.6 million), it was the only company in the top five to experience a year-over-year loss, while Samsung, Lenovo, LG and Garmin either stayed flat or made a modest gain.

IDC notes that the number is due in part to the fact that the Q2 2015 was when the first Apple Watch launched, no doubt a significant driver in its huge numbers. The firm also blames the stagnation on consumer anticipation for a followup from the company, with consumers holding off on purchase until Apple refreshes the device, likely later this year.

These figures show cybercrime is a much bigger menace than anyone thought before

Black glove keyboard hacker

The first official cybercrime figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest one in ten adults have been victims in last 12 months — a much higher figure than previously thought.

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Geohot will discuss the hacking hardware and the auto industry’s self-driving future at Disrupt SF

When he was seventeen, George “geohot” Hotz became the first person to jailbreak an iPhone, back when Apple really didn’t take too kindly to such things. Three years later, he moved his unlocking efforts over to the PlayStation 3. Again, Sony wasn’t a feeling it.

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Goldman Sachs leads $10M investment in Brazilian trucking startup CargoX

CargoX, a Brazilian startup that has been described as “Uber for trucks,” is announcing that it has raised $10 million in Series B funding.

The analogy is kind of irresistible, since Uber co-founder Oscar Salazary is one of CargoX’s investors — he’s certainly seen his share of “Uber for X” pitches, but he told me he sees a big opportunity here due to the fragmentation in the Brazilian trucking market.

“They don’t have the tools to talk to each other,” Salazar said. “There’s a huge information asymmetry playing an important role there. If you show me a market with information asymmetry, I’m going to show you a $1 billion opportunity.”

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New York City debuts plans for upgraded subway cars with WiFi and USB chargers

Governor Andrew Cuomo talked up some ambitious plans for the future of the New York City Subway during an address to a crowd at Brooklyn’s Transit Museum this week. At the top of the list is the addition of 1,025 new/refurbished subway cars, featuring some relatively high-tech amenities.

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Could Bulgaria’s open source law transform government software worldwide?

bulgarian-parliament-square.jpg

Members of the open-source community have welcomed new legislation from Bulgaria that says software written for the country’s public sector should be open source. They argue that the amendment its parliament passed in early July will trigger better software, lower costs, and greater transparency.

Bulgaria could be a testbed for other European countries interested in the idea of going open source, they say; other governments might watch what proves effective in this central-European country and learn from any mistakes.

Bozhidar Bozhanov, adviser to Bulgaria’s deputy prime minister, says local software companies could also export the resulting products and services and earn some money in return.

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