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FROM BUSINESS INSIDER: The 12 most impressive car innovations we’ve seen this year!


It’s not enough to design functional, standard cars that can perform all of the traditional automobile tasks anymore.They have to be smart, comfortable, easy to use, and just cool.
That’s why automakers and tech companies have been designing innovative car features from holographic dashboards to rotating chairs.These innovations can improve the driving experience, whether it’s you or the car driving, and highlight what we can expect to see in the near future.

Here are the 12 most innovative technologies unveiled this year, ranked from least to most impressive.

12. Nissan unveiled a steering wheel that transforms into a tablet.

What it is: Nissan unveiled its self-driving, IDS concept car in October, which comes with an animated steering wheel that transforms into a tablet.

What it means: There are no current plans to bring the car, and its technology, into production. But the car highlights how interiors can alter based on whether they’re in autopilot mode or not. The steering wheel turned tablet hints at what’s to come when we start seeing driverless cars around 2020.

11. This concept car comes with advanced touch-screen display that allows you to play video games or chat with friends.

What it is: The Nissan concept car is a bit far-fetched — it’s basically a giant driveable tablet that lets you play with the seats the same way you would an iPad. The touch screens accommodate video chats and video-game playing and provide information about the car itself, like the distance to your destination.

What it means: Cars will become more intuitive going forward. We’ve already made cars easier to use with the advent of some touch-screen and Bluetooth technology, but soon touch screens with highly advanced features won’t be seen as a perk but as an expected necessity. Apple CEO Tim Cook even said that “software becomes an increasingly important part of the car of the future.”

10. This high-tech car seat will give you a massage when it detects you’re stressed.

10. This high-tech car seat will give you a massage when it detects you're stressed.


What it is: Automotive-parts manufacturer Faurecia and Stanford University’s Center for Design Research developed the car seat, dubbed the Active Wellness seat, that can measure your heart and breathing rate to ensure you’re alert and comfortable.

If it detects you’re becoming stressed, it’ll recommend a back massage. The driver can then choose whether or not to accept the pampering.

What it means: One of the issues with semiautonomous systems is that you can become so relaxed you forget to remain alert. But even if a highly-intelligent system is driving your car for you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of what’s going on in case you need to intervene.

This innovation shows how automakers will continue to focus on ways to keep drivers alert and comfortable when driving is no longer preoccupying their minds.

9. Mobileye created a system that can integrate safety features into any dashboard.

9. Mobileye created a system that can integrate safety features into any dashboard.


What it is: The company created a camera-based collision-avoidance system that can be integrated in any vehicle to help drivers avoid hazards. The system will make a sound when the driver is veering out of their lane or tailgating, or if it detects that the vehicle might be on a collision course with a pedestrian or another object.

It can also detect lane markings and traffic signs and read speed limits so it can alert the driver by beeping when they are speeding.

What it means: You don’t necessarily need to shell out on a Tesla to have state-of-the-art safety features.

8. Similarly, WayRay is using augmented reality so you can get information on your windshield to keep your eyes on the road.

8. Similarly, WayRay is using augmented reality so you can get information on your windshield to keep your eyes on the road.


What it is: Tech company WayRay created Navion, a heads-up display that projects holographic images onto the driver’s windshield. Only the driver can see the full-color holographic image, which provides the driver with their current speed, how far away the destination is, and the distance until the next turn.

Green arrows will also guide the driver along their route, which could come in handy when it’s night and difficult to see the road.

What it means: Augmented reality could become a regular feature in cars.

7. A hydrogen-powered fuel cell powers this Toyota concept car as part of the automaker’s effort to create the ideal, eco-friendly city car.

7. A hydrogen-powered fuel cell powers this Toyota concept car as part of the automaker's effort to create the ideal, eco-friendly city car.


What it is: Named the FCV Plus, the hydrogen-powered fuel-cell technology has already begun rolling out in Toyota’s Mirai car in California. By 2017, the company aims to have as many as 3,000 Mirais on the road in the US.

What it means: Although the FCV Plus is unlikely to go into production anytime soon, as it’s designed for when hydrogen energy is in widespread use, it’s an innovation that shows the potential for transportation that uses alternative energy.

6. This driverless concept car comes with four motorized lounge chairs that can be rotated to allow for face-to-face conversations.

6. This driverless concept car comes with four motorized lounge chairs that can be rotated to allow for face-to-face conversations.


What it is: Mercedes-Benz unveiled the futuristic concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 5. The seats can rotate to allow for face-to-face conversations.

What it means: This is another innovation that shows how, as driverless cars become more the norm, automakers will think of clever ways to preoccupy passengers while they cruise along.

5. Future Volvo cars could come with different modes for relaxing and driving.

5. Future Volvo cars could come with different modes for relaxing and driving.


What it is: Volvo released a concept car, Concept 26, with “relax,” “drive,” and “create” modes. In drive mode, the car minimizes distractions, while in relax mode, the seats recline to allow the driver to watch TV on a screen attached to the dashboard. The create mode is like a point in between relax and drive, allowing the seats to slightly recline.

The company plans on rolling out some of the features included in the Concept 26 when its autonomous vehicles hit the market.

What it means: Similar to the Mercedes-Benz concept car, Volvo’s Concept 26 shows how car interiors will adapt to accommodate autonomous driving.

4. The Porsche Mission E, which you can expect to see in five years, comes with a holographic dashboard.

What it is: An all-electric concept car with a range of 250 miles that charges in just 15 minutes. The car has eye-tracking technology that will detect where the driver is looking on the dashboard and open the corresponding instrument. The driver can then confirm the selection by pressing a button on the steering wheel.

What it means: It’s another innovative feature that shows how cars will become more intuitive going forward. It also highlights an increased desire to create tech that cuts down on potential accidents.

3. The BMW 7 Series comes with a key fob that features color touch display.

What it is: You can see loads of information about the car on the tiny fob. It even allows you to start and kill your car’s engine. The fob can be charged on a wireless charging pad on the console of the BMW.

What it means: Car owners can have more power and control over their cars even when they’re not in them.

2. Mitsubishi’s self-driving concept car can parallel park for you.

2. Mitsubishi's self-driving concept car can parallel park for you.


What it is: The car can autonomously respond to road and traffic conditions. But most importantly, it can parallel park for you, which is a pretty magnificent feature — especially for those living in cities where parking spots are notoriously tight.

What it means: Every aspect of driving is about to become a lost easier down the road.

1. We would be remiss to talk about the best car innovations and not include Tesla’s autopilot system.

What it is: Tesla rolled out its new Version 7.0 software late this year and it did not disappoint. The updates come with automatic steering, automatic lane change, side-collision warning, and automatic parallel parking.

The autopilot is so good, in fact, that people have been posting crazy videos of them using it on YouTube.

What it means: Tesla is getting that much closer to perfecting a completely driverless system. It also shows the future for smart-car technology: Just like a phone, owners can approve software updates to get exposure to new perks.


FROM THE NY DAILY NEWS: George Zimmerman’s Twitter account suspended after he posts naked pics of woman he claims cheated on him with ‘dirty Muslim’


George Zimmerman’s Twitter account was suspended Thursday after his social media rants turned into what looked like revenge porn.

The Florida man acquitted in the fatal 2012 shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin posted nude pictures and contact information of a woman he called “Heather” who he claimed had stolen from him and cheated on him with “a dirty Muslim.”

Zimmerman, who lists his hometown as Casselberry in the Orlando area, lives in a state that is one of 26 with laws against revenge porn, according to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative.


The “@TherealGeorgeZ” account showed two different naked photos and an email address for the woman Thursday afternoon.

This tweet surfaced on Zimmerman's feed Thursday afternoon shortly before his account was suspended.TWITTER

This tweet surfaced on Zimmerman’s feed Thursday afternoon shortly before his account was suspended.

“This is Heather,” the first of two tweets about her read. “She cheated on me with a dirty Muslim.” He added a phone number and told his 15,500 followers, “She’ll sleep with anyone.”

Minutes later, he continued, “Did I go to far? I won’t even mention that she stole a gun and cash from me.”

Zimmerman, 31, didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail on a number associated with him or a message on Twitter.

There were no immediate responses to a phone call and an email to the number and address he listed, though a woman’s voicemail said the Daily News had reached “Heather.”

Zimmerman tweeted a different picture of the woman and claimed she stole from him too.TWITTER

Zimmerman tweeted a different picture of the woman and claimed she stole from him too.

It wasn’t known whether the tweets violated the state’s anti-cyberharassment law, which went into effect Oct. 1. The lawdefines sexual cyberharassment as publishing “a sexually explicit image of a person that contains or conveys the personal identification information of the depicted person to an Internet website without the depicted person’s consent, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person.”

A representative for Twitter said the company doesn’t comment on individual accounts but referred The News to its policy on posting another person’s private information. Twitter’s rules prohibit sharing someone’s personal phone and email addresses, as well as intimate photos taken or distributed without the person’s consent.


Zimmerman has trolled on Twitter before in recent months. He retweeted a picture of Martin’s corpse in September and went on a homophobic tirade in which he also called President Obama “racist” in August.


FROM THE NY DAILY NEWS: The next few days will likely decide Katie Couric’s future at Yahoo – and, whether she walks or gets the axe, sources say the outlook is bleak!

The next few days will likely decide Katie Couric’s future at Yahoo – and, whether she walks or gets the axe, sources say the outlook is bleak.

The embattled Internet company is holding board meetings Wednesday through Friday to decide whether to sell off the media giant’s web businesses – including its search engine and news sites.

And multiple sources tell us that the veteran broadcaster’s reported $10 million salary is a major liability if execs decide to sell, or if Yahoo’s current CEO, Marissa Mayer, is toppled in the aftermath.

The insiders say that Couric’s splashy 2013 hire as “global news anchor” (and her monster paycheck) were a central plank in teetering Mayer’s bid to transform the failing search site into a rival of cable networks like MSNBC and CNN and a rejuvinate it as a prestigious web destination.

But our insiders say that the Silicon Valley investors who are now eyeing the company will see Couric as little more than a money pit.

One source familiar with the company’s inner workings told us that the private equity firms kicking the company’s tires “don’t care” about her Peabody-Award-winning pedigree.

“She does great work, but (potential investors want to know) are they selling (ads) against it and is there a road to profitability? There’s not,” said our source, “Any way you slice it, investors are going to look at (her salary) and say, ‘This isn’t going to be something you’re going to be able to accommodate in the budget.'”

After leaving Google in 2012 to take over at struggling rival Yahoo, Mayer hired big name journalists in an attempt to reposition the site as a destination rather than a search engine.

Yahoo! anchor Katie Couric speaks onstage during Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, DC this summer.PAUL MORIGI

Yahoo! anchor Katie Couric speaks onstage during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, DC this summer.

She snapped up Couric as well as bold-face “editors-in-chief” for sections of the site, including former Elle creative director Joe Zee to head up the site’s style vertical and cosmetics mogul Bobbi Brown to be the face of the beauty site.

“That’s (Mayer’s) plan and I don’t know that other people think that plan works or that they would keep it,” said another insider.

However, sources said Zee and Brown were not at risk in the same way as Couric because their salaries and operating costs aren’t as exorbitant as the former “Today” show host.


Meanwhile, a source close to Couric told us, “Today is a typical day for Katie at Yahoo, she had multiple interviews – including taping an exciting upcoming exclusive and speaking with a `Star Wars’ star – followed by live coverage of the tragedy in San Bernardino.

“She is focused on and enjoying her work and is proud of her team’s accomplishments at Yahoo.”

A rep for Yahoo declined to comment.


FROM PJ MEDIA: FBI: ‘A Few Potential Things’ May Point to Terrorism in San Bernardino!

FROM PJ MEDIA: FBI: ‘A Few Potential Things’ May Point to Terrorism in San Bernardino!

Two suspects were taken down in a shootout with San Bernardino police and one or more may have been on the run after an attack on a holiday banquet for county employees that left 14 dead and 17 wounded.

It was the deadliest mass shooting in the country since the Sandy Hook massacre three years ago this month.

One officer was injured in the initial confrontation with the suspects and was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center. His wounds are not life-threatening.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters this evening that as officers searched the Inland Regional Center, a large complex that helped the developmentally disabled, they discovered  suspicious devices and “one of those is believed to be an explosive device.” The center had an auditorium that did not require key-card access and was being used at the time for a county health department banquet.


Burguan said tips led police to a residence near Center Street and Pine Avenue in neighboring Redlands. As police approached, a black SUV left and led officers on a pursuit that came back to San Bernardino.

Two suspects in the SUV were killed in the gunbattle with police: one male, one female, both dressed in “assault-style clothing,” both armed with assault rifles and handguns. The chief added that “sensitive stuff” was discovered around the vehicle.

Officials had no information to reveal on the suspects’ names, ages, or relationship.

David Bowdich of the FBI cautioned that “we do not know the contents of what’s in that house,” so agents were cautious about searching the premesis.

On whether the attack is terrorism, Bowdich said he was “still not willing to say that we know this for sure,” but said some adjustments were being made to the investigation.

“It is a possibility, but we don’t know that yet,” he said. “We will go where the evidence takes us… when we are fairly sure we’ll let you know.”

Bowdich added “there’s a few potential things” that point toward terrorism.

Burguan said there was a third suspect seen running away; “we have that person detained” but “do not know” if that person was involved. The chief said officials are trying to identify “if there was a third shooter” or if even more people were involved.

“We do not have a motive,” he said.

Responding to reports that one of the gunmen was at the banquet, had a “dispute” with someone, left and came back with his accomplices, Burguan said someone did leave the party “but we have no idea if those are the people who came back.”

Twitter erupted with gun-control advocacy while the shooting was still fresh and no details about the shooters, their weapons or motives were known.

“In 30,000 tragic deaths every year — and now  — Congress is effectively complicit for its inaction,” tweeted Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

Others were heaping criticism on lawmakers who tweeted their thoughts and prayers for the victims. “Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again,” tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

Gun-control advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), though, took the route of praying and waiting for more details before offering policy prescriptions: “Praying for the victims, their families & the entire  community this evening as we learn more about this horrible crime.”

Islamic State supporters also weighed in, without taking any outright claims of responsibility. One tweeted at President Obama, “How does it feel when you get hit at home kuffar?” Another, using the term ISIS uses for Muslims they deem to be hypocrites, tweeted, “Munafiqeen are holding their breath right now in fear, hoping it was not a Muslim who did mass shooting in USA, while I am hoping it was.”

Another tweeted news of the shooting with “Saleel al-Sawarim” — the name of an ISIS propaganda song.

Once the British parliament voted to authorize airstrikes against the Islamic State, though, ISIS tweeters turned their attention to a fury of threats against the UK.



Dave (YOUR FUTURE STYLIST AND HAIRDRESSER) Just got back from a Year in NYC doing hair and Makeup! He Does hair and Makeup For Men, Women, Drag Queens, Weddings, and Much Much More! He also Did the Miss USA Pageant 5 years ago as well! Text Him At 219.395.4160. He Handles The City Of Chicago And All Of The Suburbs Too!


FROM BUSINESS INSIDER: A startup that finds discount flight tickets ‘hidden’ on airline websites just launched in the US!

FROM BUSINESS INSIDER: A startup that finds discount flight tickets ‘hidden’ on airline websites just launched in the US!

I just booked a flight to Las Vegas for next month’s CES, the big tech conference, and I tried to find the cheapest flight I could using services like Expedia and Travelocity — but I walked away, tickets in hand, feeling like I still got burned.

So when Oliver Dlouhý and Lucie Brešová told me their startup, Skypicker, helps people find flights that cost as much as 90% lower than those booked via a regular flight ticket, I was skeptical, but definitely interested.


If you’re like me, you probably use a flight aggregation service to buy your plane tickets — for example, a website like Travelocity. Or maybe you just buy your tickets right from the airline. Either way, you’re missing out on cheap flights that don’t get shown to customers. 

Skypicker, a three-year-old startup from the Czech Republic, wants to help unearth these flights so you can fly as cheaply as you want to — and for the first time since its 2012 launch, it’s serving customers in the US.

Oliver Dlouhý, Skypicker’s CEO, first got the idea for his company a few years ago, when he and his girlfriend were trying to book flights from Prague to Portugal. They were students, and they had a hard time justifying paying $500 each for plane tickets. So as broke college kids are wont to do, they got creative, spending six days cobbling together a bunch of random, connecting flights to take them from Prague, to a random European city, to Porto, Portugal. 

They only spent $80 on the tickets, but it was a hassle to book them. Plus, if something goes wrong with your first flight — it gets delayed, for example — you’ll miss your connecting flight you so meticulously booked, and you’ll fork out a ton of cash just to get home.

Dlouhý figured there had to be an easier way to find plane tickets using this method, so in May 2012 he founded Skypicker. The startup, which Dlouhý says has been profitable for the better part of the past year, has an algorithm that helps find the lowest-price flights to where you need to go. Often, this is a series of cheap, connecting flights. And if you miss one, don’t worry — the company’s Skypicker Guarantee lets you rebook a missed flight, completely free.

When Dlouhý started the company, he was scraping flight data from other websites using a search engine he built himself. Soon after, Skypicker acquired Tripomatic, a small search-engine startup, for half a million dollars. Now, Skypicker has 300 employees and is doing €500,000 — about $530,000 — in sales every day. 

Since its launch, Skypicker has provided flights for European airlines, though it has offered its services to US customers, letting them pay in US dollars and offering English translations of its website. But last month, Skypicker expanded to start catering to North American travelers, letting them book flights through major and low-fare carriers. 


FROM THE NY POST: The Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter was a no-show Wednesday for the first court date in her $5 million sprained ankle case against the city!


The Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter was a no-show Wednesday for the first court date in her $5 million sprained ankle case against the city, letting her lawyer stand in for her — but the night before she was putting that ankle to go use, marching in a raucous anti-gun demonstration in Times Square.

Filmmaker Spike Lee (left) and the Reverend Al Sharpton lead a march in Manhattan on Dec. 1.Photo: Getty Images

“Marching for #Peace after the premiere of #chiraq,” Dominique Sharpton wrote on her Instagram account late Tuesday night, along with a short video clip of her march. Film director Spike Lee led the 10-block walk after the Manhattan premiere of his new feature “Chi-Raq.”

“Hi!” a smiling Dominique says in the Instagram video that features her walking along at a stead clip with a friend. Her father spoke at the rally.


Dominique’s social media postings have landed the 29-year-old in legal hot water before. In May, city lawyers ordered Dominique not to delete Instagram photos that showed her trekking through Bali, Indonesia, just days after filing her suit claiming “severe” injuries.

On Wednesday, her lawyer, Oliver Tobias, asked the city for a second copy of a map that pinpoints cracks and potholes on streets and sidewalks.

Crosswalk at Broome St. and Broadway in May 2015.Photo: Helayne Seidman

Her suit says she tripped on uneven pavementcrossing Broome Street near Broadway on Oct. 2, 2014.

Her attorney’s demand is a sign that Sharpton’s personal injury suit is on shaky ground, according to an expert.

David Jaroslawicz, a top personal injury lawyer who is not involved in the case, said the first map provided by the city “could not be very clear as to whether or not the defect exists.”

City officials are only responsible for defects if they have been reported in writing to the Dept. of Transportation at least 15 days before an accident. Tobias declined to comment on the case.

In court Wednesday the two sides signed an agreement that requires Dominique to sit for a deposition on Jan. 20. The document also gives the city the right to have her examined by an independent doctor to determine the true extent of her injuries.

The next court appearance is scheduled for February.




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