Self-driving car will make trip from San Francisco to New York City

Delphi-self-driving
It’s all of the road trip and none of the driving — at least, not by a human.

An autonomous car, developed by Michigan-based Delphi Automotive, will begin a 3,500-mile trip across the U.S. on March 22. Beginning in San Francisco, the car is expected to arrive in New York about a week later.

“We’re going to learn a lot out of this,” Jeff Owens, Delphi’s chief technology officer, told The Associated Press.

There will be a person behind the wheel at all times, but they are not expected to intervene at all unless the autonomous car gets into trouble.

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Amazon Has Quietly Acquired 2lemetry To Build Out Its Internet Of Things Strategy

Amazon is taking another step into the Internet of Things. TechCrunch has learned, and confirmed, that the e-commerce and cloud services giant has acquired 2lemetry, a startup based out of Denver that has developed an enterprise-focused platform to track and manage IP-enabled machines and other connected devices.

Terms of the deal, which we heard was finalized earlier this week, were not disclosed. 2lemetry, founded in 2011, had raised $9 million, including a $4 million round in January of this year from investors that included Salesforce Ventures.

Reaching out to 2lemetry, our queries were forwarded to Amazon. A spokesperson confirmed the acquisition with a short statement that noted that the service will continue to operate for existing customers.

“I can confirm that Amazon has acquired 2lemetry and we look forward to continuing to support 2lemetry customers,” a spokesperson said. Those customers include Honeywell, the Demeter energy group and First Mile, an office recycling service.

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With $45 Million In Funding, Augmented Reality Platform Blippar Is Rethinking Search

Blippar, an augmented reality ad platform that uses real-world tags to deliver extra AR content in offline situations, has raised $45 million in new funding from undisclosed investors. This comes on the heels of a big 2014 for UK-based Blippar, wherein the company made its first acquisition by purchasing Layar in June. Combined, the merged companies boast over 50 million global users.

But given the growth of the space, Blippar is ready to take the next step forward.

As it stands now, Blippar is mostly an advertising or publishing tool that allows a brand to put a “Blip” (a real-world marker) on their offline goods that allow users to access an AR layer of information through their camera. It’s a speedy, beautiful product, but people are only so interested in chatting with brands.

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Postmates Picks Up $35M In Series C From Spark Capital

Postmates, the on-demand delivery service that operates in nearly 60 markets, has raised $35 million in Series C exclusively from existing investor Spark Capital, according to our sources.

Postmates is a service that lets users order anything from local stores and have it delivered directly to their home for a small delivery fee.

The company launched back in 2011 and has raised a total of $58 million, including a $16 million Series B which was also led by Spark Capital with investments from Matrix Partners, SoftTech VC, Crosslink Capital, Scott Banister, Naval Ravikant, Russell Simmons, Thomas Korte, Shervin Pishevar, Dave Morin and David Sacks.

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26 Little-Known Facts About Google (Infographic)

You probably didn’t know Google’s original name was Backrub. It was inspired by the system’s method of using back links to find and rank pages.

That’s just the beginning of the interesting facts about Google this infographic by WhoIsHostingThis? features. It lists 26 facts you probably didn’t know about the technology company, like:

1. The first Google Doodle was an out-of-office message. Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, posted it in 1998 to let users know they wouldn’t be able to fix technology issues while they attended the Burning Man festival.

2. Google’s homepage is simply designed because when Page and Brin launched the site, they didn’t know enough about HTML to dress up the homepage. They also didn’t know how to design a submit button, so users had to press the return key on the keyboard to launch their searches.

3. Google Street View features about 28 million miles of photographed roads.

4. Google has averaged one company acquisition a week since 2010. Google acquired YouTube through a series of meetings at Denny’s.

5. In 2002, Google added Klingon as a language option.

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Zynga Drops 9% After Its $192M Q4 Revenue And Guidance Disappoint

Zynga reported its fourth quarter financial performance today after the bell, including revenue of $192.5 million and earnings per share of $0.00. Investors had expected the company to earn $0.00 on revenue of $201.11 million. The firm also reported bookings in the quarter of $182.4 million.

The company’s flat earnings per share is based on adjusted profit. Using normally accepted accounting methods, Zynga lost $45.13 million, or $0.05 per share. In the year-ago period, Zynga had revenue of $176.36 million, on which it lost $25.24 million, or $0.03 cents per share. So, Zynga grew its revenue by just over 9 percent in the last year.

Zynga announced in its earnings that it will close its games studio in China, impacting 71 employees. The company anticipates savings of $7 million per year.

The company was off around 5 percent today in regular trading, and, following its missed earnings has tanked nearly 10 percent after hours.

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The Fitbit Charge HR Brings Back The Basics

As a longtime lover of all things Fitbit, I’ve missed the good old days. The bright, readable displays and the little tidbits like a slowly growing flower to indicate progress were a real joy back in 2008 when the company launched onstage at Disrupt. Now, seven years later, after multiple styles and sizes, after the launch of the diminutive Flex and the odd Zip, we come to the Charge HR.

The Charge HR is a heart-rate sensing wearable that looks, when deactivated, like a rubber bracelet. To use it you simply wear it on either wrist and go about your day. It senses motion, flights climbed, and your heart rate using an optical sensor. While none of the sensors are as accurate as, say, a chest strap or GPS, the band definitely keeps you apprised of what is going on with your body during the day. It has a battery which lasts about 4 days in my experience – 5 days max – and is about the size of a standard bracelet.

Fitbits aren’t designed for hard-core athletes. They’re essentially a tool for reminding you that you need to move around more and keeping you aware of your sleep patterns. I would honestly not recommend the Fitbit Charge as a runner’s only wearable and would instead say a GPS watch along with the running tally a Charge offers is a superior experience. The Charge is a tool for to get sedentary folks moving and for energetic folks to keep track of how much they moved.

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