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News In English

Quiz tells Chris Pratt he’s actually Chris Evans, and now everyone’s confused

Chris Pratt can’t shake being pitted against the three other white men named Chris (Evans, Hemsworth, and Pine) who happen to be in the same profession as him. It’s gotten so bad he’s taking online quizzes, as one does, to find himself.

On Sunday night, the actor took an “Are You Chris, Chris, Chris, or Chris?” quiz, and the good news is he got the answer “Chris.” The bad news? It wasn’t the right Chris.

“Dude I suck at quizzes,” Pratt wrote on Twitter with a screenshot of his results that revealed he was none other than the king of the Chrises, Chris Evans. Don’t @ us

While Evans hasn’t taken the quiz himself, he did offer some words of encouragement to his fellow Chris. “What do you mean?,” he asked. “You aced it.” 

As to be expected, folks had something to say about the confusing Chris quiz kerfuffle, and chimed in with whom among the Hollywood Chrises they most identify with. 

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BMW is set to offer a pad to wirelessly charge your car

BMW is close to rolling out wireless charging on one of its cars — and this time, it doesn’t involve phones. That feature is already there, but being able to wirelessly charge your car is new.

It really is a big charging pad for a 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid. The BMW pad connects to a 220-volt outlet, then the sensors on the car show you where to steer so the vehicle can communicate with the charger, as shown in this video.

According to BMW, the 9.4kWh battery in the 530e can be charged in about 3.5 hours at 3.2kW of power, or close to the level you’d get if you just plugged the car in with a cord.

A BMW North America spokesperson told The Verge in an email that the technology depicted in the video is still in the testing and evaluation phase for the US and Canada. It still needs UL approval, too.

In other countries, BMW plans to launch the wireless charging system early next year, but only on the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid sedan. Other iPerformance PHEVs —which include the 330e, 740e, and X5 — as well as the i3 and i8 electric vehicles are set to be offered with the system later.

While it’s still a few years away from being even available here, and there’s no word on what it might cost when it does arrive, BMW is still about to be one of the first manufacturers offer wireless vehicle charging from the factory on a model.

Wireless charging has become one of the biggest buzzwords for devices this fall, and its importance for transportation shouldn’t be underestimated when agencies and municipalities think about how we’re going to charge all of the electric vehicles of the future.

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Man Who Got the Same Neuter Tattoo as His Dog Doesn’t Care About the Haters

Image: Chris Mendiola

Chris Mendiola loves his dog Bear so much, he decided to get the same tattoo the dog bore when Chris adopted him six years ago. When he shared his mark of devotion with the internet, he knew he’d get some heat, but he had no idea just how far the images would go.

“[T]hose of you who know bear know that he has a tattoo given to him from some previous owners,” wrote Mendiola on Facebook. “It sickens me to know that people actually tattoo their pets. So tonight I got his tattoo.”

As soon as Mendiola posted the image of his new ink, however, he faced mockery from the people he used to think were his friends. “That means he’s neutered!” wrote one Facebook friend, “My rescue female has one too!!” Another commented, “Guess you’re neutered Chris.”

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Yes, the tattoo that Bear had on his belly was a symbol meaning the dog had been neutered. And now Mendiola carries a sign that seems to show he’s been fixed, too.

One of Mendiola’s old classmates even shared a screengrab of the Facebook post on Reddit so the whole internet could mock his solidarity. It’s since been upvoted nearly 10,000 times, with users posting comments like, “It’s literally the symbol for ‘male’ with the balls crossed out lol.”

To an extent, Mendiola was prepared for the response. “I knew I was going to get a lot of backlash from it. I did. I got some from my coworkers. I got some from people I thought were my close friends,” he told Gizmodo. “It’s not for them. It wasn’t for them. It wasn’t to humor or please them. It’s for my dog.”

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Mendiola told Gizmodo he has felt especially close to Bear since the dog experienced a medical issue similar to one he had gone through. “He actually just went through surgery. He tore his dog-version of the ACL and I suffered the same injury a couple years ago,” Mendiola said. “He’s my best friend. He’s been there for my highs and he’s been there for my lows.”

Commenters on Facebook and Reddit don’t believe that Mendiola knew what the tattoo symbol meant when he got it, but Mendiola insists that he was well aware of the meaning of the tattoo.

“I definitely did my research. I actually talked to my family vet about it when I first got him,” said Mendiola. “I don’t think that people should crop ears. I don’t think that people should cut tails off their pets. If they’re going to be a member of your family, you should treat them as such. I don’t see tattooing your dog as something that you should do… My vet would never just say, ‘Hey, willy-nilly, I’m going to tattoo your dog.’ It’s not going to happen.”

However, a previous owner likely had nothing to do with this decision. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ standards require vets to tattoo spayed and neutered shelter animals so that no one unnecessarily operates on the animals again.

Mendiola plans on keeping the tattoo for the rest of his life. But he said he’s also considering covering it with a tattoo of his dog’s paw print, so the two tattoos fade together.

[Facebook, Reddit]

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Stream ‘Powerpuff Girls’ on Cartoon Network’s Roku app

The app has full-length episodes from popular shows like Adventure Time, Steven Universe, The Powerpuff Girls, and Teen Titans Go!. It also premieres “See It First” episodes via the app before they air on television as well as “hilarious clips, customized video mixes and other fun surprises.” You’ll still need to log in with your TV provider, though there will be some content available for those without a login, too.

If retro cartoons are more your thing, Roku also has the Warner Bros. Boomerang app to check out, which offers new original series along with classic shows like Scooby Doo, Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, The Jetsons and The Flintstones.

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These bugs might solve the problem of robots that fall and can’t get up

Inside the click beetle's segment lies its self-righting hinge.
Inside the click beetle’s segment lies its self-righting hinge.

Image: UI News Bureau: L. Brian Stauffer

When a robot falls over, it usually can’t get up — at least not without difficulty. To address the trouble of downed robots, scientists are taking a cue from the natural world, examining how click beetles right themselves after taking a tumble. 

Researchers at The University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign found that the insects often topple over, but have a natural self-righting mechanism that robots could emulate. The team published their research online on Monday and also presented their findings at Living Machines 2017: The 6th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems at Stanford University.

While investigating how click beetles fling themselves into the air without the use of any legs, the team stumbled upon a hinge-like feature that lies inside the deep segment on the critter’s back. This hinge allows the beetle to flex its head back towards the ground, and then abruptly release, shooting the bug into the air. (In case you were wondering why they’re called click beetles, the release of their hinge makes a “clicking” sound.)

The discovery of this snapping hinge gave researchers a dose of bioinspiration — when biological evolution inspires technological innovation. 

“Very little research had been performed on these beetles, and I thought this legless jumping mechanism would be a perfect candidate for further exploration in the field of bioinspiration,” said study co-author and entomologist Marianne Alleyne, in a statement.

The team experimented with different types and sizes of click beetles, filming the leaping beetles with with high-speed cameras to capture their take-off angles and velocities.

“We observe, model, and validate each stage of the jump with the hopes that we can later integrate them into a self-righting robot,” explained the study’s lead investigator and mechanical engineering professor Aimy Wissa, in a statement. 

It may be some time before awkwardly wheeling robots become adept at locomotion, so the simple ability to get up — or rather jump up — might become a great boon to the robotics world. 

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Here’s what’s happening to your iPhone battery life in iOS 11

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Apple rolled out iOS 11 on Sept. 19, giving everyone with devices as old as 2013’s iPhone 5S some fancy new features and ramped-up processing speeds. 

The OS has been widely adopted as users flock to upgrade for the new features. As of press time, about 23 percent of all Apple devices are now running iOS 11. That’s a great adoption rate for Apple — but for some iPhone owners, cycling up to the new OS hasn’t been an entirely smooth process. 

Some of these new users have reported glitches, as is expected with a massive migration to brand new software — but there is one complaint that’s much more widespread than just a few isolated cases, if countless angry tweets are any evidence: iOS 11 may cause an unexpected drain on battery life.  

We’ve experienced the issue here at Mashable, too, as fully-charged iPhone 7’s running the new OS have eaten through power at a noticeably quicker pace than on the previous versions of Apple’s OS.

But iOS 11’s power drain woes aren’t just confined to Twitter gripes. Mobile security firm Wandera took a look at the battery performance of 50,000 “moderate to heavy iPhone and iPad users” running both iOS 10 and 11 to compare battery performance in the three days following the new software’s rollout. 

The graph shows the battery life issues go beyond just a few tweets.

The graph shows the battery life issues go beyond just a few tweets.

The results weren’t pretty. Devices on iOS 11 burned through power at much faster rates than those running iOS 10, taking an estimated 96 minutes of use to drain a full battery compared to 240 minutes for iOS 10. 

Before damning Apple for throttling your phone’s overall usefulness to give you screen recording, however, there are some important caveats to consider. Wandera was only able to analyze phones running its software, so the findings might not be representative of the general population — case in point, only 2.98 percent of the devices investigated were actually running iOS 11. We also don’t know if the iPhones and iPads were being used for, which could provide some more context as to why the battery life was so short.  

There could be other reasons for the power discrepancy, too, so we put a call out to developers with experience working within Apple’s system. All respondents said our collective battery gripes are par for the course with any OS update.  

Pikover also told me via DM that there could be other factors contributing to the battery drain, but he hasn’t found anything in the OS that gives him cause for concern. 

Other developers who have worked with iOS 11 since its beta was released back in June reported that their experience with early versions of the software didn’t include any egregious battery issues. 

Files stored on devices are often re-categorized for every new OS install, which may account for some of the battery issues. Many apps have not yet been optimized for iOS 11 either. Developers are updating them quickly, though, but that too has an effect, since downloading and installing them uses more power, too. Battery consumption will likely return to less drastic levels once the system is firmly in place and the initial newness wears off.  

Apple declined to comment on the matter. Our advice: Give your brand new OS a chance to iron out the kinks, but if battery problems persist, there may be more at play than the usual iOS iteration troubles. In that case, you may need to wait for the 11.1 update before things get better.

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Dad bod Batman drawn by an 11-year-old girl is the hero this city needs

If you’ve ever wondered what a middle-aged Batman with a dad bod might look like, this young artist has got you covered.  

Reddit user, knittymcknitpants uploaded some photos of her 11-year-old daughter’s wonderful Batman drawings Monday, much to the delight of everyone who saw them. 

They feature Batman lounging around a beach wearing suspenders, a cape and the hero’s iconic mask. He looks like he’s having fun. 

Image: Via Reddit user knittymcknitpants

User knittymcknitpants also uploaded a video showing her daughter working on the masterpieces, to prove to a cynical Reddit that this deal is real.

Within the reddit comments she explained that her daughter began working on the drawings after watching a sculptor fail at creating a Batman statue. She also said that her daughter calls him “B-money.” Which is pretty great. 

“The artist tried to sculpt Batman but he kept coming out looking all wrong and she said, ‘He looks like middl-aged Batman’ to which my daughter replied, ‘No, I’ll show you middle-aged Batman’ and started sketching. And thus these drawings were born,” wrote knittymcknitpants. 

The reddit user also added that her daughter would like to work for Disney in the future but right now her focus is on B-Money.

We believe that she’ll get there, with or without the Dark Knight’s help. 

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‘Platoons’ of autonomous Freightliner trucks will drive across Oregon

Daimler will start with a test linking two of its larger Freightliner New Cascadia trucks that are ‘paired’ to move in sequence, tech that the company first publicly experimented with in a 2016 Europe-spanning challenge. In short, the autonomous trucks will ‘talk’ to each other and coordinate their driving to maximize efficiency, including keeping the trailing vehicle behind the front one to minimize drag, similar to how trains of cyclists ‘draft’ behind the leading one. The self-driving tech is also safer behind the wheel than humans, Daimler’s press release claims, reacting to traffic in three-tenths of a second when it typically takes a person more than one to respond.

‘Platooning’ has been on automakers’ radar as an intriguing automated evolution to long-haul trucking. Back in January, Toyota and Volkswagen started a three-year truck convoy test. Even Tesla is investigating the technology, leaked DMV correspondence revealed.

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Netflix is offering its bandwidth tech to airlines for better in-flight streaming

Netflix is going to start partnering with airlines to provide them with its mobile streaming technology. This will start next year as part of an effort to get airlines to provide better in-flight Wi-Fi, according to a report from Variety. The reasoning is simple from Netflix’s perspective: the better in-flight Wi-Fi is, the more passengers can use it to watch Netflix while on planes.

Netflix has, over the years, already had to develop better bandwidth technologies for streaming video on mobile devices working through unreliable cellular connections, so it seems logical that the company’s tech could be used to improve in-flight Wi-Fi, too. According to Netflix, the company’s tech could save airlines up to 75 percent in bandwidth costs while offering better internet.

As Variety notes, Netflix has already partnered with airlines in the past to offer free Wi-Fi, including Virgin America, Aeromexico, Qantas, and Virgin Australia. Coming from there, the new initiative to help improve airlines’ Wi-Fi feels like a pretty natural next step for the company.

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Rapper B.o.B. is raising money for satellites to show him if the Earth is actually round

Earth is round. I know it. You know it. Bill Nye knows it

But still, in 2017, many flat Earth truthers still are denying what has been known as scientific fact for centuries. 

They draw in a famous crowd. Several N.B.A. stars (including Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving) have openly voiced their conspiracies. Now, rapper B.o.B. is using his public platform to prove his suspicions about the existence of the “curve” once and for all.

Bobby Simmons Jr. (better known as B.o.B.) launched a GoFundMe page called “Show BoB the Curve” on Thursday. In a video on the page, he calls himself “Flat Earth B.o.B.” and explains that he wants to send as many satellites as he can into orbit to “find the curve.” The rapper tweeted a link to the fundraising page in hopes of drumming up some support.

It looks as if B.o.B. got the idea from Twitter user Tim Pastoor, who tweeted an idea for how flat Earth truthers can “find the edge” at another user. B.o.B. retweeted and called it a “great idea.”

So far, the page has raised $225. Just a little shy of the skeptical rapper’s goal of $200,000. 

Eighteen individuals have donated to B.o.B.’s fund at time of writing, in amounts ranging from $5 to $50. However, not all of them seem to agree with the rapper’s theories. Donor Daniel Ferguson added a comment to his donation: “Here’s $5 to prove yourself wrong.” 

This isn’t the first time B.o.B. has shared his flat Earth beliefs with the world.

In early 2016, the rapper took to Twitter to share some of his his “evidence,” including several photos and assertions that the earth is indeed, flat.

Most of B.o.B’s reasoning seems to be based on what he can see. He grew frustrated that some of his over two million followers told him that he wasn’t high enough to see the Earth’s natural curve.

This wasn’t the end of B.o.B.’s public display of flat Earth trutherism. The conspiracy-driven tweets sparked a public feud between the rapper and Neil deGrasse Tyson himself. 

The famous astrophysicist first fired back with some cold, hard facts. He also shared his concerns about the conspiracies. 

The rapper didn’t hesitate to respond to the science legend, questioning why only NASA had photos of “the curve.”

One Twitter user said he was ready for a diss track to emerge from this epic exchange.

Well, ask and you shall receive. 

The Strange Clouds rapper came around later that night with the track “Flatline,” which includes audio of Tyson explaining the Earth’s spherical shape. In the song, B.o.B. raps, “Globalists see me as a threat, free thinking got the world at my neck.”

He calls out the renowned scientist directly, saying, “Neil Tyson need to loosen his vest, they probably write that man one hell of a check.” And, once again, he references his skepticism about his view of the horizon (and about science itself): “I see only good things on the horizon, that’s probably why the horizon is always rising, indoctrinated in a cult called science and graduated to a club full of liars.”

But Tyson wasn’t going to let him get the last word. The Cosmos host enlisted the help of his nephew Stephen Tyson to clap back with his own diss-filled track

The Notorious N.D.T. quotes his own tweet to B.o.B. on the track, “Flat to Fact.” He leaves the rest of the rapping to his nephew who goes after the flat Earth theorist directly: “I’m bringing facts to combat a silly theory/Because B.o.B. has gotta know the planet is a sphere, G.”

Hopefully this GoFundMe will show B.o.B. the truth about the Earth and, more importantly, end what is perhaps one of the greatest rap battles of this generation. But until then, we can check in on B.o.B.’s “step-by-step documentation” of his mission to “find the curve.”

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