Tesla to recall 14,000 Model S cars in China over faulty Takata airbags

China’s top market regulator said on Friday that Tesla will recall a total of 14,123 imported Model S vehicles in the country over potentially deadly airbags.

The recall is part of an industry-wide crackdown on Takata-made front passenger airbags, which involves roughly 37 million vehicles including more mainstream brands such as Toyota and Ford, as noted by the United States Department of Transportation. These defective airbags use a propellant that might rupture the airbag and cause serious injuries, or even deaths.

Tesla has begun a worldwide recall of its sedans that use Takata airbags, the firm said on its Support blog. It noted that the airbags only become defective based on certain factors, such as age. The recall does not affect later Model S vehicles, Roadster, Model X, or its more affordable Model 3.

The China recall involves Model S cars manufactured between February 2014 to December 2016, shows a notice posted on the website of China’s State Administration for Market Regulation. TechCrunch has reached out to Tesla for comments and will update the article once more information is available.

The setback comes as Tesla is making a big push into the world’s largest auto market and tapping on Beijing’s effort to phase out fossil-fuel cars for China. The company recently reached an agreement with the Shanghai government to build its first Gigafactory outside the US, which will focus on making Model 3 cars for Chinese consumers. There is no target date for the factory to become fully operational yet.

Despite being an alluring market, China has been a major source of Tesla’s concerns over the past months due to escalating trade tensions and the rollback of government subsidies for green vehicles. Tesla responded by slashing its Model 3 price by 7.6 percent for China to neutralize heavy tariffs on imported cars.

The Palo Alto-based company previously recalled 8,898 Model S vehicles in China over corroding bolts, which it claimed at the time had not led to any accidents or injuries.

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iPhone 11 rumors: 4,000mAh battery, 120Hz display, faster wireless charging, more

Sketchy new reports from Chinese website Weibo claim to offer up some interesting new tidbits regarding Apple’s upcoming iPhone 11. Most interesting is the possibility of a display with a higher refresh rate, similar to the 120Hz rate found on iPad Pro.

The report also calls for a larger, 4,000mAh battery on the Max model, with much faster 15W wireless charging also in tow.

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The post iPhone 11 rumors: 4,000mAh battery, 120Hz display, faster wireless charging, more appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Akai Force is for DJs and producers that want to ditch the laptop

Akai made its name around the early 90s thanks to its line of relatively affordable S-series samplers and the (now legendary) MPC. Since then, the company has continued to release new spins on those mainstays, the latest of which is the all-in-one Force workstation.

The idea is clear: To remove the PC from the workflow. Modern DJs and producers are wedded to their laptops, and audiences never truly enjoy watching someone perform while looking like they are checking their email. Getting rid of the PC isn’t a new idea. Ableton’s Push workstation was designed to bring performers back into the moment (although you still need a PC running Ableton, you just don’t need to look at it so much). Akai’s Force hopes to eliminate it altogether.

If you’re familiar with Ableton’s Push series, then the Force will look very familiar, after all, Akai made the original Push. The obvious difference here is the inclusion of a 7-inch multitouch display (similar to that found on the MPC Live). The company claims the display offers “Ableton Live-style” workflow, too and tight integration with the software if you still want to use a PC. So if you’re already a fan of the DAW, Akai clearly hopes you’ll be interested in Force.

As is common for such production and DJ consoles, there’s a matrix of 64, velocity-sensitive pads for mashing out live rhythms or melodies, launching clips or step sequencing. The real key here is that there are also four synths onboard for creating sounds right on the Force (rather than merely controlling them). No mention of VST support though, so if you have a favorite plug-in, you might be out of luck. For sample-fans, there’s a 10Gb library of sounds (16Gb of storage, expandable), and the option to record in your own samples on the fly. There are also line inputs, four outputs and MIDI/CV support to round out the essentials.

Clip-based workflow has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Ableton is partly responsible for that, as its hybrid workflow (music composition and live performance mode) has merged the process of making and playing your music into one piece of software. Native Instruments has also been championing its “Stems” audio format, which adds an extra layer of control to specific sections of a sample (like killing the vocals or tweaking the beat independently in a clip).

Force, then, seems to be a logical evolution of this new workflow, allowing DJs, producers and performers alike (often people are all three) to try and cut down their gear rider — or simply save space in their studio/bedroom.

How well it all comes together, or whether it has enough chops to replace your regular sequencing software of choice remains to be seen. At $1,500 when it goes on sale on February 5th, it’s not a small investment, especially if you already have a laptop and were looking at a rival controller (Push is $449 if you already own the standard Ableton). But for those looking for a single piece of gear to cover all the bases, this could be worth a look.

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Xiaomi's new in-display fingerprint sensors have a much bigger active area

Xiaomi has been slower to adopt in-display fingerprint sensors than some of its Chinese rivals, only including the feature on certain high-end variants of last year’s Mi 8 flagship phone. But according to a Weibo post by president and co-founder Lin Bin, the company is working on a much more advanced implementation of the technology.

Lin’s post includes a video demonstrating a prototype phone with a new fingerprint sensor that has an active area of 25 x 50mm, meaning users could unlock it by tapping anywhere within a much larger region than the thumbprint-sized scanners found on several phones released last year. It would represent a boon for usability, particularly since you wouldn’t have to look for the physical location of the scanner while picking up the phone. Lin also says the new sensor is able to wake and unlock the phone with a single tap.


Xiaomi isn’t the only company working on larger in-display fingerprint sensors. Early last year Vivo showed off a concept phone called the Apex which featured a “half-screen” sensor; it was more like a third in reality, however, and was missing from the Nex, the eventual shipping version of the Apex. And just this week Oppo announced that it’ll release phones this year with a fingerprint sensor that’s 15 times larger than previous implementations, although it didn’t provide specific dimensions. Lin hasn’t said when Xiaomi might put its own version into a shipping product.

Chinese companies, particularly Vivo, drove the adoption of in-display fingerprint sensors last year, and it’s only in 2019 that international competitors like Samsung are said to be catching up. The question now is who will be first to commercialize the next generation of the technology, and will it work well enough to be a selling point?

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Seoul and SK Telecom to use 5G to prevent jaywalking

Seoul and SK Telecom plan to develop “cooperative-intelligent transport systems” that will utilise 5G and car telecommunication to increase safety, they announced.

They will install 5G and sensors at major roads in South Korea’s capital. They will also supply 5G Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) handsets to 2,000 buses, taxis, and traffic lights. The handsets will be co-developed by SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics.

The project is worth 25.4 billion won ($22.6 million) and will be completed by 2020.

The installation of the handsets will allow buses and taxis to communicate with traffic lights. A control centre will analyse the data from the communications and send a warning to the vehicles when there is danger.

5G will have a response time of 0.01 second — ten times faster than previous LTE systems — allowing drivers to respond quicker to danger.

For example, 5G sensors will detect a jaywalker and alter nearby automobiles. Automobiles will also be alerted when an ambulance is nearby. Cars will be also warned of collisions ahead or potholes created in monsoons.

Earlier this week, SK Telecom announced that, together with POSTECH, it developed antenna control technology that increases call quality at 28GHz spectrum.

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