Technology

Tue
01
Mar
John Lister's picture

Google Self-Driving Car at Partial Fault for Crash

Google has confirmed that one of its self-driving cars was partially responsible for a minor crash with a bus. It's the first time the company has taken a share of the blame for a prang. The cars operate through a range of technologies including ... sensors, cameras, lasers, GPS and map data. The theory is that these allow them to track the activity of other vehicles on the road and more reliably avoid crashes than cars which are subject to human driver error. California allows companies such as Google which meet set criteria to operate self-driving or "autonomous" vehicles on ... (view more)

Tue
16
Feb
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Smartphones Could Detect Earthquakes

A new phone app is said to help detect earthquakes and provide quicker warnings than is currently possible. The 'MyShake app' has many limitations, but could theoretically still save lives. The app uses the accelerometer that's built into most ... modern phones. It's a small gadget that measures movement in the phone along three axes (left-right, up-down, back-forth) and powers all sorts of features, including fitness tools and the way that displays automatically rotate and resize if you turn the phone from landscape to portrait or vice versa. The idea of MyShake is to constantly monitor ... (view more)

Wed
20
Jan
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Amazon Dash Service Goes Live; Useful or Gimmick?

A printer that never runs out of ink and a washing machine that never runs out of detergent are now finally available. The devices automatically replenish themselves (sort of), thanks to a link to Amazon. The devices, from Brother and General ... Electric respectively, are among the first to take advantage of Amazon's Dash technology. Dash was first announced on the first of April last year, causing many readers to think it was an April Fool's Prank. In its original incarnation , Amazon Dash was a branded push button that could be stuck anywhere in the home, whereby users would press the ... (view more)

Tue
26
May
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Grocery Store Uses LED Lights To Track Customers

A French grocery chain is turning its overhead lighting into a way to send special offers directly to shopper's phones. It's seen as a way to experiment with technology, while still serving a more basic function. The lights are created by Philips ... and are being tried at a Lille branch of Carrefour, one of France's major chains of food and home goods stores. The entire store has been refitted with LED bulbs. Unlike ordinary bulbs, these transmit a signal by emitting light at a specific frequency for each bulb. The light can't be seen by the human eye; however, the front-facing ... (view more)

Wed
13
May
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Scientists One Step Closer to Building Human Brain

Scientists have designed a simple computer circuit to successfully recognize three different letters. It sounds unimpressive, but it's actually a huge step towards replicating and learning more about the human brain. One of the curious things about ... a computer is that although it is considerably faster than a human at basic calculations (which are what its operations boil down to), there are certain tasks at which it is far inferior. Most of these tasks involve 'human' abilities, such as judgment and making snap decisions. A good example is situations which involve a large number ... (view more)

Tue
21
Apr
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US Wary About Ditching FM Radio

Norway has confirmed it will switch off FM radio signals in 2017, making it the first country to do so. United States officials say they are likely to let the switch to digital radio happen more gradually. Several countries, including the US, have ... already switched off analog TV signals, with consumers instead either using digital over-the-air services or switching entirely to cable and satellite. In the US, only a few low-power, very local analog broadcasts remain, and they are due to switch off by this September. Analog Radio Sets Still Widely Used The digital switchover for radio worldwide ... (view more)

Wed
01
Apr
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Amazon 'Buy' Buttons hit Bathrooms and Kitchens

Amazon is launching a range of physical buttons to place around your home and press when you want to reorder an item for purchase. Despite the time of year, it insists the buttons are not an April Fool's Day joke. The buttons are called Amazon Dash. ... Each is linked to one of 18 retailers or brands, and you can get hold of buttons free of charge if you are a member of Amazon's Prime program, a subscription service that includes free shipping and online video access. (Source: forbes.com ) The buttons, which appear to be about the size of a USB memory stick, have adhesive stickers so you ... (view more)

Thu
26
Mar
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GM To Debut 'Teen Driver' Programmable Car

General Motors is releasing a car with a series of features designed to reassure parents that their children will drive safely. It also lets them access reports about driving activity. The 'Teen Driver' system will debut in the 2016 Chevrolet ... Malibu. The system works by having multiple electronic key fobs: teens get their own set of keys which will automatically switch the system on when used. Teen Driver has two main elements. The first is monitoring, which allows the car owner to access a 'report card' about the activity while the teen was driving. This includes the total ... (view more)

Tue
10
Feb
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Samsung Smart TV Listens; Data Shared 'Third Party'

Samsung has caused outrage after careful examination of its Smart TV terms and conditions suggest it might listen in on conversations and then pass on details to a data collection agency. The company insists any chat that the television does ... overhear would be treated with the utmost confidence. The controversy involves Samsung's range of televisions that include an Internet connection for features, such as online video access. Some models also include the ability for users to control the television using voice commands, rather than by remote control. Samsung says it may transmit the audio ... (view more)

Tue
27
Jan
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Financial Regulators May Oversee Bitcoin

Two Facebook millionaires want US officials to regulate an exchange for buying and selling the controversial "cryptocurrency" Bitcoin. The move follows a scandal when the largest such exchange in Japan went out of business . The Bitcoin currency ... isn't issued by any government or backed by any assets. Instead, each new unit of the currency is created when a computer successfully solves what's effectively a puzzle designed to slowly increase the amount of Bitcoins in circulation. Every time one user pays a Bitcoin to another, a publicly available ledger of transactions is ... (view more)

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