Technology

Wed
13
May
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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)

Fri
06
Jun
Brandon Dimmel's picture

New Aluminum-Air Car Battery Boasts 1,000 Mile Range

Would you buy an electric car if it could drive nearly 1,200 miles before requiring a recharge? Two companies working on a revolutionary battery think they have the key to completely changing how drivers look at electric vehicles (EVs). Electric ... cars are by no means new, but they've never been quite as popular as their gas-powered counterparts. Part of the problem with electronic cars is longevity; most require a recharge after only one hundred miles, which makes them less attractive to most North Americans. One of the most popular electric cars on the market, the Nissan Leaf, can only ... (view more)

Fri
28
Mar
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Virtual Reality: Fad or Flop? Facebook Invests $2B

Facebook has made a major investment in virtual reality technology by purchasing Oculus VR, a virtual reality technology firm for $2 billion US dollars. For the past several years Oculus VR has been developing Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset ... that is said to revolutionize home entertainment. The Oculus Rift was first unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or "E3") during the summer of 2012. The head-mounted display generated a great deal of interest among the video game community. This interest led Oculus VR to initiate an August 2012 Kickstarter campaign to further ... (view more)

Fri
14
Mar
John Lister's picture

Doctors Print New Face For Bike Crash Victim

Doctors in Britain have used a 3D printer to replace parts of the shattered face of a man who survived a serious motorbike crash. Although the surgery has only just taken place, Stephen Power's crash happened in 2012, where he spent four months ... unconscious in hospital. Mr. Power explained to the BBC that he broke his nose, jaw and both cheekbones in the crash, as well as his skull. Although he underwent several operations, surgeons had to act quickly to avoid breaking the bones around the eye socket and potentially causing major damage to his eyes. (Source: walesonline.co.uk ) After the ... (view more)

Wed
05
Mar
John Lister's picture

Facebook Drones Could Bring Internet Everywhere

Facebook is said to be buying a company that makes airborne drones. It seems it's not an attempt to carry out snooping or attack rivals, but rather a plan to extend Internet access to places it's impossible to reach at the moment. The company in ... question is Titan Aerospace, which manufactures what it calls "atmospheric satellites." Unlike traditional satellites, they operate around 20 kilometers (12 miles) above Earth, which is just short of the point of being in orbit. Drones such as the Solara 50 look and operate similar to an airplane, but have solar panels on its wings, ... (view more)

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