Technology

Wed
03
Oct
John Lister's picture

New Sunglasses Make PC, TV Screens Invisible

A new pair of sunglasses aims to block out screens such as TV sets and computers. It's a real product, though it's as much an art and culture project than a true business idea. The glasses work in a similar fashion to polarized lenses in ordinary ... sunglasses, which block out the most intense reflected lights from the sun. With sunglasses the idea is to block any light that's reflected off a surface such as the ground or sea, thus reducing the overall brightness. Glasses Turn Screens Black With these special glasses, however, the lenses are flat rather than curved and are rotated 90 degrees. ... (view more)

Mon
01
Oct
John Lister's picture

Report: Google Maps For Pedestrians 'Not Safe Enough'

Google is under pressure to provide safer routes for pedestrians in its mapping tools. It's previously done so for cyclists, though hasn't yet pleased everyone. The latest call comes in international business newspaper the Financial Times. Special ... reports writer Madison Darbyshire highlighted a recent walk from a concert venue to a stop for a late night bus in which she used Google's suggested walking route. According to Darbyshire, "I found myself meandering along unlit side streets and away from the traffic that makes the city feel alive at all hours." (Source: ft.com ) Pedestrians Offer ... (view more)

Wed
20
Jun
John Lister's picture

IBM Computer Beats Debating Champion

An IBM computer has out-argued a debating champion according to an audience vote. It did so despite not having an Internet connection to look up facts during the debate. The demonstration wasn't designed to test how much the computer "knew," but ... rather it's ability to form arguments, listen to an opponent's case, and then respond to it. The computer system, dubbed "Project Debater", took on Noa Ovadia, who was crowned national debating champion in Israel in 2016. The pair debated two topics: whether to have more publicly funded exploration of space and whether to put more money into ... (view more)

Tue
29
May
John Lister's picture

Apple Watch Alerts Man to Serious Heart Condition

A man says his life may have been saved by his Apple watch. A heart rate alert revealed he was experiencing a serious problem. Kevin Pearson was, by coincidence, visiting his father in hospital when he got the alert. It came from his watch, which ... tracked his heart rate. Normally that's to reveal general patterns as well as tracking how quickly the rate returns to normal after exercise, an important fitness indicator. However, the watch alerted Pearson to the fact his heart rate was at 161 beats per minute even though he was sitting down reading a book. Given his age of 52, that's a rate that ... (view more)

Thu
17
May
John Lister's picture

Exams Plagued By 'Cheater' Wristwatches

British students have been banned from wearing any form of wristwatch in exams. It follows concerns that 'smart watches' containing helpful information could be disguised as ordinary watches. The new rules will affect most national exams for school ... students aged 16 and 18, including those which determined whether students can get a particular place on a university course. The rules say normally students must take off their watch and leave it in a visible place on their desk, though in some cases supervisors are collecting the watches and keeping them outside. The changes follow on from ... (view more)

Wed
09
May
John Lister's picture

Robocalls on the Rise; FCC rethinks Restrictions

Robocalls are on the rise according to one company which tries to fight them. Sneaky new tactics and a recent court ruling are both contributing factors. The rise has been reported by YouMail, which produces apps for smartphones designed to block ... automated robocalls that aren't made by a human and instead play a recorded message when the recipient picks up. Based on records collated from its apps, YouMail estimates 3.4 billion such calls were made in April, up from around 2.5 billion in the same period last year. While the nature of the estimate means the figures themselves shouldn't be taken ... (view more)

Tue
24
Apr
John Lister's picture

Robot Puts Together Ikea Furniture

A robot in Singapore can successfully assemble a piece of IKEA furniture. But there's still a long way before it can match human abilities, let alone be a superior alternative. The robot is the work of Nanyang Technological University students and ... is made up of two robotic arms and a 3D camera. The furniture in question is the "Stefan chair." It's a very basic chair frame that in theory is extremely simple to construct, however, the main reason it is challenging to build is due to a few screws that need to burrow quite deep in to wood. It therefore takes a surprising number of ... (view more)

Wed
28
Mar
John Lister's picture

Google Speech Synthesis Gets More Realistic

Google says it's made the most realistic computer speech simulation ever. It uses artificial intelligence to reproduce the way humans put words together. The idea of Google's "Cloud Text-to-Speech" is to go beyond the traditional approach when ... dealing with speech synthesis. That effectively boils down to recording a batch of sound files of different syllables, then patching them together to form words. That works well for some languages such as Japanese, where speech patterns are very regular, but not so well for language such as English that have more complexity with pronunciation. Full ... (view more)

Tue
20
Mar
John Lister's picture

Uber Self-Driving Car Kills Pedestrian Crossing Street

A pedestrian has died after being hit by a self-driving vehicle in Tempa, Arizona. It's the first time an autonomous car has collided with a person on foot, resulting in a fatality. The car was part of a test program offered by taxi-alternative ... company Uber. It's now suspended its testing which was taking place on public streets in several states. The Washington Post says the crash took place at a busy intersection of public streets. Police said the vehicle was driving northbound and hit 49-year-old pedestrian Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street. They added that she was not within ... (view more)

Thu
01
Mar
John Lister's picture

Amazon Still Wants to Open Your Front Door

Amazon has bought a company that makes video doorbells. The purchase of "Ring" is likely to boost a service where Amazon couriers are able to get into customer homes to drop off parcels safely. The Amazon Key service was developed as a way to get ... round the twin problems of it being inconvenient to have to wait in for deliveries, but insecure to have couriers leave parcels on doorsteps. It works with 'smart' electronic door locks where householders can unlock their door with their smartphone, either by tapping the screen or simply having their phone in their pocket as they approach ... (view more)

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Technology