Technology

Wed
06
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google Uses Lasers for Broadband Internet

Google says it has successfully used beams of light in the air to carry an Internet signal. It says the technology won't work everywhere but could be a useful solution in specific places. Project Taara works on a broadly similar principle to fiber ... optic cables, with pulses of light carrying a signal that translates into the 0s and 1s of computer code. The "Free Speech Optical Communications" system uses a narrow beam of light invisible to the human. It's a similar technology to that which Google used in a previous project to connect balloons in the sky. The new system instead connects ... (view more)

Thu
23
Sep
John Lister's picture

Dodgy Data Makes AI Less Useful

Artificial intelligence may be failing thanks to human error according to a new study. That's because data AI models use to learn how to identify images is not always correct to start with. The problem affects neural networks, which are designed to ... work in a similar way to the human brain, considering multiple possibilities at the same time. The idea is to get the benefits of human thought but with the speed and reliability of computers. In principle, training these AI models is a straightforward process. Rather than humans creating a set of rules for the models to follow, they simply give ... (view more)

Fri
27
Aug
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Samsung TV Block Feature Prompts Debate

Samsung is to remotely disable televisions stolen from its warehouses. It appears to be the first time it's activated the security measure. "TV Block" hasn't attracted much attention before but Samsung says it is installed on all its televisions. It ... hasn't confirmed if this is only in South Africa, where the feature has now been triggered, or on all sets worldwide. The activation follows looting during unrest in South Africa last month. A Samsung warehouse was among the locations ransacked. Internet Connection Used For Block The TV Block feature works because Samsung's Smart TV sets have an ... (view more)

Wed
17
Feb
John Lister's picture

Phone AI Can Suggest Pics to Delete

Canon has launched an app that automatically picks out poor quality photos that you've taken, ready for deletion. Sadly for those who remember physical prints, it doesn't add a quality control sticker to the image. The Photo Culling app is based on ... the fact that, unlike with prints, there's no real cost to a user taking hundreds of digital shots except for eating up storage space. That can be an issue given modern smartphones often have very high resolution cameras and in turn large file sizes. (Source: 9to5mac.com ) The idea of the app, which is currently only available on iPhone, is for ... (view more)

Wed
20
Jan
John Lister's picture

Dating App 'Politics' Filter Turned Against Rioters

A dating app has removed – and then replaced – a filter for political views among potential partners. Bumble discovered some users were taking advantage of the filter to "entrap" people involved in the recent breach of the US Capitol. Bumble is a dat ...ing app that works like several others in that it shows users potential matches in their geographic area. If two users both indicate an interest in each other's profile, they can begin communication. However, unlike most such services, with a male-female match, only the woman can initiate contact and begin an exchange of messages. Users can filter ...ref="/news/10884/dating-app-politics-filter-turned-against-rioters" class="more-link">view more)

Wed
30
Sep
John Lister's picture

Fitness Trackers Could Boost Urban Planning

Fitness tracking company Strava is to share four billion pieces of user data. Unlike previous glitches, it's a deliberate action designed to help urban planners. The news came to light as Strava sent an email to customers to remind them that its ... user agreement gives it the right to share and sell user data as long as it is in completely anonymized form. Users can opt out, but their data is collected by default. The company is bundling the data, which includes details of walks and cycle rides, as a commercial product called Metro. The idea is that buyers such as urban planners and cycling ... (view more)

Thu
03
Sep
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COVID Tracing Now Built into Mac, Android

Apple and Google have added a way to notify users about potential COVID-19 infections without them having to install an app. The Bluetooth-based system is coming to iOS and Android but will be opt-in only. Both companies have already built ... technologies that use Bluetooth to anonymously track which handsets have been in close proximity of a user who reports either symptoms or a positive test. However, until now the technologies have only been used through official government or health authority apps. Now the mobile operating systems are getting a built-in tool called Exposure Notifications ... (view more)

Mon
11
May
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Microsoft Tackles 'Reply All' Misery

Microsoft wants to stop one of the most annoying parts of email. It's going to try cutting the vicious cycle of the "reply all" message storm. The problem arises when somebody sends a group message to a large number of people and then one of the ... recipients mistakenly (or perhaps worse, deliberately) clicks on "Reply All" rather than simply using "Reply" to address the original sender. Not only does that mean the entire group seeing the reply, but it can quickly spark others to reply, extend a conversation, point out the error, or make a joke. In some cases, the configuration means that all of ... (view more)

Tue
11
Feb
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Scientists use Light, Sound to Produce 100 Gbps Internet

Researchers believe a new type of cable could carry Internet data at speeds 100 times greater than even the fastest on offer today. The new technology could benefit hospitals and research facilities in particular. The technique was developed by ... researchers at universities in Leeds and Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and is based around similar technology found in fiber optic cables. Those are the fastest data-carrying cables and work by sending pulses of light down a tiny transparent tube. By far, the greatest benefit of utilizing fiber optic cables is that it can transfer data over long ... (view more)

Tue
21
Jan
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Could Improve Google Chrome

The Chrome browser may soon put less drain on processors and battery life in Windows 10. Perhaps surprisingly, that's because of changes made by Microsoft rather than Google. The relevant tweaks were discovered by Microsoft as part of its work to ... rebuild the Edge browser that comes with Windows 10. Originally it ran on Microsoft code, but the new version of Edge is now based on Chromium. For those unaware, Chromium is an open source project, which is the basis of Google's Chrome browser. Microsoft found one cause of battery drain was disk caching during online video playback. In simple terms ... (view more)

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