Roku Targets Cheapskates And Tech-Heads Alike


Roku has announced three new devices including a $30 ‘Express’ model that’s clearly being pushed as a rival to Chromecast and more expensive models with 4K upscaling. The company is ditching its policy of numbering its products, reasoning that as it’s launching new entry-level devices, the old “higher number = better device) system might get […]

Actors Could Force IMDb To Hide Their Age

A new California law gives some actors the right to force sites such as IMDb to stop listing their age. Supporters of the law say it will fight age discrimination while critics call it an attack on free speech. The law comes after a previous court case in Washington State that ruled that sites are […]

Google Improves Image Recognition; Releases Project as Open Source Software

Google says its algorithm can correctly caption a photograph with nearly 94 percent accuracy. The company says the improvements come in the third version of its system named Inception, with the score coming from a standardized auto-caption test named ImageNet. It reports the first version scored 89.6 percent, the second 91.8 percent and the new […]

Tesla Sues For Right To Sell Own Cars

Tesla is suing Michigan state officials for the right to sell cars directly to customers. It’s the first time it’s explicitly challenged existing laws that mandate third-party dealers, something Tesla says is outdated. Many states have laws which ban manufacturers selling directly to customers rather than through franchised dealers. The most common argument for such […]

Voyager Golden Record Gets Terrestrial Release

In 1977, earthlings launched a “message in the bottle” for extra-terrestrial life. Now a Kickstarter project is well on the way to issuing the Voyager Golden Record on vinyl. The record – one copy of which is on each of the two Voyager craft – includes audio recordings of spoken greetings in 55 languages, natural […]

Marty McFly’s Self-Lacing Shoes Become Reality (For Public Sale!)


Michael J Fox already got a pair from Nike last year to celebrate us reaching 2015 (aka The Future) but the HyperAdapt 1.0 shoes will finally be ready for public sale on November 28. The laces don’t actually tie as such, but rather tighten. Also, the traditional thick flat laces you see at the top […]

Opera Gets Built-In VPN

The latest public edition of Opera includes a free one-click VPN. It offers both privacy and an attempt to get around region-blocking websites. The VPN has previously been trialed in developer editions of Opera but is now available to all users. It needs to initially be enabled from the settings menu (under privacy and security) […]

New York’s Free Web Surfing Comes To Sticky End


New Yorkers will no longer be able to browse the web on screens in former phone booths. The change came after reports of “lewd acts” by some users taking advantage of the free facility. The free-to-use LinkNYC program was announced at the start of this year and 400 booths have been converted already, with an […]

Amazon Smart Control System Echo Dot Relaunched At $50


Amazon has dropped the price of its Echo Dot – already a budget version of the Echo voice control system – from $90 to $50. It’s also offering bulk discounts with the idea of people filling their homes. The full-sized Echo device appears to have become established despite being somewhat awkward to describe and promote. […]

Fidgeters Gadget Earns Millions Of Dollars


A company has raised nearly $4 million for a small cube aimed at fidgety people. With more than a month to go in a Kickstarter campaign, more than 200,000 Fidget Cubes have been sold. The cube is being marketed on the idea that having something to fiddle with helps focus attention on more important tasks. […]

Scanner ‘Reads’ Pages Of Closed Books


A variant on X-rays could scan the pages of a closed book according to MIT researchers. Tests already show the technique working on a bundle of nine sheets of paper. The research is detailed in the snappily-titled Nature Communications article “Terahertz time-gated spectral imaging for content extraction through layered structures.” It’s based around using T-rays, […]

Google To Explicitly Flag Insecure Sites


The Chrome browser will soon start flagging sites with password or card number fields that don’t use encryption. The change in January will be the first of a multi-step process. Until now Chrome has worked like most browsers by putting the emphasis on positively identifying secure sites with the familiar padlock icon in the address […]