Three Person Genetics Fertility Treatment A Step Closer

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The British government has proposed rules for legalizing a fertility technique that uses material from three people. The practice would be restricted to a very few cases and only two of the people would be legally classed as parents. The technique is called mitochondrial transfer and is designed to prevent the inheritance of some genetic […]

Author Neal Stephenson Joins Augmented Reality Project

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A company working on augmented and virtual reality tech has appointed sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson as its “Chief Futurist.” Exactly what the company is up to remains something of a mystery though. Magic Leap recently received $542 million in start-up funding from investors led by Google, two of whose executives have joined Magic Leap’s board. […]

Skype Live Voice Translation Gets Public Launch

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English and Spanish speakers can now have a Skype conversation without learning the other language or typing. Skype Translator is now available in a “preview” edition to anyone on Windows 8.1. The service had previously been in a limited-numbers preview but has now rolled out publicly, though you will need to sign up to use […]

Video Games As Art Debate Rolls On

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A games industry body has called for video games to be legally classified in Europe as a cultural product rather than software. TIGA also wants local laws changed to make it easier to recruit development staff from abroad. While there’s a longstanding philosophical debate about whether video games can be art (brilliantly satirised by Sophie […]

Doctor Who Ride Looks Set For UK Theme Park

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Rides featuring Doctor Who, Sherlock and other BBC shows could be coming to a British theme park. It may also feature movies including Star Trek. The theme park is due to open in Kent in 2020. Operators London Resort Company Holdings have already done a licensing deal with Paramount Pictures, with the park to be […]

Special PS4 Sells For $20,000… and £20

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At least one eBay seller has sold a limited edition PS1-style Playstation 4 for more than $20,000. In contrast, a few lucky Brits got hold of one for less than £20 ($32). The special PS4, launched to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original PlayStation, has the same tech specs as the normal model. The […]

Wireless Charging Could Soon Get MUCH Faster

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A company has unveiled a wireless charging system with three times the power of current models. It’s probably not quite enough for laptops yet, but shows the concept is scalable. At the moment, wireless chargers are usually limited to five watts, which is about the same as you’d get in a dedicated wired phone charger. […]

Ralph Baer, Games Console Pioneer, 1922-2014

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Ralph Baer, the man who created the first home games console, has died aged 92. His Magnavox Odyssey came out three years before the better-known Atari Pong machine. Indeed, the Odyssey (pictured) was more like today’s consoles than Atari’s machine. Whereas Pong was a single-game device, the Odyssey allowed players to choose different games by […]

“Dead” Laptop Batteries Could Light Impoverished Homes

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IBM researchers say 70 percent of discarded laptop batteries could be used to power lighting in locations without reliable electricity supplies. They say it could make LED lighting far more affordable than with either solar panels or rechargable batteries. The researchers are based in Bangalore and recently carried out tests using UrJar. That’s a gadget […]

Google To Drop Text-Based CAPTCHA

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Google is to start replacing its CAPTCHA tests with a simple request for users to confirm they are not a robot. The company believes the new system will be easier for humans and harder for computers. Until now Google, and numerous sites that use its CAPTCHA service, have asked web users to type two words […]

“Gangnam Style” Breaks Youtube’s 32-Bit Barrier

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Psy’s Gangnam Style video has long been the most watched clip on YouTube. Now it’s forced a rethink of the site’s “hit counter.” The video recently passed the 2,147,483,647-view mark. Maths and computing geeks among us may already have spotted the significance of that, but for the rest of us, it’s all down to that […]

Breath Test Could Catch Drug-Drivers

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Washington State University staff are working on an equivalent to an alcohol breathalyzer to check whether people are driving while under the influence of cannabis. They say it will help innocent drivers as well as law enforcement officers. The test would be based on ion-mobility spectrometry, which uses an electric charge to force a material […]