“Hobbit” House Wins Reprieve

A couple who hand-built a Hobbit-style house have won a legal battle to avoid it being demolished. They successfully argued it met guidelines that promote sustainable building. Charlie Hague build the house by hand on his father’s land in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It cost the equivalent of US$23,000 to build, using entirely natural materials from the […]

‘Awareness’ The Next Step For Wi-Fi

A new technology standard could make it easier for wireless devices to sync with one another, even if neither has an Internet connection. The standard comes from the Wi-Fi Alliance, the international organization that test wireless equipment not just for radio and data interoperability but also security. The group already has a standard called Wi-Fi […]

R.I.P. Satoru Iwata, President and CEO of Nintendo: 1959-2015

Satoru Iwata, the president and CEO of Nintendo, has died aged 55. Iwata had run the company since 2002. After graduating in computer science, Iwata began working as a programmer at HAL and help develop games including Super Smash Bros and the Pokemon series. He joined Microsoft as an executive in 2000 before becoming the […]

The Brainnet Organic Computer Combines Two Brains to Complete a Task

Duke University researchers have wired together two sets of brains to create networks: one made up of monkeys and the other of rats. It’s a practical step towards a theoretical goal of helping stroke victims. The project was led by Miguel Nicolelis, who previously worked on a project resulting in a paraplegic man using a […]

Man Recreates Up’s Balloon Flight For Real

A man who flew in a lawn chair attached to 120 helium balloons has spoken about the experience. Daniel Boria says he reached 2,000 feet before using a parachute in what was an effective publicity stunt. Boria originally planned to promote his cleaning company by skydiving into the middle of a chuckwagon race at the […]

Amazon Offers Customizable 3D Printed Video Game Figures

While there’s no shortage of video game-themed action figures to collect, you’re normally stuck with the manufacturer’s design and pose. Amazon hopes to change that with a range of customizable figures using 3D printing. The service involves tie-ups with 3D printing company Sandboxr and the makers of Infinity Blade, Primal Carnage and Smite. After choosing […]

A Million Kids To Get Free Tiny-PC

A million British schoolchildren are to get a free computer in an attempt to boost programming skills. The machine, made by the BBC, is a tiny PC along the lines of a Raspberry Pi and is a mere 4cm by 5cm. The idea of the Micro Bit is to be even simpler to use than […]

Selfie Security: Mastercard May Make Your Face A PIN Alternative

MasterCard is to test facial recognition as a payment authorization tool on smartphones. That’s prompted questions over the security of the way it will handle the data. The idea is to replace the need to type in a PIN code when making a purchase. While MasterCard hasn’t confirmed this, it’s likely the tool will work […]

Reddit Hit By Widespread Protest

Reddit’s comparatively open nature has come back to bite it with a protest over the firing of a leading employee. Victoria Taylor was a key figure in the popular “Ask Me Anything” sessions on the site. Taylor, who used the name “chooter” on the site, was in charge of recruiting and verifying participants, both celebrities […]

Super Non-Stick Mayo Bottles Could Cut Wastage

A Norwegian company wants to help you get every drop of mayo out of the bottle. It’s licensing a non-stick coating from a US company that already works with glue manufacturers. The US firm, LiquiGlide, says it can coat the inside of food containers in a totally safe way. It customizes its coating manufacture process […]

Text Messaging Pioneer Dies

The “father” of SMS (short message service) text messaging has died aged 63. Matti Makkonen came up with the idea in 1984, though it was eight years before the message was first sent. Makkonen had downplayed his status in text messaging’s development, noting that while he came up with the idea — first discussing it […]

Tactical Throwable Camera Ball Could Aid Surveillance

A new gadget aims to give police and emergency workers the benefits of a drone or robot camera in a simpler and cheaper form: a high-tech throwable ball. The device, named Explorer, is classed by makers Bounce Imaging as a “tactical throwable camera.” It looks like a rubber softball, but has six recesses each housing […]