Google Scales Back Modular Phone Ambitions

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Google says its modular smartphone Project Ara won’t be quite as modular as planned. Several key components will be non-replaceable, including the screen and memory. The original plan for Ara — or at least the concept Google initially explored — was that literally every part of the handset could be replaced, Lego style. Google has […]

Online Banking Tech Firm’s Truly Shocking Idea

pavlok

Going into your overdraft could get you an electric shock if one company’s idea takes off. It could also mean coming home to a colder house. Both are suggested uses for a new banking technology platform, though there’s no sign yet of any banks implementing the idea. The suggestion comes from Intelligent Environments, a specialist […]

Metal Gear Solid Bionic Arm Becomes Reality

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An amputee has been given a Metal Gear Solid-style bionic arm. Among other gadgets it includes a USB charger and a launchable drone. James Young, who lost a leg and an arm in a train accident, got the new limb after beating more than 60 applicants who replied to an ad by Konami, which is […]

Optical Memory Could Be Viable For Smartphones

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IBM has found a better way of using an optical memory format with several advantages over conventional formats. It’s worked out how to store 3-bits of data per cell in phase change memory. The format works in a similar way to Blu-Ray discs, namely by manipulating glass. Passing a high current through the glass can […]

Random Number Generation Takes Step Forward

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Two computer scientists have won an award for a paper describing how to make random number generation more efficient. The solution is simple to describe — combining two weakly random factors to make one strong one — but has been described as a masterpiece by those in the field. David Zuckerman and Eshan Chattopadhyay will […]

Blizzard To Permanently Ban Overwatch Cheaters

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Blizzard has announced a zero tolerance policy for cheaters on its forthcoming team shooter game Overwatch. The company says there’ll be a permanent ban for anyone “found to be cheating—or using hacks, bots, or third-party software that provides any sort of unfair advantage.” There’s no word of any refund for a player banned in this […]

Russian Embassy Attracts Gamer Guffaws

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There’s not usually much to laugh at with chemical weapons, but the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom raised a few smiles with an unlikely illustration. In a tweet yesterday, which tagged in Russia’s ministry of defense, the embassy reported that “Extremists near Aleppo received several truckloads of chemical ammo.” It then used the picture […]

Hyperloop Propulsion Gets Public Demo

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One of the companies working on Hyperloop technology has carried out a public test of one element of the high-speed transport. The test was carried out by Hyperloop One, the new name for the company formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies. It’s one of three companies working on the technology that has been highly publicized by […]

Google Wants Emoji To Inspire Female Careers

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Google has proposed 13 new emoji characters to show both women and men in professional roles. It says the aim is “highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere.” A recent update to Unicode, the standardized system for computerized characters including emoji, allowed for an easier way for customizing existing emojis of humans […]

Siri Creator Unveils ‘Siri-Killer’

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One of the men who created Siri says he’s created a voice controlled artificial intelligence tool that’s smarter and more adaptive than the likes of Siri, Google Now and Amazon Alexa. According to Dag Kittlaus, the new virtual assistant system named Viv has several key advantages: It’s better able to parse complex natural language requests. […]

Six New Entries In Video Game Hall Of Fame

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Space Invaders is among six titles in the second class of inductions for the World Video Game Hall of Fame. It joins Grand Theft Auto III, Oregon Trail, Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog and the Sims. The hall already includes Doom, Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros, Tetris and World of Warcraft, all inducted last […]

Quantum Processor Open For Public Use

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IBM is to let the public use one of its quantum processors. It’s a move designed to raise awareness as much as to be an immediate benefit. The concept of quantum computing recently got mainstream coverage after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a concise explanation during a news conference: A regular computer bit is […]