Original Star Trek Gets Barbie Dolls

startrek-barbie

Mattel has released three Star Trek themed Barbie dolls to mark the show’s 50th anniversary. It’s the first time Barbies have come as original Star Trek series characters rather than merely Ken and Barbie dressed up. The dolls are based on Captain Kirk, Mr Spock and Lt Uhura from the original run, as portrayed by […]

Wireless Gadget Gets Pregnant Women A Train Seat

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South Korean train passengers no longer need risk the embarrassment of mistakenly implying a woman is pregnant. A pilot program uses wireless sensors to trigger a light when a pregnant woman approaches a seat. The ‘Pink Light’ program in Busan involves the women carrying a small beacon that runs for six months on a single […]

The Sims Drops Gender Boundaries

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The latest update for The Sims 4 has removed all gender boundaries that affect the appearance and behavior of a character. The makers say the changes are “to make sure players can create characters they can identify with or relate to.” According to Maxis, more than 700 content pieces that were once restricted to a […]

Google AI Makes Music

magenta

A Google artificial intelligence project has written a mediocre piano melody. It’s definitely a case of the process being more interesting than the product. The project, Magenta, is part of Google Brain which is the company’s machine learning department. Magenta is an attempt to advance machine learning beyond understanding content to creating art and music. […]

Periscope Users To Become Instant Moderators

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Periscope is to ask users to act as a “flash jury” to decide if comments are abusive. There’s no word on whether parent company Twitter will adopt the idea. The move is designed to deal with the problem of navigating the spectrum between clear-cut cases of abusive content, more debatable cases, and incidents where the […]

Tech Giants Crack Down On Illegal Hate Speech

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Four major tech firms have agreed to remove hate speech from social media and similar services within 24 hours of it being reported. The move, which comes in a European code of conduct, will only apply to content which breaks the law. That limitation means it could be a tricky subject deciding what material comes […]

US Nukes System Uses Floppy Disks

By Qurren (Qurren's file) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

A US government report has revealed that the Pentagon uses floppy disks as part of the communications network used for issuing nuclear strike commands. The revelation is part of an urgent call for the government to update its ageing technology. The disks in question aren’t the 3.5″ ones in a rigid case that many of […]

Facebook & Microsoft Get In The Sea

marea

Microsoft and Facebook are to build a 4,000 mile transatlantic cable to give themselves a leg-up on data transfers. It follows a similar move by Google. The cable will run from Bilbao on the northern coast of Spain to Virginia. Most such cables run via New York, but Facebook is one of several companies with […]

Google Pressures Android Makers To Update Quicker

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Google reportedly plans to draw public attention to manufacturers that take too long to roll out Android updates. It may publicly release an internal ranking of which companies lag behind. One of the big drawbacks of Android being an open system that can be modified and implemented in many ways (and on varying hardware) is the […]

Electronic Ink Gets More Colorful

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A major electronic ink company says its found a way to produce life-like color displays. The catch is that for now at least it’s more suited to signs than e-readers. The news comes from E Ink, the company that first commercialized electronic ink and created the screens for several early e-reader models including some Kindles. The […]

Juries Could Visit Virtual Crime Scene

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A British university says courts could one day use virtual reality to let jurors “visit” a crime scene. There’s no sign of the technology being adopted any time soon however. Dr Caroline Sturdy Colis will lead a project using chromakey (green screen) displays and VR headsets produced by Valve to recreate a scene. The idea would […]

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 […]