Amazon Ditches Cashiers & Checkouts In Automated Grocery Store

Amazon plans to build physical grocery stores with no cashiers and no checkouts. Customers at the  Amazon Go store will simply load up their bags and walk out the door. The first store, in Seattle, is already being used by Amazon staff as an experiment, with a public opening planned for early next year. Customers […]

Almost Every Fake Apple Charger Fails Basic Safety Check

Virtually every counterfeit Apple charger in a recent test posed a safety risk. The problem is not with reputable third-party chargers, but rather those falsely marketed as being produced by Apple themselves. The test was carried out by US safety research firm UL on behalf of a British consumer watchdog. It purchased a total of […]

Mini NES Classic Gets Wireless Controller

One of the biggest (if most authentic) problems with the NES Classic has been fixed with a new third-party gadget: a wireless controller and adapter. While the Classic captures the look and feel of the original NES console, the wired controller is on such a short cable that it can make it difficult to set […]

Internet Archive Gets Canadian Back-Up Thanks To Political Fears

The Internet Archive is to build a back-up copy in Canada. The site’s staff said it was a response to fears of greater online restrictions in the US following the election result. While the announcement did not specifically name president-elect Donald Trump, it said: On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration […]

Social Media Comes To Autistic Boy’s Rescue

An effort by thousands of social media users to help an autistic boy has paid off. 14-year-old Ben Carter is described by his father Marc as having “severe autism, he’s non-verbal and has very limited understanding.” Since he was two, Ben has drunk exclusively from a two-handed toddler cup and refused any other vessel, to […]

Wireless-Free Town’s Radio Silence Could End

America’s least communicative town could lose its status as the National Science Foundation considers mothballing a space observatory that currently means wireless signals are largely banned. Because Green Bank in West Virginia is so near to the observatory (and a naval radio station), where instruments must be kept free of interference, it’s the main residential […]

Google Translate Solves Own Problem

Google’s translate tool has created its own solution to greatly expand its automated capabilities. It can now translate between two languages even without a specific “dictionary” to do so. The company recently switched Google Translate away from its “traditional” method of consulting a known list of phrases and their equivalent in different languages. Instead it’s […]

Bletchley Park To Become Codebreaking College

Second World War codebreaking hub Bletchley Park could become a specialist codebreaking college for teams aged 16 to 19. The aim is to educate and recruit cybersecurity workers. As we’ve covered several times, the UK facility helped crack several key German encryption codes, giving Allied forces better intelligence and, by most estimates, shortening the duration […]

Safety Chiefs Propose New Smartphone ‘Driver Mode’

The US government wants smartphone manufacturers to adopt a common ‘driver mode’ that would stop the most distractive apps from running. The voluntary guidelines would be a one-stop mode along the lines of the common airplane mode on phones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is making the proposals for handsets as a follow-up to […]

Most People Still Not Online

The day when most people in the world are online is not far off according to the UN. And it’s cost rather than logistics that is the main barrier for nearly all the rest. The UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) estimates that 47.1 percent of the world’s population now uses the Internet and that could […]

Virtual Reality Film Aims To Deter Drunk Drivers [360° Video]

An alcoholic drinks company has produced a virtual reality video that lets users experience a car crash from a 360 degree perspective. It’s designed to highlight the dangers of drunk driving. The video from Diageo is compatible with most of the major VR headsets on the market. It also works on the Facebook and YouTube […]

Tesla’s Cheap Solar Roof Plans: Tiles, Not Panels

Elon Musk claims Tesla can make solar-panel roofs cheaper than an ordinary shingle roof, even before taking into effect the energy costs. But there’s a big catch to his claim. The company recently unveiled a design for glass solar tiles that are transparent when viewed directly, but have a special coating that, when seen from […]