Google Ditches Modular Smartphone


Google has given up on its modular smartphone plans known as Project Ara. The news comes only a few months after it significantly scaled back plans for the devices. The original idea was that the phones would effectively be nothing more than a frame with every major component replaceable and upgradable in a process that […]

OpenOffice May Be Doomed


The people behind OpenOffice say the free software may need to be ditched. A lack of staff working on the project is making it increasingly difficult to be confident about maintaining security in the software. The news comes in an email from Dennis Hamilton, vice president of the Apache group that oversees the software. He […]

Jimmy is a Cheeky Little Robot by Disney Research [Videos]


Early test of Jimmy, a teleoperated robot based on hybrid hydrostatic transmissions, developed by researchers from Disney Research, the Catholic University of America, and Carnegie Mellon University. Video courtesy: Disney Research.

Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet Digitizes Ink Pen & Paper


If you like the idea of a stylus but prefer pen and paper, Lenovo’s latest tablet could be for you. The Yoga Book captures handwritten notes and drawings even through a paper notepad, though has some big limitations. Available in both Android and Windows 10 versions, the device folds out with a screen on one […]

Europe Gets Net Neutrality But With Some Catches


The European Union has published strict guidelines to enforce net neutrality. However, the rules do have exceptions that mean they fall short of a ‘pure’ interpretation of the principle. While the net neutrality debate in the US has been bogged down in arguments about legal authority in the rulemaking process, the EU had already agreed […]

‘Mars Visitors’ Return After Year-Long Mission


Six people have finished a year of isolation designed to replicate life on Mars. The crew have been inside a 36 by 20 foot dome near a Hawaiian volcano. It’s the third and longest such mission following previous experiments lasting four and eight months. While similar studies have concentrated on the long journey inside a […]

John Ellenby, Laptop Pioneer, Dies Aged 75

Astronaut John O. Creighton poses with onboard GRiD Compass computer, displaying a likeness of Mr. Spock of Star Trek, aboard Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-51-G on 18 June 1985.

The man whose company made the first widely-sold laptop has died aged 75. John Ellenby was credited with having a notable ability to turn technology into commercially viable products. Ellenby spent much of the 1970s at Xerox when it was working on the Alto range, generally regarded as the first to use a graphical user […]

Manbang: North Koreans Get Own Take On VOD & Streaming TV


North Korea’s government appears to have launched an internet Video on Demand service. It’s got limited content and an unfortunate name for English speakers. It seems the service was intended to have a name conveying that the content is available in “every direction” or “everywhere” but the Korean word for that meaning is pronounced “Manbang.” […]

New Program Tackles USB-C Power Fails


Avoiding USB chargers that might fry your motherboard could be easier with a new certification program. There’ll be a special logo to show chargers meet the required specifications. It affects Type-C connectors, introduced in 2014 with the killer feature of being symmetrical and ending the dreaded under-the-table plug flipping (along with the gag about USB’s […]

Pokemon Go Fan Makes Themed Mobile Charger


Pokemon Go can be a real battery drainer, which inspired fan Spencer Kern to create this Pokemon Center-themed solar generator. It looks a bit bulky for solo use but as it has enough power to charge around 10-12 phones at once, it’s perfect for hunting in a pack. Check out Spencer’s full design report at

Court Ruling May Limit Broadband Competition


Federal Communications Commission plans to boost competition for broadband services have taken a knock. An appeals court says the commission can’t override state laws that block cities from building their own networks. 19 states have some form of law that stop such building, in most cases with the logic that local government building and potentially […]

60TB Solid-State Drive On The Way


Seagate has produced a 60 terabyte solid-state drive, four times bigger than any current models. However, it won’t be appearing for a while and most certainly will not be a consumer unit. Unlike many such drives, the new model is a 3.5 inch format, making it much easier to use in data centers without needing […]