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

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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

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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

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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 https://sway.com/0X9XmCzNLfe3cUiW

Court Ruling May Limit Broadband Competition

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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

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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 […]

Ancient Wonder Recreated By 3D Printer

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One of the seven wonders of the world has been recreated with a 3D printer. But the new version of the Statue of Zeus is only around an eighth the size of the original. The Millennium Gate Museum in Atlanta commissioned the new statue to tie in with an upcoming exhibition on the Olympic Games […]

Watch 1,007 Robots as They Dance Simultaneously (Guinness World Record)

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At the Qingdao Beer Festival in Shandong, China, 1,007 robots bopped and shimmied their way to a new world record for the Most robots dancing simultaneously. All of these robots were controlled by a single mobile device that used a special encryption technology to communicate with the robots, preventing outside interference from other gadgets in […]

Wheelchair Becomes Off-Road Vehicle [Video]

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This is the amazing Ripchair 3.0, an all terrain vehicle that can house almost any wheelchair to allow access to even the most rugged outdoor activities. It’s powered by a 27 horse power engine to avoid the need to run down the wheelchair’s own battery (or tire the users arms.)

Learning Tool Automates Colorization

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The Algorithmia site, which has a series of machine learning tools, now has a demo for colorizing black and white images. It’s very much a work in progress and does tend towards the sepia with less sharp images, but it will be interesting to see if it does indeed improve over time. (While the site […]

Robot Tattoo Artist Is Terrifying [Video]

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Some engineers like to explore what’s possible rather than what’s necessary or desirable. That seems to be the case with Autodesk’s automated tattoo artist robot. The actual tattooing part is relatively simple: the real challenge is accurately scanning the three-dimensional bodypart so it can ink the image on a curved surface. World’s First Tattoo by Industrial Robot […]

How Text Messaging Really Works [Video]

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Even if you’re familiar with all the technology involved in sending text messages to and from cellphones, this video from AsapSCIENCE is a great overview of something many of us take for granted.