Robotic Hand Treats Fruit Gently

An online grocery firm is testing a robotic hand that picks up fruit and vegetables without bruising or squashing them. The next step is for the hand to be able to detect the fruit’s ripeness. British-based Ocado is working alongside five universities and Disney on a project called SOMA, short for soft manipulation. Among its […]

Netflix Downloads Can Go To SD Cards

Netflix downloads on Android can now be stored on SD cards. There’ll be a couple of big restrictions however. Downloading from the Netflix app launched last month but was originally restricted to the device’s on-board storage. While that wasn’t much of a problem for iOS gadgets, it was bad news for those Android owners who […]

New Chromebooks To Run Android Apps

Google says every Chromebook released from now on will run Android apps. Whether that boosts sales depends on why people weren’t buying Chromebooks. At the moment, only three Chromebooks support Android apps. However, Google has not only announced Android support for all new models, but also that 60 existing models will be updated with the […]

Samsung Unveils Note 7 Investigation Results

Samsung has conceded that its attempts to push the Note 7’s performance to its limit was a factor in a string of overheating problems that led to the device being recalled. But it says both sets of batteries used in the device were fundamentally flawed. The company has also detailed the expanded testing program it […]

Verizon To Have Words With Note 7 Holdouts

Galaxy Note 7 owners on Verizon are in for a surprise if they continue to use the recalled handset. Outgoing voice calls will redirect to Verizon staff who’ll demand the phone be sent back. As of last month, 93 percent of Note 7’s had been returned to Samsung following the safety recall related to fire […]

Who Dies: You Decide in Self-Driving Car Survey

MIT researchers want you to decide how self-driving cars should make moral decisions. It’s a modern – and potentially real – twist on a classic hypothetical ethics problem. The trolley problem, in its most simplest form, asks you to imagine you are driving a train and find you are about to hit five people who […]

Phone Battery Design Could Put Out Fires

Stanford researchers have developed a rechargeable battery with a built-in fire extinguisher. It’s not a new concept, but this looks to be the first time it would work without affecting battery performance. As with previous efforts, the researchers used triphenyl phosphate, a flame retardant. When exposed to heat, it forms phosphoric acid and in turn […]

Uber To Share Traffic Data With City Planners

Uber is to publish trip data to help city authorities get more insight into road congestion. It’s an attempt to navigate the tricky balance between privacy and usefulness. The data will appear on a new site dubbed Movement that will initially be accessible only by city authorities and researchers but will “soon” be publicly available. […]

Eye in the Sky: Unmanned Aircraft Start Trials

Taranis BAE Systems

Until now, unmanned aircraft technologies have been limited to drones and other similar small devices, but that might be changing soon. The first unmanned aircraft trials have begun to determine their viability and how to incorporate these unmanned planes into UK airspace. Are the engineers at BAE Systems close to creating the Tesla autopilot of […]

TV Screen Tech Still Popular At CES

The Consumer Electronic Show may be all about the home appliances this year, but there were still plenty of TV and other screens on displays. The basic display technology hasn’t changed much since last year’s show, with manufacturers yet to start telling us that, actually, 4K, OLED and High Dynamic Range are all unwatchable rubbish […]

Carpooling Algorithm Has Real World Challenges

Algorithm-controlled carpooling rather than individual taxi rides could cut the number of vehicles on city roads by 75 percent according to MIT researchers. But it seems to be a classic disconnect between the logical solution and the real world. The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory crunched the numbers from data about three million taxi […]

Leap Second Puts Some Sites ‘Offline’

The addition of an extra second to 2016 didn’t cause too much tech chaos, but did lead to some websites being difficult to reach for about 90 minutes. A leap second is an additional second added at the end of a month to compensate for the fact that the Earth’s rotation is slowing down very […]