Minibus Offers 3-For-1 On Tech Trends

olli

Think of some recent tech trends and you might name self-driving cars, 3D printing and artificial intelligence. All three have now been combined in an electric vehicle. Olli is a 12-seater self-driving minibus that’s partially operated by IBM Watson, the artificial intelligence system that famously beat two Jeopardy! champions and has since been used for […]

Cable Industry Holds Out On Set Top Box Changes

By Andrew Currie [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Cable operators say they are willing to compromise in the dispute over third-party cable boxes, but are holding out on letting customers make recordings on such boxes. The proposal comes after a meeting with the Federal Communications Commission, which recently threatened to introduce tighter regulation. The FCC says in principle cable companies should let customers […]

“First Law” Robot Acts Like A Prick

firstlaw

A robot that can “decide” to harm humans is the latest attempt to provoke debate about artificial intelligence. But it’s debatable whether there’s any intelligence involved. The “First Law” robot is the work of Alexander Reben, a designer at University of Berkely, California who “designs robots and novel interfaces to explore our evolving relationship with technology.” […]

Real “Deus Ex” Prosthetic Arms On The Way

hand2

Designs for prosthetic arms based on Deus Ex are to be released royalty-free for use on 3D printers. It follows a man receiving an arm based on Metal Gear Solid. While the MGS arm was a high-tech one-off sponsored by Konami and designed by an artist, the Deus Ex arms will be manufactured by the […]

GPS Fail Not Hacking, Lexus Says

Credit: @jrodriguez1203

The built in navigation systems in many Lexus vehicles have been hit by a “purple screen of death.” Despite some initial excitement, the problem appears to be a failed software update rather than hacking. While reports from owners are mixed, it appears the problem may affect all Lexi (to give the correct plural) from 2014 […]

Wireless Gadget Gets Pregnant Women A Train Seat

pink

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 […]

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

perijury

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 […]

Linus Torvalds: Learn All About The Man Behind Linux (and Git!)

linux

Linus Torvalds transformed technology twice — first with the Linux kernel, which helps power the Internet, and again with Git, the source code management system used by developers worldwide. In a rare interview with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Torvalds discusses with remarkable openness the personality traits that prompted his unique philosophy of work, engineering and […]

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 […]

Google Pressures Android Makers To Update Quicker

android

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

einkcolor

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 […]