Posts Tagged ‘tech’
Robot Uprising update: It looks like Dyson are about to launch a robot hoover.
According to a new YouTube teaser, various Dyson types – or at least actors doing a splendid job – are seen looking at a mysterious unseen thing, which moves about a bit occasionally, but remains in the shadows.
Also, said thing appears to have Dyson’s location-analysis technology.
If you factor in Dyson’s investment in a new robotics vision lab at Imperial College in the London, it’s feasible that they collective mindset have come up with a dream clean machine.
They’ve teased the date September 4th as the big reveal, so that’s only a week’s worth of sleepless nights. Or it could be an elaborate trailer for the next Aphex Twin album.
You can never tell these days.
Apple have been intentionally coy of late, leaving everyone else to fill column inches about what they might do next. Is it going to be their smartwatch?
Or will it be the new, larger iPad (which one reader brilliantly referred to as ‘the maxiPad, which we’re stealing and claiming as our own).
Whatever it is, Apple have gone from coy to downright flirty, sending out an invitation to all, with the date on it (9th September 2014) and a ‘wish we could say more’ on it. Of course, they could totally say more. They don’t want to. They’re like those awful people who put a status on a social network that says “Oh, something amazing has happened! Can’t say too much right now #excited”.
So there it is. Apple have, at least, given a date for their devoted fans to excited about (they’re going to book the day off work so they can watch a speech on the internet and make plans to buy some sleeping bags and deck chairs so they can queue up for Whatever It Is for a whole week while being filmed by a tech blog).
Either way, we look forward to people arguing about Apple being overpriced against “Shut up! It’s a luxury purchase! You cheapskates wouldn’t understand!”
We’ll just remind the rest of you that a phone really doesn’t define you as a person (unless you’re making nuisance calls with it, because that absolutely defines you as a person).
So. Is it a phone, tablet or wearable technology?
According to reports, Apple are launching a new iPad in the first part of 2015 with a new 12.9 inch screen.
This iPad size follows the 7.9 inch and 9.7 inch.
But don’t leap off a cliff just yet, an updated version of the 9.7 inch iPad and the mini will be in the shops by Christmas, according to Bloomberg.
The iPhone is now expected to increase to 5.5 inch screens, which should be announced at an event on September 9th.
And iPhones only scraped 35.2 million sales, short of the market predictions of 36 million.
Let’s all cross our fingers and hope things work out for them at this difficult time.
A new survey asked, and the answer wasn’t anything to do with eyeball scrolling, indestructible glass or voice control. When it comes to having a phone you’re happy with, it seems all you want is something that won’t run out of battery anytime soon, is easy to use and can get a signal most of the time.
There are figures to look at as well. Despite all the whistles and bells of new smartphones, 29% of those asked said that an easy-to-use phone was most important, while a decent signal is the primary interest of 19%, with battery life hot on its heels.
A decent amount of memory/storage is something people should want, because there’s nothing as frustrating as when you download a couple of apps and your phone starts acting like it is having a massive seizure.
The most useful fancy-feature is fingerprint scanning technology, with 56% of people using it more than once a day. More than a fifth of those in the survey said they liked having and using a camera too.
“It’s becoming increasingly hard for smartphone makers to differentiate their handsets from those of their rivals. They hope that flash features like Fingerprint ID on the iPhone 5S, or Amazon’s Fire Phone and its ‘Dynamic Perspective’ display, will give their phones the edge,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com (who conducted the survey).
“However, our research shows that many Brits can spot a gimmick from a mile away. It’s actually the basics that affect the every day user experience – like long battery life and a robust design – that people really care about.”
So Google Glass isn’t going to take off with the general public, is it?
Behold – superfast broadband which is so fast it’s practically instantaneous!
Yes, a team from The Technical University of Denmark have managed to transfer 43 terabits per second through a single optical fibre. That’s the fastest broadband speed in the world.
It’s so fast that it will download a movie in 0.2 milliseconds – before you can even get it together to BLINK. In fact, it can download a thousand movies in the blink of an eye.
Go on, blink and imagine it. That’s fast, innit?
Nobody quite knows how they managed it, but hopefully it means that soon we can kiss goodbye to buffering and loading and waiting and waiting.
And because they’ve used a single fibre to make their network, it’s commercially viable. Whoo-hoo!
The government wants to make sure Apple’s products don’t contain tools to spy on state institutions.
The Russian proposal was made during a meeting between communications minister Nikolai Nikiforov and Apple’s general manager in Russia, Peter Engrob Nielsen.
Russia reckon it’s all perfectly cool and this move is to ensure the right of consumers and for state security interests.
Apple, unsurprisingly, aren’t too keen on the idea.
While it’s not unusual for non-profit and charitable organisations to offer up their source codes, as it lets other people in to help improve them. The majority tend to keep their codes confidential.
In a statement, Mr Nikiforov said Russian-ly: ”Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 and US intelligence services’ public statements about the strengthening of surveillance of Russia in 2014 have raised a serious question of trust in foreign software and hardware.”
“Obviously, companies which disclose the source code of their programmes are not hiding anything, but those who do not intend to establish cooperation with Russia on this issue may have undeclared capabilities in their products.”
That’s making Russia look all far out and liberal, eh readers? Especially with a “remains uncertain” when questioned about a company’s future if they failed to comply.
Mr Nikiforov has also asked for the source codes used by SAP, the world’s fourth-largest business software maker and Germany’s biggest tech company.
Oh, those Russians.
The business secretary is looking into the laws that ban them from the roads, and going to see if he can overturn it.
He also added that the government would make a £10million fund for developing the technology in the UK. Because it’s quite a priority for the cash-strapped Briton – rent, food, driverless car etc.
Speaking with his mouth, he said: “Today’s announcement will see driverless cars take to our streets in less than six months, putting us at the forefront of this transformational technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society.”
It is currently illegal for driverless cars to mooch around UK roads. There are those semi-autonomous affairs like the Volvo XC90, but they still require a human with a license, as opposed to say, a labrador.
The Department for Transport are also looking into updating the rules on road use, but aren’t offering an ETA of when they’ll get that finished. Hark at them.
The UK already has a few groups working on driverless car technology, with boffins at Oxford and engineering firm Mira.
Coo. Imagine being able to hail a driverless cab and programming it ahead to play Heart’s ‘Alone’ and Atlantic Starr’s ‘Always’ on it’s in-car stereo for major late night vibes.
So yeah. The future.
Nosee is a prototype sensor that is always on the look out for high pollen counts, wherever you happen to be.
It sends information about air quality and sneeze risk to an app, and if you can see it for all that mucus, you’ll know whether to stay indoors with a wet towel over your head.
Nosee is being developed by a digital design company in Birmingham called 383, and it uses a simple traffic light style system to warn you of an attack of the face squits.
It also asks you to tell it how you’re feeling: Sneezy, Itchy, Scratchy, Runny…(and all those others who failed the audition for the Seven Dwarves).
You can put Nosee outside, and it combines local air quality readings with pollen count data and weather forecasts from the Met Office, giving you more tailored and specific information about your personal pollen hell.
‘The daily pollen forecasts issued by the Met Office paint the country with broad strokes either of high, medium or low scores, but it’s often specific locations or pollen types that cause the most irritating effects,’ says a spokesman for 383.
But what actually is Nosee? Is it an app? Is it a hand-held pollen thermostat? Well, as it’s a prototype, at the moment it could be anything. They think a Snotwatch would be nice, but maybe it would be more useful to embed the sensor into a hanky?
The world is an awful, war torn place, full of dead children and Ebola, but sometimes, something comes along that restores your faith in humanity – like ICE CREAM THAT CHANGES COLOUR.
This Wonka-tastic invention is now a reality, thanks to science!
Crazy physicist, engineer and ice cream crackpot Manuel Linares has created this amazing chameleon-like dessert which he calls Xamaleon.
(Er, maybe get a more catchy name that kids could actually pronounce?).
Anyway, Manuel puts the colour changing ice cream – which apparently tastes like a mixture of different fruit flavours – down to the fun central tenets of chemistry: temperature and oxidization.
Oh, and also the use of a VERY inappropriate sounding spray called ‘Love Elixir’ which turns it pink. Then, when you eat it, the colour changes begin.
Manuel’s invention is patent pending, and probably needs a bit of rebranding before it hits the shops. At the moment, it sounds like something you might get in Ann Summers.
But even so, it sounds pretty amazing.
City of London Police are ruining your daily download of pirated content by putting up big buzzkilling banner ads all over them, saying ‘THIS WEBSITE HAS BEEN REPORTED TO THE POLICE – please close the browser page containing this website.’
If they suspect a website is being run illegally, they’ve posted the ads to stop piracy sites making any money out of advertising.
It’s part of a (terribly named) project called ‘Operation Creative, which aims to block ads from well-known companies appearing on dodgy sites, alongside illegal content and porn.
‘When adverts from well known brands appear on illegal websites, they lend them a look of legitimacy and inadvertently fool consumers into thinking the site is authentic,’ said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe from the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (Pipcu).
Operation Creative is using technology created by an equally terribly named private firm called Project Sunblock – which works on behalf of high street companies to have their ads removed from piracy sites, or porn sites called things like in-uranus.net.
It’s a strategy that might hit illegal sites hard – many of them rely on advertising to survive. But some critics have warned against over zealous blocking, amid fears that legal sites might die on their arse without advertising revenue.
Still, it’s better to be on the safe side. After all, you don’t want a back to school at BHS advert appearing on a hardcore bumming page, do you?
France have already fined Google £150,000 because they failed to co-operate with its laws on tracking and storing information, and it looks like Italy might be next to hit the company with a piffling fine that wouldn’t even make a dent in the average Google CEO’s lunch bill.
The Italian data protection Authority have told Google that they must ask its users for permission to use their personal information before they go spreading it around Facebook in the form of targeted ads about Fitflops and belly fat.
They also said they must honour customer requests to delete data within two months. Or else.
Google are co-operating so far, perhaps fearing reprisals from burly, well-connected Sardinian men called Beppe.
How about you stop selling our data to advertisers without our permission, Google? That would be logical ‘next step.’
As they say in Italy – VAFFANCULO.
Apple will dripfeed everyone with their new operating system, Yosemite, as of tomorrow.
OS X Yosemite was announced in May, and now it will be available as a public beta test, which will kick off around 1pm EST (which is around 6pm in the UK). If you want to test it out, then hit this link and sign up.
So what’s new? Well, Yosemite will use translucency throughout the system, so if you didn’t like the ‘flat’ colourful UI design of iOS 7, you’ll probably hate this.
There’s also a thing called ‘Handoff’, where Yosemite and iOS 8 will work easier with each other. If you start work on your iPad, it’ll be simpler to pick up where you left off on your Mac (and vice versa). You’ll be able to answer phonecalls from your iPhone with Yosemite too.
There’s improvements to iCloud and the Mail app too, and AirDrop will now work between iOS and Mac devices.
There’s a load of other new things going on as well, but we advise that, if you’re really interested in all that, you let Apple tell you all about it, here. The short version is that Apple want to hook your iPhone up with your other devices in a way that is much easier for the user.