Posts Tagged ‘tech’
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.
Smartwatch watchers, your hunch was correct. Apple have indeed been busy designing a smartwatch and were awarded a patent for a wrist-worn device with a touchscreen that can communicate with a smartphone.
The patent was submitted in 2011, but Apple’s secretive design manoeuvres mean that it wasn’t officially disclosed until yesterday.
On some of the documents, the device is called ‘iTime’ but as the name hasn’t been trademarked, it’s possible that idea has been ditched somewhere along the line.
The patent is for a device that can work either clipped into a wristband, or on its own.
But when connected to the wristband it turns into a smartwatch which includes ‘haptic sensors’ that mean you can control it with hand gestures (you probably know a number of ‘hand gestures’ you’d like to do at smartwatch wearers).
When will the watch finally appear? Who knows? But Apple say in the patent that there are: ‘continuing needs to make portable electronic devices smaller and more portable. There is also a continuing need to enhance functionalities of portable electronic devices.’
GET ON WITH IT THEN.
Customers trying to make payments and do their banking both online and via their mobiles over the weekend were thwarted by error messages and frustration.
They took to Twitter on Sunday night with pitchforks and voiced their annoyance at the glitches, which took place between midnight and 7.30am this morning.
Nationwide said they were very sorry, but regular website maintenance had taken longer than expected.
‘Unfortunately our overnight planned maintenance has overrun and affected customers accessing our online bank and mobile banking app.’ Said a spokesperson. ‘We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers. The online bank and mobile banking app are now up and running.’
Perhaps the real reason that customers are so annoyed is that it’s a fairly regular occurrence with Nationwide. It ain’t the first time – and chances are it’s not going to be the last…
Of course, this won’t be news to some people, but they’re exactly the kind of people who found this out, learned how to fix everything themselves, and then kept the whole thing under their hat and moaned about sheeple on their Twitter accounts.
For those that didn’t know, there’s a chance you’re being ripped off.
The folks at Which!!! placed basic software faults on a number of devices that should have cost £50 or less to fix, but found that most retailers were willing to charge over £100.
Nine Windows laptops and 15 MacBooks were used to see if Apple, the Carphone Warehouse, Currys & PC World and some independent stores were pulling a fast one.
According to Which!!!’s findings, Currys & PC World only managed to fix one of six laptops correctly and charged £154 for it. One job cost £169.99 to fix and had the wrong operating system installed, with the customer being told that they needed to buy a new hard drive that they did not need.
The Carphone Warehouse performed better than the rest, asking for £50, £20 and £24.99 for the repair of three Windows laptops. That said, they also advised one customer that they needed to buy a £40 hard drive they didn’t need and another laptop had all data unnecessarily wiped while a new OS was being installed.
The independent shops were just as bad, with one charging £200 for data recovery.
Apple meanwhile, didn’t charge anything to repair four of six MacBooks, but didn’t bother with two others because they were older models.
“It’s shocking that major high street retailers are failing consumers when faced with such basic repair issues and are charging people through the nose in the process,” Which!!! editor Richard Headland said. ”We want to see improved staff training and repair procedures, as well as fair and consistent pricing so people can be confident in the services they receive.”
Well, Google’s smart contact lenses is turning into a reality after they announced that they’ve teamed up with Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis to develop special Google Contact Lenses.
The lenses were unveiled as a thing earlier in the year and utilise sensors sandwiched between two soft layers to measure the glucose levels in the wearer’s tears, which then transmits information wirelessly to your smartphones.
You see, these lenses are designed for people with diabetes, rather than being the next-gen Google Glass, where you can watch dirty films, unbeknownst to everyone sat next to you in church. It is hoped that this tech will help diabetics by removing the need to keep taking blood tests all the time.
Novartis reckon that it won’t just be diabetics who will benefit – these contacts could be used to help those suffering from loss of vision as they get old. They could also be developed into “intraocular lenses”, which are contacts that are put in your eyeball forever and ever, so that you have working eyes.
We await the Daily Mail worrying about Google flashing adverts into intraocular lens wearers.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said: “Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people. We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.”
And there just happens to be LOADS of money in medicine.