Monday, February 8, 2016

IT News Head Lines (Engadget) 09/02/2016





Vallie offers to charge your EV before parking it in London
After a small test in the heart of London, Vallie has started to expand its on-demand valet parking service. At least a little bit, anyway. The app now covers a slightly larger patch of the city, stretching as far as King's Cross St. Pancras station...

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World's fastest mobility scooter hits record 107.6 mph
It must've been a slow week at an Isle of Man bodyshop when mechanics David Anderson and Mathew Hine decided to "tweak" a mobility scooter for a bit more speed. The garden-variety Days Strider model was designed to go 8 mph, so naturally the pair add...

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The UK wants Google to test its self-driving cars in London
Google's self-driving cars have already racked up more than a million miles, however all of them have taken place in the US. What about other parts of the world, such as those where people drive on the left? According to Sky News, some London officia...

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Watch 540 dancing robots celebrate Chinese New Year
Ten robot cheerleaders isn't enough when it comes to celebrating Chinese New Year. To kick off the year of the monkey, Chinese broadcaster CCTV's TV special included 540 dancing robots, with a fleet of drones to top it all off with a layer of glitter...

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Experiment to determine why astronauts feel weak back on Earth
Astronauts don't have it easy when they come home, and it's not just because of the change in gravity: their red blood cell production drops while they're in space, leaving them weakened on Earth. But why? That's what a Canadian experiment aboard the...

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Super Bowl 50: the ads, not the football
You've probably seen plenty of this year's Super Bowl ads already, especially as YouTube offered many companies the option to get their videos out in advance, hopefully ensuring more views during the barrage of The Big Game itself. So, we've already...

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Facebook Messenger has a hidden chess game
It's no secret that you can use Facebook Messenger for a whole lot more than just chatting with pals, but there's still a surprise or two in store. Social networkers have discovered that Messenger has a hidden chess game (quietly available for a lea...

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Chip promises brain-like AI in your mobile devices
There's one big, glaring reason why you don't see neural networks in mobile devices right now: power. Many of these brain-like artificial intelligence systems depend on large, many-core graphics processors to work, which just isn't practical for a d...

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Smallest-ever optical switch revolves around one atom
We've seen some ridiculously tiny electronics in our day, but this might take the cake. Swiss researchers have built an optical networking switch so small that it's measured on the atomic scale -- in fact, it's smaller than the wavelength of light i...

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'Titanfall 2' will have a real single-player campaign
Respawn hasn't said much about its Titanfall sequel beyond plans for multi-platform support, but some details are starting to trickle out... and they'll be good news for fans of the robot-slash-infantry shooter. In a chat with Forbes, head writer Je...

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Scientists decode the bedbug's genes to help kill it
Just the very thought of bedbugs probably makes your skin crawl, and that's made all the worse by their ability to adapt to new threats. Like it or not, that pesticide you used years ago probably doesn't work any more. What to do? Genetics might j...

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Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact arrive in the US
As promised, Sony has brought its latest and greatest smartphones to the US. Both the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are now on sale in unlocked form through Amazon, Best Buy, B&H and other shops at respective prices of $599 and $499. Both pac...

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Google is reportedly releasing a VR headset this year
There were hints that Google was interested in making virtual reality hardware, and now some of the first details of that gear seem to be trickling out. Financial Times sources claim that Google's first true VR headset is effectively a more open riv...

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Smart cube lamp shows emoji and sets the mood
LED cube lamps have been around for a while, but they tend to either be make-it-yourself affairs or limited in what they can do. However, Spin-R might finally bring that lighting tech to your living room. It's crowdfunding Tittle (yes, we know), a...

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Ben Heck's Raspberry Pi Bitscope mod




If you need to troubleshoot or design electronic hardware, an oscilloscope is a useful bit of kit. This week Ben and Felix put together a Raspberry Pi-based Bitscope Micro Oscilloscope with a 7-inch touchscreen. Using Autodesk Fusion 360 to desig...

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The After Math: The rule of three
There's an old rule in comedy writing called the rule of three (no, not "threeves") which dictates that things in sets of three "are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective." What is true for comedy, turns out, is also true for technol...

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Inhabitat's Week in Green: VW's microbus concept, and more!
Volkswagen is still reeling from the Dieselgate emissions scandal, but it's trying to turn over a new leaf. So far the automaker has announced plans to launch 20 electric vehicles by the year 2020, and this week we learned that the BUDD-e electric mi...

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The new 'Ghostbusters' is getting its own LEGO set
The Ghostbusters reboot might be a geek's dream in more ways than one. LEGO has offered a peek at a new Ghostbusters set that recreates all the main characters and their gear in glorious detail, including the signature ECTO-1 car and an ECTO-2 motorb...

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Samsung Gear VR users can mingle on AltspaceVR
Samsung Gear VR users can start making friends in a virtual reality world now that AltspaceVR has released its app for the headset to the public. In fact, they can mix and mingle not only with other Gear VR users, but also with people who use the HTC...

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Here's the view from Blue Origin's rocket as it lands
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin proved that its New Shepard rocket is indeed reusable by launching and landing it successfully a second time in January. While you've likely seen a footage or two of the suborbital trip, this one offers something more unique:...

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Hangouts gives you better call quality by skipping Google
If you don't think Hangouts calls on your phone are passing muster, don't worry -- relief might be in sight. The latest version of Hangouts for Android is telling users that it'll boost audio and video quality on future calls by making peer-to-peer...

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Yesteryear's malware was gorgeous in its simplicity
The Internet Archive is apparently devoted to preserving all parts of the web's history and that even extends to malware and viruses from the MS DOS era. The good news is that you can peruse a pretty sizable collection in the Malware Museum now witho...

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NFL welcomes startup ideas for the future of football
Tomorrow, the biggest event in football will take place in Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. But today, a group of technology entrepeneurs gathered in an auditorium at Stanford's Graduate School of Business to be involved in football's futur...

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Twitter says your timeline isn't changing (update: details)
Were you panicking at the thought of Twitter messing with your timeline order? Were you declaring #RIPTwitter and getting ready to move to Peach? Relax. Twitter chief Jack Dorsey has piped up to say that there's no truth to the rumors of a Facebook-l...

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6 gadgets that clean the world's oceans
By Cat DiStasio

In grade school, most children learn about the fragility of our ocean ecosystems. Despite this, the world's vast waters have become a de facto dumping ground for toxic chemicals, agricultural runoff and plastic trash. With ocean poll...

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