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August 31, 2015

Swans help create smoother camera drone videos

The next time you see a graceful, dramatic video shot by a camera drone, you may have a swan to thank for the absence of any jittery footage. Stanford University researchers are developing camera suspension technology inspired by whooping swans, w...


Smoother movements help robots save a lot of energy

Eliminating the herky-jerky movements of robots isn't just good for comforting nervous humans... it helps the robots, too. Researchers have developed smooth movement algorithms that slow the acceleration and deceleration of robots, saving as much...


August 30, 2015

Netflix hopes you won't mind losing access to some big movies

Here's hoping that you weren't bent on watching The Hunger Games: Catching Fire or World War Z on Netflix -- if so, you don't have much time to do it. Netflix has confirmed that it won't renew its longstanding movie deal with Epix, which will lead...


Google's self-driving cars can't handle bicycle track stands

Ever performed a track stand, where you keep your bike upright at a stop without taking your feet off the pedals? If you have, you'll want to avoid trying that around Google's self-driving cars, at least for a while. One Austin-based cyclist report...


Europe doesn't properly recycle most of its electronic waste

You probably know that you should recycle your old tech when you're done with it, but getting other people to do the same? That's quite hard, apparently. The United Nations and INTERPOL have found that only 35 percent of the European Union's electr...


The next Apple TV is reportedly much more expensive

Do you recall the early days of the Apple TV, when you could expect to pay over $100 to put an Apple-powered media hub in your living room? They might come roaring back. Sources for 9to5Mac claim that the next Apple TV should cost between $149 to...


NSA wants encryption that fends off quantum computing hacks

The National Security Agency isn't just yearning for quantum computers that can break tough encryption -- it wants encryption that can protect against quantum computers, too. Officials have begun planning a transition to "quantum resistant" encryp...


The After Math: Spam kings, Microsoft milestones and a bionic penis

It's been a wild week, and not just for our stock portfolios. The internet's self-described "Spam King" admitted to posting more than 27 million ads on Facebook. Microsoft celebrated the 20th anniversary of Windows 95 by dredging up a promo video f...


Inhabitat's Week in Green: robot wars and edible batteries

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green. Tesla gets a lot of press -- but just how good are its vehicles? Well, Consumer Reports just awarded the...


LAPD's body cameras roll out Monday, but footage won't be public

Come Monday the Los Angeles Police Department begins its deployment of body cameras for officers. The initial rollout is limited -- only 860 of the proposed 7,000 cameras will hit the streets at first -- and the SWAT team won't get them until somet...


Amazon's Echo speaker plays music from multiple accounts

Amazon's Echo speaker has been fine for playing music and audiobooks so far... unless you live in a household with more than one Amazon user, at which point it just gets messy. That won't be a problem any longer, though: Amazon has added support fo...


Phone data can predict infectious disease outbreaks

A team of Princeton and Harvard researchers analyzed the phone call records of 15 million users in Kenya -- not to spy on people, but to study the spread of seasonal disease. The team wanted to see if the movement of phone users can predict outbrea...


'Mortal Kombat X' won't be coming to last-gen consoles after all

I hope you weren't counting on playing Mortal Kombat X on your trusty previous-generation console -- you're about to be disappointed. Warner Bros. has cancelled both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the bloody brawler, claiming that neit...


NASA simulates Mars mission by locking up people in a tiny dome

A group of six people bade the rest of the world farewell on Friday to begin their year-long stay in a cramped dome on Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano. The French astrobiologist, German physicist and American pilot, architect, doctor/journalist and soil...


BlackBerry's Android-powered Venice phone surfaces in the wild

BlackBerry's Android-based Venice smartphone isn't just a figment of someone's imagination... at least, if you believe Vietnamese resident Ba Minh Duc. He claims to have photos of the slider in action, complete with its hideaway QWERTY keyboard, 18...


August 29, 2015

Microsoft prevails over an 8-year-old attempt to block its phone sales

Remember the heady days of August 2007, when the iPhone had barely reached store shelves and the Nokia N95 was all the rage? The US International Trade Commission sure does. After reviewing an 8-year-long case, the ITC has ruled that Nokia's phon...


NASA chief: Congress needs to support commercial crew program

NASA recently paid Russia $490 million to continue ferrying its astronauts to the ISS, but Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden says "it doesn't have to be this way." In a piece/open letter the space agency's head honcho wrote for Wired, he explains how the Co...


Tidal claims Apple prevented it from streaming a Drake performance

It's no secret that Apple and Tidal are at each other's throats over music exclusives, but that fight might have reached a new peak. Tidal claims that Apple stopped it from streaming Drake's brief guest appearance at New Orleans' Lil Weezyana Fest...


The many (surprisingly realistic) hacks of 'Mr. Robot'

Most infosec pros agree that few Hollywood films or TV shows have gotten hacking as "right" as USA's Mr. Robot. The show's creator, Sam Esmail, told Engadget, "The hacker side of it actually was a combination of my frustration with the way hacker c...


3 lessons IBM's Watson can teach us about our brains' biases

What can artificial intelligence teach us about human intelligence? Quite a bit, it turns out. IBM's Watson had its crowning moment back in 2011 when the cognitive computing system famously destroyed its Jeopardy champion contenders, but lately Wat...


Big toys for the big kid in all of us

Some of the toys we played with as children have grown up along with us and now they pack adult-sized fun. Memorable designs have bubbled up into lifestyle products with smarts, but most offer what we always loved them for: an action-packed thrill....


Recommended Reading: Should we be concerned robots will take our jobs?

Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read. Robots Will Steal Our Job...


ICYMI: portable laser cannons, robotic tackling dummies, and fungus furniture

Today on In Case You Missed It, Boeing unveils a drone-destroying laser cannon the size of a travel trunk. Also up, North Korea shows us all how calisthenics are done, a guy makes an ottoman out of mushrooms, and Dartmouth College unleashed a rob...


The NSA can keep spying on phone call metadata through November

The National Security Agency can keep on keeping on with the bulk collection of phone call metadata for a bit longer, sadly. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia killed an injunction that would've ended the previously-rul...


Slack ties in with Windows 10's notification center

Communication / productivity tool Slack is starting to blend in with Windows 10 after its latest update. In version 1.2.0, notifications show up in the desktop OS' Action Center, and clicking them links directly to the appropriate conversation in t...


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