At Google I/O 2016, one point stood out more than any other: Virtually all the features and news discussed at the event were applicable for every platform but desktop. We saw Android developments, wearable updates, virtual reality and even a product announcement for a new device class, all of which are changing how marketers should approach content as we move into the second half of 2016. Continue reading 5 marketing takeaways from Google I/O 2016
Child care is a hard job, but somebody, or something, has got to do it.
Japanese researchers have developed androids to meet that need, which includes happily reading that fairy tale again and again and again.
The androids, which were created by a team of education and robotics specialists at a research facility in Abiko, Chiba Prefecture, are part of a larger system called RoHo Care. Short for Robotic Hoikujo (day care center), RoHo is being touted as a high-tech solution to the staffing crisis that forced the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to announce emergency measures this week.
“I never thought I’d see this day, but we’re now confident that RoHo could blaze a trail for child care worldwide,” said team leader Makoto Hara.
Continue reading Robotics makes baby steps toward solving Japan’s child care shortage
Microsoft has asked a federal judge permission to serve Comcast with a subpoena to identify alleged software pirates who have activated thousands of copies of Windows 7 and Office 2013 using stolen or abused codes, according to court filings.
“For an unknown period of time — but for at least the past three years — the Infringing IP Address has been used to activate thousands of Microsoft product keys,” Microsoft said in a March 4 motion to a Seattle federal court.
Those keys had been stolen from the company’s supply chain, used more times than legal, were actually keys assigned to someone else or were activated outside the geographic region they were intended for.
Continue reading Microsoft goes after pirates who allegedly activated ‘thousands of copies’ of Windows, Office
Temeña, a San Francisco support technician, had gotten separated from her family and realized she had no way to find anyone. Instead of riding roller coasters, she wandered around searching for the group — eventually locating them four hours later watching fireworks.“It sucked really bad,” Temeña said. “I wanted to throw my phone on the ground by the end of the day.”Many consumers can relate. Despite the leaps forward in mobile phone technology with crisp, clear screens and faster chips, batteries have made only sluggish progress. That has propelled a desire for longer battery life to the top of the list of factors considered by consumers when they purchase smartphones, according to a 2014 survey by the research firm IDC.So why is battery technology still underwhelming? Plenty of companies have been developing smarter battery technology for years, including methods to increase battery capacity tenfold or charge devices by pulling energy from the air. But lithium ion, the technology that most mainstream batteries are based on, is low cost and easily reproducible while being safe — so we’ll be stuck with it for the foreseeable future, said Charlie Quong, an executive at Mophie, a battery accessory maker, in an interview.“There’s a lot of investments on all fronts for improving the technology above and beyond that, but I don’t think we’re going to see that hitting any kind of mass market for several years out,” Quong said. In general, lithium ion improves about 10% a year in terms of the amount of energy that can be stored in a given space, which is partly why consumers perceive batteries as being far behind other technologies.With that backdrop in mind, here are seven biggest battery-saving myths.
Scientists believe they may have taken the first steps towards making Matrix-style ‘instant learning’ a reality.
A team of researchers from HRL Laboratories in California conducted experiments in which they studied the brain signals of trained pilots and attempted to ‘transplant’ them into the brains of beginners who were using a flight simulator.
The technique is similar to that seen in 1999’s The Matrix, in which the protagonist, Neo, learns Kung Fu in a matter of seconds after the knowledge is uploaded directly into his brain.
Continue reading Matrix-style instant learning may become a reality soon
How do we stop humans putting so much faith in technology?
When it comes robots, humans can be a little too trusting. In a series of experiments at Georgia Tech that simulated a building fire, people ignored the emergency exits and followed instructions from a robot — even though they’d been told it might be faulty.
The study involved a group of 42 volunteers who were asked to follow a “guidance robot” through an office to a conference room.They weren’t told the true nature of the test.
Continue reading People trusted this robot in an emergency, even when it led them astray
Want a self-driving truck to deliver your package or pizza?
Google is working on advancing its Google Glass technology, while also working on the concept of a driverless delivery truck.
Google, which holds a myriad of patents, was recently granted two U.S. patents, one for a more rugged and flexible version of its computerized eyewear, and another for an autonomous delivery truck.
The company received a patent for a hinged display device for its Google Glass smart eyeglasses on Feb. 9.
The hinged device would enable the display screen, which sits slightly over and above the user’s right eye, to be flipped up and out of the way. The display also is being built to be more rugged.
Continue reading Google gets patents for advanced Glass and a driverless delivery truck
New findings from a study by Drexel and Arizona State show a Taser shock can produce serious short-term impairment in a person’s ability to remember and process information. Some participants — otherwise healthy, active college students — showed cognitive declines comparable with dementia. This first-of-its-kind study is the first time the Taser has been submitted to a major randomized clinical trial that wasn’t an in-house venture, and its findings raise serious questions about the ability of tased subjects to understand their rights at the point of arrest.
The Drexel/ASU researchers found that receiving a shock from a Taser reliably produced a decrease in cognitive function from the just-above-average level of a fit, active college student to the average level of a 79-year-old adult. “The findings of this study have considerable implications for how the police administer Miranda warnings,” said Robert Kane, professor and director of the Criminology and Justice Studies Department at Drexel, and one of the study’s principal investigators. “We felt we had moral imperative to fully understand the Tasers’ potential impact on decision-making faculties in order to protect individuals’ due process rights.”
Continue reading Don’t tase me, bro: Study shows being shocked by a Taser disrupts brain function
Spare a thought for Chris Hill-Scott.
The civil servant, now 29, founded a startup called SwiftKey in 2008 with two friends, Jon Reynolds, 30, and Ben Medlock, 26, that just sold to Microsoft for £174 million.
But Hill-Scott won’t see a penny because two months after the company was founded he sold all his shares – for a bike.
Continue reading SwiftKey founder ‘sold his share of £170 million Microsoft app for a bike’
Many users of Windows 7 and 8.1 will start seeing a more aggressive push to upgrade to Windows 10 in the coming days, as Microsoft starts to roll the new operating system out as a recommended update which will automatically download.
Microsoft said the rollout of Windows 10 as a recommended update will happen in phases starting Monday. Users who have their computers set to automatically download and install recommended updates will start to see an installer for the new operating system pop up prompting them to upgrade their computer.
Continue reading Microsoft starts recommended update roll-out for Windows 10