Author Archives: Brittany Hillen


Ruling highlights the obvious: don’t shoot drones

Ruling highlights the obvious: don’t shoot drones

Drones -- and by drones, we mostly mean RC copters of various sorts -- are more common than ever, and the public is still learning how to use them; not just according to the law, but also according to social standards. Common decency says not to fly a quadcopter over a neighbor's property, for example, and to not use it for spying purposes. Unfortunately some people consider such devices' very existence troubling, and go to extreme measures to eliminate them.

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Facebook eyeing next billion users with upcoming Africa office

Facebook eyeing next billion users with upcoming Africa office

Facebook is eyeing the future and as such will be launching its first office in Africa, it has been announced. The office will be in a Johannesburg suburb and will be run by Nunu Ntshingila. So far Facebook has about 120 million users in Africa, a small number compared to the more than a billion people who call it home. The social network's Internet.org and Facebook Lite will play a part in getting users on board.

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BenQ XR3501 35″ curved gaming monitor launches in July

BenQ XR3501 35″ curved gaming monitor launches in July

BenQ has introduced its new XR3501 display, something said to be the first 35-inch curved monitor targeted at gamers. It features a 2000R curvature and a 144Hz refresh rate, and is joined by a high resolution of 2560x1080 to match the demands of PC gamers. The curved display is promised to “consume” the gamer’s visual field, bringing details into one's peripheral vision. It lends a better experience to certain games like flight simulators and racing games, and will be available starting next month.

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This morning’s fireball was just space junk, says NASA

This morning’s fireball was just space junk, says NASA

Random fireballs in the sky, depending on your perspective in life, are either very exciting or very scary. Presumably both emotions were experienced by witnesses this morning when a bright fireball appeared in the darkened early morning sky over a few southern states. The event was captured by many in the form of pictures and videos, and it spurred all sorts of unfounded speculation: aliens, secret government experiments, the end of the world. The reality, though, is far more mundane.

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Study says HUDs could make driving more dangerous

Study says HUDs could make driving more dangerous

Head up displays, more commonly called HUDs, put digital images on a driver’s windshield so they can see data — speed or navigation instructions, for example — without having to take their eyes off the road. The common thought process has been that this technology makes driving safer — eyes are always forward, and devices like smartphones are tucked out of sight. A new study from the University of Toronto, however, indicates otherwise — rather than improving safety, HUDs could actually make drivers more dangerous by meddling with their attention.

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Uber nabs Microsoft workers and assets in deal

Uber nabs Microsoft workers and assets in deal

It’s no secret Uber has been moving to nab itself some mapping tech, and so its latest announcement isn’t too surprising: Uber will be acquiring some Bing assets from Microsoft, in particular 100 workers who will be tasked with improving Uber’s own mapping efforts. Early last month, Uber had placed a bid on Nokia's HERE mapping service, underscoring its efforts to improve its own mapping technology. Mapping is central to Uber's business model, being used for its various services from cars rides to food delivery. Update: Statement from Uber after the jump.

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Uber managers arrested in Paris amidst riots

Uber managers arrested in Paris amidst riots

Uber has not had a kind reception in all the cities where it operates, but France -- and Paris in particular -- has proven to be most unwelcoming. Recent protests became violent and led to orders for police to seize Uber cars violating the ban late last week. Now two of Uber's top managers have been arrested in Paris, and though an official confirmation of their identities has not been made, a local journalist has claimed that the arrest involved a GM and CEO.

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NextGen use 3D printing to make ergonomic chef knives

NextGen use 3D printing to make ergonomic chef knives

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you know having a solid set of knives is important. The blade is a big deal, of course, but one shouldn’t neglect the handle — that is the part you’re going to interact with the most while cooking, and so a comfortable fit in your palm will ramp up your wielding powers. Enter NextGen, which has decided to take things to the next level using 3D printing. Rather than sculpting knife handles for an element of comfort, they're 3D printing them with a finely tuned ergonomic design.

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Adaptive Saber Parts introduces modular battle-ready lightsabers

Adaptive Saber Parts introduces modular battle-ready lightsabers

If you're a Star Wars fan, you probably have one of those toy lightsabers that springs to life if you flick it open hard enough. They're fun to play with, but certainly don't make you feel any more like a Jedi. Enter Adaptive Saber Parts that allow you to build a far more realistic lightsaber. They are modular, kind of like those smartphones we keep talking about, and include embedded electronics to make them seem as close to real as you're going to probably ever get.

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Police start seizing Uber cars in France

Police start seizing Uber cars in France

The clash between Uber drivers and taxi drivers in France became very serious this week, including everything from blocking transportation routes to the alleged dropped of bricks onto Uber cars from overpasses. Today the nation’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called Uber “arrogant” following his order yesterday for police officers in Paris to seize any UberPOP vehicles that are operating despite the ban. Legal action has also been filed against UberPOP mangers in France.

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