Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Facebook patents system that turns your face into emoji

Facebook patents system that turns your face into emoji

Emoji are the spices with which you flavor your chats and texts. They add a bit of unspoken context to otherwise plain sentences. Are you saying something in a humorous way? Stick your tongue out at someone and they might get the hint. Wink, smile, scream...there's an emoji for every occasion. Facebook, though, might be looking to take things a little further, replacing the cartoon faces with a small copy of your own.

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U.S. military shows off giant ray gun for shooting down drones

U.S. military shows off giant ray gun for shooting down drones

The Dutch have anti-drone eagles, Tokyo police have drones with capture nets, the Marines have a laser on a Humvee and, now, the U.S. federal government has a gigantic anti-drone gun that shoots invisible waves of energy at uninvited drones. The DroneDefender ray-gun is made by Battelle, and it works by jamming the frequencies a drone uses, causing it to lose connection with its operator.

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Google’s robotic Art Camera takes gigapixel photos of classic art

Google’s robotic Art Camera takes gigapixel photos of classic art

The world is full of beautiful paintings, but, unfortunately, the average person will never get to see most of it in person. Photographs of well-known artwork are easy to come by, of course, but they don’t offer the same level of detail as an in-person visit. Google changed that with its ultra-high-resolution images of paintings, making the photos available on the Google Cultural Institute website. The photography process for this project was going too slowly, though, so Google created its own robotic camera to speed things up.

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Spiders’ sticky ‘glue’ also acts as microscopic web spools

Spiders’ sticky ‘glue’ also acts as microscopic web spools

Spiders create a special sort of ‘hybrid’ substance for their web that keeps the silky threads taunt even after they’re stretched out, according to researchers, and that discovery has been used to create a so-called liquid wire with the same properties. The spider’s substance is described as a watery glue deposited in tiny drops onto the threads; when a piece of silk is pulled on or stretched out, it spools within the droplets, keeping the threads taunt and thusly maintaining the structure of the web.

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Belkin Wemo Switches get Nest integration

Belkin Wemo Switches get Nest integration

Belkin’s Wemo now works with Nest, with the company announcing Works with Nest integration this morning. What’s this mean for you? If you have the Nest thermostat and one or more Wemo switches, such as a Wemo Insight Switch or Light Switch, they’ll now work together, making for a more integrated (and thusly capable and efficient) home.

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How to use Walmart Pay (hint: it’s really simple)

How to use Walmart Pay (hint: it’s really simple)

Walmart Pay, the retailer's alternative to Android Pay and Apple Pay, just made its first big rollout, arriving in all of the company's stores in both Texas and Arkansas. Given how big Texas is, it's not surprising the rollout encompasses nearly 600 stores -- that's a lot of stores, yes, but also a lot of customers who have a new-fangled way to pay. How do you use Walmart Pay? It's pretty easy.

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Samsung Charm stylish fitness band heading to ‘select markets’

Samsung Charm stylish fitness band heading to ‘select markets’

Samsung has newly introduced its Charm 'lifestyle band,' a fitness wearable that Samsung says has all the stylish elements of a piece of jewelry. The band itself is very simple, with a single charm-like element in the middle, hence the model's name. This fitness band was released in Russia, Italy, France and Korea, and now Samsung says it will be released in 'select markets' soon.

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HP EliteBook 1030 unveiled with 13hr battery, QHD+ display

HP EliteBook 1030 unveiled with 13hr battery, QHD+ display

HP has taken the wraps off its new EliteBook 1030, an alternative to the EliteBook Folio with a generous battery and display. The laptop will launch sometime this month with a starting price of $1,249 USD, and will bring with it, among other things, a 13.3-inch display with Corning Gorilla Glass, a fanless design, and a 13-hour battery life, making for a solid business laptop.

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Israeli divers find ancient Roman treasure in shipwreck remains

Israeli divers find ancient Roman treasure in shipwreck remains

A team of Israeli divers have discovered a cache of ancient Roman treasure within the remains of a shipwreck, the nation has announced. A pair of divers made the discovery back in April, finding the remains of a shipwreck in an ancient Roman port, and further investigation by the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed a cache of ancient treasures…most of which is in surprisingly good shape considering how long it spent underwater.

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Walmart Pay arrives in 590 stores across Texas and Arkansas

Walmart Pay arrives in 590 stores across Texas and Arkansas

Walmart Pay is finally starting its grand rollout, giving the retailer’s hoard of shoppers a mobile way to pay in-store that doesn’t involve Android or Apple. The rollout is starting with Arkansas and Texas, but not in a trickling fashion — all the stores in both states are getting support for the mobile payment option, amounting to 590 locations. Walmart Pay was first announced this past December.

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Waze jabs Uber with new carpooling test in San Francisco

Waze jabs Uber with new carpooling test in San Francisco

Google’s navigation app Waze is treading into Uber and Lyft territory, announcing plans to test a carpooling feature in San Francisco that’ll let commuters take a ride together, with those hitching a ride paying the driver for their time. This is a pilot program, and unlike a previous and similar test in Israel, the company won’t take a percentage of the driver’s money. The change may be enough to encourage users to carpool with others, and teases a new option beyond Uber.

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Xiaomi Yi action cam gets a 4K upgrade

Xiaomi Yi action cam gets a 4K upgrade

Xiaomi, popular Chinese electronics maker, has released an updated version of its Yi action camera, but unlike the first one, it doesn't come with a budget-friendly price tag. The new model brings a nicer design and some updated features, namely 4K video recording and dual-band WiFi, but the new features will come at a much higher cost...one that makes the Yi a less attractive GoPro alternative.

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