Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


WhatsApp group chats handle up to 256 users with new update

WhatsApp group chats handle up to 256 users with new update

WhatsApp for iOS and Android has been blessed with a small update. The company didn’t make any formal announcements about them, but with the change comes a higher limit for group chats — namely, instead of being limited to 100 users, group chats can now have up to 256 users. The same upper limit doesn't seem to be available on other platforms yet, but will likely be showing up in the near future.

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Continental to NHTSA: 5m cars may have faulty airbags

Continental to NHTSA: 5m cars may have faulty airbags

The Takata airbag debacle is still underway, but when it rains, it pours. Continental Automotive Systems has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of potentially faulty electronic airbag systems that could result in airbags deploying when they shouldn’t or failing to deploy when they should. According to the supplier, 5 million vehicles feature the potentially faulty systems.

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Intel exceeded its workforce diversity goal in 2015

Intel exceeded its workforce diversity goal in 2015

This week, Intel released its 2015 Annual Diversity Report, and it paints a picture a little brighter than that of many companies. Intel had previously set its focus on diversity, going so far as to set a specific goal, and it was able to announce that it was successful. The company went into details about how it managed to succeed in its ambitions, and also set its sights on something even more ambitious. By 2020, the company aims to have “full representation” across its workforce.

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Smart soccer ball works with app to improve game skills

Smart soccer ball works with app to improve game skills

Trying to improve your soccer skills, but finding the process difficult? A new smart soccer ball aims to help with that, integrating smart technology into a ball that, when used alongside a related mobile app, gathers and provides data showing skill details. The company behind the soccer ball also envisions third-party training apps that will work with its model.

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Report: Foxconn named preferred bidder by Sharp

Report: Foxconn named preferred bidder by Sharp

Foxconn has prevailed in its hopeful bid to buy Japanese company Sharp, according to a new report. We heard rumbles about such plans in late January, and now sources have surfaced claiming Sharp Corporation has selected Foxconn of Taiwan as the preferred bidder. If the sources are correct, Foxconn is willing to fork out the Yen equivalent of $5.9 billion for Sharp, which has struggled to compete in a market dominated by bigger players.

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Nintendo nixes its ‘Quality of Life’ sleep tracker project

Nintendo nixes its ‘Quality of Life’ sleep tracker project

Think back to the fall of 2014, and you might remember mention of a sleep tracker Nintendo had in the works. The company had announced plans to develop a device that would track someone’s sleep data and how fatigued they are, something that would perhaps rest on a bed stand rather being on your wrist. Not much has been said about it since, and almost as quietly as it had announced it, Nintendo has shelved the project.

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NASA finds ‘hills’ floating on Pluto’s nitrogen glaciers

NASA finds ‘hills’ floating on Pluto’s nitrogen glaciers

NASA has presented both a phenomenon and an explanation of it, in this case floating hills spotted on Pluto. These hills are found on nitrogen ice glaciers, and they’re substantially large measuring in at one mile wide or greater. This is an aspect of Pluto’s geological activity, says the space station, and one it finds fascinating, as these floating hills themselves move in ways similar to icebergs on our own planet.

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Bing apps integrate GasBuddy, add shopping tools

Bing apps integrate GasBuddy, add shopping tools

Microsoft has pushed out what it says are “major updates” for both the Bing Android and iPhone apps. Firstly, the Bing App for iPhone introduced in November has arrived on Android, and both apps are getting new features over past iterations. Among other things, Microsoft has announced the apps bring a new integration with GasBuddy, making it easier to find cheap gas wherever a user happens to be. iPhone users are also getting something special — dedicated deals including both coupons and offers, a feature that will arrive later on Android.

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Android Wear adds speaker support, more gesture controls

Android Wear adds speaker support, more gesture controls

Google has announced an Android Wear update that boosts hands-free features for wearables running the software. These include the ability to navigate through smartwatches using gestures rather than swipes and taps, as well as voice-based message sending and support for speakers. The features, which will be arriving to devices in the near future, make it a little easier to use wearables when your hands are full.

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Researchers recommend approving 3-parent babies for boys only

Researchers recommend approving 3-parent babies for boys only

Three-parent babies is a topic under scrutiny and criticism, not unlike genetically modified human embryos. Under request by the U.S. FDA, the Institute of Medicine has evaluated the notion of three-parent babies and has now published its report. In it, the Institute of Medicine recommends that in cases where there’s risk of mitochondrial diseases, three-parent babies should be allowed. But only if the babies produced are boys.

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Yahoo’s restructuring includes laying off 15% of workers

Yahoo’s restructuring includes laying off 15% of workers

Yahoo has announced what it calls an “aggressive strategic plan” that will narrow down its focus and, more importantly for staff, result in a massive round of layoffs. CEO Marissa Mayer said she believes the new plan will “enable us to accelerate Yahoo’s transformation,” but many remain doubtful in light of the company's longstanding struggles. This comes a short while after rumors surfaced stating the company was considering selling off large parts of its business.

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Music Wrap ‘headphones’ are bendy, double as speakers

Music Wrap ‘headphones’ are bendy, double as speakers

Earbuds and headphones, despite their differences, are all largely the same. That can’t be said for Music Wrap, though, a pair of wireless Bluetooth 'headphones' that are bendable and waterproof, and only vaguely similar to what we've come to understand headphones as being. Says the maker, Music Wrap is the most "versatile listening experience" available and suitable for everyday life.

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