Must Read Bits & Bytes

Plane hacker admitted in-flight engine takeover says FBI

Plane hacker admitted in-flight engine takeover says FBI

While we were all busy arguing whether our cellphones could affect planes, one security researcher was busily hacking into aircraft and potentially gaining access to engine control. An ill-advised tweet got infosec specialist Chris Roberts barred from a United flight last month, after he joked about tinkering with aircraft systems like passenger emergency oxygen control. Turns out, so documentation submitted by the FBI reveals, Roberts' abilities were even greater, to the point of momentarily controlling engine thrust.

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LG Watch Urbane Review – All that glitters isn’t gold

LG Watch Urbane Review – All that glitters isn’t gold

You can understand why Android enthusiasts might be resentful of the Apple Watch. Android Wear has been around long enough for manufacturers like LG to release several generations of smartwatch, but listen to some and you’d be excused for thinking Cupertino had invented the segment. Into the fray wades the LG Watch Urbane, promising genteel luxury instead of geek chic, and first to offer the very latest version of Android Wear itself, complete with a number of hotly-anticipated updates. $349 is a lot to ask for an Android smartwatch, though: is the Urbane worth it?

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CRISPR-Cas9 modifies your DNA, under legal fire

CRISPR-Cas9 modifies your DNA, under legal fire

A revolutionary method of editing the human genome has this week become the subject of a patent war. Back in April of 2014, patents were awarded by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to the Broad Institutes’ Dr. Feng Zhang, MIT, and Harvard to develop the technology behind "CRISPR-Cas9". This April, the UC Board of Regents’ legal team spoke with the USPTO about reconsidering their action, suggesting they award the patent to the inventor of the original method, UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna. One way or another, this radical DNA modifier must be made.

We need X-Men, after all.

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Amazon Echo is finally becoming your shopping assistant

Amazon Echo is finally becoming your shopping assistant

Back when Amazon launched its Echo, a digital personal assistant squeezed inside a cylindrical speaker, the obvious question was "why can't I shop?" Now, roughly six months into its slowly-staged roll out, Echo is finally getting the ability to do voice-controlled shopping, with a new firmware update pushed out today adding support for re-ordering items you've previously purchased, all using nothing more than spoken commands.

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Facebook Instant Articles 101: The Basics

Facebook Instant Articles 101: The Basics

Today Facebook is pushing their newest service, Instant Articles, bringing full News Articles to the public through Facebook alone. With this service, publishers like National Geographic will be bringing full-on articles and videos to Facebook without any buffer. The companies that work with Facebook this way will receive ad revenue, and Google will - essentially - be cut out entirely. Unless you're looking at the article on an Android phone, of course. You'll be leaving all your news requirements to Facebook and the publishers they deem to be worthy.

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Dear Apple Watch Developers: Please be like Marco

Dear Apple Watch Developers: Please be like Marco

Apple Watch is going to change a lot of things. It’ll change how other companies consider wearables, and its popularity will certainly make being on the Apple Watch via apps a necessity. Apple Watch is also accelerating how we think about those apps best considered as ‘micro-mobile’; those that are made specifically for wearables. With so many Developers having worked on their Apple Watch apps based off of emulation ahead of launch, we’re starting to see them go back to the drawing board. And they’re right to do so.

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Must Have PS4 RPG Games in 2015

Must Have PS4 RPG Games in 2015

We're barely half way through the year, but the current gen PlayStation 4 is already teaming with games it probably makes your head hurt to count them all. And it isn't just the big titles either, with dozens of indie's carving their way into gamers' hearts. But if you're still on the look out for something to while your time away in front your faithful gaming companion, then take a gander at five of the best role-playing titles to grace the catalog of the PS4 this year. In order of appearance:

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I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I told my grandmother about Mercedes-Benz’s self-driving F 015 concept the other week, and she was horrified. “However could you trust it to drive you safely?” she wanted to know, perhaps thinking of how her DVR regularly and unpredictably dumps her favorite recordings and extrapolating that to a crazed silvery space-pod crashing and taking her grandson with it. In fact, I told her, I trust autonomous vehicles far more than I do my fellow human drivers, and recent news of self-driving car crashes in California has done nothing to change that.

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Lily camera drone hands-on: Aerial video, no pilot required

Lily camera drone hands-on: Aerial video, no pilot required

If you're reinventing the camera, why not make it fly? That's the concept behind Lily, a drone that puts flying photography at its core, but doesn't require a pilot's license to use. Promising not only autonomous flight but eye-catching drone footage with zero operator talent, the new quadcopter wants to usurp the GoPro as the extreme sportsperson's go-to gadget, and snap the selfie-stick for family gatherings. I ventured into the park to strike a pose as I was filmed from the sky.

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The big Apple Watch surprise is how little you use it

The big Apple Watch surprise is how little you use it

For all the furore around the Apple Watch launch, not to mention the number of people still waiting for their pre-orders, it’s a surprise just how low-key the smartwatch itself is. Of course, there’s the excitement of opening the box, strapping it to your wrist, and setting it up with your favorite apps and notifications, but after that the wearable works best if you simply... wear it.

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