technology

Zuckerberg to UN: Internet access can help bring world peace

Zuckerberg to UN: Internet access can help bring world peace

That may be a tall claim and one that many might scoff at, but that is exactly what Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, along with a host of other celebrities, told business leaders at a private luncheon at the United Nations last Saturday. Their connectivity campaign, one that seeks to make Internet access universal to the more than 4 billion people still deprived of the technology, believes that the Internet isn't only useful for sharing knowledge but also for helping end poverty and promoting world peace.

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Google to connect Indians to the Internet via train stations

Google to connect Indians to the Internet via train stations

Google has had some very ambitious and sometimes even incredible ideas to bring the Internet, whether low speed or high, to more people, from installing fiber lines in US cities to flying balloons in remote places in the world. Now it's bringing that vision and ambition to India, home country of new Google CEO Sundar PIchai. This time, however, it isn't looking to the skies to connect India's next 10 million to the Internet. Instead, it is looking to repurpose India's train stations to be come hubs of public high-speed Internet access across the country.

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WEpod to be first self-driving shuttle on public roads

WEpod to be first self-driving shuttle on public roads

While some car makers and technology companies like Google are still somewhat scrambling to make self-driving private cars a reality on public roads, Netherlands might already be taking the next big step towards autonomous driving: public transport. Called the WEpods, these electric shuttles will be ferrying commuters between the towns of Wageningen and Ede in Gelderland starting November. And it won't be settling for just some special, restricted road. These self-driving pods will be cruising along public roads and rubbing shoulders with regular vehicles and drivers.

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NYC wants all its public schools teaching computer science

NYC wants all its public schools teaching computer science

The present generation is well advised to study computer science as a preparation for their future career prospects, and some school districts are adjusting their curriculums to include the area of study. Back in early 2013, New York City’s former mayor Bloomberg announced the state’s Software Engineering Pilot program would be launched in 20 public schools. Now the city is taking that a step further, with the next decade bringing a big change.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight reference platform has advanced video and nav

Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight reference platform has advanced video and nav

Qualcomm has announced a new reference platform that is aimed directly at advancing consumer drone aircraft capabilities. The new platform is called Snapdragon Flight and the reference platform (not pictured) will support small, light drone aircraft that have advanced video and image capture along with advanced communication and navigation features.

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Samsung’s new 12 Gigabit LPDDR4 paves the way for 6 GB RAM on smartphones

Samsung’s new 12 Gigabit LPDDR4 paves the way for 6 GB RAM on smartphones

Samsung has been steadily improving its semiconductor products, from processors to NAND storage, and now to volatile memory, to help offset its disappointing smartphone sales. While the numbers and names might be a bit confusing thanks to how they're marketed, this 12 Gigabit, not Gigabyte, LPDDR4 RAM is still a notable achievement. By squeezing in more memory in a single chip made with the same 20 nm process, Samsung is practically paving the way for smartphones and tablets to soon have as much as 6 GB of RAM inside.

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Macy’s to test Best Buy shops in ten of its stores

Macy’s to test Best Buy shops in ten of its stores

Macy’s makes an appreciable effort to implement technology in its stores, and though you’re not likely to see much of that technology at this point unless you live in certain places in California and select other states, the company continues to experiment with new offerings. There's the retailer's beacon tests, for example, which pushes out deals and promotions to visitors. There's also the tablet-adorned dressing rooms that shuttle clothes directly to shoppers using a built-in chute. And, now, there's Best Buy.

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3Dom’s Wound Up 3D printing filament recycles coffee grounds

3Dom’s Wound Up 3D printing filament recycles coffee grounds

The rise of 3D printing has brought many advantages to the industry and to the world, chief among which is the democratization and increased accessibility of printing processes and products. One of the unsung benefits, however, is the potential to look for and use materials to replace toxic, fossil-burning plastic. Heading to the forefront of this mission, 3Dom, one of the USA's biggest 3D printing filament manufacturers, teamed up with bio-composite company c2renew to cook up all kinds of alternative filament material, first among which is made from coffee grounds.

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MIT’s MultiFab 3D printer can handle 10 materials at once

MIT’s MultiFab 3D printer can handle 10 materials at once

3D printers are great, useful, and fun, but the typical hobbyist printer that you can buy for yourself or for your home business has a problem with single-mindedness. For one, it can only really produce one part at a time, leaving the task of assembling parts together into a functional whole to humans. For another, it can only work with one material at a time, though more professional, and more expensive, 3D printers can work with up to three. MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory or CSAIL, however, has a solution that solves both of those at a fraction of the cost of a professional 3D printer.

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The Drinkable Book filters water for drinking

The Drinkable Book filters water for drinking

It can be very hard to get drinkable water in some parts of the world where utility systems are non-existent or unreliable. For many people in rural parts of the world getting water to drink can be a big undertaking and at times clean water is simply not available. A researcher named Theresa Dankovich has discovered a cheap and easy to transport method to purify drinking water.

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Survey reveals which tech device different generations would miss most

Survey reveals which tech device different generations would miss most

An interesting study was conducted recently in the UK, surveying people of all ages about their relationships with the common tech devices of today, including laptops, smartphones, and televisions. The results were broken down into age groups ranging from teens to over 75, and in the end it revealed not only a number of differences in the devices that different generations cling to, but also how important (or unimportant) some technologies become over time. The data was collected by the UK's Ofcom, or the equivalent of the FCC.

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Patent for “slideable” plane seats might be terrible idea

Patent for “slideable” plane seats might be terrible idea

Leg room in airplanes today is a luxury and is one of the many pain points to traveling by air. A new patent aims to solve that but might inevitably make matters worse and cause havoc inside plane cabins. The "Method and Apparatus for Adjusting the Space of Vehicle Seats Based on the Size of the Seat Occupant" pretty much boils down to being able to slide a seat forward or backward to create more leg room for the passenger. That is, if anyone actually gets to sit in the first place.

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