ai
This Company Is Betting the Future Is Personal AI Avatars, So It Made Me One

In January 2019, when China Central Television, the largest broadcast network in the most populous nation in the world, aired a special to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the hosts welcomed four life-sized “personal artificial intelligences” to share the stage with them. Called PAIs, they were three-dimensional holographic replicas of the presenters that moved, spoke, and sang to the delight of the cheering live audience. The program was viewed some 1.8 billion times. One of the most-watched TV shows in the world had been hosted by AI avatars. Read More >>

technology
How to Choose the Right Platform to Run Your Smart Home

Maybe you’re taking your first tentative steps into the smart home market, or maybe you’re expanding what you’ve already got, but at some point you’re going to want to get everything working together—or else be faced with using dozens of different apps every day to get your smart gadgets doing your bidding. Read More >>

robots
This Robot Gardener from the 1960s Looks Like a Techno-Utopian Version of the Apocalypse

When people of the 1950s and 60s imagined the robot lawnmowers of the future, they were generally pretty small and cute. But not this guy. Read More >>

environment
The Most Toxic Place You Could Go This Weekend Might Be a Nail Salon

I’m somewhat obsessed with painting my nails. About every two weeks or so, I choose a new colour from an assortment of reds and golds and whip out my nail clipper, nail file, polish remover, and trusted cotton balls. The chemical fumes that accompany this ritual – from the nail polish itself to the acetone-based nail polish remover – don’t bother me too much. They come with the territory. Read More >>

boeing
Boeing Jet Sales Have Tanked in the Wake of 737 Max Crashes

After two crashes in the Java Sea near Indonesia and Ethiopia involving Boeing’s 737 Max line of passenger jets killed a total of 346 people, sales of 737 Max models have plummeted, CNN reported on Tuesday. Read More >>

nasa
NASA Wants £1.2 Billion to Send First Woman to the Moon By 2024

NASA is requesting an additional $1.6 billion (around £1.2 billion) in funding for next year to accelerate its manned mission to the Moon by 2024, which the agency revealed will be titled Artemis, the New York Times reported on Monday. Read More >>

huawei
Report: Trump Expected to Sign Order That Could Bar US Firms From Buying Huawei Telecom Gear

Amid a U.S.-China trade war that, after brief signs of abatement, now seems headed off the rails and continued assertions by U.S. intelligence agencies that Chinese tech giant Huawei poses a national security risk, Donald Trump is poised to sign an executive order that could bar telecommunications companies from buying its equipment, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Read More >>

intel
What To Do About the Nasty New Intel Chip Flaw

An entire class of vulnerabilities in Intel chips allows attackers to steal data directly from the processor, according to new reports from a group of cybersecurity researchers from around the world. Intel, Apple, Google and Microsoft among other tech giants have released patches to address the flaws. Read More >>

whatsapp
Report: WhatsApp Vulnerability Used to Secretly Infect Phones With NSO Group’s Notorious Spyware

Powerful spyware developed by Israeli cyber-intelligence company NSO Group exploited a vulnerability in encrypted messaging app WhatsApp to transfer itself to targeted devices, the Financial Times reported on Monday. Read More >>

netflix
Nickelodeon’s Long-Awaited Invader Zim and Rocko’s Modern Life Movies Will Be Coming to Netflix

Hey, remember all those revival movies Nickelodeon was working on? They’re still coming, and when they do they’ll hit Netflix, too. Read More >>

facebook
Facebook Argues Against Breaking Up Facebook

On Thursday, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes penned an editorial in the New York Times calling for the company to be broken up, its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp spun off, and future acquisitions banned for several years. Hughes argued that Facebook, and by extension its all-powerful CEO Mark Zuckerberg, suppresses competition by “acquiring, blocking or copying” it, has sweeping power over speech, and is so big it can ignore virtually all forms of external accountability. He also called for the formation of an independent government agency to regulate tech companies. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft Plays Nice

At the opening keynote for Build, Microsoft’s annual developer conference in Seattle, we heard more about Starbucks than Windows. A ten-minute demo about how Starbuck’s ordering system interacts with Azure, Microsoft’s growing cloud-based computing platform, was a highlight of the event. This should tell you a little about the event itself. Build has never been the most exciting developer conference. Where Google, Apple, and even Facebook take a moment to show consumers a glimpse of the near future, Microsoft has always been focused firmly on its developers, with loads of coding on stage and weird demos meant to excite the enterprise set more than the rest of us. Read More >>

consumer tech
How to Tidy Up Your Laptop So It’s Actually a Pleasure to Use Again

If your heart sinks every time you open up your laptop – at the thought of sluggish performance, broken shortcuts and a mess of files and folders – this is the guide for you. We’ll talk you through some of the ways you can tidy up your Windows or macOS laptop, and reduce those feelings of frustration. Read More >>

crime
Software Update Caused Hundreds of Police Ankle Monitors to Go Dark

Like a scene out of a dystopian police state film, a failed software update caused hundreds of ankle monitoring devices in the Netherlands to go dark from police surveillance on Thursday. Read More >>