Friday Morning Report

By Craig Cmehil | a different view before the weekend

Amazon Seeks FCC Approval For Mobile Bands Based Technology

Mike George, VP Alexa, Echo and Appstore for Amazon, speaks at CES in Las Vegas, U.S., Jan. 4, 2017.An Amazon application to the Federal …

Amazon

Israel builds world’s tallest solar thermal tower in Negev Desert

Rising from the desert landscape what will be the world’s tallest solar thermal tower.<p>It is still under construction 250 meters high in the Negev Desert.<p>The project is made up of three plots, with a fourth planned for the future, each with a different solar technology. The centerpiece is the solar …

Energy

20 Vintage Life Hacks from 100 Years Ago AND THEY WORK

Back in the 1900s, cigarette manufactures used to insert stiffening cards into their paper cigarette packs to add strength and help them last longer. …

Hands on with LEGO Boost robotics prototype at CES in Las Vegas [News and Video]

Earlier this week we brought you the news about the newly unveiled LEGO Boost robotics system, an entry-level System-based building and coding …

Lego

Turn your iPhone into a universal remote and more [Week’s Best Deals]

2017 is off and running, and there’s already a strong crop of brand new deals that top the Cult of Mac Store. This week we’ve got a comprehensive disk utility, a comprehensive bundle of lessons in iOS development, a single place to charge and organize up to 5 devices, and a coin-sized module for …

Apple News

TP-Link makes mysterious entry into Wi-Fi system market at CES

TP-Link made it clear today at CES 2017 that it's ventured into the Wi-Fi system market, with not one, but two products. What's not clear, however, is the details of these systems. For now, even the release dates and the pricing aren't available.<p>The first system is called the Deco M5 Router. It …

Wi-Fi

Netgear's Nighthawk S8000 8-port switch gets the LAN party started

When it comes to gaming, the best way to connect your rig is via a Gigabit connection, and today Netgear brought that to a next level with the Nighthawk S8000 8-port Gaming and Media Switch (model GS808E).<p>Netgear says this is a 8-port switch designed to connect Playstation, Xbox, Wii and other …

Wireless

Synaptics' new biometric solution combines fingerprint authentication with facial recognition

For example, if you’re wearing gloves on a cold day, it would be much easier to select the facial recognition method rather than removing your gloves …

I've owned an Amazon Echo for over a year now — here are my 19 favorite features

I activated my Amazon Echo for the first time in December 2015. It's since become one of my favorite tech gadgets ever.<p>Amazon's family of Echo speakers were some of the hottest gifts this holiday season — the smaller $50 Echo Dot has been the top-selling item on Amazon.com since November 1 — so …

Amazon

Biology Professor Discovers New Clue About What’s Killing Bees

University of Wisconsin-Stout biology professor discovers a bacterium that may be responsible for years of increasing bee die-offs. KARE's Boyd Huppert reports.

Biology

Amazon wins patent for a flying warehouse that will deploy drones to deliver parcels in minutes

Amazon has been awarded a patent for a giant flying warehouse that acts as a launchpad for drones to deliver items within minutes.<p>The U.S. e-commerce …

Gear & Gadgets

The Face Of Scottish King Robert The Bruce Has Been Digitally Reconstructed

Robert the Bruce was one of the most feared kings of the 14th century, an all round badass who most famously led the Scots against the English in the …

How To Calm Waves On A Lake With A Spoonful Of Olive OIl

This video from YouTube channel What The Physics?! shows Greg Kestin, a theoretical physicist researcher at Harvard University, demonstrating some of …

Olive Oil

Watch What Happens When You Shoot An “Unbreakable” Prince Rupert’s Drop With A Bullet

What’s a Prince Rupert’s drop, you ask? Well, science lovers, read on.<p>A Prince Rupert’s drop is what happens when you drop molten glass into very …

Canada

Captain Sonar: Someone finally made a great 8p board game

Review: Realtime sub-hunting game has more depth than it seems.<p>Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games. Check out our complete …

Board Games

French village becomes home to the world's first solar panel road

The village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy, France, is taking solar panelling from the roof to the street. The town says it's just unveiled the world's first solar panel road.<p>The 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) route, covered by 2,800 square metres of electricity-generating panels, was declared open on …

France

Voice Is the Next Big Platform, and Alexa Will Own It

If <b>you happen to live</b> in one of the six million US homes that have so far purchased an Amazon Echo, you may think Alexa is just a voice emanating from …

Amazon Echo

Here’s a robotic hand that handles objects as delicately as a human

Researchers at Cornell University say the technology could help restore sensation to amputees.<p>Scientists at Cornell University’s Organic Robotics Lab have developed a robotic hand that has a level of sensitivity that approaches a human’s — it’s sensitive enough to detect the shape, softness and …

Robotics

Here's How Rogue One Got Its Hands on Unseen Star Wars Footage

<i>Rogue One</i> might be the first standalone film in the <i>Star Wars</i> universe, but that doesn’t mean it’s detached from the original saga. In fact, director …

Star Wars

Bear is everything we wanted Notes to be

I’m in love with a note-taking app for the first time since Evernote wowed me almost a decade ago.<p>‘Bear‘ is what Notes should have been. Hell, it might be what Notes <i>still</i> aspires to be. It walks the perfect line between simple and feature-rich while offering robust options for organization, search, …

Evernote

Amazon has sold more than 5 million Echo devices, with a big holiday to come

en_US<p>article<p>While Google Home is $50 cheaper, Echo will likely dramatically out-sell the newer …

Amazon

Bill Gates is heading a $1 billion venture fund to combat climate change

Nearly two dozen of the world’s most successful business leaders, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists will invest up to $1 billion in a fund led by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by financing emerging clean energy technology.<p>The …

Bill Gates

What is fog computing and what does it mean for IoT?

The Internet of Things is projected to grow to as much as 20-30 billion connected devices by 2020. The amount of data being created and subsequently sent to the cloud is therefore set to increase exponentially as a new set of devices achieves connectivity.<p>Storage and computing power increases …

Bluetooth 5 launches and it’s a lot more powerful

Following its announcement back in June, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) has today revealed that the specification of the much-improved Bluetooth 5 technology has been finalized and is now ready for adoption by manufacturers all over the world.<p>Bluetooth 5 offers double the …

These robotic utensils are changing the lives of people with disabilities

Lifting a spoon to your mouth may seem like a simple, daily act that doesn't take much thought or effort. But it's an out-of-reach luxury for many people with mobility-related disabilities.<p>Now, a new line of eating utensils helps people with limited mobility regain mealtime independence, all …

Health

Fitbit's Pebble acquisition risks alienating loyal users

Discontinuing the hardware is a slap in the face to a passionate community.<p>After days of rumors and speculation, Pebble finally confirmed yesterday that it's getting acquired by Fitbit. At first, this sounded like it might be a good thing, as Pebble was struggling to gain market share in the …

Wearable Tech

Microsoft just finalized its deal for LinkedIn — here's what happens next

Microsoft's $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, which was announced back in June, finally closed on Thursday — and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has now outlined how the two companies plan to integrate their products.<p>As expected, the companies will integrate LinkedIn's Sales Navigator tool for …

Microsoft Windows

Space Snails on Pluto

Intel and Amazon are making it easier for anyone to build an Alexa-enabled speaker

Just what you wanted<p>Amazon wants Alexa in as many products as possible, so it’s partnering with Intel to make it easier for manufacturers to incorporate the voice assistant into their devices. The two companies announced plans yesterday to release reference designs for a connected speaker within …

Amazon